Thursday, July 31, 2008

Freedom is hard?

The good folks at China Law Blog have published a debate about whether or not China will become a Superpower. I won't weigh in on that at the moment, but will save that for a future post. It did make me think a bit more about my own views and experiences in China -- especially those times when I was discussing freedom and the role of government with friends, both Chinese and Western.

This morning, I've been pulling together thoughts about individual freedom, and especially thinking about the balance of freedom and social harmony -- freedom with Chinese characteristics?

In any case, please accept my apologies for the repost from an earlier blog, but I believe that I need to get this out as a precurser to additional posts on the topics of freedom and government.

“Freedom isn’t free” goes a popular saying. I suppose the interpretation is that we have to fight to maintain our freedom. Freedom was hard earned through blood and toil of patriots, and we must be vigilant that our freedom isn’t taken away. My question is, taken away by whom? It is true that there is tyranny in the world, and tyrants that would enslave us if we allowed. A foreign threat is possible, and yet we are the most powerful nation on the planet, so that isn’t likely. It’s also true that most in elected office don’t have the interest of their constituents in mind. Most elected officials at the federal level are petty dictators who lust for power, and desire their own glorification (and reelection!). Our Founding Fathers knew this, and so purposefully limited the power of government.

Alan Keyes once observed that we can no longer bear the weight of our freedom. It’s true, the greatest threat to freedom is each one of us. Freedom isn’t free, but the greatest truth is that “freedom is hard – really hard.” Freedom forces us to accept the fact that we must make our own choices and live with them. Freedom requires that we encounter problems, and calling upon God and other free individuals, work to find solutions. The biggest threat to freedom is realized every time we look to Washington and wish the government would solve a problem for us. Forget that wish the moment you think it!! Freedom requires you to first think for yourself! As cleverly remarked by Pogo in the Walt Kelly comic strip of the same name, “We have met the enemy and he is us.”

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