Monday, June 3, 2013

About "Freedom Isn't Free"

"Freedom isn't free."

This is usually the mantra of those who want to justify every action done by the State, whether it be good or bad. This mannerism is used at times to justify militarism and to smash down those who oppose the warfare state.

Sheldon Richman at the Future of Freedom Foundation answers these attempts to use this mannerism:

"Freedom may not be free, but lots of things aren’t free. Food isn’t free, but farmers aren’t drafted. They farm voluntarily. It is true that we are taxed to support certain (but not all) farmers, but not because we wouldn’t have food if farmers weren’t subsidized — even if the farm lobby and its congressional agents have convinced most people that is the case. The fact is, we could have ample supplies of food — not free but at low cost — in a completely voluntary marketplace. That goes for clothing and much more. If providing such essentials requires no compulsion, despite their cost, why does freedom?"

Using this mannerism to justify militarism and the "national-security state" takes away from the intent of the phrase: freedom costs something from yourself, and you voluntarily accept this cost in order to be free. The phrase doesn't mean that you should support every single war and everything a soldier does.

It just means that you don't depend on the State and that you willingly accept the hardships and responsibilities that come with liberty.

UPDATE (6/23/2013): Roger Mitchell has an interesting article on the fallacy of "political freedom." Particularly intriguing is his treatment of the argument of those who argue that freedom is given by soldiers who die for us. He rightly argues that freedom isn't given by the blood of soldiers; rather, it is given by God.

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