Originally posted by Claire Wolfe
January 6, 2011
That’s what I was going to call this
post: Why the hell would anybody want to be free?
Yes, the question would have been rhetorical and no I don’t mean I’m
thinking of taking up communism or nihilism instead of the
But seriously. You know from experience that being a freedomista
often brings you grief. You get the sorrow of watching your country
go to hell. The agony of knowing your children will have it worse
than you do. You have to put up with the sneers or uncomprehending
stares of people who don’t want to hear perfectly sensible ideas.
You hear media morons who know nothing
about economics dismiss real money as “weird.” You watch the Bill of
Rights crumble to dust, day by day. You know that the policeman is
not your friend. That public servants are cruel masters. You know so
much that it hurts.
Your neighbors, who fit in better than you, don’t know or don’t
care. And they’re happy.
So why the hell would anybody want to be free? And by that I don’t
“Why would anybody rather be free
than live in a Soviet gulag?” Or, “Why would anybody rather be
free than to be tied up and water-boarded by a neocon puppet?”
“Why would anybody rather be truly
free than to live semi-free as we live now?” Or, “Why would
anybody rather be Bill-of-Rights type free than live in, say, a
European welfare state?”
Why isn’t it enough to be relatively
Freer than people in, say, Kenya or
Saudi Arabia or even the UK or Massachusetts (sorry,
The chances of achieving the degree of personal and political
freedom we desire are slim, so why do we bang our heads when things
really aren’t that bad (unless of course you’re Bradley Manning or
Cory Maye or somebody else who has had too close an encounter with
But of course that’s looking at the question backwards.
The real question that dogged me all last weekend, the question
whose answer could totally change minds, open eyes, and set spirits
soaring is this:
What is the
One Great Thing?
So that’s the new name of this post: The One Great Thing. What one
thing about freedom makes it worthwhile for those who seek it? What
One Great Thing can make all the struggle worthwhile?
If you could convey to people just one simple thing that makes true
freedom better than the alternative - one little thing that even a
child could understand - what would it be?