- Thomas Hallifax
The Range Of Options
We live in a free society. That means that everyone gets to spend their time the way they want to. Everyone gets to make agreements with who they want to. Everyone gets to use resources the way they want to. The whole world is an open book and it's all free to explore. Our free society all works toward the manifestation of the freewill of the individual.
Now, to confirm the fact of our free society, go out and ask a friend what they're doing today. "Working." "I have to this that and the other thing." Unless today's the day you have a vacation or picnic planned there's a good chance you're not really free. I'm not suggesting rampant hedonism, or that the world is all gumdrops and rainbows; nor am I saying that former agreements be broken, or somethings don't take work. The fact though is that most peoples time is spent doing something they don't want to "a job," for something they think they need "money," so that they can go do the things they want. Sadly most people never even question whether that conception of society requires consent or not. It's just the thing everybody does.
The freedom we have is largely dependent on the beliefs that drive behavior. If everyone around you thinks a virgin must be tossed into a volcano to calm the fire spirit that lives in the mountain, well... that's just the thing everybody does. When the fears of the imagination are codified into dictates or doctrine people start to act very strange. It might seem weird to think that society doesn't have the right to claim your participation is mandatory but, this is how the appeal to common practice works. The outcomes of the practice may contradict the claimed goal but, as long as it's the way things have always been done then it seems more comfortable for people to rationalize than to change.
It's very sad to see many minds locked into a ridged way of thinking about the world. Asking someone about politics, economy, or the human condition is huge can of worms that people avoid. All of those things have no solution in most peoples minds and arguments usually degrade into bickering over what some leader should-a, could-a, would-a do. The range of options is confined to useless cycles of voting and magical thinking like; "If only so and so was in office, life would get better." The tragedy is anything outside the given options gets thrown out instantly as chaos.
It's difficult for people to think that products and services will still exist and violent people can still be stopped when they are all so used to a corporate widget machine and the all powerful government. I can hear them now; "If everyone can just do what ever they want they'd all just be lazy, violent barbarians. That's why we have the systems we have." That type of argument comes from a very poor vision of what people really are like; not to mention if that were true, no system of control would stop it.
Outside the prescribed list of "socially accepted" methods of building freedom is the imagination. Without needing the permission of "leaders" or making amendments to pieces of paper; freedom can be built by taking ideas and putting them in motion. If the only thing in the way of a proposed solution to a problem is how well it works; freedom and innovation take off. The ideas that don't work or aren't liked fall away and adaptation keeps rolling.
Expanding the imagination of what is possible is a critical element of freedom. The things that are existent in the world we have today are the product of free minds tinkering with ideas. If the freedom to play around in the mental sand box is forced into a mold, the obvious result is just a bunch of blocks. Blocks of block heads that build the walls that keep the mind from expanding.
A free society would still have shops and industry. It would still have peaceful cooperation and voluntary exchange. It would still have aspirations and incentive. It would still have protection and education. A free society is more defined by what it lacks. It would lack authoritarian control and institutionalized coercion. It would lack top down monetary control and forced theft by taxation. It would lack drudgery and a "work world." A free society would lack slavery.