Why isn’t liberty attractive to most people? It is a question that crosses my mind frequently.
Thomas Jefferson said “Rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others.”
He went on to state “I do not add, ‘within the limits of the law,’ because law is often but the tyrant’s will, and always so when it violates the rights of the individual.”
Jefferson knew that “laws,” even in his day, were often wrong. They have only gotten worse today.
The protection of individual rights is the only justifiable excuse for any law — not protection of government, its employees, or their income; not guaranteed outcomes, but no “legal” barriers.
Almost every law now on the books is a violation of individual rights, rather than a protection thereof. The law has become perverted, assuming it was ever legitimate.
As a result Americans don’t have much liberty left, and due to “there oughta be a law” thinking, it gets worse every day.
Yet, hardly anyone notices, and those who do notice are scorned and ridiculed. Where did this anti-American apathy and hostility toward liberty come from?
Most people have allowed their fear of the freedom of others to justify the whittling away of their own liberty.
So, why isn’t liberty attractive?
Maybe it is because people don’t want to be responsible for their own lives. Perhaps they believe they can hand that responsibility over to someone else.
Maybe it is because people don’t like to be exposed to others’ “unobstructed action” even when it violates no one’s rights. “I’m OK, but you need to be controlled!”
Maybe it is because so many people want to be able to dip their hands into the “tax” money fountain, believing they can come out ahead. They believe it isn’t really socialism if they benefit at the expense of others, or if it has a long history of being pursued, in America, by “Salt of the Earth” people.
Of course, if you can convince people they are free, then the reality doesn’t matter. They’ll fight you tooth and claw in denial of the fact that everything not forbidden (with the proper permits) is mandatory. They have been told they are free, so you dare not say otherwise.
Jefferson’s “rightful liberty” has been replaced by the hollow concept touted by those who claim that liberty means doing what you are allowed to do.
No wonder liberty isn’t attractive — no one recognizes it anymore.
Farwell’s Kent McManigal champions liberty. Contact him at: