On Liberation and Oppression

Before a revolution takes place, a change in the ideas circulated in the public must take place. Rather than allow the socialists to corrupt the public sphere with false conceptions of freedom, we must liberate the minds of our fellow citizens by enlightening them as to the true nature of freedom, and the importance of liberation from the arbitrary and oppressive state.

Freedom  must be rightly understood by members of society in order for it to exist in a political order, and in order for liberation movements to be directed against actual oppressors. Those societies that offer people meaningful choices as to how to direct their own lives, where to work, how much to work, what to buy or not to buy, what ideas to believe, what religion to practice or not to practice cannot be oppressive; those that artificially and arbitrarily constrain people’s choices and ability to suffer their own consequences are oppressive, especially if empowered by the state.

As a movement, we tea party activists demand social freedom, which is the presence of non-coercion in society; economic freedom, which is our ability to exercise our free will within real world constraints, and to accrue the fruits of our own labor through the aegis of private property; and political freedom, which is the right to live without state coercion arbitrarily constraining our decisions and consequences as we lead our own lives. We demand no more, and no less.

The clashing conceptions of freedom in America have led to the formation of two broad based ideological movements: the New Left and the nascent “Tea Party” movement.  The Tea Party movement believes in freedom of choice, and the upholding of the Constitutional order that has clearly led to the most economically, materially, socially, and ideologically diverse polity in world history, and thus the one with the most freedom of choice and results for individuals.  The New Left seeks, through its “freedom of choice” to deviate from the Constitutional order, to socially constrain through political correctness, to economically constrain through the doctrines of sustainability and equality of results, and to politically constrain through bureaucratization, legalization, and executive fiat.  An excellent litmus test for freedom thus becomes, “Does this action or policy enable or constrain an individual’s freedom of  choice?”

When governments are perceived to be oppressive, that is, anti-freedom, the seeds of radical “liberation” movements can be sown.  Liberation is the cause of human beings who perceive themselves to be enslaved, exploited, or dominated by fellow human beings or by some inhuman or alien force. Being a subjectively contingent cause, liberation is bound to human identity, and the perception of social and economic justice. Liberation is a deep-seated motivation for human action, and under the right conditions, drives men to fanatical and potentially violent behavior. It is the great deception of modern statists to lead men to willfully choose state oppression, while convincing them they are actually seeking liberation.

Being able to objectively evaluate whether or not another human being is liberated or oppressed turns on the definition of freedom. Freedom is the state of human existence when a man is able to exercise free will, in accordance with his rational mind, and to make decisions among real world choices that generally determine the outcomes in his own life.

What is crucial for people to understand is what freedom is not.  Freedom is not a state of being free from economic reality, specifically, work, scarcity, or opportunity costs;  free from accident and tragedy, as influential neomarxist theorist John Rawls implies; free from intellectual or ideological challenge; or free from the presence of people in any way different than you.

“Liberation” movements may be motivated to seek freedom from alien forces, such as foreign ideologies and religions, modernization and technology, actual occupiers and exploiters, and domestically, weak and ineffectual oppression. Confusion of “liberation” and “freedom from the foreign,” a shared misconception by the Islamist and the socialist, may be willful or unwillful, in other words, due to a lack of clarity of concepts.  The most common of these are the conflation of social norms and social oppression (being shunned or rejected versus being persecuted, viz.), or the confusion of social norms or economic relations and their bearing on governmental forms (a government can be structured to allow for the free play of civil society and market economy, as was the concept behind The Constitution, pace what cultural marxist revisionists believe).

The two most common revolutionary movements in the world are the socialist and the Islamist. These movements are in some cases syncretized, as in the case of the Muslim Brotherhood. Sayyid Qutb’s Social Justice in Islam remains a seminal text among members of the Muslim Brotherhood, and blends ideas of socialism and Islam.

The problem with socialist conceptions of freedom is the misunderstanding of objective reality and man’s contraints within it, as well as the nature of human beings. Human freedom is an aspect of free will as a matter of rational choice within real world constraints. Liberation and oppression are a matter of human nature. Human beings, as an aspect of biological and personal identity, are self-interested. In fact, the most effective socialist theoreticians and tacticians understood this latter, inescapable point. The reality of self-interest means there shall always be a struggle between potential liberators and oppressors, and the ability of the people to constrain their would-be overlords, using democracy, turns on their understanding of freedom and slavery.

