Obviously, we think this is an important concept, so much so that it is the central theme of our site. But what does it mean? Let’s take a look at the dictionary first:
freedom from the control, influence, support, aid, or the like, of others.
It seems pretty simple, doesn’t it? Would anybody disagree with the notion that would should be free from the control of others? Of course not. To suggest otherwise would imply that we are the property of others, that we are subjects or slaves.
The other parts of the definition all rest on the freedom from control: influence of others isn’t always a bad thing. It is good to sometimes seek advice or guidance from someone else. However, you are still free to choose what to do with that advice, and so you are free to choose how you will let that influence affect you, so long as you are free from control. The same is true of support, aid, or the like. So a more simple definition of independence, cutting down to the root of the issue, would be:
freedom from the control of others.
But why does this simple idea go out the window when we start talking about government?
There are many potential answers to this question. Our society seems to have a general premise that the government is our safe keeper, and without it we would be animals in the wilderness, and utter chaos would rule. Some treat government as if it represents a balance of power against the “corporations” (themselves government enabled entities) who they say would take over and act as governments themselves if it weren’t for our elected representatives. The Founding Fathers treated government as a necessary evil, that if properly limited could serve to protect our rights, but we all know that lasted about 5 minutes.
So why is it that we would all react with disgust if we saw a person leading around his slaves and making them do his bidding, but we react with joyful celebration when we see the government do the same thing? (Democrats celebrating the enslavement of doctors, for example, or Republicans celebrating the enslavement of the pot smoker.)
Well this is the question of our times and for people who have traveled the philosophical and political journey that leads to Independence it is extremely difficult to understand how anyone could believe that control is OK in the hands of the government, while not OK for anyone else. Hopefully our efforts on this site can expose people to the reality that government is coercion and control of others, and that as such it is evil. Hopefully we can inspire a renewed interest in Independence, so that as the current status quo collapses upon itself, a free society can emerge.
PS – For the best attempt at Independence thus far in recorded history, reference the Declaration of Independence.