Have we ever been free? If so: Can we get our freedom back?

*If we have to wear seatbelts (bicycle helmets, safety goggles, glasses, etc) but don’t want to wear them, then we are restricted in our freedom. (But we gain reasonable safety standards that reduce risk and save lives.)

*If a surgeon has to wash his hands and equipment before operating, but doesn’t want to, then he is restricted in his freedom. (But the surgeon and his profession gain the safety and trust of patients.)

*If we want goods and services for free, but have to pay for them, then we are restricted in our freedom.
(But we all gain a fairer, more functional and sustainable marketplace instead of chaos and plunder; we gain the possibility for such goods and services to exist in the first place.)

The measure of freedom is not whether I can do absolutely whatever I want, whenever I want. It is whether I can reasonably pursue my interests and make reasonable concessions such that others can do the same. There are many competing freedoms. The challenge is to find the best balance or harmony between them.

Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Where one’s liberty infringes on the life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness of others, it is necessarily limited in a free society. Nothing new about this.

The issue here is about basic facts. Is there a global pandemic in which a novel virus has the potential to kill millions of people at an exponential rate if left unmitigated? Do masks help prevent viral transmission, and thus many unnecessary deaths? If you answer ‘yes’ to those two questions, then it’s overwhelmingly reasonable to wear a mask when, for instance, you go to the grocery store. If you answer ‘no’, then you’re free to speak your mind and support your case via the means that are legally available to you.

Questioning the virus, mask mandates, medical practices, by established and prominent doctors, is censored on the internet and MSM.

So you are a liar and a shill like the rest of them.

Like most things, I think about freedom shades of grayly rather than black and whitely.
We were most free in the 19th century.
We were more free in the 20th century.
Can we restore freedom to 19th or 20th century levels?
With mass civil disobedience, unrest and supporting dissident candidates, we can, but will we?
We shall see.

I did bring an argument.

Here it is again:


Okay, let’s bring this down to earth.

The role of government in the lives of citizens.

There is the classic conservative/capitalist frame of mind: the smaller the better. Then the reality: crony capitalism.

There is the classic liberal/socialist frame of mind: the bigger the better. Then the projected reality: it all withers away under Communism.

Now minds do change over time about this distinction. Marx rooted this “scientifically” in his assessment of the organic, historical evolution of the “means of production”. Big governments are not even possible without the surplus labor around to occupy all the positions.

Now, in regard to our own individual reactions to government here at ILP, I suggest that is likely to be rooted in the arguments I make in my signature threads. We are all “thrown” – thrown “adventitiously” – at birth into a particular world. Utterly beyond our control. We are all indoctrinated for years to think this or that about socialism and capitalism. We all have different [sometimes very different] personal experiences, relationships and access to information, knowledge and ideas that shape and mold us into those who favor one political economy over the other.

There does not appear to be either a philosophical or a scientific argument that can take this diversity into account and establish the most rational or the only rational manner in which to think about it.


The “beginning of philosophy”? Again, given what particular context? Over and again, I note that my main interest in philosophy [and science and religion] revolves around this: how ought one to live?

And, given that, subjectively, existentially, I am an atheist – “here and now” – in a No God world.

Again: you note these accusations about me. Okay, choose an issue and a context that revolves around a discussion that explores our respective views on identity, value judgments and political power. How existentially they become intertwined out in a particular world understood in a particular way. What can we agree is true objectively for both of us and what seems more rooted subjectively in my philosophical assumptions regarding “I” in the is/ought world. And in your philosophical assumptions regarding your own self.

Yes, but the “battles” that unfold between the liberals and the conservative here often do become actual behaviors chosen by flesh and blood men and women “out in the world”. Resulting in “the staggering consequences embedded in conflicting goods down through the ages.”[/b]

We synchronized our watches in order to resume it.

Note to Wendy:

By all means respond to my points above yourself.

Besides, I put this at the end of my “retort” above: :laughing:

In other words, I was only in a joking frame of mind. Well, mostly. :wink:

@ Sleyor Wellhuxwell.

