Freedom! It’s always the progressive slogan of the day. And currently homosexual marriage is the hottest fashionable topic, as regards liberty.
If you believe in unfettered freedom you will support this – and you will also support the freedom of those who want to take the most extreme measures to stop it.
Both at the same time! (Not forgetting any points in between).
A world without any coercion at all is a Utopia that is impossible.
Freedom can be divided roughly into two areas: freedom to do something is one, and freedom from something is another.
Coercion covers both categories in that one may wish to have freedom from the constraints set by a coercer and the freedom to do certain things (which the coercion prevents).
We can never be completely “free” in either of these senses.
Should someone decide they would like to do something that is physically impossible for them – from being the most desired woman in the world to flapping their hands and demanding they should be able to fly to the moon in such a way, they are going to meet with failure.
Sorry but let’s have some honesty here.
There are an infinite number of things someone simply cannot have the freedom to do. It is important to understand.
It is one of the reasons that “Freedom!”, when shouted as a slogan, is highly deceptive and used as an emotive manipulation by groups that would certainly set strict limits on the freedom of others.
Freedom does not specifically mean the freedom to do what is morally correct or responsible either. It can just as easily mean the freedom to steal from others, or to oppress others.
That is still freedom and preventing it is coercive.
A thief would like to have freedom to rob, and would like to avoid the coercion of the law, the threat of prison or the threat of being beaten up and killed or any other retaliation by those he has angered.
Laws are coercive, be they good laws or bad laws and be they agreed in any democratic sense or otherwise.
Most religions, as anyone who has thought for five seconds knows well, are highly coercive and use threats such as the threat of Hell or bad karma or simply extreme disapproval for those who do not follow the (often unreasonable) demands of the religion.
Even within the nationalist movement today, there is coercion from, for example, Christians who want to ban any writer who disagrees with them or even tries to question their thoughts. [and, on various ´hardline` sites, from extremists who ruthlessly censor moderate nationalist opinions - Ed]
One can find oneself banned from commenting on an internet forum or commenting on a website – sometimes for legitimate reasons and often for no good reason.
And then is it not hypocritical for those who would ban others to talk of the need to abolish “coercion” or to claim to support “free speech”?
While there will always be coercion, it is also the case that we should struggle against coercion that we feel is unjust.
There will be no universal agreement on what that is.
After all, those doing the oppressing are worried that those who oppose them simply want the boot to be on their foot instead.
In reality that is often how it works.
If we are honest, the fact is that we ourselves would like to set the rules of the behaviour of others.
We would hope, if we are nice people, that those rules would not be heavily resisted or unfair.
But the more genetically diverse the society is, the more the rules inevitably are felt to be negatively coercive to others.
We have evolved so that those who naturally seek their genetic group advantage will inherit the Earth.
For our folk, the most successful and least coercive society possible – the greatest happiness for the most – would be a racially loyal socialist society in which no one can benefit by the exploitation of their own kind.
There should be no state iron fist, nor any imaginary threats and bribery from any extra-terrestrial to make good people love each other.
Let that be our hope and our goal.