Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

The Biggest Obstacle To Real Freedom Is The Belief That We Already Have It

Posted by M. C. on December 12, 2022

Real individualism would encourage radical individuality and divergence from orthodoxies. The so-called liberal democracies of the western world do the exact opposite, hammering us into authorized power-serving perspectives and herding us into mainstream partisan echo chambers where we get to argue about how the empire should exist instead of if it should. Real individuality is stomped out and replaced with prostheses of mindless consumption and partisan thought.

Caitlin Johnstone

If you live in one of the so-called free democracies of the western world, the worst mistake you can make is to buy into the hype. To believe you are a free individual in a nation that respects and protects your freedom and individuality.

Whenever I broach this subject I always get a deluge of objections along the lines of, “Well I’d much rather live where I live than under an authoritarian regime like in Iran or China! You would never be allowed to criticize your rulers the way you do if you lived in one of those places!”

And I always want to ask them, what do you think drove you to make that objection? Why are you falling all over yourself to defend your country and the people who rule over you, while condemning foreign countries that your own government happens to dislike? Could it be because that’s how you’ve been trained to behave from a young and impressionable age, and that your objection is arising from the same place as a cult member’s objections to criticisms of their cult?

Because that’s ultimately what holds power structures together in the US-aligned nations of the global north: indoctrination. The same thing used to program religious extremists and cult members. The only difference is that rather than scripture and religious leaders, the means of indoctrination is school, mainstream media, and Silicon Valley algorithm manipulation.

Without mass-scale indoctrination into power-serving narratives about nation, government and world, the power structures which rule over us would immediately collapse. People would cease voluntarily behaving in ways that benefit those power structures, cease acknowledging their government as a legitimate authority, cease pretending elections are real procedures for determining their government’s actions, cease believing they’re receiving truthful information from the mass indoctrination media, and use the power of their numbers to organize in ways which benefit the many rather than an elite few.

This is what one is defending when one objects to being told that they don’t live in a free society. Their objection is itself the product of the reality they are denying. 

In reality we are not truly freer under our rulers than people are under the governments that our rulers hate. Sure people can post criticisms of their elected officials online, but those criticisms will be dismissed and ignored by everyone who matters, they are being directed at political figureheads with no real power, and they are coming from minds that have been deeply indoctrinated into power-serving worldviews. Your rulers do not care if you’re a Democrat who hates Republicans or a Republican who hates Democrats, as long as you’re plugged in to one of the authorized reality tunnels.

As Noam Chomsky put it, “Propaganda is to a democracy what the bludgeon is to a totalitarian state.” 

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