They call themselves freedom fighters and no doubt sincerely believe what they are doing actually has freedom as their objective. The phrase itself is an oxymoron. Freedom is an objective to be achieved. “Fighting,” is never a right way to achieve anything. I know they are thinking, “defense,” not, “aggression,” but when all one has left is defense, they have already failed to achieve freedom—or never were free. You cannot defend what you do not have.
In this day, most of those called freedom fighters do not have individual freedom as an objective at all. This article does not address all those racist, socialist, and collectivist ideologies that call themselves freedom fighters. This is only about those who truly believe in individual freedom and at least have some idea of what that is.
Freedom means free to pursue any objective one chooses, including mistaken ways of achieving freedom. There is no intention here of preventing or discouraging others from pursuing whatever they believe in. The purpose is to help those who truly choose to live their lives as a free individuals to not be taken in by the allure and rhetoric of those who cannot deliver what they promise and will consume your time, energy, and possibly money, in pursuit of what cannot possibly succeed.
Who Are They
The, “freedom fighters,” are all those who promote freedom as a kind of ideology, movement, program, or some other collective effort that is intended to achieve freedom, usually by means of a, “free society.” They include every foundation, institute, association, society, organization, campaign, movement, program, forum, and blog that claim to be fighting for freedom.
In my first Freedom Challenge I loosely categorized these freedom fighters as follows:
1. Those which regard government or “the state” as the primary source of oppression and seek to establish individual freedom by eliminating government anarchists or limiting government minarchists.
2. Those which regard “big” government that intrudes into any aspect of society, especially the economy and private life, as the primary source of oppression and seek to establish individual freedom by limiting government to its only “legitimate” purpose, the protection of individual rights and liberty which may be classified as libertarian.
3. Those which regard the corruption of government as the primary source of oppression and seek to establish individual freedom by returning government to a strict Constitutional form which may be classified is politically conservative.
[NOTE: “Freedom Challenge II,” provides a list of 60 so-called, “freedom advocates,” with links to their pages.]
While a very few of these groups actually advocate armed aggression or violent revolution to achieve their ends (“unless it is necessary,” they sometimes add), the methods by which most of their programs and agendas are expected to achieve freedom are very similar.
In a 2016 article, “Individual Freedom,” I wrote:
“No program, no campaign, no movement, no organization, party, campaign, or any other collective effort is going to establish freedom for anyone.” That article describes the methods all those freedom fighters use and explains why they cannot possibly work, originally addressed in an even older article, “Freedom Methods that Won’t Work,” which largely addresses the futile Libertarian methods of promoting freedom.
All their methods can be reduced to three things: education, propaganda, and, activism, and none of them can possibly work. They all have the same objective, a kind of “freedom evangelism,” to inform and wake people up to the nature of freedom and of their oppression with the conviction that once people understand what freedom is they will embrace it and be saved from the hell of political enslavement. As the articles explains, it cannot possibly work, and history is the proof that freedom, as a social state, perpetually diminished and oppression continually grows, and all the freedom evangelism in the world will not change it. Freedom is an individual issue and there is no social or political means to achieving it.
Though individually contacted and asked how their programs and methods would ultimately achieve individual freedom, not one of the 60 freedom-fighting individuals or organizations chose to answer the questions of the freedom challenge. The truth is, not one of them is actually promoting individual freedom and not one of them expects any of their programs, movements, and methods to actually achieve freedom for a single individual.
They are, in fact, the enemies of individual freedom, and in spite of any claims to the contrary, are all collectivists, with a political or social agenda, and despise any true individual that chooses to be free and stand alone. As much as they claim to be against government oppression, state power, or political control, the despise anyone who does not support or agree with their program and agenda, because it is not individual freedom any of these organizations or individuals are promoting. Every so-called freedom fighter is promoting some utopian dream, called a, “free society,” in which it is assumed everyone will just be free. The freedom being promoted by all these organizations and individuals is not individual freedom, but a collective social system.
No Such Thing As A Free Society
The dream of a free society is a utopian fantasy—the belief that some social or political method can produce the kind of society in which everyone will be, “free,” to pursue happiness. Even though no two people will ever agree on exactly what human happiness is, or what it means to be free to pursue it, the social engineers who certain they know exactly what kind of society a free society ought to be and how to make happen persist, and will continue to rain down on humanity the worst horrors of history in their attempts to make the perfect society.
It is impossible to convince the social engineers that what they seek is not only impossible but wrong in every way because no matter what the intention, the result of forcing any system on a society is always oppression even when it’s called Capitalist, Libertarian, Anarchist, or Anti-state.
In his article, “Utopia vs. Liberty,” Richard Rieben explained why the freedom movements of all freedom-fighters and libertarians is actually a utopian movement that is actually collectivist and anti-individualism. Rieben uses the term, “utopia,” to refer to the dreamed-of ideal state in which freedom, with all its, “blessings,” is realized. He writes:
“People who attempt to sell liberty as utopia will only generate greater coercive utopia, … Hence the track record of the libertarian movement has been an unprecedented loss of liberty at an unprecedented rate. (The predictable consequence of trying to change the system from within the system, using the same tools, ‘principles and memes,’ of the system.)” [Emphasis mine.]
Reiben’s article, “Misfits: For or Against Liberty?,” makes the case against freedom fighters even stronger. He begins with the same principle I explained in, “Eccentrics,” and “Sui Generis,” that every individualist is unique, but most people are collectivists:
“Liberty – individualism – cannot take root where people are proud of being collectivists. Name any spot of the planet where people are not patriotic, are not nationalistic, are not proud of their heritage, religion, culture, customs, mores, and the values of their group, clan, collective, nation …”
“Amongst the libertarian intelligentsia throughout history, you may find one in 10,000 who is a true individualist – these few are not “with the program” (by definition) – who is actually committed to liberty, and who actually knows the composition of liberty.”
This good article by Richard Rieben ends with sadly mistaken note: “Because you will never be free until others are likewise free. You will never be free until you are surrounded by upright humans who respect your freedom and expect their freedom to also be respected (by you and everyone else).”
It is a mistaken collectivist view that one’s own life is determined socially, by their membership in some collective and whatever happens to the collective. It is the same wrong view as that of those who argue, “no one is well so long as one other person is sick,” or, “no one is wealthy as long as there are poor in the world,” which are both obviously nonsense. One’s own freedom depends on one thing, and one thing only, the choice and action to live their life as they choose. Most do not choose to be free because they are unwilling to make the effort and pay the price of freedom, but any individual can be free, even if they are the only free individual in the whole world.