The World According to G: What is Freedom?

We are a free people. We are free to think what we want, say what we want, and do what we want. Yet, we read and hear that some groups are not free. Big Al Sharpton says that Black Americans are not free. Joe Biden says that some people want to put others “back into chains,” which certainly doesn’t sound like freedom.

So, what is freedom? The ability to do and think what we want, whenever we want, and however we want is freedom, say some. But isn’t that anarchy? If everyone acted out their every desire, then wouldn’t we be stepping on the freedoms of others? So, do we draw some rules that limit some freedoms?

Where would we get those rules? From the Rules Guy, the Big Kahuna, or some dudes in black robes? And how restrictive or how non-restrictive are those rules? Do we need a group that says that the rules for today are good for today, but might not be good for tomorrow, as everything is relative? And who enforces those rules, or is this self-policing, sort of like calling your own fouls in pick-up basketball? What if one person claims that another is breaking a rule, but the accused feels otherwise? Then what? Do we need a group of rules experts to decide who did and who did not break a rule, sort of like referees in sports?

A certain politician called the U.S. Constitution a document of negative liberties. But his viewpoint is from the role of government. The U.S. Constitution bases its description of government and rights from the viewpoint of the individual. The Founders felt that for men and women to be free, then government must be limited. The United States, really a uniting of states, joined together to form a government where the citizens self-governed by electing representatives who speak for them. The President is more of a chief executive who has equal powers with the Congress and Judicial Branch. The idea of separation of powers seeks to prevent any one branch of government from bullying the others, and from bullying the people.

The Founders, however, did not anticipate a fourth branch of government. The unelected career government bureaucrat that writes legislation, creates rules, creates taxes called penalties, and does not answer to anyone, especially the citizenry. That is not self-government, and impinges upon all of our freedoms.

Now our government wants to control the internet to protect us. The last time I used the internet, it seemed fairly well un-regulated. And currently I do not feel threatened about censorship, or being punished for offering differing opinions, well, except for Facebook. I try to talk to anyone younger than I am, and that is a lot of people, and they all seem fine with the government controlling the internet.  My response is, look how well the telephone industry was before deregulation. We had only landlines and the phones were all ugly and heavy. That is what will happen with our government controlling the internet; we will be stuck with current (soon to be old) technology dominated by a few players (the status quo). Of course Comcast and Verizon are for government regulation because that will protect their billions of dollars of investing in cables strung all over the place.

So, when the government wants to protect us by regulating something, is that good or bad for freedom? The government is supposed to protect our rights, not narrow them.

– G Dub Dub

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