The limits of freedom

The Freedom Association is one I’ve been associated with since 2010 and not surprisingly, they are dedicated to people’s freedom within a society, in contrast, say, to that of Iraq and North Korea.

In short, they are dedicated to preserving freedom for individuals, freedom for the press, presumably freedom of worship. A known-known.

simon richardsI know Simon Richards@simplysimontfa through tweeting on politics, particularly British politics and he’s a fine, upstanding chap.

Simon describes himself as a Thatcherite, with a strong belief in individual freedom and tolerance.

With Mark Wallace and Christopher Gill, Simon set up the Better Off Out campaign in 2006.

andrew allisonAndrew Allison@andrew_allison is an old mate, going right back to our early days of blogging and you’ll get an idea of his worldview here.

Andrew joined The Freedom Association as Campaign Manager in February 2014, having previously been National Grassroots Coordinator at the TaxPayers’ Alliance, where he oversaw a large increase in grassroots campaigning.

So, a troublemaker like me but with considerably more success. 🙂  I urge everyone to join the Freedom Association today if you care about freedom.

If I labour the point that I respect these two gentlemen enormously and most probably also would Rory Broomfield, then the brightsparks would have gathered that I’m about to disagree, politically, with one of them.

Andrew ran a tweet where, by his lights, he disagrees with Trump’s exclusion of CNN and others from press conferences. Can’t find that particular tweet now but he did have concerns along the lines of freedom v budding dictators and one of those tweets appears further down in this post.

A direct example, no question about it:

The Huffpost journo was sent to distribute Russian flags with Trump printed across them. My question is – what if someone turned up at a TFA meeting with an ISIS flag emblazoned with “TFA”, suggesting the lie that the TFA and ISIS are at one?

I’d suggest the worthy TFA would turf them out. And could they return? When? Later that day, next day? Not at that meeting again? Never? Not at an informal briefing?

And if that particular journo is banned that day, may they send a different one next day and a different one the day after? Or is the organization which knowingly sent them temporarily banned?

What Donald Trump did was put a time restriction on CNN for actions far worse than distributing fake flags:

James O’Keefe did a Wikileaks type expose of CNN files, including a clip which went viral on Twitter and in other places, where, for example, one of the CNN staffers spoke in detail about CNN giving false polls, outdated, and calling them current.

If I need to explain all the other things CNN has been doing, dear reader, then perhaps you haven’t been paying attention and perhaps, dare I say it – deliberately not paying attention.

Partner in crime of mine on the blog, Chuckles:

They seem utterly incapable of processing the simple fact that the game has changed. Nobody believes a word they say, so they’re irrelevant. Yet they continue as if they own the world. Their useful idiots as well, some of the comments in this piece, like ‘this is unconstitutional’ are beyond parody.

And the Front page sub heading as well:

‘Trump has picked a fight he cannot win.’

Oh really?

You see, it’s presented as if these are the freedom loving press gagged:

… but in fact, they are criminal organizations:

It really is time, not just for them but for foreign organizations to also look at WHY they are actually excluded, the real reason:

Not everyone can see that:

What can DJT actually do when an organization is so leftwing that it is determined to bring down an elected government?

If he bans them for what is, after all, illegal [it’s libel, innit], then he’s immediately called dictator, down on freedom of the press.

If he lets them continue, then they disrupt. This is precisely what happened with WaPo and Michelle Fields at the Trump rally in that Corey Lewandowski incident.

I’d suggest there is a huge difference between reporters turning up to ask difficult questions and a news organization which has no issue with out-and-out lying and attends in order to disrupt and deliberately spread lies, as has been shown over and over and over again. They’re two separate things.

And who decides?  Publicized cases with evidence decide.

Now, even after that, what DJT did was put a time frame on it. They were sent to the sin bin for some time. Not forever, just until they stop lying and trying to prevent the work government was specifically elected to do.

The broader issues

The lies themselves

If someone gets his information about what DJT is doing from any of the current TV channels, any of the other current MSM, including regionals, with the possible exception of the Express, or from Huffpost or the Hill, the Atlantic and others, then I’d say his information is entirely different to mine.

I get mine from Breitbart, the Express and many blogs, inc. PJM, Drudge, WND and major bloggers who have direct sources from people on the ground. I last read the Guardian some years back. I get mine from people such as Simon Richards.

You do see the issue.

