I remember when I was a kid when my dad tried to get me in line. I did not really listen to him when he was telling me, “Stay away from the fire.” The fire was really hot. The stove was burning orange and red flames. I was a kid, so I was clueless. Of course, my dad was an adult and he knew better.
He said, “Stay away from the fire!” He started yelling as I put my hand closer and closer to the flames. Sure enough, my dad leaped across the table to slap my hand away from the stove. I didn’t like it when my dad hit me but it really dawned on me as an adult that a parent would rather risk his or her children hating him or her just to make sure that they safe.
This is the human interest because if I had died or something had happened to me, my dad’s genes might not have gotten passed on assuming that my brother would have died as well. There is also a genetic component here. This is not just about my dad loving me so much that he would run the risk of my brother and I hating him. There is also a compelling biological explanation.
I raised this issue because freedom is endemic to the human condition. It is the very air that we breathe and unfortunately, depending on how our parents handled their freedom and how they passed on their relationship with this human virtue to their children, we may be misusing our freedom.
In fact, a lot of people think that freedom is a bad word. They think that it means something shameful because a lot of men, for example, have homosexual thoughts. A lot of men actually prefer male-to-male contact. And it’s the same with women. There are also people who are scared of non-sexual issues.
So the whole idea of freedom is taboo to some people because they can’t live in a world without limits. They think that if you take away limits, people would kill each other on the streets, but this is not true. Why? It all boils down to human self-interest.
Please understand that ultimately, human beings only care for one person and one person alone. And I believe it’s not their kids. It’s themselves. We all take care of number one. With everything else being equal, if you point a gun at a man’s head and another gun on his kid, he probably would choose to stay alive.
That’s just human nature. It’s all about self-interest, and of course, we are not supposed to say that. We would rather imagine that it’s the other way round. We’d rather imagine but we would take one for the team, but that’s bullshit! That’s not our reality.
Human beings always ask, “What’s in it for me? I am number one in my life.” We are selfish. That’s what we are.
So given this reality, do you think that we would be killing ourselves if we’re given full freedom? Of course, not. I say that because if you lift your hand against somebody who’s weaker than you, somebody stronger than you would lift his hand against you, and on and on it goes until nobody is left.
So the whole idea of self-interest being inimical or opposite to human organization is a lie. It is a misconception that is often passed on as superstition by many religions.
The idea is when you get people to be so afraid of their natural personal freedom; they would embrace systems that rein in freedom, like religion, the state, sexual oppression, and homosexual and heterosexual norms. You get my point.
So the key here is not to be afraid of your freedom because there are built-in checks and balances. They may not be pretty.
There may be harsh trade-offs but the system works. And the closer we get to that raw, unvarnished state, the wealthier we become, the more opportunities open to us, and believe it or not, the more problems we resolve.