Do Americans Live in a Free Society?

Dec 2013
33,811
19,360
Beware of watermelons
#1
So, when someone says that Americans live in a free society, you have to ask: compared to what?

Do Americans live in a free society when they need to get a permit to have a garage sale?

Do Americans live in a free society when the government listens to their phone calls?

Do Americans live in a free society when police issue tickets to motorists for not wearing seatbelts?

Do Americans live in a free society when they need a salt-water fishing license?

Do Americans live in a free society when the United States is the only developed country in the world with a drinking age of 21?

Do Americans live in a free society when they can go to jail for purchasing too much Sudafed to relieve their stuffy nose?

Do Americans live in a free society when they have to be scanned, groped, and forced to throw out tubes of toothpaste over 3.4 ounces before they can board an airplane?

Do Americans live in a free society when police can break down your door in the middle of the night and drag you out of bed if you are suspected of having illegal drugs in your home?

Do Americans live in a free society when beer brewed at home cannot be sold and the amount of beer one can brew is restricted?

Do Americans live in a free society when the government regulates the size of the holes in Swiss cheese?

Do Americans live in a free society when it is illegal to resell a concert ticket?

Do Americans live in a free society when the government reads their e-mails?

Do Americans live in a free society when they are limited to six withdrawals from their savings accounts per month?

Do Americans live in a free society when police drive around in unmarked older vehicles to ensnare unsuspecting motorists?

Do Americans live in a free society when in many states, no alcoholic beverages of any kind can be sold before a certain time on Sunday?

Do Americans live in a free society when the government regulates the amount of water that toilets are allowed to flush?

Do Americans live in a free society when the United States has one of the highest per-capita prison populations in the world?

Do Americans live in a free society when the Supreme Court has said that police can “strip-search individuals who have been arrested for any crime before admitting the individuals to jail, even if there is no reason to suspect that the individual is carrying contraband.”

Do Americans live in a free society when in many states it is illegal for car dealers to be open on Sunday?

Do Americans live in a free society when police can perform forcible DNA, urine, and blood extractions?

Do Americans live in a free society when there are a myriad of federal and state laws that restrict, regulate, or prohibit gambling?

Do Americans live in a free society when they need a license to cut someone’s hair?

Do Americans live in a free society when the government seizes more assets from Americans than the amount of money taken in burglaries?

Do Americans live in a free society when they collectively spend more in taxes than they do on food, clothing, and housing combined?

Do Americans live in a free society when they can be locked in a cage for possessing too much of a plant the government doesn’t approve of?

And then, to add insult to injury, we also live in a nanny state. We have a government full of politicians, bureaucrats, and regulators, and a society full of statists, authoritarians, and busybodies, who all want to use the force of government to impose their values, hinder personal freedom, remake society in their own image, restrict economic activity, compel people to associate with people they may not want to associate with, and limit the size of soft drinks you can purchase at a convenience store.

Yet, most Americans think that because they can find fifty varieties of salad dressing at the grocery store, choose from among a hundred types of wine at the liquor store, select a television channel from over 1,000 choices, download any movie or song they want from the Internet, and sit at home for hours playing the latest video game that they live in a free society. They are oblivious to the extent of government encroachment on their freedoms. They are complacent when it comes to government edicts. And they are ignorant as to what a free society really means.


https://www.lewrockwell.com/2016/05/laurence-m-vance/americans-live-free-society/
 
Oct 2010
67,982
27,834
Colorado
#2
So, when someone says that Americans live in a free society, you have to ask: compared to what?

Do Americans live in a free society when they need to get a permit to have a garage sale?

Do Americans live in a free society when the government listens to their phone calls?

Do Americans live in a free society when police issue tickets to motorists for not wearing seatbelts?

Do Americans live in a free society when they need a salt-water fishing license?

Do Americans live in a free society when the United States is the only developed country in the world with a drinking age of 21?

Do Americans live in a free society when they can go to jail for purchasing too much Sudafed to relieve their stuffy nose?

Do Americans live in a free society when they have to be scanned, groped, and forced to throw out tubes of toothpaste over 3.4 ounces before they can board an airplane?

Do Americans live in a free society when police can break down your door in the middle of the night and drag you out of bed if you are suspected of having illegal drugs in your home?

Do Americans live in a free society when beer brewed at home cannot be sold and the amount of beer one can brew is restricted?

Do Americans live in a free society when the government regulates the size of the holes in Swiss cheese?

Do Americans live in a free society when it is illegal to resell a concert ticket?

Do Americans live in a free society when the government reads their e-mails?

Do Americans live in a free society when they are limited to six withdrawals from their savings accounts per month?

Do Americans live in a free society when police drive around in unmarked older vehicles to ensnare unsuspecting motorists?

Do Americans live in a free society when in many states, no alcoholic beverages of any kind can be sold before a certain time on Sunday?

Do Americans live in a free society when the government regulates the amount of water that toilets are allowed to flush?

Do Americans live in a free society when the United States has one of the highest per-capita prison populations in the world?

Do Americans live in a free society when the Supreme Court has said that police can “strip-search individuals who have been arrested for any crime before admitting the individuals to jail, even if there is no reason to suspect that the individual is carrying contraband.”

Do Americans live in a free society when in many states it is illegal for car dealers to be open on Sunday?

Do Americans live in a free society when police can perform forcible DNA, urine, and blood extractions?

Do Americans live in a free society when there are a myriad of federal and state laws that restrict, regulate, or prohibit gambling?

Do Americans live in a free society when they need a license to cut someone’s hair?

Do Americans live in a free society when the government seizes more assets from Americans than the amount of money taken in burglaries?

