Understanding Liberty

January 15, 2021
The American culture has a paradoxical understanding of liberty. While Americans claim champion the idea of individualism, they are all collectivist.

“We the People…” This iconic 3-word phrase is embedded in American culture, and has become synonymous with the very idea of liberty. The American psyche holds this axiom so rigidly that any notion to the contrary is viewed as treasonous. This tenet, however, is entirely paradoxical. “We the People” is the antithesis of individualism, and is thus contrary to liberty.

Liberty is the right of the individual to invoke sole dominion over their own life to act as they see fit, provided the act in and of itself does not directly infringe on the right of another individual to do the same. Liberty is a natural right for each and every individual on the planet, regardless of their age, race, ethnicity, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, social status, or any other superfluous qualifier. Effectively, this makes every individual equal in their station in life in the sense that no one may have any authority over another outside of the boundaries of their own private property. By applying this principle to the preamble of the U.S. Constitution, the point becomes clear:

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

While the U.S. Constitution is the greatest governing document ever penned, it is still a collectivist document. Despite the Founding Father’s best attempts to create a free state, no such thing is possible. The state is collectivist by its very nature. Like any collective, the state’s very existence is predicated on the assumed authority it has over he individual. By establishing itself in this role, the state has proclaimed itself master over the slaves known as “We the People.”

The state is, and always will be, evil. There is no form in which the state may be established where it is not evil. If minimized to the smallest degree feasible, the state still requires sovereignty over the individual. The state must, at a minimum, extort the fruits of one’s labor in order to exist, for without funding, it will cease to exist. This extortion, called taxation, does not have to be directly on one’s income. Any tax, fee, license, tariff, or surcharge is extortion of the fruits of one’s labor, and has no functional difference from one another.

Many suggest taxation as the price we pay to live in a civilized society, but this nonsensical statement misses the point entirely. The state’s assumed superior station over the individual makes taxation in and of itself uncivilized. Should an individual dissent to the idea of having the fruits of their labor taken from them by the state, they will be ultimately met with violence from the same entity supposedly charged with protecting individual liberty. Failure to bend to the demands of the state will ultimately result in the individual’s death.

Because of the required relationship between the state and the individual, liberty cannot coexist with the state. An individual cannot invoke sole dominion over their own life if any other individual or entity has sovereignty over them. This is particularly true whenever a 2nd generation is born. One could argue that the 1st generation living during the establishment of a state voluntary agreed to its creation. Even if this argument could be made soundly (which it cannot), it instantly deteriorates the very moment that the 2nd generation is bound to the same agreement by simply being born under it.

In any valid contract, all parties involved must explicitly agree to its terms. The very premise of a social contract requires individuals be bound to it without their consent. For one to suggest that liberty can exist when the collective has the authority to consent on the individual’s behalf is utterly preposterous. This sentiment extends well beyond merely the U.S. Constitution.

Numerous laws to which Americans are subject were written and enacted before anyone alive today was born. The establishment of the Federal Reserve System is a glaring example of this. Certainly, any rational individual would find it absurd to be subject to a private contract established by their great grandfather simply because they are a descendant, yet this is exactly what is expected from the state.

Liberty requires the absence of any hierarchical establishment whatsoever. This is to say that liberty requires the absence of the state. In a stateless society, the individual is sovereign, which achieves the goal of a true level playing field for all. While some individuals will have great success, and others will fail, everyone will have the natural right to invoke sole dominion over his or her own life. Every individual will have full ownership of their lives, their bodies, and their property. There will be no entity that has monopolies on violence and extortion.

A stateless society is entirely possible, however, it will require a massive cultural change. The American culture must be abandoned, and replaced with the culture of individual liberty. It must be stated that a culture is not the same as a collective. A collective prioritizes the group above the individual; a culture is merely a set of beliefs. If the culture championed the individual as truly sovereign, then any attempt to usurp that would be effectively resisted.

Liberty has never existed. It has been nothing more than an idea; a seed sowed in the minds of great philosophers of the past, but never watered. The true seeds of liberty must be sowed far and wide, and watered with the ideals of individualism. Only then will the tree of liberty grow. The culture of “We the People” must be laid to rest, and the culture of “I the Individual” should take its place.

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