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Peace and Liberty: An American Love Story

In his 2010 ballad with Barbadian singer Rihanna, Detroit rapper Eminem laments the relatable failings of a relationship steeped in the deepest of emotions and volatility.

He shouts at his audience, "You ever love somebody so much, you can barely breathe when you're with them?"

The violence-ridden composition is shrouded by overtones of enduring love, persevering desire and seemingly-irrational hopes to repair a relationship that is apparently irrecoverable and simply not worth salvaging.

In one of his lines, he desperately leans on metaphor to plea for forgiveness and understanding: "Maybe that's what happens when a tornado meets a volcano."

Nowhere else may this analogy be more appropriate than the relationship between peace and liberty, two beloved and beguiling cornerstones of the American tradition.


Peace and Liberty: A Story of Incompatibility



One of the major intellectual catastrophes has been the ubiquitous interpretation of materials, data and events through our own respective minds without a more patient and potentially-bewildering consideration of circumstances and layers beyond our own limited understanding, and for that matter beyond the bounds of normal reason.




It is often too tall an order to re-examine our own axioms and convenient truths to which we have unknowingly, and by classical conditioning, attached ourselves to concoct a semblance of peace and stability which might allow us to work productively throughout the day and sleep soundly at night.

At the end of it all, we are brought no closer to truth, but rather to convenience.

Meanwhile, we negotiate the political landscape with an attitude of righteousness under the label of liberty, yet the average person ostensibly cares very little for this precept, beyond its utility on a bumper sticker or as a punchline.

The average person appears more enticed by the prospect of peace than that of liberty.

And while the two are often conflated by virtue of their literary utility, they are demonstrably diametrically opposed and inversely related.

Although one might enjoy a high measure of peace with a commensurate degree of liberty, we can decipher the extent of this causal relationship by exploring the nature of peace and the character of liberty.

In its most fundamental form, peace is nothing more than the present and anticipated satisfaction of wants, hinged to a perceivable pattern predicated upon an established order.

By definition, liberty breathes life into opportunity and personal agency, bound by no limits imposed by this previously-established order, beyond those which are consensually accepted.

Liberty then breeds disruption to that order, as individual agents can comply or defect at will.

Of course, this means that the social order remains subject to change, perhaps toward a new spontaneous establishment of order, yet the persuasion of liberty is one of variability while those prayers for peace are founded upon constants.

Therein we find stark and unambiguous contrast, a trade-off between two venerated traditions.

Now, it seems apparent today that the more fashionable endeavor is one toward peace, while the subject of liberty has become an oversight for the unskilled observer or an overestimated foregone conclusion warped by the expectation that all social, political matters in the United States, dressed with the Stars and Bars, must automatically yield this outcome.

Of course, this is manifestly untrue.

The price of freedom is eternal vigilance and the capacity to fail.

Though it may be tempting to systematize the world through known quantities of order, the abstract consequences and the subsequent dilution of liberty are never fully appreciated until they become intimately personal, by which time the opportunity for protest, enlightenment or resistance will have either expired or become moot.

The time for this investment is always now, and while it is scarcely ever the most expedient or popular of postures, it will remain always of the highest order.


Author's Note


The modern tug-of-war between peace and liberty manifests today between the political pundits and their sponsors and the overshadowed advocates for government restraint or its complete abolition.


The challenging task before us is the requirement that the liberty group overcome all of the continuing inertia behind the burgeoning public dole, the increasingly endemic entitlement attitude, and the ease with which students are being churned out with this disposition.

The Left, the camp which lobbies for government-centered solutions, is so appealing because it has become so fashionable to pretend that you have the political solution to every problem.

After all, you wouldn’t want all of your reading and degrees to amount to a position of perceived neutrality, which has become the popular unspoken belief among those who look upon the freedom fighters with disdain or outrage.

Their proponents also inadvertently prefer their pseudo-sciences to the individual freedoms of people whose subscriptions may differ from the popular movement or the acclaimed sciences which back it.

In the end, people are either free to fail, resist and remain ignorant,
or they are simply not free at all.






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