We have been only partially and/or temporarily free, because freedom is always relative. Now we are not unfree, but almost unfree. So it is again relative, although relatively near to unfreeness.

I agree.

You already know that your comparisons “limp”? And the measure of freedom is always whether I can do absolutely whatever I want, whenever I want. Otherwise I would not have any basis for the measurement, I could not measure meine Freiheit. And when you are saying: “where one’s liberty infringes on the life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness of others, it is necessarily limited in a free society”, then you are saying what the communist Rosa Luxemburg was saying - meaning her own liberty that should be accepted by the society. Also, why do you affirm the freedom of society, but reject the freedom of the individual? Anyone, who wants to talk about freedom, must begin with the individual, not with the society. And the freedom of the individual is relative (see also: Great Again). But the amount of relativity of social freedom must always be greater than the relativity of individual freedom in this society. Never vice versa. And if it is the other way around, then dictatorship is at work.

Which is more dangerous for you: a society that tries to be as free as possible, or an individual who tries to be as free as possible?

Yo, MagsJ! Yo, Wendy!

You’re up.

You wanted an argument, I gave you one.

Let’s get this thing going!!

Freedom isn’t free - cliche, but true. Freedom has costs, and specific freedoms are necessarily circumscribed in order to allow competing individuals in a society to get the best balance of freedom among each other. Freedom of speech means that in general one can speak his mind. But should one feel free to shout his mind through a loudspeaker at his neighbor on his neighbor’s property at 3am? Most people agree that there are reasonable limitations. Different countries circumscribe freedoms in different ways and produce different balances/trade-offs for the individual and a net effect for society as a whole that can be better or worse.


Some are more free than others. This sentences shows that freedom can only be relative.

And currently freedom is approaching zero.

I know you mean human beings, but that is not something I relate to as an “us”.

Freedom comes from intelligence and resilience. Most people are dumber than dogs, and they are free to a corresponding degree. They dont know what freedom is and would die of shock if they found out.

Freedom is a matter of relativity.

The personal pronoun “we” in my opening post should not hide this fact.

What kind of freedom r we talkin about here pal? What, freedom from causality, from obligation, from physical restraint?

So you are admitting that you have not read my opening post:

honored to be among such company except iambiguous. the majority of americans are like us. it’s your people that are in the minority.

Damn I thought there was just a poll. My bad. I should now answer thusly.

“By “freedom” I mean first and foremost the freedom of thought and speech.”

The answer to this one is yes and no. Whatever you think or say is not an act of freewill, but so long as something doesn’t physically restrain/prevent you from thinking and saying, you can be said to have that freedom. If you are able to do either of these you’d not be the cause of them, but free to do them nonetheless.

With the masks and vaccines example, being unfree to choose against them only means there may be some kind of physical restraint imposed on you for doing do, but that’s it. It doesn’t mean doing so is some kind of impairment of your freewill cuz there is no freewill.

But see this is the kind of silly shit people on the right baffle themselves with. I could name a hunerd restrictions already put on them by society and its laws long before masks and vaccines ever showed up, that they aren’t complaining about.

But us stirnerite anarchists don’t recognize this struggle because for us, damn near everything that moves is some kind of restriction already, so we don’t kill ourselves trying to figure out what restrictions are reasonable and what aren’t. They all suck. But what sucks most of all is listening to a conservative complain about some new restriction when all he does is what he’s told any fuckin way.

The soft rebellion of the republican. He fights tooth and nail about a mask when he’s already up to his neck in laws and restrictions. It’s only because he’s so lame anyway that it duddint matter if you add a few more (restrictions).

There is so much utter confusion in the conservative’s mind about what constitutes an ordered society and when/what restrictions are reasonable, he’ll only pick and choose restrictions that are inconvenient at the moment he feels like complaining.

bruh people do that shit in public view all the fucking time are you high right now?

like they’re ok with kids in schools wearing biulletproof backpacks and doing active shooter drills but a mask is tyranny.