A Few Thoughts on the Modern Freedom Movement
As our nation becomes more and more of a totalitarian nanny state, more and more people are sounding the call for a return to “freedom and liberty”. On the one hand this is an encouraging development, but on the other hand…the core of the freedom movement has not come to understand the basic truth that many of the republic’s founders understood. That basic truth being that outside of an agrarian culture and economy there can be no freedom.
I think our governments will remain virtuous for many centuries; as long as they are chiefly agricultural… ~ Jefferson
The 20 something freedom activist who lives in an urban/suburban environment is a perfect example of the contradiction that is the modern freedom movement. A man who is content being dependent on others for food, heat, shelter and other things necessary to live is worried about his right to free speech or to peaceably assemble. Perhaps Wendell Berry said it best…
A person dependent on somebody else for everything from potatoes to opinions may declare that he is a free man, and his government may issue a certificate granting him his freedom, but he will not be free. He is that variety of specialist known as a consumer, which means that he is the abject dependent of producers. How can he be free if he can do nothing for himself? What is the First Amendment to him whose mouth is stuck to the tit of the “affluent society”? Men are free precisely to the extent that they are equal to their own needs. The most able are the most free.
As long as people are content living as slaves in an urban and industrial society than they should be consistent and love their political slavery as well. Whether they want to believe it or not, this will be their lot in life. Any society that controls you through your dependence on food and shelter can say “you have a right to free speech”. They can also tell you that the only folks allowed in the food line are those who say one thing and those who say the contrary can starve. The truth of the matter is, people do not want real freedom. That is too much work. They want license to do “what they choose” or the freedom to sin against God in numerous and sundry ways, but they don’t want the work or responsibility that comes with freedom. Even if the seek lawful and legitimate freedoms, they want them outside of the culture that produces them. That being an agrarian culture.
Inconsistency is nothing new with the freedom movement. I have often watched with amazement as so called “constitutionalists” have ignored congressional races and local races while pouring millions of dollars into presidential races that if their “constitutionalist” candidate won, and held to his beliefs, would be able to accomplish very little. If a fraction of the money spent on political campaigns and childish activism was spent buying property, hoes, livestock, spinning wheels and other real means of production and freedom, then we would be well down the road to restoration. But sadly, we are not.
With all this said, I am not apposed to being politically active (especially on a very local level). I do believe, however, we must have our priorities straight and have the foundational things done first, things like land, tools, and independence from the system on a personal level. Until such time as one has at least begun these steps, they have no business tinkering in politics or activism.
4 thoughts on “A Few Thoughts on the Modern Freedom Movement”
“A person dependent on somebody else for everything from potatoes to opinions may declare that he is a free man, and his government may issue a certificate granting him his freedom, but he will not be free. He is that variety of specialist known as a consumer, which means that he is the abject dependent of producers. How can he be free if he can do nothing for himself? What is the First Amendment to him whose mouth is stuck to the tit of the “affluent society”? Men are free precisely to the extent that they are equal to their own needs. The most able are the most free.”
May I add the the most able by God’s grace and mercy are the most free. The freedom that Wendell Berry is talking about is a blessing from God that comes from covenantal faithfulness to Him. Pagans, by their fallen nature and rebellion to God, no matter how they seek to be “independently free” can never be free. Working the land and producing our needs as a steward of God’s creation is a vital element of covenantal obedience to Him, which leads to national freedom, but that only according to His Word, the transcendent standard for the whole of man for the whole of life. Man does not live by bread alone — whether he buys or produces it — but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God. Our early colonial founders understood this.
I agree completely. Since I’m usually “preaching to the choir” I sometimes forget to mention the underlying presuppositions of covenantal agrarianism. You are correct, sir! It is with this truth as a backdrop that that Berry’s quote has merit. Its good to hear from you again 🙂
Hi Scott, your blog is a light in a very dark land . . . thanks.
Scott, I’ve read thus article you wrote several times now, and it rings truer and truer each and every time. My heart breaks for my brothers and sisters in Christ who just don’t seem to get this truth. We are heading into very difficult days, and I believe that God is speaking to His children to prepare, and get back to His ways, trusting in Him to enable us to provide for our needs, giving Him all the glory. May He give us the strength and wisdom to endure as we heed His call in these last days.