"You have a right to kill me, you have a right to do that. But you have no right to judge me."
(this is about freedom and life, tertiarily car related in how they affect those)
I looked over the FP post on Uber and encountered something that I haven't seen in a while: legitimate political bickering. It wasn't about right or wrong, it wasn't about facts or logistics, it was about pure misunderstanding of two political platforms.
The sequences goes like this, and it was repeated throughout the comments: Commentor A says something about Political Party B, making a case for propaganda. Commentor B comes in, defends with "that's not really OUR platform, that's what YOUR party says as propaganda" Commentor A says "No, YOUR party does this and says differently, you're just delusional!" Commentor B replies, "I bet you also believe in this slightly more extreme belief that YOUR party is known for, then!"
It seemed to me like such a fundamentally warped understanding of the word "Freedom" that it made me remember a view on politics I haven't seen for years, ever since I freed myself from outside political influences. I went from extremely conservative doctrinal moral wastelands to an amoral liberal extremist jungle, and while I never felt "at home" with either political climate, in the transition I lost any sort of belief.
"You are a slow learner, Winston."
"How can I help it? How can I help but see what is in front of my eyes? Two and two are four."
"Sometimes, Winston. Sometimes they are five. Sometimes they are three. Sometimes they are all of them at once. You must try harder. It is not easy to become sane."
And that, was freedom. Freedom isn't being allowed by the government to do something. You are not more free if the government doesn't regulate you. You are not less free if they tax you higher. In my view, Freedom is the will to do something, and the ability to do it.
"But GhostZ!" You say, raising a finger. "If the government taxes you, you have less ability to do something!"
It is not about the 'amount' of ability. It is about the ability, in whole, extant. I am not free, because I do not have the ability to resist death. I am not free, because I do not have the ability to stop a bullet. But I am free, because I have the ability to speak, because I have the ability to walk and to think and to do.
I am young, but I have seen some maddening things in my lifetime, a lot of death, disease, and a lot of failure. The government is just a machine. It operates a certain way, and if you understand what each component is doing, you can understand why it is moving. It is no different than the elephant who walks by the nomad. If the nomad stands alone, he will likely be trampled. If the nomad however, fashions a spear, he is now suddenly more free. If the nomad has the strength to throw that spear, and the willingness to do it, he has now traded the oppression of the elephant for the oppression of the spear.
It does not make you more free. It does not make you less free. The landscape may change and the Government is just the landscape of the world we walk in (along with education, business, all of these institutions), but so long as you can walk, you are free. The only freedom you lose is when you refuse to walk, or when you have been robbed of that ability.
The government is only oppressive when they deny your ability to walk. When they cripple your senses, when they weaken your muscles, when they dull your mind. That is oppression. Everything else is just nature.
That is why a vehicle exhibits the symptoms of freedom. It is a machine, under whole control, but it grants you the ability to walk when your body cannot. It makes you dependent on it, however. It is not your "right" to own a car, it never has been, any more than it is your "right" to shelter. You do not have that either. You do not have a "right" to life. Rather, your "right" to life is your will to keep living. You are only oppressed when that will is snuffed out, and you will never be free of that.
Likewise, when owning a car, you may be able to do more things, but you are not more free, you are just choosing your oppressors. The government does not force you to choose your oppressors. They simply respond, react to your decisions. If you want to live illegally, the government doesn't make you less free, you have just chosen to enter a dangerous environment. You have the right to live in that environment until you can no longer prevent your death.
Asking for the Government to change its policy in your advantage is not a matter of debate or questioning, it is a matter of changing your landscape. If you know how to build a house and you have the will and ability, you can build a house. You must gather materials, plan your use, find a location, and construct it.
Likewise, if you want to change the government, you must do so as one builds a house. If you convince your friends of a political goal, you are not changing government. You are not changing your friends, you are not fighting for anyone's rights and you are not helping the world. You are moving pebbles from left to right, and calling it construction.
Your family does not make you more free. Your happiness does not make you more free. You have no more right to your family than you have the right to stop someone who tries to kill them. Your family are people, outside of you, and as much as you feel a kinship with them they are one oppression being traded for another.
"Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four. If that is granted, all else follows."
How you think, what you think, your ability to think, your ability to act and do, the limitations of your mind and body, compulsions
The truly oppressed in our world are the people who lack these abilities. The people who stop learning, who can't walk, who can't drive, who can't build, who can't think, who willingly choose to be oppressed, or who never had the ability to stop it. And there is nothing you, or I, can do to free them, unless you have the power far beyond what a normal man is capable of. Science and technology has taken us far toward freeing ourselves, but we still remain bound by it and by eachother, because that is how physics, nature, and the human mind works.
You might think that this is a silly and impractical way to view the world. You might say that it is wrong and evil to claim that other people are oppressive. You might say that the government is trying to help everyone and is themselves a personification of either good or evil.
It doesn't matter what you think, all that matters is what you can do about it.
This post is just myself, moving pebbles around, hoping that I'll realize something new by watching the path they carve in the dirt.