Friday, April 7, 2006

If the US Were a Free Country...

If the United States were a free country, its citizens’ mail, phone calls and electronic communications never would be subject to government surveillance without overwhelming probable cause.

If the United States were a free country, citizens’ right to buy, own and bear firearms never would be infringed, save for convicted felons and those with demonstrated mental impairment.

If the United States were a free country, bodily sovereignty would be recognized as sacrosanct. Suicide and euthanasia would be permitted legally. Abortion would be unrestricted. The government never would concern itself with consensual sex between adults (whether free or paid for). Private, adult drug use would be acceptable, and ownership over one’s body would be recognized without fail.

If the United States were a free country, the First Amendment would guarantee complete freedom of expression, including expression that some people might find offensive, indecent, obscene or repulsive.

If the United States were a free country, the Federal Communications Commission never would be allowed to regulate subjective matters such as "decency" and taste, which are clearly definable only in the eyes of the beholder.

If the United States were a free country, it would make no attempt to export its philosophy, mode of governance or way of life abroad. Indeed, the U.S. trying to spread its way of life is just as undesirable as Iran trying to export its values and governmental framework. A free United States would recognize every country’s right to self-determination, free of external heavy-handed influence.

If the United States were a free country, children never would be made to subscribe to any religious ideology until old enough to weigh different faiths’ relative merits. Speaking of a Christian child is absurd, just as speaking of a Keynesian child would be.

If the United States were a free country, gays and lesbians nationwide would be allowed to marry, as would brothers and sisters as well as groups of three or more. The government has no role to play in intimate relationships between adults, nor may it serve as a moral judge.

If the United States were a free country, government-performed murder (capital punishment) would be abolished.

If the United States were a free country, the advancement of science (both in the classroom and in the laboratory) never would be impeded by encroaching religious faith. Although it is perfectly acceptable as a personal belief, the faintest whisper of religion-derived laws is at odds with a free country.


Anonymous nikolay said...

And it's precisely this kind of "progressist" thinking that contains the embryo of a totalitarian regime. Communism began with what looked like a noble belief in justice. Something that looks like a noble belief in freedom can - and will, - lead to another Communism - less boring, perhaps, with all those brothels n'stuff.

I was born in the Soviet Union. I don't like it when I recognise things. Your liberal idealists smell of tyranny way more than you right-wing Bible-thumpers.

5:18 PM EST  
Anonymous nikolay said...


5:19 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your "free America" is nothing more than the acceptance of pedophilia, eugenics, and utter depravity.

What I find troubling is your abolishment of any formal morality, yet you say all these issues are infringing on the United State's "freedom". How do you justify this exactly?

You have no concept of what freedom is because you have no concept of what slavery is. The irony is that you are, in fact, a slave to a country and culture that is fast approaching this "free America" you idealize here.

Fucking sheep. Don't worry your little head and go back to sleep. Your masters are looking after your "freedom".

5:36 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fucking ignorant, stupid Americans. You had your time.

6:41 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have nothing useful to say... and the author will support my saying of such.

Bias and name-calling is counter-productive.

Yes, the US has had a more glorious past than present. Let's look toward the future.

6:55 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Formal morality is nothing more than aesthetic oppression. The only formal state run oppression should be against common identifiable problems such as murder. Legislating morality really depends on your morality (and I'm guessing some JudioChristian idea) in which case maybe we should stone people to death for missing Sabbath? The bible says so - it's moral for many people.

Great article.

7:03 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Acceptance of pedophilia?


7:22 PM EST  
Blogger Julian Morrison said...

If the United States were a free country, it never would impose its values and philosophy on sovereign countries.

I take issue with that. If you see a man being kicked to death in the street, you don't stop to ask what country he's from and under what authority the kickers are operating. Natural justice is universal.

7:29 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"...In which case maybe we should stone people to death for missing Sabbath? The bible says so - it's moral for many people."

You have no interest in understanding Old Testament vs. New Testament covenants and how they relate to righteousness and Biblical justice. I'd ask you to just take a cursory look and research for yourself why modern Judeo-Christians don't stone people for not remembering the Sabbath. It's out there, but that would actually require you to step out of comfort zone and bias. Oh noez.