While classical Marxists fail to understand economic reality, neomarxists fail to understand the nature of social oppression. For perhaps psychological reasons, neomarxists often associate social freedom as social acceptance. Because they believe their opposition to be laboring under “false consciousness” as a reflection of “forces” within the capitalist economy, they believe capitalism to be hierarchical and and the society reflects and reinforces that hierarchy. Their conceptualization of a community takes the form of a duality of economic base and cultural superstructure. Following the analysis of Gramsci, they believe that the key to overthrow hierarchy and institute greater equality and social justice is to undermine the capitalist base while using the cultural superstructure to replace hegemony, or their conception of how the culture reinforces inequality.

But what both kinds of Marxist do not grasp is that there is a difference between hierarchy and stratification or ossification of social and economic relations. America has always been, and in the absence of state intervention would continue to be, a dynamic place of upward and downward social and economic mobility. While some refuse to recognize this fact, instead criticizing and holding contempt for the American Dream, which attracted millions of immigrants from around the world, statists actually seek to recreate the conditions needed for socialist revolution in order to usher in a dominant state. (The nature of central bank inflation, for example, is to drive capital into the hands of those who control the banks. This is because capital is always worth more when it is created, due to the nature of “information” flows regarding the presence of that capital within an economy. For the record, the centralization of credit was a key plank of The Communist Manifesto.)

In fact, while The Declaration of Independence is a guide for understanding freedom, The Constitution is the attempt to provide the conditions for freedom by recognizing and counterpoising self-interest within a plan of government. But this freedom will not last if society misunderstands its nature. That is why statists have adopted the socialists’ misunderstanding of freedom and used it to undercut the people’s demands for self-government. What we have in America today is a harmony of interests between socialists and statists, whether the former comprehend it or intend it or not. There are reasons socialist revolutions unerringly lead to oppression; it is no absurdly repetitive accident of history.

What has evaded socialists who claim to seek human liberation is that due to the inescapable reality of human self-interest it is always the ultimate goal of those in the state to subject the population to a middling, inferior existence. This reflects the rulers’ desire for heightened social status and personal security.  The enslaved are unable to raise material resources to overthrow state exploitation without alarming ever-watchful “society,” which reflects the conditioning and interests of the state. Those who labor under socialism become demoralized and conditioned to accept the norm of poverty, which is relative to the extractors and redistributors, who, because of self-interest, always corrupt the system to benefit themselves. The modern justification for willfully adopting such a state of poverty is the environmentalist concept of sustainability, which deliberately ignores or distorts how market forces inherently lead to both sustainability and innovation through the price system.

In regards to neomarxism, “liberation” can also mean freedom from foreign ideas. This is a variation of the Hegelian idea of “Freedom in and through the State,” or the “universal in the particular, and the particular in the universal.” It should be noted that neomarxism, as the offshoot of failed economic Marxism, adopted Marx’s teacher Hegel as a prime influence on their views. Many observers consider Hegel to be the father of modern totalitarianism. It is no accident that our neomarxist dominated universities in America can be described as totalitarian. Ideologically intolerant, the universities, as a microcosm and harbinger of future society, replace diversity of opinion with irrelevant diversity, such as of ethnicity and skin color. Disdainful of principled dissent and principles in general, today’s universities value conformity of opinion, leading to a false sense of social security, overconfidence in one’s ideas, and reflexive reaction against those who disagree, commonly, by arrogantly considering all dissenters to be “intellectually inferior.”

As we have seen, liberation as a term is associated with all manner of phenomena and ideas, but most commonly in the developing world, it is confused with the idea of “freedom from the foreign.”  This confusion is why the “liberation” movements spreading across the Middle East are not genuinely for liberation. As the prevailing ideology of Islam dominates society and severely restricts behavior, it is in no wise conducive to freedom. Nor does “democracy,” as a means of regime accountability, give birth to freedom. If a society is oppressive, democracy merely politically legitimizes, and endows with the legal means of violence, the socially oppressive views.

In conclusion, socialist, Islamist, and syncretist revolutions seek to install oppressive governments because they aim to constrain free will as a condition of rationality exercised within objective reality.  The tea party movement seeks to restrain the government, force it to live within reasonable means, and prevent institutionalized oppression by winning the hearts and minds of the public and democratically transitioning America away from impending tyranny.

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3 thoughts on “On Liberation and Oppression

  1. RO: Nice post. Well thought out and articulated. Of course, I’m inclined to believe that our Declaration and Constitution are particularly unique insofar as they explicitly (which is key) recognize the “self-evident” truth regarding the source of our rights. As one of your own greatest thinkers noted:

    “A great disaster had befallen Russia: Men have forgotten God; that’s why all this has happened.”
    — Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

    And, here too, this is coming to pass. Thanks, by the way for visiting my blog. I’ll be sure to check in now and again.

    Harry Tuttle

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