Can you live in a world without liberty?

I tend to live with people who think you can’t say whatever you want, particularly on the Internet. I tend to think of older family members as somewhat apathetic towards the ideals I describe, and the values that I would happily grow stubborn for, let alone the reasons for me being a stubborn bastard about it. So I feel like I have wanted to ask members of my family a question: How could you live in a world without liberty? How would prosper in a world where you cannot say or think whatever you want even at whim, and face the consequences of your life alone?

In all seriousness, could you? People can be quite prone to base their favoring of security at the expense of liberty on their desire for convenience. They are prone to favor comfort over freedom because they may prefer the path of least resistance in their lives, and they think having everything decided for them and having unseen rules on what you can’t say or think about might make life better and easier for them. But I don’t think this is the case. In fact, I believe the opposite: I believe that those who choose security over liberty will have neither liberty nor security. I feel that choosing control over liberty can only lead to the eventual decay of comfort and security.

If you think about it, a world based on security and control can only be a world where the people are controlled based on another person’s vested interests, and the rules are based on merely his/her whims, convenience, profit, or control over the people. And when that goes, the people who run states based purely on consolidating their control over the people will do anything to maintain total security. You might think you are safe in such a state of affairs so long as you obey, submit, and agree with everything that is done by them, but I feel that in such a state of affairs people who thought they were innocent could soon find themselves arrested and persecuted by the state, either for convenience, to make an example for others, a simple exercise of authority, or because the rules have changed without the people knowing it. This is because such a state of affairs is run by people whose vested interest is control and not liberty, and what is and isn’t acceptable to say and think is always in flux and dependent on the whims and desires of the people in control. Even such a state with seemingly benign intents will lapse into corruption because the intent has always been control above liberty, and such a thing has been shown to fail because the focus quickly changes into the pure consolidation of authoritarian rule, and control of the people based on the whims of a ruler with no other desires than control and exploitation.

Real security is only based on liberty, and law and order that works to preserve the liberty and dignity of the individual. When the effort is directed towards the concept of liberty, justice, and the promotion and preservation thereof, you can be secure in such a world, so long as the people at large still desire and believe in both liberty and security, so long as both the people at large and the people in charge work towards it, and so long as the people in charge don’t go about changing the rules and abusing the system to suit their immediate conveniences.

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3 responses to “Can you live in a world without liberty?

  1. Well said. I believe that individuals can live under the harshest of regimes that deny liberty, such as North Korea, but the experience for them will be challenging. Liberty is a state of mind, and many are the prisoner of their own limitations.

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