The limits of freedom

Licentiousness is living by the rule “do as thou wilt”, no one may nor can restrict you whatever you do, be it rape, murder, lying, general lawlessness [see Obama], whatever.

The boys next door where I live play loud music and carry on partying after midnight. Where is my freedom to be able to sleep for some hours each night?

Classical liberalism is the Hobbes stated idea of maximized personal freedom until it incommodes other people’s own freedom of action, worship, speech, thought, writing, to protect people from others.

With the boys next door, they are stopped at midnight – that is the rule now. There it is – the rule of law has now restricted their freedom of action.

Totalitarianism is where, if I believe in something or worship some God, then I am not permitted to do that, by decree from above.

But let’s break that down further:

1. Let’s say I embrace the right of anyone to worship whomever he wishes – as a Bahai, Buddhist and so on – but he has undertaken to still be a member of this society and this society has the rule of law.

You are expected, especially if you came from overseas, to accept and even embrace the fundamental values of this society.

And yes, there are some, it’s bollox to say there are no British values.

Now, let’s say, for argument’s sake, that the EU has says no, you’re not doing that any more, you may not go out five miles and fish in your own waters. You may not marry a blonde, as we have decreed that in a directive, in a Statist effort to balance the hair colourings across Europe. Social engineering.

I call that totalitarianism.

2. Let’s say I come into the country specifically with the intention of taking it over by force and by subterfuge. I hate the host country as I see it and wish to obliterate its native culture. So I use rape, murder, intimidation to do that and create ghettos, no-go zones in all cities and towns, until the country succumbs and submits.

I suggest that that person and those people as a demographic group are not welcome and are not extended the freedom to do that.

Not if we are to respect the sacrifices of those who fought and died … and are still doing so.

That is not totalitarianism, that is the rule of law.

Coming back to the rise of dictators

Obviously it depends on the character of that specific charismatic figure. If he is a Hitler, that is one thing. If he believes firmly in classical liberalism, then restrictions on some are to preserve the safety and freedom of the many [Hobbes].

So yes, there is obviously a need for a Constitution which protects [the American one] but not one which tramples on freedoms [ECHR]. In our case, we have a constitutional monarch.

The dilemma is that – even if a mover and shaker does start out gung ho for the people in that classical liberal sense, there is no guarantee that after time – and Andrew is quite right here – that ruler will not start doing a Mugabe, Mandela or an Idi Amin.

That is the dilemma. Were he to do nothing whatever, as touched on by the attributed but disputed Edmund Burke quote, then the Deep State would indeed have taken over – Obama already had that in place and Clinton was set to continue and extend it.

Eisenhower had called it the Military Industrial Complex – but it was far more extensive than that. There is a spiritual, even a religious element to this NWO, which so many today are aware of.

So, in stymying that, what does DJT bring in to help drain that swamp? He brings in military build up, doesn’t he?

Unz had an article on that, that there is a current battle between the ideological and the military arms.

So you see, I’m not dismissing Andrew’s concerns, far from it. There is a very real dilemma here. And the dilemma is the same fundamental one there’s always been:

How to mix the very real benefits of one man’s administration getting things done he was elected to do … against State oppression.

And the side issue, by extension:

The need to restrict some freedoms, in order to preserve broader freedoms [Hobbes again].

May I leave you with an article addressing just this:

Last week, The Wall Street Journal revealed that members of the intelligence community — part of the deep state, the unseen government within the government that does not change with elections — now have acquired so much data on everyone in America that they can selectively reveal it to reward their friends and harm their foes. Their principal foe today is the president of the United States.

Liberty is rarely lost overnight. The wall of tyranny often begins with benign building blocks of safety — each one lying on top of a predecessor — eventually collectively constituting an impediment to the exercise of free choices by free people, often not even recognized until it is too late.

4 comments for “The limits of freedom

  1. graham wood
    February 26, 2017 at 11:12 am

    James. You have covered vast areas of potential discussion here – but a good post on the issue of freedom. I agree most of this, and your closing quote is particularly apposite: “Liberty is rarely lost overnight.”
    I too have supported the TFA though my membership has lapsed. They do a good, but very limited job IMO as it lacks legal ‘teeth’, and probably has a very limited support. (more later on that)
    At present with the rise of the internet we have the strange paradox of greater areas and opportunities for the expression of liberty than ever before, yet at the same time on going and sinister moves by government to repress freedom of expression via State laws and repression.
    I’m sure all now accept that a revolution has taken place, and is still evolving, in the shape of the internet, role of social media, and the challenges being mounted against the failing MSM.
    What exciting times!
    Like you and countless millions I get my ‘news’ from a variety of sources, not least Breitbart, but also from a wide selection of other non MSM sources and preferred blogs etc.
    (Incidentally whilst I agree with Trump’s onslaughts against the champions of institutional media control such as CNN, NYT, Huffington, BBC etc, I believe it is a highly risky strategy which can only exacerbate the ever deepening division between L and R in the USA and may prove counter-productive if he persists).

