All Commentary
Saturday, September 1, 1984

Two Freedoms


Mr. Turnbull is a freelance writer in Old Lyme, Connecticut.

The Slave born in captivity must learn that an open door can be used to gain freedom. He must learn to rise above the mind and spirit of a slave. He must learn that this is not his natural condition, that there is something within him that craves a higher state of existence. He must awaken to his own self-worth in order to develop his full potential. If his mind has been conditioned to his being a slave, if he is resigned to it, if he is used to being looked upon by everybody else as being in his right niche, if it is easier for him to go along with the way things are, then surely he will remain a slave forever.

Freedom in the usual sense consists of political, personal, religious and economic manifestations. But these are the external or secondary aspects of freedom, and this second freedom must be preceded by another kind—an inner freedom of mind and spirit, without which there can be no external freedom.

The slave’s chains are forged without his knowledge or consent, often produced from feelings of guilt or of indebtedness for unearned favors.

“The political cultivation of guilt is a central means to power,” explains R. J. Rushdoony in Politics of Guilt and Pity, “for guilty men are slaves; their conscience is in bondage, and hence they are easily made objects of control. Guilt is systematically taught for purposes of control . . . . the cultivation of guilt in order to produce a submissive populace. This politics of guilt is aided, not only by the apostate clergy of the left, but also by . . . ostensibly conservative clergymen.” Thus we find, says Rushdoony, “a burdened conscience and a submissive man before priest and politician. The politics of guilt cultivates the slave mind in order to enslave men, and to have the people themselves demand an end to liberty. Slaves, true slaves, want to be rescued from freedom; their greatest fear is liberty . . . . Freedom imposes an impossible burden upon them. Lacking the inner peace of a good con science, they seek instead the sickly peace of acceptance and co-existence with every kind of evil.”

We know there is Something within us that is special and should not be abused. If we follow what is compatible with that Spirit, that Essence of knowing, that Conscience, that Wisdom, that Ability to distinguish between right and wrong—whatever you want to call It—and recognize It as a higher authority than mores, self-serving inclinations, taboos, respectability, lust, the desire to curry favor or just to be “nice,” and recognize what has been indoctrinated into us, we will all be pretty much “tuned to the same frequency.” To follow this “Inner Voice” is to seek the way to freedom and self-realization. The Bible states this principle by saying that to serve God alone is perfect freedom. Shakespeare speaks this idea through Polonius in Hamlet, “This above all: to thine own self be true, and it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man.”

To get to the degree of enlightenment just described one may spend a lifetime of gradually peeling away layers of ignorance and misconception, be suddenly enlightened or just always “know.” But without this clarity of vision our minds are fitting receptacles of ideas, pressures and programs that enslave. We have thus become a society filled with people who “don’t know who they are,” are guilt-ridden misfits or are well-adjusted slaves of the omnipotent state.

In his book The True Believer, Eric Hoffer has catalogued the types of people who are potential converts to mass movements. These are: the Poor, the Misfits, the Inordinately Selfish, the Ambitious Facing Unlimited Opportunities, Minorities, the Bored, and the Sinners. These are the ones who are most likely to seize at any system that offers some advantage to them and promises to solve all of their most urgent problems. These people become the slaves of that system.

There is no mass movement as powerful and all-pervasive in the United States as the cult of the State. It is fueled by billions of tax dollars. It is propagandized by millions of True Believers who lack enlightenment and by millions who profit directly from it. It controls an indoctrination system that sentences most of our young people to government-controlled schooling for twelve formative years. It has as allies a host of religious leaders who are misled into being True Believers in the cult of the State, and thereby become unfit to lead or teach the congregations who look to them for guidance through a confusing world. Their secular allies are the entertainment and news media which invade the sanctity of nearly every living room by means of television and newspaper, every car and kitchen by means of radio. To confuse, mislead and ensnare, it employs the “newspeak” kind of double talk described in George Orwell’s 1984. We have been taught to profess freedom without experiencing it.

Richard Bach says in Illusions, “The mark of your ignorance is the depth of your belief in injustice and tragedy.” Injustice and tragedy are the fruits of the Cult of the State. The all- powerful State has taken away our freedom, starting from within the individual.

But liberty offers penalties as well as advantages. “The central and essential penalty of liberty is insecurity and the problems thereof,” says Rushdoony. “The free man lives in a world of free enterprise, of trial and error, profit and loss, success and failure . . . . His security is not in the visible tokens of a guardian state.” He does not stand with his hand out asking for his fair share. He earns it. Every generation must choose between slavery or freedom.

It is to the advantage of each man to be true to the best that is within him. Identify those who would contribute to your enslavement. Denounce them. Shun the “benefits” with which they would buy you. Stand up for what you know is your right and your heritage. Stand for equal justice for all and special privilege for none. Resist coercion of all kinds. The government does not own you and has no rightful claim to your life or the fruits of your labor.

Know the truth and it will make you free. Men who are free in spirit and mind will never become complete slaves. They will demand and get economic, personal, religious and political freedom. Those who achieve the first inner freedom will see clearly how to obtain the secondary manifestations, the external freedom to which we pay lip service, while at the same time we are losing it. They will cut government down to its only legitimate functions and free themselves to prosper as never before.