[Editor’s note: The following is comprised of two posts that follow the same theme.]
If you can’t find a way to enjoy people’s company because of differences in your political philosophy, you might be missing the point of having a political philosophy.
What’s the point of arguing about freedom if you can’t enjoy the freedoms you already have? What’s the point of having freedom if you can’t use that freedom to meaningfully connect and collaborate with others? What’s the point of worrying about your freedoms if you don’t give yourself permission to act on them merely because of the existence of people who disagree with you?
The point of politics isn’t to spend all your time being angry at other people about politics.
The love of freedom is beautiful. So is the freedom to love.
There is no version of the universe where freedom is experienced as an unchallenged and permanently secure reality.
If we were able to magically transform our world into a completely free society, that very freedom would still be threatened at all times by the mere existence of disagreement and diversity.
In a free society, people would have different ideas about how freedom should be enjoyed and these differences would give rise to fears, concerns, uncertainties, suspicions, and the formation of various alliances designed to protect special interests.
Even in a utopia, there are people who don’t like utopias. The love of freedom will never be afforded the luxury of living in a vacuum. It will always exist alongside the possibility of its own negation.
Freedom is an infinite game, not a finite game. That is, it will never win any victories that cannot be undermined by a lack of vigilance.
Enjoy the victories, but stay vigilant.
T.K. Coleman is the education director for Praxis and an adjunct faculty member for the Foundation for Economic Education.