As an American, I was always told I live in a free country. Yet we see our freedoms constantly eroding, most precipitously over the last two years.
I now wonder if there was one specific event that launched us on this course? This prompts a deeper question: “Were we ever really free?”
But first, let’s define ‘freedom’: exemption from external control, interference, or regulation. It’s the power to act without restraint.
So, again I ask: were we ever really ‘free’? I would say no. Almost no one fully exercises their own free will.
From birth, we are programmed with a system of controls – which ultimately enslave us. This human ‘software’ was first installed by our well-intentioned parents, themselves a product of the same system. Conditioning is simple: rewards when we behave and punishment when we don’t. Over time we self-monitor, and require little to no oversight. Fear is the strongest of all shackles.
Thus, we all essentially live in the prison of our minds.
Over our formative years, these operating models condition our behaviors. By the time we formally engage in society, our behaviors have completely linked with our instincts, which always aim to minimize pain and maximize pleasure.
Aside from bodily needs, we must not overlook the importance of the social arena. In a material culture which craves external validation, this becomes a most effective and subtle mechanism of control.
Advertising, of course, plays a major role by appealing to our fears of lack, prodding us to want what we don’t have and desire what we don’t need. We then make countless buying decisions based on empty promises to relieve our fears of aloneness and satiate our need to fit into a social construct.
This model of control is so effective, it can be seen in every organization and institution. When was the last time you freely expressed your opinion without self-censorship? If you work for a corporation, have you voiced an idea that challenged the status quo? Or have you witnessed a co-worker berated by an abusive boss? Did you speak up, or did you avert your eyes, hoping you weren’t next?
Compliance is always rewarded, but every time you watch an injustice and do nothing, it chips aways at your moral center. If you’re feckless when the risk is low, you won’t have courage when it truly matters. This creates a demoralized society that is docile and malleable.
Think back to the events around 9/11.
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With the looming fear of more “terrorist strikes” we compliantly gave up our freedoms. I recall boarding the ferry just days after the attacks. I was more than willing to show the contents of my purse to the soldier who I believed would protect me. I realized then that my rights were being taken away, but I was too scared to protest. I wish I knew then, what I know now!
And what I know now, millions of others know too. The elite overlords overreached too quickly. They created a society easy to manipulate so they could consolidate power for themselves. This realization has jolted humanity from a deep slumber, only to find ourselves shackled by a system, to which we unknowingly acquiesced.
There are many forms of tyranny now upon us. However, we also see an awakening populace like never before. We no longer blindly consent; we are taking back our power and our autonomy.
But we must all continue our quest for self-awareness, to understand what dictates our behaviors and drives our decisions.
Only then can we break free from our mental prison cells and exercise our will. Only then can we act without restraint, exempt from external control and interference. And only then will humanity truly be free.