Sartwell on Freedom

I’d make some commentary, but there’s nothing I could reasonably add. Here’s the ending of Crispin Sartwell’s latest:

We want the government to guarantee our health, deflect hurricanes, educate our children and license us to drive; we want to be told what to eat, what to smoke and whom to marry. We are justly proud of the fact that no enduring society has ever incarcerated more of its people. Noting that the policeman has a pistol, a club, a stun gun, a can of pepper spray and a database that includes us, we feel happy and secure.

Our submission is absolute: We want to be operated like puppets and provided for like pets.

The terrorists hate our freedom. But we should be comfortable with that. We hate our freedom, too.

You’ll have to read what led him to that conclusion.

Stephen Gordon

I like tasteful cigars, private property, American whiskey, fast cars, hot women, pre-bailout Jeeps, fine dining, worthwhile literature, low taxes, original music, personal privacy and self-defense rights -- but not necessarily in this order.

  1. Considering that over 90% of human history human government has consisted primarily of one bully rullying over a bunch of other people, I can’t help but agree with his conclusion. It’s also the reason I simply cannot agree with the “natural rights” arguments becuse, by nature, we humans appear to have always wanted to be tribal in nature with a big chief “leading” us all the way along. The few times where we have tried more representative governments have often be times of incredible advancement and positive change for those societies (think ancient Greece and, of course, America for most of our history). I don’t think “freedom” is necessarly “natural” for us, per se, but I’m absolutely convinced that when we try it we excel beyond all expectations. Too bad so many seem to think that real freedoms somehow just aren’t worth it.

  2. Clearly, parentalism is not a concept resulting from living in a somewhat free society; it’s just basic human nature. Being afraid of new things probably kept our ancestors alive while our would-have-been ancestors perished along with their DNA.

    So instead of trying to fight the problem, as Radley implies must be done with his treadmill analogy, why not acknowledge the reality of parentalism and apply some libertarian wisdom to the problem? If people want to have their decisions made for them, why can’t private companies do this? They can, and they can [of course] do it better than the government!

    The above is from my post here:

  3. A lot of people comfortable with being told what to do by governments, would not trust the evil corporations to do the same.

  4. A society needs to replace their leaders regularly due to sabre-tooth tiger predation or term limits. Lucky for us, most of us have the ability to fill their shoes when our turn comes (hormones rev up which is why power changes the personality of many people). We will rise to meet the challenge.

    It should be easy enough to use our smarts to regulate our natures and allow each of us to lead our own lives and the lives of those who choose to follow us. We’re adaptable, as individuals, much more than most animals. We don’t have to die to change the direction of our species (of course, that happens anyway), the way many species do.

    We can also tap into that thirst for showy, confident, potent, and famous leaders and lead the way. Be bossy without coersion.