The Non-Negotiable Cost of Freedom

Are Americans Still Willing to Pay?

Written by JB Williams

©2006

 

The high cost of freedom has never been negotiable, yet it seems many Americans wish to negotiate anyway. The historic depth of political division across America is proof of just how badly some want to negotiate the price of being free. Several elections have ended in close calls of late and the future of our nation hinges not upon partisan bickering, but rather upon the very real question of whether or not Americans still have the stomach to endure individual liberty?

 

It isn’t enough to desire freedom. Every human being on earth seeks freedom. However, freedom is defined in different ways by different people of differing environmental influences. Freedom means something very different to those who have only known tyranny, as compared to those who have only known freedom. For those who have lived in bondage, no price is too high for freedom. For those who have never known bondage, freedom often has little meaning.

 

Like life itself, which we assume will last forever on most days - we hardly appreciate freedom or life until we are on the brink of losing it. Then, often only then, do we grasp a deep appreciation for what we spend most days taking for granted. Must it come to the brink before we wise up? If so, I think we are getting close, too close for comfort anyway.

 

The price of freedom

 

It’s not as if one can place a dollar value on this thing called freedom. If we could, we’d have to say it’s worth every penny, down to our last. Ask anyone ever held captive for ransom. Their earthly riches seemed a pittance, hardly worth a thought, when compared to the notion of never being free again.

 

The price of freedom is the same for everyone, though some pay more than their fair share while others pay nothing at all. Throughout history, the price of freedom for all has been paid by a few who loved freedom enough to pay the cost for everyone, even as they were spat upon and rejected as brutal criminals, rather than the unselfish patriots they were.

 

Freedom is all encompassing. Limited freedom is not freedom at all. Don’t confuse freedom with anarchy however. Those who seek to limit freedom always argue that complete freedom is anarchy. This might have been true in the old Wild West as the nation was being settled. It is also true that every communist state ended in anarchy, once the people overthrew their captors.

 

Financial freedom

 

Capitalism is nothing more than individual financial and social economic freedom. The price of financial or economic freedom is the potential for failure. Financial freedom requires individual risk taking. Those who have experienced success have also experienced failure at some point in their journey. In order to pursue success, one must accept the risk of failure. In order to succeed, one must endure and overcome those failures.

 

Those unwilling to risk failure are not in a position to grasp the brass ring as it passes. Their opportunity for success is governed only by their individual fear of failure. To escape the potential for total loss, one must forfeit all opportunity for complete success. In so doing, whether rich or poor, each has chosen his own path. This is what it means to be financially and economically free. This is what it is to determine ones own financial destiny. This is freedom… and this is its price.

 

Religious freedom

 

How odd that unregulated religious speech would be deemed unconstitutional in a nation where the Bible was the very first text book in every public school. How strange that those sworn to uphold and preserve the constitution would read the very First Amendment of that constitution, specifically written to guarantee a right of free religious expression, a free press and freedom to assemble, even when at odds with the government, as a form of restricting these freedoms.

 

The price of religious freedom is religious tolerance. In order to experience true free religious expression, we must accept and tolerate all religious views. We must not silence any religious expression, anywhere, any time, as long as such speech is peaceful in its nature. The founders only spoke of two restrictions on religious speech. The first, that only peaceful religious speech was to be respected and protected. The second, that the federal government could never establish any official state sanctioned religion by passage of law, nor prohibit any peaceful religious expression anywhere, at any time.

 

All other interpretations are inventions of those who seek to remove First Amendment rights, restricting or eliminating religious speech and expression from public discourse. This endeavor is wholly un-American on its face as it undermines our nation’s most fundamental basis for all other freedoms and liberties.

 

Freedom to live

 

Our founding document, the Declaration of Independence, which established our national sovereignty as well as our founding belief systems, guarantees us, all of us who were endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable rights, above all things, an individual right to life.

 

Make no mistake… A right to liberty and happiness are meaningless in any nation where one does not first have a right to live, to life itself. Yet many of those who again, were sworn to protect and uphold these ideals, have somehow reasoned that life is not in any way protected by our founding documents or those enumerated ideals.

 

The price of the right to life is the responsibility to live correctly, responsibly, morally and ethically. This has proven to be too high a price for many. So the right to life has been traded in for the right to live irresponsibly, immorally and unethically.

 

Freedom of individual liberty

 

Individual liberty means the right to make individual choices about private matters that affect only yourself and your family. Again, don’t confuse this with civic duties, which affect everyone in the community, which we also have a right and responsibility to face.

