Since I was a little boy, I was taught that freedom was a quality that made America great, allowing us to say what we want and live life how we want. The merits of freedom were never up for debate, especially since the dark days of American slavery made it clear that any kind of bondage, actual or figurative, is the incarnation of evil itself. Now that I’m older and have been able to witness human beings living with their freedom, I’ve come to the conclusion that complete freedom is not a natural human state, and giving it to individuals is more harmful than not.
I examined this problem by asking myself the following: what do human beings typically do once given absolute personal freedom? I first looked at the behavior of people in America, since culturally they have the most freedoms out of any other world citizen to pursue whatever lifestyle they want.
Most Americans, if you give them freedom and a life without restrictions, will almost certainly dive head-first into a life of absolute degeneracy and vice. They will pursue fleeting pleasures of the body, including alcohol use, drug abuse, and casual sex. They will make colossal mistakes with their education that put them into debt for life. They will seek out fame, attention, and validation instead of developing genuine skill or competency. They will permanently disfigure their bodies with tattoos and ear gauges. They will experiment with homosexuality or an artificially invented gender identity. They will overindulge in food and mindless entertainment. They will not educate themselves unless there is a bag of money at the end of their efforts. They will lie, cheat, and rationalize the hurting of others. The more freedom you give to the average person, the more they will harm not only themselves but others whom they come across.
I don’t have to look farther than myself to see how damaging freedom can be. Left to my own devices without expert guidance, I picked the incorrect major in college, leading to ten years of wasted time in the field of microbiology. I pursued sexual vice for over a decade that was fun and exciting only for the moment, and which has left me with no more than a handful of meaningful human connections and memories that produce just as much lamentation as happiness. And I strained existing relations with my family and friends to nearly lose myself in third-world countries when I thought that I would “find myself” instead.
It’s worth stating that I do have at least an average amount of self control when compared to my American peers. I don’t abuse alcohol and drugs. I exercise regularly. I don’t overeat or indulge in much entertainment. I am strict when it comes to working and reading daily. Yet in spite of that, too much freedom has hurt me greatly.
Giving a human being freedom simply gives them the ability to choose one of many available and willing slave masters, but even worse than an actual slave who has chains clamped on his wrists, the modern human seeks out chains for both his mind and body. What happens if you give a woman freedom? She enslaves herself to her feelings. She enslaves herself to entertainment, attention from men, alcohol, food, crushing student loans that she can’t possibly pay back, material possessions, and money. What happens when you give a man freedom? He enslaves himself to sex, corporate products, video games, to his own mirror image.
The actions of an American today seem free on the surface, in the sense that a person is allowed to leave their apartment at any time to do whatever legal act they wish, but those actions are pre-destined to cater to the unquenchable desires of their preferred form of slavery. They are driven every day by what they have voluntarily enslaved themselves to.
Not everyone responds to having freedom in the same way. One man will use his freedom to help his family, his tribe, and even society. He will use his time wisely to develop his mind, to study, and even to improve the world by chipping at his corrupt state. Another man, however, if you give him freedom, will not act in the same way if he possesses no innate defense to resist bodily pleasures, marketing messages, and cheap foodstuffs. He ends up serving others and harming himself or those close to him.
Some of you reading right now would be better off being required to follow established rules, traditional or heuristic, when it comes to how you live so that you reach your potential and keep yourself out from harms way, at least until you are able to build the high wall defenses in your mind to being enslaved. I would have personally benefited from such rules, or at least a hands-on mentorship, as recently as my late twenties. While humans must make mistakes to learn, build confidence, and find their own path, it is needless to let people travel so far in the wrong direction that they either don’t have the ability to return or are irreparably damaged by their grotesque experimentation.
I’m currently living in a country that has changed greatly over the past twenty years from the days of communist repression when freedoms were limited to now nearly unlimited personal freedom for people to look, act, live, and behave in any way they want. I can see firsthand how this freedom has merely transformed citizens from being enslaved to the government to being enslaved to alcohol, vulgar sexual vices, Hollywood-style entertainment, and corporations selling them shiny products, all while enabling them to adopt lifestyles that will cause long-term harm to themselves and to their society.
Most humans are not capable of wisely using their freedom, and so they must be restrained and managed by rules or by those who know what’s best for that individual more than the individual himself. In the past this restraint took place with those who had a sincere investment in the person’s well-belling, such as the family, the tribe, the village, and the local church, but these restraints are long gone, released in the cultural chaos of the post-Enlightenment world. With a general trend of increasing personal freedom around the planet, the only logical result is a steadfast mental and behavioral decline of humanity. Unless people are limited in the personal decisions they’re able to make, they will continue to hurt themselves and others.
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