True Freedom Is Not to Be Feared

webnexttech | True Freedom Is Not to Be Feared
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He shared a fascinating insight into the Biblical story of Moses leading the Israelites out of Egypt, Mr.Milei noted that only a minority of the people left.
The majority stayed in Egypt for “the free fish,” and “in exchange for that fish they lost their freedom.” One wonders what happened to the Israelites who remained in Egypt.
They are now vanished and unknown.
But the descendants of those who exercised their God-given freedom and took risks have prospered, despite centuries of persecution.
The Jewish people are now the most educated of the world’s religious groups, and, despite being only 0.2 percent of the world’s population, about 22 percent of Nobel Prizes have been won by Jewish people.
Freedom, it seems, has its consequences.
Mr.
Milei was right about freedom.
It is at the core of the Jewish-Christian faith and the other great religions of the world.
But it is a truth often forgotten.
The creation story in the Book of Genesis was written in the context of the Israelites’ captivity in Babylon, where the locals worshipped gods who despised freedom and who treated humans as anything but free.
But the Biblical creation story speaks of a God of supreme freedom, a God who created human beings in love and for freedom, and with the dignity of being able to use that freedom to be masters of their own destiny.
People, however, often forget that we are meant to be free.
Did we not see the fearful give up their freedom when faced with COVID?
Did we not see many political leaders exploit that fear and take repressive control over people?
On the other side, it was no accident that people of faith were prominent in responding bravely and asserting their freedom instead of cowering with fear against the virus.
Mr.
Milei argued that people who are inhibited, or fearful, lose their freedom.
He likened that to being in a prison like Alcatraz, where the prisoners had adequate food, sports, a view of the city, and their needs met, but they were miserable because they could see the city growing while they were stuck in prison.
That experience of misery can have the effect of shocking people into asserting their freedom.
But under totalitarian regimes, that misery is channelled into “ressentiment” and the belief that the people’s misery is caused by the more prosperous.
However, Mr.
Milei argued that the results of freedom are “phenomenal” and that free societies are eight times richer than repressed ones with far fewer poor people and much longer life expectancies.
That argument is backed up by the Nobel Prize-winning economist, Amartya Sen.
His work on famine concluded that there has never been a famine in a society in which there was a free press and representative democracy.
That is serious food for thought.
Freedom requires faith, which is one reason that totalitarian regimes suppress faith.
They know that the transcendent orientation of people of faith is a threat to totalitarianism.
Faith drives people to say “no” to regimes that would repress their freedom.
But atheism all too often rejects humanity as made freely “in the image of God,” instead seeing us as slaves made in the image of the state.
In a similar spirit, Benjamin Franklin warned against giving up freedom, saying that “those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” Likewise, Hayek said that “nothing is more fatal than the present fashion among intellectual leaders of extolling security at the expense of freedom.” As Franklin, Hayek, Moses, and Mr.
Milei would tell us, the road to serfdom may have bread, fish, and security at the end of it.
But that is the end of our road because lack of freedom is inhumane, and it crushes the human soul.
That’s why repressing freedom is so important to regimes like the Chinese Communist Party today.
On the other side, this is why faith is so important.
If we look at three of the greatest leaders of the last century, Margaret Thatcher, Ronald Reagan, and Pope John Paul II, it is easy to understand Mr.
Milei’s point that faith, freedom, and prosperity are so closely related.
To put the point in other terms, a God of love gives us freedom.
If we exercise that freedom, we can take risks, but, as we see in free societies, the results are phenomenal.

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