 

Liberty is not guaranteed any certain race, creed or color in America. It is guaranteed every individual. It is not a government issued or regulated right. It was endowed by our Creator, unalienable by even elected men.

 

The price of individual liberty is the forfeiture of any federal power to define and administer a greater communal good. In liberty, the power is entrusted with every individual, regardless of race, creed, color, social or economic standing, not in any central governing power that would use private resources to buy favor with voters and empower only the ruling class elite in control of individual financial standings.

 

The price of self-governance

 

America is all about freedom, life, liberty, individual rights and self-reliance. It’s also about civility, a genuine concern for others, charity and common interests for a healthy, happy society. America is about responsible self-governance, not irresponsible federal power running roughshod over our nation’s productive and responsible citizens to serve the needs of our irresponsible and non-productive.

 

The price of self-governance is self-reliance. To remain in charge of ourselves, we must control ourselves. To live void of federal tyranny, we must participate in private acts of charity. The price of self-governance is, when things go wrong, we have only ourselves to blame. If government is too big, too wasteful, too detached, too corrupt, too socialist and too un-American, it’s our fault. We are a government of, by and for the people. Our government is no better or worse than our people allow.

 

The price of self-governance is - the buck stops here…

 

Many sworn to uphold these principles seek to undermine them today, negotiating the non-negotiable cost of liberty in search of some federally issued balance that better suits the greater communal good. The two ideas are mutually exclusive however. Federal power, to define and control individual standards of living, and individual liberty can not co-exist. One first limits, then eventually snuffs out the other. The list of American freedoms were once almost endless, too many to ever list or number. The Tenth Amendment of our constitution says it all really.

 

“The powers not delegated to the United States [federal government] by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.”

 

Simply paraphrased, any rights not specifically assigned to the federal government via the written language of the Constitution, remained the individual rights of the people and their local representative bodies in each state. It’s hard to say it any plainer than that… As an aside, this is the problem with using unwritten language when liberally interpreting the constitution. When the written words don’t serve the socialist agenda, they depart the written word and lean on unwritten intent. But it is the written, the recorded founding principles that we are called to uphold.

 

In those written words, the founders did not entrust the federal government with any broad socialist form of power over the greater communal good. They did not entrust any central power with a right to regulate the financial, religious, political, moral or ethical governance of the individual. They entrusted the individual to govern themselves, every individual…

 

They assigned only those few rights written in the constitution to the federal government and with that assignment, a responsibility to carry out those orders in accordance with the will of the people and the states.

 

Socialists, marketing their agenda under the guise of “democratic progressive liberalism”, tell us that anything less than socialism lacks social conscience. They use unwritten intent to circumvent written constitutional standards in that effort and nobody warned us better about this than Soviet Leader Khrushchev, who put it this way…

 

"You Americans are so gullible. No, you won't accept communism out right, but we'll keep feeding you small doses of socialism until you'll finally wake up and find you already have communism. We won't have to fight you. We'll so weaken your economy until you fall like over-ripe fruit into our hands."

 

Today’s Democrats have proven Khrushchev wise beyond his time… Today’s “democratic progressive liberal” is neither liberal nor American, on the basis of their agenda and the methods they employ to trick American voters into voting for growing federal tyranny. Many of today’s Republicrats are not much better.

 

At the end of the day, the choice is simple…Freedom or free stuff… Take your pick, because you can’t have both! All roads lead somewhere. Nothing in life is stagnate. Everything is either growing or dying.

 

Freedom and liberty are either expanding or contracting… Capitalism and communism are the political polar opposites. Everything in between is socialism, varying only by degree.

 

Every American must choose between freedom, personal liberty, capitalism, self-reliance, self-determination and self-governance, and some degree of socialism on the path to communism. Too many think this battle for ideas ended when the Soviet Union fell and the Berlin Wall came down. That was one victory, one battle, in an ongoing debate. The war continues today, only the battle tactics have changed.

 

The “Reds” are not driving tanks into our cities, they have been slowly indoctrinating Americans to accept, even vote for socialism via Hollywood movies, daily press propaganda and the education system. Those already indoctrinated scoff at every premise in this column. Those who know I’m right, find nothing funny about it at all.

 

This is the choice Americans are making every time they enter a voting booth today. But it can all be boiled down to one simple choice – federal free stuff or personal freedom. That’s the choice. Make it carefully!