Kansas to Attorney General: Your King Has No Power Here

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Published in: on May 3, 2013 at 00:17  Leave a Comment  

Social Tyranny~How to be Liberated

I haven’t read John Stuart Mill yet, but I like the excerpt from his essay, On Liberty, as posted on the following “An Unquiet Mind” blog post by Ajay Menon:

Mill & Structural Coercion

Here is a portion of that excerpt:

Society can and does execute its own mandates: and if it issues wrong mandates instead of right, or any mandates at all in things with which it ought not to meddle, it practices a social tyranny more formidable than many kinds of political oppression, since, though not usually upheld by such extreme penalties, it leaves fewer means of escape, penetrating much more deeply into the details of life, and enslaving the soul itself.

The social tyranny Mill refers to does happen at national levels, but the more insidious forms occur on smaller scales. Consider the legendary high school lunchroom where students divide into groups based on similar interests. Once a student becomes part of a group, he is expected to behave a certain way, to like certain styles, music, activities, etc., and to shun certain things, including people. Essentially, each smaller “society” has established its own set of mandates which limit each members’ individual liberty by its threat of ostracizing the offending member. In other words the group is controlled or “enslaved” by fear.

Do we grow out of this after high school or college? Of course not. Why? Maybe it is because we care too much about what other people think. So we have allowed ourselves to be controlled by others based on our social standing, our political affiliation, our religious organizations, our families, and so on. How do they control and “enslave the soul”? Fear.

Why do we allow ourselves to become involved in groups where fear is a controlling factor? Most likely because we did not realize this before. But once we recognize that we are enslaved, then we can do something about it. What is the solution? Love. True, unconditional love for friends, enemies and those who will potentially ostracize you when you begin to exercise your new found liberty.

From now on, let us do things because they are the right thing, the loving thing, to do, rather than the group mandated thing to do. Then we will really begin to experience liberty.

“There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear.”

~John, the Apostle (I John 4:18)

Published in: on August 21, 2010 at 23:09  Leave a Comment  
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