“Slavery” is defined as: the state of being a slave; the practice or system of owning slaves; a condition compared to that of a slave in respect of exhausting labor or restricted freedom; excessive dependence on or devotion to something; slavery to tradition.
“Liberty” is defined as: the state of being free within society from oppressive restrictions imposed by authority on one’s way of life, behavior, or political views; the power or scope to act as one pleases.
[NOTE: The above definitions provide an exact point of reference for the discussion that is to follow.]
Do most Americans currently live in a state of slavery? ... or rather in a state of liberty?
These words have polar opposite meanings; which are seldom viewed or used within their defined context, lending to the equivocation as to exactly what these words truly mean; and, thus, whether—as individuals or as a people—we are slaves or free human beings.
When examining the definition of the word “slavery” (in a purely literal sense), the words or phrases “restricted freedom,” “excessive dependence,” “devotion to something,” and “slavery to tradition” imply that a state of human enslavement can assume various degrees and forms.
For example, religious, political and patriotic beliefs feature uses and habits best described as devotional or traditional; which can readily adopt expressions of [perceived] near flawlessness; leaving one with a strong subjective attachment -- often producing a mind set defined by those very ideals. To be more precise, such commitments are suggestive of a state of “acquired dependency.”
Expressed another way, acquired dependence is to acquiesce to authority borne from ideas and traditions; which psychologically suborn one’s consent to become partially enslaved by a system.
Given the generation-to-generation metastasizing of the bureaucratic institutions that comprise and provide social assistance at every level of government, it would be most unreasonable to deny that an inordinate number of Americans—to one degree or another—are economically dependent upon city, county, state or federal assistance.
Living within a social construct that provides such assistance, however, there is also much to be expected of the recipient. To be legally qualified for economic relief, the beneficiary must conform to the laws, rules or regulations specifically applicable to their situation. To continue to receive aid, one is behaviorally constrained; limited in the freedom and power to act as they otherwise might.
This is not a state of liberty.
This is a state of being unwittingly deceived; a state that, at most, should be temporary; but which has evolved into a generation-to-generation social entitlement. This is a system that removes all incentive for a life of independence and autonomy; and which, in the most egregious fashion and in the most forged of circumstances, kills our greatest attribute: the human spirit.
The sophistry of the political class know no bounds. They would have us believe that the magnanimity of welfare programs are of benefit to society; when—in their infinite arrogance and ignorance—they have transformed prospective contributors to the socioeconomic well-being of the nation ... into perennially entrapped wards of the state.
This is a state where liberty has been voluntarily—albeit, by means of deception—surrendered to an ever-expanding state of authority. Depending the circumstances, however, such authority can also be arbitrary, cruel and excessive. (See the two videos to follow)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2IGZOGmsQc4 (4:03 min; mom, daughter and a swat team)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=04MNf1YdNxI (3:44 min; the children’s lemonade stand saga)
Witness the excessive and oppressive response of government. In either case—as stated by a male voice in the audio of the lemonade saga—there was no victim, and thus, there was no crime. In fact, there were victims: Mom, daughter and the sellers of lemonade all suffered the indignity of being told they could not do what they believed to be in their own best interest -- actions that would have cost nothing to no one.
The state of being free within society from oppressive restrictions imposed by authority on one’s way of life, behavior, or political views; the power or scope to act as one pleases ... should be the essential and most closely guarded precept(s) of our human existence.
As a people and as a nation, have we given up on the idea of individual liberty?