Do Americans live in a free society when they collectively spend more in taxes than they do on food, clothing, and housing combined?

Do Americans live in a free society when they can be locked in a cage for possessing too much of a plant the government doesn’t approve of?

And then, to add insult to injury, we also live in a nanny state. We have a government full of politicians, bureaucrats, and regulators, and a society full of statists, authoritarians, and busybodies, who all want to use the force of government to impose their values, hinder personal freedom, remake society in their own image, restrict economic activity, compel people to associate with people they may not want to associate with, and limit the size of soft drinks you can purchase at a convenience store.

Yet, most Americans think that because they can find fifty varieties of salad dressing at the grocery store, choose from among a hundred types of wine at the liquor store, select a television channel from over 1,000 choices, download any movie or song they want from the Internet, and sit at home for hours playing the latest video game that they live in a free society. They are oblivious to the extent of government encroachment on their freedoms. They are complacent when it comes to government edicts. And they are ignorant as to what a free society really means.


https://www.lewrockwell.com/2016/05/laurence-m-vance/americans-live-free-society/
The only meaningful difference between the various forms of government humans have devised and emplaced concerns how much the government actually screws with the people in their day-to-day lives.

Using that comparative basis, yes, Americans live in a free society. Are citizens of other present-day governments more "free?"

You tell me.
 
Likes: 1 person
Mar 2013
10,008
10,797
Middle Tennessee
#3
On this we absolutely agree !!! I would add it's neither a liberal or conservative issue. I live in a very conservative town. So conservative I can't remember the last time a democrat ran for office here. There might be 4 people running, but 3 will be Republicans and the other will be independent. (I'm seriously not joking).

I can get a ticket if I crank my car and leaving it idling in the driveway to warm up on a cold morning.

I can get a ticket if I put by trash can out too early, or leave it too long the next day.

I can get a ticket for parking my car on my grass.

Don't even get me started on the fees involved in getting a building permit. Every electrical box and water connection has a separate fee.

I know three people that have tried to open businesses only to run into issues with codes that would require them to spend thousands of dollars extra.

And the liquor stores still aren't open on Sundays.
 
Likes: 3 people
Sep 2015
14,302
5,086
Brown Township, Ohio
#4
On this we absolutely agree !!! I would add it's neither a liberal or conservative issue. I live in a very conservative town. So conservative I can't remember the last time a democrat ran for office here. There might be 4 people running, but 3 will be Republicans and the other will be independent. (I'm seriously not joking).

I can get a ticket if I crank my car and leaving it idling in the driveway to warm up on a cold morning.

I can get a ticket if I put by trash can out too early, or leave it too long the next day.

I can get a ticket for parking my car on my grass.

Don't even get me started on the fees involved in getting a building permit. Every electrical box and water connection has a separate fee.

I know three people that have tried to open businesses only to run into issues with codes that would require them to spend thousands of dollars extra.

And the liquor stores still aren't open on Sundays.
You don't want jack leg electricians and plumbers doing trade work. My car and tractor are parked in my front yard right now and that is not a crime. My lawn has not been cut since last year and that is not a crime. I burn trash in my back yard and that is legal. My friend drove my old pickup trunk into a pond when sober and the pond owner did not call the cops. Target shooting, fishing and hunting on my property are legal where I live with no license. I live in a free country.
 
Likes: 2 people
Mar 2012
4,883
1,200
Canada
#5
Compared to what? Compared to most countries on this planet. America is ranked 2 in the world in Purchasing Power Parity, 8 in Human Development Index and 27 in inequality adjusted HDI. America was also recently ranked as the 12th most economically free country in the world.
 
Likes: 2 people
Jun 2012
41,958
15,179
Barsoom
#6
The standard for determining if Americans live in a free society is what are our negative liberties today vis-a-vis the negative liberties that were the foundation of this country. Comparisons to other countries and rankings by biased and agenda driven world agencies are easily dismissed in a country to country comparison.

The first step is understanding what negative liberties and a negative rights are.
 
Last edited:
Likes: 4 people
Sep 2015
14,302
5,086
Brown Township, Ohio
#7
The standard for determining if Americans live in a free society is what are our negative liberties today vis-a-vis the negative liberties that were the foundation of this country. Comparisons to other countries and rankings by biased and agenda driven world agencies are easily dismissed.

The first step is understanding what negative liberties and a negative rights are.
Outstanding Point vs Counterpoint but negative liberties and negative rights confuse me.
 
Likes: 1 person
Mar 2012
4,883
1,200
Canada
#8
The standard for determining if Americans live in a free society is what are our negative liberties today vis-a-vis the negative liberties that were the foundation of this country. Comparisons to other countries and rankings by biased and agenda driven world agencies are easily dismissed in a country to country comparison.

The first step is understanding what negative liberties and a negative rights are.
You know what, for the first time in awhile, I actually agree with you Jimmy.

You're right, besides the last ranking I gave the others were all positive freedoms and reform liberal concepts. America is indeed very classical liberal and likes to think of negative freedoms as more important.
 
Likes: 1 person
Jun 2012
41,958
15,179
Barsoom
#10
Outstanding Point vs Counterpoint but negative liberties and negative rights confuse me.
Hobbes’s “absence of external impediments” and “internal ability to do something” formed the basis for Lockean Libertarianism and Locke’s negative rights and liberties, which are the basis of our negative rights and liberties.

Positive rights and liberties circumvent our negative inalienable rights and liberties of the Bill of Rights by the government creating rights that are superior to our negative rights and liberties of freedom from government interference such as what the DOJ is attempting to do to the Fourth Amendment's right to privacy in North Carolina.
 
Likes: 1 person

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