How free do you think you are?

Brandon Evans, IV Leader Guest Columnist

There is no doubt that the sentiments in our community concerning the many levels of government are discouraging and disappointing. The unfortunate reality surrounding these attitudes is the nature of misinformation and apathy accompanying these much deserved opinions. As an electorate, we have the opportunity to develop a more analytical and profound understanding of what challenges we face. We have an opportunity to cultivate our reasoning for the purpose of developing our own individual solutions and comprehensive concepts to resolve our entirely solvable obstructions.

In reality, we become overwhelmed by the propagandizing influence of media sources and political “talking points.” The extensive unsubstantiated, irrelevant, or misleading rhetoric becomes the driving force for our resolve and understanding of concepts that should be more readily understood by the public. There is often high regard for personal responsibility and deservedly so, but when it comes to intellectual discernment of facts and theoretical understanding we become reliant on third-party messengers.

Perhaps it’s a matter of a brief lesson in civics, or it’s a far more entrenched dysfunction in our social capacity for continued learning and development; sadly it may be both. The vast majority of individuals in our society, in our community, have the capability to comprehend a wide array of economic ramifications from different economic policies. Surrendering this independence to ideological servitude is far from freedom; shouldn’t reason, data, history, and science render judgment as opposed to a forced and rigid principle.

I can equivocally disavow support for a communist government, but still understand what truly makes a government communist, socialist, or Marxist. I can study libertarianism and appreciate its political and economic principles while disagreeing with any part or all of its concepts.

The real debate that exists, encompassing government, in this country is between two opposing Kantian liberal philosophies. These contrasts are a matter of libertarian and egalitarian liberalism. Utilitarian or communitarian concepts are seldom introduced into the framework. When a libertarian or classic liberal idea is presented it doesn’t mean that the idea is fascist or more liberating by default. The very same can be said for an egalitarian or welfare liberalistic idea which doesn’t definitively represent socialism, dependency, or collectivism. Don’t be beholden to ideas, parties, or undeveloped principles. Be consumed by your ability to intellectually serve yourself, your country, and your neighbor.

If we want a better society, than we are truly going to have to work for it. That work is not a capital investment in free enterprise, but a mental investment in free intellect.