"Acceptance of pedophilia? Um... Where?"

An extrapolation from:

"...ownership over one’s [including that of a child's] body would be unfailingly recognized."

- Children can then decide what is best for them physically, as a parent or guardian's guidance could be seen as infringing on "bodily sovereignty".


"...the First Amendment would guarantee complete freedom of expression, including expression that some people find offensive, indecent, obscene or repulsive."

- Self evident.


"...were a free country, gays and lesbians would be allowed to marry, as would brothers and sisters as well as groups of three or more."

- Why not between parent and child? Or adult and child? Is there a reason? The complete sexualisation of relationships shouldn't end there.


7:55 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If America was a free country it would champion reason, individualism, property rights and the rule of law.

If America was a free country it would prohibit the initiation of physical force, which is the principal behind your ideas.

Bring it on! "Give me freedom or give me death."

7:57 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think your extrapolation is faulty. "Age of consent" laws are not antithetical to individual liberty. The author does not advocate eliminating the "age of consent" or "age of adulthood." Some rights are conditional on being an adult.

Web link is a Judeo-Christian wacko.

8:12 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

lol, you can try to sweep her away by saying she's one of those "psycho" Christian's. The implications of that U.N. charter remain, look forward to it.

Sorry to disturb you, go back to sleep.

8:17 PM EST  
Blogger The Jolly Nihilist said...

Any doctor that believes in the miraculous reversal of brain death (Jesus' alleged resurrection) is intellectually suspicious and probably not worth listening to.

8:32 PM EST  
Blogger Lui said...

I think that much of what you say is valid and correct, but I'm probbaly more of a "statist" than you, because too much freedom can end up infringing upon the rights of others. If people are allowed to do things that are known to lead to social ills, then the government must be able to respond in order to ensure the greatest justice for the greatest number of people. The calculations and subsequent legislation necessary for determining when the state should be allowed to respond will always be imprecise and controversial, but I'm just not comfortable with allowing people, for example, to drug themselves up to their eye-balls. Sure, you might say, "if they step outside of the law, then the state should step in and arrest them." But why should we allow something that clearly will lead to social ills like prostitution, robbery and the like when there is absolutely no benefit in doing so? Drugs are a social menace, and for me it really is that simple. Actually though, perhaps it isn't that simple. In Europe, their laws are more relaxed when it comes to drugs like marijuana, and they have much less drug related problems (apparently) than in the US, which adopts a much harsher response. When I'm really trying to get at here is that we mustn’t just declare something off limits to state intervention without knowing about the side effects. The well being of society as a whole must not be sacrificed upon the altar of "personal freedom". All too often, that personal freedom can turn into crime and a degradation of someone else's freedom. I'm sure as hell never going to advocate people's "right" to consume drugs (which necessarily will entail people's "right" to produce them) when I know that my future children’s' (and other children’s) welfare and safety could easily be at risk. Here in Australia, there is a new drug on the black market called “ice”, which can have devastating, truly awful effects on users. If we were to allow people the right to consume these drugs, we would also have to allow the producers to sell them. Such people are not known for their scruples. Teenagers will invariably consume them, being teenagers. The cost/benefit ratio is just not enough to justify it.

That said, I think that imposing religious beliefs on others is immoral and fascist. There should always be a clear separation of church and state. Religion is superstitious nonsense, and anyone who would jeapodrise a child's right to accurate and interesting scientific education just for the sake of their religion should be considered a rat-bag.

1:03 AM EST  
Anonymous test said...

test to head off double posting...

2:06 AM EST  
Anonymous Alan said...

Nikolay, various anonymous, read 1984. Freedom is slavery. I know it'll be hard since you seem to have swallowed it line and sinker, but I think you'll end up feeling better in the end.

I suggest that everyone here think more deeply about why we have laws.

I like how drug dealers are considered automatically shady.

You see, this is because they are criminals by default in most countries. Criminal tendencies come in a package deal.

I also like how teenagers are brought into the picture, as if they've ever had trouble getting illegal drugs, like tobacco, alcohol, cocaine...

