Personal Freedom is the God-given right of the individual to make: bad, wrong, and/or foolish choices, with respect to their-own person’s: self, property, and/or other inherently personal assets… and, like all rights [God-given or not], Personal Freedoms may only properly extend in the jurisdictions of that sole individual. Any action - which results in tangible harm - being wrought upon other individuals, or society in general, is actually a jurisdictional infraction and punishable by effective societal law.
Although, this may seem a strangely “negative way” of conceptually phrasing such a “socially positive” philosophical concept, there are very good reasons for my having done so! Since every society in existence is composed of numerous and divergently thinking individuals, there will always be more than one given opinion [or perceptual understanding] on any given individual subject. Therefore, every conceivable thought, decision, or personal action humanly possible is either perceptually: bad, wrong, and/or foolish in the eyes of many more all-knowing others.
Nor, in most cases, are the millions of additional minds accorded to the statistical majority – on any given subject – of any apparent real societal benefit. Truth is, what it is, regardless of [or in spite of] any majority opinion! For instance: most Americans laughed at, Wilbur and Orville Wright’s vision , of humans one day flying… but today, it is taken for granted by everyone in our society. Going to the moon was impossible… and yet, now, we’ve been there [and safely back] several times.
In fact, when we carefully examine the historical record upon such things, the majority of humans are usually quite wrong! The revelation of that fact is one of history’s greatest overall benefits to our, so certain, human societies. Even, the fact that history repeats itself - with such cyclical frequency – is a product of verifiable societal majorities acting in error, over and over again, in perpetuity. “We The People” are trapped within the very same boxes of erroneous and socially detrimental thinking!
The greatest, or most significant, value and function of “Individual Freedom” is to actually counter-balance the failure of “Majority Thinking [or mental collectivism]!” All of our scientific breakthroughs, most of our societal advances, and many of our greatest achievements are merely the modest results of Individual Freedom and Personal Initiative. The majority of inventions are still being developed in America… and most of those, still in someone’s: home, office, and/or garage.
Yet, this phenomenon is occurring, in a day and age - when massive corporations and governments control and employ far greater resources and assets! What can honestly account for this apparently unexplainable disparity? Think about it, folks…. While tens of millions of highly educated scientists, working in well-equipped and well-supplied labs, among throngs of their scientific peers… “Joe Six-pack” works laboriously [usually without pay] in his garage… and Joe is still winning the vast majority of the games!
The primary advantage of Freedom is that it allows people to honestly investigate our boundaries without the baggage of still others [wrongly] holding us back! Scientists in laboratories must justify everything that they do to others… every idle thought, speculative idea, or potential scientific experiment must be justified in the eyes of those who are ultimately paying the money… and no-one wants to invest in the crazy ideas of a nut! So the most incredible and highly valuable experiments must [usually] be conducted in secret. At least, until proven, beyond all conceivable doubts!
Therefore Freedom , not only drives the economy through production and consumer demand, but also boosts it through the development and creation of new sources of societal wealth! However, as a society’s wealth eventually grows, the majority will naturally exert itself toward obtaining it [or controlling it] by the use of their own political force… and, in so doing, they’ll slowly accumulate more political power, individually oppressive restrictions, and undue societal impositions at the expense of Personal Freedoms….
As Freedom is eventually [significantly] stifled, the overall social economy will invariably suffer an equivalent and commensurate developmental decline. While Thompson developed and built his machinegun in his own garage, thus changing the face of modern warfare… few Americans could lawfully do so today! Consequently, we currently live in a society - which simultaneously desires new technologies, and substantially hinders their ongoing development, as well. Nor, is this situational and societal paradox historically new!
However, there is one thing that is…. Modern civilization is no longer founded upon agriculture as a significant means of individual employment. This means that our technology is the primary source and means of our individual and societal wealth! Modern societies can no longer afford to live in “The Dark Ages” of undue, unjust, and ignorant societal strangulations upon Individual and Personal Freedom. Our future societal success now hinges upon Freedom and Capitalism… but Freedom is the greatest and most powerful of the two!
As Americans, we have a strong historical tie to both Freedom and Capitalism... all of our historical documents, and societal references, speak of them both glowingly and frequently. Honestly, that is to our greatest benefit as a people. And yet, the trouble with "fools" is that they'll never acknowledge the wisdom of their elders! At least, that's how The Real American [factually] see's it....