Saturday, July 9, 2011
Freedom in a Dangerous World
“Necessity is the plea for every infringement of freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves.” - William Pitt the Younger
How does anyone who holds individual freedom as their highest ideal defend themselves from the on-slot of vested interests both foreign and domestic?
For most this will appear to be an odd question as it would seem self-evident that the sacrifice of one’s freedom is essential to protect one’s wellbeing. Is freedom doomed by the very act of defending freedom? The key to avoiding an intellectual melt-down is the acceptance that we live in an imperfect world and it will always be an imperfect world. Man may never achieve a Utopia and would probably lapse into conformity if he did. Epictetus said: If virtue promises happiness, prosperity and peace, then progress in virtue is progress in each of these for to whatever point the perfection of anything brings us, progress is always an approach toward it. So the battle for freedom must be fought on every question with the measure being progress toward greater liberty.
Today Freedom is under attack from all quarters. Terrorists and internet hackers in pursuit of short-term aspirations, see individuals as nothing more than a means-to-an-end. Governments and other world bodies seize the opportunity to redistribute wealth and watch our every move. Criminals lurk in places we least expect, ready to pounce. The plea of necessity is loud and growing in volume. Are we evolving into a tyranny predicted by Karl Marx?