Thursday 24 February 2022

Freedom is negative - it is Not Enough to be "anti"-evil

Freedom is, at best, a means to an end - and freedom is only good when the end is good. 

By contrast, totalitarian tyranny (such as now rules the world) is intrinsically and necessarily evil - of its nature it opposes God and creation - so totalitarian tyranny always ought to be opposed. 

But opposed in the name of what? 

That makes a big difference. 

If totalitarian evil is opposed in the name of freedom, that is only to oppose the greater by the lesser evil. 

It is - in fact - to oppose an extreme version of the leftist ideology with a more moderate leftism. 

Therefore... a 2022 protest or movement based on freedom merely aims to return to the world to what it was a few years ago...

Yet that world of a few years ago was already the most evil society in human history

Modern Leftism is an ideology of opposition - it is self-identified only by what it opposes - and these 'isms' are many and contradictory. 

Therefore Leftism cannot be fought by adding further negative values - such as freedom. These will, indeed, only serve to reinforce Left ideology as the only available option. 

Ideology is the perspective that the this-worldly, the material - are the only truths and the the ultimate values. 

When ideology is pitted against ideology - then ideology is always the winner - and all ideology is of-the-Left. 

Ideology cannot be opposed by ideology but only by religion. The negative and opposition can only be defeated by the positive and transcendental. 

Negative protest is of value Only when it is the first-step towards awakening a positive and motivating religious, specifically Christian, world view among individual persons. 

Otherwise - as with the Tea Party, Brexit, Trump, and current freedom protests - there will be no lasting and positive social transformation: no reversal of the many decades-long adverse trends in The West. 

So, while I naturally prefer the lesser evil to the greater; I would only actively-support an explicitly* religious and Christian movement - that is, one whose value-basis was explicitly divine, and whose stated aims were directed beyond this-mortal-world. 

*A movement's goals must nowadays be explicit and upfront if they are to be Good; since all inexplicit goals must be assumed evil as of 2022. Where evil is pervasive, incentivized and mandatory; whatever is unconscious, passive and spontaneous will be assimilated to evil. 


Francis Berger said...

Yes, well put. The pro-Good must outweigh anti-evil-

The distinction between negative freedom (freedom from) and positive freedom (freedom for) is crucial, particularly regarding the understanding of freedom as a means to an end, but this does not negate the primary importance of freedom.

The problem with freedom is its seeming nebulousness -- as a means, it can be shaped or warped to meet practically any end. The "proper" use of freedom entails a clear understanding of a "proper" end.

Christianity is a religion of freedom, yet it has struggled with freedom since its beginnings. Traditional doctrines have always been suspicious of freedom and tend to blame Christianity's ills on the liberties people sought and continue to seek outside churches and doctrines. At the same time, freedom from strict adherence to traditional doctrine is crucial to the continued development of Christian consciousness.

Perhaps it would be helpful to classify negative freedom as "liberty" and positive freedom as freedom (the reality of Creation). Liberty is a rejecting sort of freedom. Exemplified by Enlightenment principles, the Statue of Liberty, liberalism, etc., it is anchored in the external world and is pitted primarily against external forces. Real freedom is more of an internal accepting and embracing spiritual force based on the underlying reality of Creation.

The "for" and "from" aspects of liberty are both rooted in the external. This was the inherent tragedy of the liberation from church consciousness (and liberalism in general). The rejection was solid, but liberty provided nothing for consciousness to hold on to beyond the external. Thus, human consciousness found no end beyond the external and sank into materialism and the eventual rejection of God.

Spiritual freedom -- the kind Jesus demonstrated -- does not rely or depend on externals at all. This is evident in Jesus' lack of interest in fulfilling his prophesied role as messiah. He did aim to merely "liberate" people from empire or from the external pressures and forces of the world using purely external "liberation" means.

Jesus' aim (or end) was not human liberty but human freedom aligned with divine freedom. This alignment differs from the traditional understanding of lesser "created" human freedom submitting to the infinitely greater "uncreated" divine freedom of the Creator. I imagine the alignment more as harmony between the divine in man and God, which can only be established when freedom is employed as a "medium" for higher spiritual purposes. Moreover, I don't believe God has much control over this freedom because I suspect it does not emanate from his being.

The freedom Jesus espoused was a big part of the cosmological change He initiated. It is this freedom that Christians need to rediscover (in my humble opinion), and the time to rediscover it has never been better. The means is within us -- it's the end we need to rediscover. If not, we'll know only negative freedom, which is, at best, a very limited form of freedom (as your post so clearly pointed out).

Bruce Charlton said...

@Frank - Good comment. I think the people who are organizing the current freedom protests are (like the Brexit and Trump advocates) trying to make the biggest possible mass movements, by making freedom something that many people - even with opposite agendas - can 'get behind'. This makes for a bigger impact in the short term, but ensures that these movements never achieve anything substantive in the long term.

I always have hoped for a transition from the negative agenda via awakening to a positive (i.e. Christian) - and it has happened in some individuals - but, so far, never enough to make a perceptible difference to the trends. I think it will be necessary for the explicit positive agenda to be there from the beginning.

Faculty X said...

Freedom is a manifestation of the Essence of the Most High.

If you can't see or feel what happened with the Freedom rallies then that is really too bad.

That was Spirit moving across the land. The freedom rallies had that distinct Truly Holy aura which people around the world felt.

That was much stronger than any explicitly Christian movement I've ever seen.

In light of real world evidence can you defend the 'only an explicitly Christian movement' is worth supporting?

There were widespread evangelical movements all through the 90's in the USA. Also there was the Christian men's march of 1 million to DC.

Yet those movements also did nothing.

Bruce Charlton said...

@FX - Well, if you are correct - it will soon become very obvious.

David Earle said...

You are absolutely right. I'm here in Canada but I've been entirely uninterested in these protests/street parties since I first heard about it. You cannot protest the evil away.

Bruce Charlton said...

@David - We have to be realistic. On the one hand, this kind of mass protest in England (but not Scotland) has led to some significant roll back of birdemic restrictions in England (but not Scotland).

But this is temporary, because in terms of totalitarian powers and evil legislation, nothing has changed - nor has there been any admission of guilt and incompetence, or repentance for the physical destruction, deliberately induced and sustained psychological suffering, chronic diseases and increased deaths and wholesale spiritual impoverishments caused.

No repentance; because of course that was the purpose of it all from before the beginning; and and the Establishment are still in place and still have the same Satanic intentions as before. And the masses are even more media-credulous and addicted, stupefied, unthinking, cowardly, incoherent and responsibility-avoidant as they have been becoming for several generations - because they have no real Christianity thus nothing to live for, or die for.