Freedom Requires Us to Struggle Like Sisyphus

freedom has a price
Brandon Smith writes some of the best commentary published on the internet concerning the economy, politics, and liberty. Smith is correct; we ensure our own defeat through despair and nihilism. As John Milton wrote in Paradise Lost: “The mind is its own place, and in itself, can make a Heaven of Hell, a Hell of Heaven”.

“Is it true that freedom is an overly idealized concept? Perhaps, but it is one of the few concepts worthy of idealization. It is so worthy, that it is worth dying for.

Since the dawn of recorded history human beings have fought and sacrificed to attain freedom. It is an inherent psychological construct. It is a principle that is rooted not only in the mind of man, but his spirit or soul. Scientists in the realm of the mind have struggled for generations to understand where it comes from — others have sought to dismiss it as a fanciful notion or societal construct. Nihilists claim it doesn’t really exist, while other people center their entire lives on the proliferation of it. The concept of freedom, love it or hate it, is central to all cultures and all civilizations. The most common dismissal of the idea of freedom that I have seen is the argument that none of us is really free because “tyranny exists”. Tyranny is a constant, therefore, in the view of the nihilists, freedom cannot exist. I believe this dim way of thinking stems from a misconception of what freedom is and where it comes from.

Freedom, first and foremost, begins in the mind, or the heart; whatever you are inclined to put more stock in. To think critically or to imagine wildly is indeed to be free. Tyranny, by extension, rises from the mire and muck in the physical world around us and ends in the mind and the heart. If one is free of mind, then one is never truly enslaved.

I have heard so many times the ignorant accusation that freedom requires action before consequence. That is to say, if you have suffered the consequences of a tyrannical system, then you have already failed to prevent your own enslavement. This is not how freedom functions. It has never worked this way.

There is no such thing as a world without the consequences of tyranny. Tyrants are everywhere, always. There are little tyrants in our everyday lives, and big tyrants that pull strings from behind the curtains and from the darker places. There are people reading this article right now that think they are liberty-minded, but act like tyrants towards those around them. There are people who think they are slaves when one simple choice or action could easily make them free.  There are people who see private property as tyranny and seek to supplant it….with an even greater tyranny of entitlement and socialism.  And, there are people who think freedom means freedom for them, but not for others.  Each tyrant takes time to understand and remove from our lives. Some we simply need to walk away from; others need to be destroyed.

The point is, we are forever dealing with tyranny, and many of us are forever working to topple it. As long as we are able to pursue that goal, we are still free. The true slaves are those that have given up completely out of laziness or fear. Tyranny is always present, after all; why take a bath today when you are just going to end up soiled again tomorrow?

The idea that one can do nothing in the face of the machine is an old idea proven wrong time and time again, yet, it is also a very easy and comfortable lie to live in. Struggle is difficult. Sacrifice is foreboding and ugly. There are a million-and-one excuses and rationalizations as to why it is better to “accept fate” or circumstances. There is always another excuse that can be used to paper over cowardice.

Tyrants can, in fact, win and keep winning for the length of an epoch, exactly because of the logical fallacy that they cannot be resisted or be beaten. It is the self-fulfilling prophecy of nihilism that makes tyranny possible. Without it, tyrants inevitably fail and fall.

The great monster of our time that must be slayed is the monster of organized conspiracy. Past generations have confronted and defeated appendages of this monster, but they never beheaded it, and this is why our particular brand of tyranny persists. It is not enough for us to fight the tentacles of the beast anymore — it is the job of the freedom fighters of our era to stab at the brains of the wretched thing.”

This excerpt is from an article written by Brandon Smith. Please read the rest of it at Alt-Market.

 

 

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