We know that part of the allure of these items is simply that they are forbidden. Saying that legalization is just going to make things worse is naive at best. I'm not sure how to say that without being insulting. My apologies.

2:08 AM EST  
Anonymous Jeremy said...

I'm interested to know why you think convicted felons shouldn't have firearms.

2:51 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How about freedom to smoke marijuana?

5:36 AM EST  
Anonymous Travis said...

Nikolay, Evidence? Specific examples of what this has to do with communism? Oh, there are none... And its called "Libertarian," since you do not understand the ideas you are slamming, it is safe to disregard you entirely.

"Your "free America" is nothing more than the acceptance of pedophilia, eugenics, and utter depravity."

Ahh! Beware the slippery slope! Panic! Death! Destruction! And won't somebody please think of the Children!

The origional poster forgot to mention that this all applies only to consenting adults... Also, simply think about the saying, "My freedoms end at your nose."

"The irony is that you are, in fact, a slave to a country and culture that is fast approaching this "free America" you idealize here."

Where in hell have you been for the last 7 years?!? Do you actually read anything that goes on the US, or do you simply spit uniformed and untenable positions? Last I checked, the NSA, the DEA, the Patriot Act, the Military Commissions Act, etc. were not much interested in my freedom.

Lui, it is drug laws and not drugs themselves that lead to drug crime. Just look up Law Enforcement for Against Prohibition (LEAP). And most high-schoolers here will tell you it is easier to get pot than booze... Legalizing will make it easier to protect minors.

6:56 AM EST  
Anonymous Little Pope said...


1:11 PM EST  
Blogger The Jolly Nihilist said...

Here's the biggest thing about liberty: It has both positive and negative consequences. Not everything about liberty is rosy and perfect. But, for people like me, liberty is its own reward. I'm not so interested in the practical consequences, to be honest. I am of the philosophical viewpoint that liberty ought to be maximized. As such, freedom is its own positive consequence.

I'm willing to trade away a measure of security, safety and equality in the name of individual liberty. That's just me.

1:23 PM EST  
Blogger Jeffrey said...

I agree with you on most of this, except for the part about convicted felons not having a right to guns. I can understand people who are incarcerated for a crime, but once you server your time and you are released then you're done with it.

By condoning the loss of liberty of one group of people, you condone the loss of your own liberty.

(The 2nd Amendment doesn't have the word "unless" or "except" any where in it.)

2:57 PM EST  
Blogger Stephen Renico said...

Well, I'm sure glad the United States isn't completely free. These wishes sound more like a free-for-all than freedom.

8:19 PM EST  
Blogger beepbeepitsme said...

There is no freedom if it is only the freedom to agree.

Monotheistic reliigons are autocratic, totalitarian and dictatorial at their foundation.

Therefore, their version of freedom, is the freedom to agree with them.

8:57 PM EST  
Blogger JJ said...

The world would be free if; its people had no hands to steal with, no eyes to judge through, no will to force upon others, no greed to fulfill, no morality to question....

…and; compassion replaced aggression, empathy replaced anger, acceptance replaced prejudice…

…if the weak weren’t victimized, if knowledge didn’t coast anything, if truth was a constant, if people were tolerant and didn’t posses an inherent tendency to degrade others.

Governments do not regulate freedom. People do. How much freedom do you take from others? How can you expect it when you cannot give it? But to extend freedom to others puts us at risk. The world will never have freedom. It cannot be achieved in a social environment. Only isolation can give you true freedom, but where can you achieve isolation?

Give me my distance and I will give you yours. Do not try to change me and I will not try to change you. This is as close to freedom and we can get on our one world.

12:01 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Despite your essay and subsequent comment I think that if you ever actually experienced a "free" society like you describe you would come running back to this one with your tail between your legs. What you describe is less a libertarian utopia and more a Mad Max nightmare.

But, hey, if you want to run the experiment, I'm game...

4:12 AM EST  
Blogger Lui said...

"I agree with you on most of this, except for the part about convicted felons not having a right to guns. I can understand people who are incarcerated for a crime, but once you server your time and you are released then you're done with it."