    We have in effect in the USA a massive propaganda war taking place as to who will most effectively control or influence public opinion – a war as old as the hills but reaching new levels of deception via ‘fake news’.

    On the separate issue of totalitarianism as in your good illustration: “you may not go out five miles and fish in your own waters. You may not marry a blonde, as we have decreed that in a directive, in a Statist effort to balance the hair colourings across Europe. Social engineering” Absolutely! Both are completely unacceptable whether on the British right to fish in our own territorial waters, or the personal right to choose hair colouring.
    At long, long last, I believe the British public have woken up to the reality that their historic freedoms and democratic rights have been usurped by the totalitarian EU for four decades with the connivance of successive British governments – hence 23rd June 2015 and public anger rising against pro EU establishment political careerists and the MSM which are often indistinguishable.

  2. graham wood
    February 26, 2017 at 11:53 am

    “I urge everyone to join the Freedom Association today if you care about freedom.”

    I believe this needs careful re-evaluation in that your quoted virtue of “freedom to worship” is not the same thing as freedom of religion. If the TFA or any other body is for supporting freedom of worship then thats good – but very limited and a far cry from the far greater issue of the need for freedom of religion, and especially as it applies in its expression in the public square.

    It is fair to say that we do not have the latter in the UK today, and in the USA it is increasingly being challenged, as we know, notwithstanding the First Amendment of the Constitution.

    Totalitarian regimes are quite happy, (at first!) to tolerate freedom of worship as is the British State today. China today, and the experience of Russian Christians under the Soviet Union are witnesses to that.
    Likewise in Britain the unspoken policy of the State is: ‘you can worship in your churches and revere your gods in such places for after all Christianity is part of the historic fabric of British society within which the C of E formally is its expression.
    However, you try and express that same Christianity in public in any shape or form then we will get you, or inhibit you in every way, and legislate against you and make sure you are silenced.

    That is why there is a constant succession of Christian open air preachers being arrested by police to “explain” some questioned aspect of their message, usually on the issue of homosexuality.
    (There are three of these currently facing criminal charges as we speak apprehended on the dubious grounds of ‘causing offence’, – being defended by the Christian Concern legal team)
    But we know that there is NO legal grounds for this, and the police know this very well too, as many similar charges have been dropped over the years and the CPS will not pursue them further). The reason? To make the very threat of entanglement with the law an intimidation to preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ publicly. That then is the denial of freedom of religion.

    You can grow a beard and stand on the steps of St. Paul’s and openly shout about ‘Alan’s Snackbar’ or ‘Kill the infidels’ etc, and the Fuzz will gently move you on and have a quiet word in your ear, but not much more. That too is a denial of freedom of religion, distasteful and abhorrent though it is to “British values”

    Freedom in its essence is indivisible. We cannot have freedom of worship without freedom of religion. We cannot have either without freedom of association, and freedom of conscience – all of which are under direct threat in Britain today.
    The TFA has done a good job at a very limited level in defending the wider concept of political freedom, but if we really wish to support and defend a full campaign for the restitution of our older Common law rights of the other freedoms noted, then it will remain a largely silent voice.
    On the other hand it is the Christian organisations such as the Christian Institute, Christian Concern which almost alone are actually engaging with the secular power to defend these most precious rights and freedoms with profession legal teams which question the constitutional and legal right of governments to ride rough-shod over these our historic liberties.
    So if you care enough, and want to say to government ‘see you in court’ then I strongly advocate supporting organisations such as these which have legal ‘teeth’

    • February 26, 2017 at 11:54 am

      Thanks, Graham.

  3. Voice of Reason
    February 26, 2017 at 9:15 pm

    I thought you were English? The flag stunt was clever and funny, and brought a sense of lightness to people on all sides taking themselves too seriously.

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