When you’ve meditated and read about some of these subjects long enough, you get the chance to formulate the same questions you had when you first started out debating. Only now you can formulate these questions in a clearer manner. For example: what is Freedom? (Not liberty -as in a granted liberty-… but Freedom – as in the inherent potential.)
Sure, we’ve defined what Freedom is not. We’ve also taken several steps towards describing the nature of it. But, since we cannot really know what it is from the standpoint of a universal definition -given its radically personal-individual quality-, could we perhaps seek to reveal its factual basis? Do its fundamental pillars have a correlation with a material situation?
I believe that, indeed, they do. We’ve talked before about Freedom being intimately related to art, expression, creation… right? What’s the oldest form of expression in Man? You can take a wild guess, but the answer is probably violence. Violence is deeply intertwined with Man’s being-in-the-world. By ontological approximation/association, then, violence and Freedom are family. For now, let’s put aside the vision of Freedom as war and as the empowering physiological experience of the battle-hardened, and focus on the ethical sequence that jumps to mind.
Man’s being is Freedom. There can be no life -humanly dignified- without Freedom. But is there any Freedom in the absence of life? Well, I’ll avoid the metaphysical discussion and give it a no – for argument’s sake. Freedom ought to be developed in order to have a life worthy of that name, but you need to be alive in order to pursue and develop Freedom. OK, so what is the prerequisite for Freedom in that specific, life-bound sense? Self-defense. The preservation of one’s own life has to be understood, on the individual level, as an obvious starting point for Freedom.
This is why, in the US Bill of Rights, the second amendment to the US Constitution turns out to be literally more vital than the first amendment. Because, let’s face it: of what use is freedom of speech and religion to the dead? The dead don’t care about being able to rightfully express and worship! It is we, the living, that -granted we want to stay alive- seek to expand our actions and thoughts. Hence, the logical trail of the argument here reveals this: without the essential, axiomatic, pre-legal, pre-societal, organic faculty of defending ourselves from harm thrust upon our lives, there is no realistic prospect for Freedom.
In other words, if we are somehow impaired, unable to exercise violence in order to preserve our own biological existence as individuals, we factually murder Freedom by default. This is one of the chief reasons as to why violence -properly understood- has to be given an ethical status worthy of its practical place in any doctrine, political or not, concerned with Freedom as Man’s destiny. If -by any means- I am stripped, as a person, of the faculty to defend myself (that is, to be rightfully violent), then what semblance of a sad joke am I telling myself when I so passionately rant about Freedom in my line of work?
A weak, naked, disarmed, passive, fearful individual has already given in to slavery, even if no harm is ever done to that individual. We have already enslaved ourselves when we give the State the priority in any action regarding our security. When will we stop kidding/deceiving ourselves, insisting on the lie that wants to rid the political of any trace of violence? Violence and politics are inseparable. And, if it comes down to that, our political ideals should embrace violence; we want to be warriors for truth and Freedom but never want to have to be near death in order to defend individual sovereignty? What’s this nonsense?!
The minute we condemn violence, in absolute terms, without considering our own ethical hierarchy, we have assassinated Freedom, thus committing the worst crime of violence upon ourselves. Think about the political angle: we want to live among societies where Freedom is cherished but aren’t willing to fight to death when groups motivated by totalitarian ideas seek to impose their will upon us? Are we in the business of buying time, or something? If political thugs are threatening your life, you will refuse to exercise violence because there is no place for that in the “civilized” political game? What a ridiculous distinction!
Peace is not a Western value. The reason for that derives precisely from the point I want to make with the previous lines. Freedom is, in fact, more valuable than life, because we morally accept that the lives of some can be lost defending the Freedom of others; but the Freedom of all shall not be lost in order to defend life, because we would be left with neither.
This conclusion is not a paradox, it is an instinctive judgment we pass upon history. This arguably demonstrates how, to a certain extent, we can always approach these matters by association and approximation – within a similar cultural context. And what is Freedom? The answer to that question is obviously not violence. Violence is rather the beginning of that answer.
Freedom or nothing!