Then you should have no problem at all with convicted child rapists being entitled to having their record cleared of their crimes, so that they may continue, for the sake of argument, applying for positions at child care centres.

No thanks. This sounds like liberal fundamentalism, and we should all know by now that any sort of fundamentalism is repressive. I'm not sacrificing anyone to the altar of freedom for freedom's sake. The state, for all its faults, is the only organ capable of ensuring some sort of stability, and by extension, your precious freedoms. We need to curtail certain rights in order to have them at all. That's just the way it is, and as much as someone might not like it, it's still true.

5:51 AM EST  
Anonymous Lukas238 said...

The government is necessary as a guide to the society. But it main function must be not to limit the people with laws, but to educate and prepare us to face difficult moments, so that we take wise decisions.

A wise, a rigth decision, is the one make with the complete understanding of its implications and consequences.

We like liberty? Then we must accept the responsibility to turn our selfs to virtuous people able to understand our own acts and those of others. Just then we will be realy free.

7:29 PM EST  
Blogger grundes said...

>Communism began with...

Alas, there weren't a single communist society yet -- only a few totalitarian regimes (self)labeled as such.

12:35 AM EST  
Anonymous Mr Ethical Hedonist said...

This almost sounds like hedonism, which will almost never work in a society of more than one person.

Unfortunately most people are also assuming he's trying to tell everyone to go to hedonism.

What I believe is he's trying to say we should be Ethical Hedonists.

In ethical hedonism, you do whatever makes you happy, AS LONG AS it does not infringe on the happiness of others. Or you try your best anyways.

For example... an ethical hedonist wouldn't have sex with a 7yr old because the parents of the child would probably be pretty upset about it. Of course, anyone thinking of sleeping with a 7yr old just needs to see a shrink.

Most religions are based on Ethical Hedonism anyways. They just throw god in there too for some reason. Take christianity... "Love thy neighbor as thyself, and love god above all else"... just remove the second half of the sentence, and there's ethical hedonism right there.

(of course any religion that tells its followers to punish anyone isn't based on ethical hedonism. In my opinion any religion that tells people to punish others isn't a real religion anyways. We should help people overcome their faults, not condemn them to "hell" and make their lives here hell too.)

4:22 AM EDT  
Blogger Lui said...

"an ethical hedonist wouldn't have sex with a 7yr old because the parents of the child would probably be pretty upset about it."

I think that the 7 year old would also be pretty upset about it, and that of course should weigh more heavily on the minds of those thinking of doing it.

10:16 PM EDT  
Anonymous david said...

My main (and really, only) concern with the legalization of drugs is that while it would be a welcome extension of personal freedom, we live in a society with so many interpersonal depedencies that inevitably someone would feel negative consequences stemming from another's drug use. I'm all for drugs in controlled environments, and while I don't agree with someone being incarcerated for drug possession, we'd have an even more inadequate system if a person was able to consume drugs as he/she pleases--parents may be less inclined to care for their kids, people in factory jobs getting maimed by machinery due to being impaired, etc.

10:51 AM EDT  
Blogger Mike said...

The US is "free" to go. Christianity came to America like a Trojan Horse. God is a dog and Jesus is the son of a dog. Jesus came to America to destroy it with VD. Religion is a gyp for dumb suckers.

9:21 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The US, just plainly put, is what it's supposed to be. Tell people it's a free country and you get what is caused by exact definition, freedom means chaos. If you get arrested and complain that it's a free country, that means the stupid cop is free to kill you. People are allowed to ignore reason, it's why you can't get anything done.

2:24 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I always find it interesting when someone has an experience or catharsis allows it to deteriorate into rhetoric. This happens to the best of us especially to those who lack the capacity for self-examination. There just simply isn’t enough time here to go into it but suffice it to say something happened, the reaction to which is the obvious hostilities contained in these pages. The experience resulted in the wound(s) displayed in these pages that are masked by the poser (false self) living from a place of self-deception. If you knew you were deceiving your self by definition you couldn’t call it self-deception.

11:36 AM EDT  

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