"Mankind are greater gainers by suffering each other to live as seems good to themselves, than by compelling each to live as seems good to the rest." ~ John Stuart Mill
What Freedom Means to Me
Column by Fran Tully.
Exclusive to STR
Freedom is one of those words that is thrown around by everyone--even those who spend most of their lives trying to restrict yours. Freedom means different things to different people.
The men who started this country were willing to risk their lives over an unfair tax of 2%. Maybe they realized that 2% was just the proverbial camel's nose under the tent. But the Founders demanded liberty, and were willing to fight to preserve their right to be free . . . to be left alone . . . not to be forced to pay for something that they didn't want or weren't getting.
So when I think about about freedom, I think about the outright LIE that we keep being told . . . that "we live in the freest nation on earth." It makes me angry, and sick to my stomach. We do NOT live in the freest nation on earth. We live in what USED TO BE a country that offered the greatest opportunities on earth.
What bothers me more than anything else, is that government believes that it is entitled to deny me my most basic rights. In my quest for freedom, I think I have finally figured out what freedom means to me. Freedom is self-sufficiency, self-governance. The freedom to exercise all of my basic human rights, without interference.
I dream of converting depleted soil back into black, healthy, productive, mineral-rich topsoil . . . of raising my own livestock to provide me with eggs, meat, manure, and seed-ready soil . . . . Of a root cellar full of potatoes, onions, garlic, corn, apples, squash, canned vegetables, cured ham, and pumpkins. A pond and a creek teaming with fish, frogs, and birds. A fence with a sign warning unwanted guests that once they cross that line, they will be treated as a threat just like any other trespasser with criminal intent. Trees with fruit, nuts, shade, and stored energy. A power system that is completely independent of the grid. A view of nature where I can watch the sunrise, the wildlife in their natural habitat, and a sky free of power lines and buildings. My self-governance would make me supreme ruler of all of my land. I would NOT ask permission for anything that I believed was my basic natural right. I would decide how much to smoke, drink, eat, burn, and irrigate--based on what I believed would best serve the continuation of a healthy body and property. I would decide if, when and how an animal should be slaughtered, butchered and preserved. I would decide if some of the water from the creek should be put into a cistern or used to generate electricity. I would determine if my children should be able to drive a car or a motorized vehicle. I would decide who could enter my property. I would decide if and how much I should pay some government parasite in taxes. I would decide if people I invite onto the property should have guns, and if they should be allowed to carry them. It would not be a government-free zone . . . I would govern it--and ONLY me. I would be free in my mind, and in my actions. I would be free from stress, because I wouldn't have to worry about if my food was designed to be a slow kill weapon, if my water was treated to cause weak bones, dementia, and slow learning. I wouldn't be worried about some goon with a gun groping my wife or kids, or asking them to walk into an X-ray chamber with no protection. I wouldn't be worried that forced vaccinations are just another name for chemical warfare, I wouldn't be concerned about grocery stores with a three-day supply of food running out because of a power outage, an act of war, a riot, or a collapse of the financial system. I wouldn't be concerned about my neighbors killing my family for their next meal--or an agent of the law killing me because I refuse to give up my gun and go peacefully into their controlled housing. My freedom would be from the inside out.
As a teenager, freedom came when I left the supervision of my parents and took responsibility for feeding myself, educating myself, protecting myself, and housing myself. Over time, the government has tried to enslave me against my will. They have violated my privacy, contaminated my air and water, destroyed the value of my savings and investments, and turned my food into poison. They have orchestrated a plan to sterilize the population, and created a tax and school system designed to break apart the family unit. They believe that they have won, that they have us right where they want us. But I believe that some will simply wake up, and walk out. Just as we walked out of our parents' homes as teens, we need to once again decide to do for ourselves.
In my vision of Freedom, we build our own energy efficient home--don't live in the bank's house. Repair the soil and grow our own food--don't poison the earth with Monsanto chemicals and GMO seeds. Create a natural balance, where the cows, sheep, chickens, and pigs naturally work the ground, maintain the plants, and control disease. Develop our own mini-power plants with wind, water, and solar. Plan our power consumption with the idea that the more efficiently we use it, the less we will need to produce or store. Enjoy reading, writing, and conversation. Practice horseshoes, cross-country skiing, and walking instead of watching TV or going to the gym. Plant flowers, clover, and hang a bird feeder to add beauty and attract nature. Put up bat houses to control mosquitoes. Make fishing poles and raise worms to improve soil, feed the birds, and enjoy fresh fish. Grow barley and hops so we can brew our own beer. Grow grapes, plums, and berries to provide our own wine. Grow tobacco and comfrey to have something to smoke and trade. Grow an orchard of apples for fruit, juice, cider, and vinegar. To me, this is as free as one can hope to get. Some people might believe that such a life would be too hard. But to me, nothing could be as hard as watching this country spiral toward socialism and total destruction of all that was once good. To me, that is more than I can bear. Freedom isn't free, and it isn't easy, but none of the best things in life are. Freedom is worth fighting for . . . and worth leaving for.