QotD: Courage, Liberty, and Happiness

 

Those who won our independence . . . believed liberty to be the secret of happiness, and courage to be the secret of liberty. They believed that freedom to think as you will and to speak as you think are means indispensable to the discovery and spread of political truth; that, without free speech and assembly, discussion would be futile; that, with them, discussion affords ordinarily adequate protection against the dissemination of noxious doctrine; that the greatest menace to freedom is an inert people; that public discussion is a political duty, and that this should be a fundamental principle of the American government. – Justice Louis Brandeis

If any single quote summarizes the cause of our present unhappiness, it is this one. Without liberty, one cannot be happy. Without courage, one cannot be free. Today far too many lack the courage required for liberty. They lack the courage to speak freely, to take the consequences of defying absurd edicts and to disregard specious arguments made by so-called experts. They fear to go their own way and defy the mob. It is easier to go along, to not make waves.

Eventually, this means yielding to howling mobs who have no other power to harm you than simply to howl. Or to discover that by not making waves when you could, you have allowed the concrete to harden around you and encase and immobilize you.

The courage to speak and act freely is called for today more than ever. The courage to accept responsibility for one’s self and not second that to the government. The courage to defy the mob. The courage to say no to mask mandates and vaccine mandates.

This may on occasion necessitate the use of force to preserve liberty. But the alternative is to live as a slave, and abandon happiness.

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  1. Mark Alexander Coolidge
    Mark Alexander
    @MarkAlexander

    A decline in courage may be the most striking feature which an outside observer notices in the West in our days. The Western world has lost its civil courage, both as a whole and separately, in each country, each government, each political party, and, of course, in the United Nations. Such a decline in courage is particularly noticeable among the ruling groups and the intellectual elite, causing an impression of loss of courage by the entire society. Of course, there are many courageous individuals, but they have no determining influence on public life.

    Political and intellectual bureaucrats show depression, passivity, and perplexity in their actions and in their statements, and even more so in theoretical reflections to explain how realistic, reasonable, as well as intellectually and even morally worn it is to base state policies on weakness and cowardice. And decline in courage is ironically emphasized by occasional explosions of anger and inflexibility on the part of the same bureaucrats when dealing with weak governments and with countries not supported by anyone, or with currents which cannot offer any resistance. But they get tongue-tied and paralyzed when they deal with powerful governments and threatening forces, with aggressors and international terrorists.

    Should one point out that from ancient times declining courage has been considered the beginning of the end?

    Alexandr Solzhenitsyn

    A World Split Apart

    delivered 8 June 1978, Harvard University

    https://www.americanrhetoric.com/speeches/alexandersolzhenitsynharvard.htm

    • #1
  2. Ole Summers Member
    Ole Summers
    @OleSummers

    excellent – and the courage to think and question , and then let evidence and reason guide your passion which is needed so much to confront those threats to liberty. But without it (liberty) and so many of the elements that it requires we can never fully reach toward true human purpose

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  3. Ole Summers Member
    Ole Summers
    @OleSummers

    :) may have to steal a line or two from you in the future

    • #3
  4. Seawriter Contributor
    Seawriter
    @Seawriter

    Ole Summers (View Comment):

    :) may have to steal a line or two from you in the future

    Feel free. Ideas are like manure. They need to be spread widely to do any good. Locked up in a pile in the dark they just sit there and stink.

    • #4
  5. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    I just spoke up on a listserv, where because two “women of color” as they were called, were not yet approved and the poster wondered if it was racism. 

    Then when people (like me) defended the moderators from the clear charge of racism, people get accused of white defense or something or another. 

    It is pretty sick. Glad I could risk standing up. Not sure I am going to have a long debate with anyone, because that is not what the listserv is for. 

    It is amazing to me how messed up minorities are around this stuff. The idea that if anything happens to any minority (they keep using BIOPIC or some such series of letters I don’t even know they mean) they want to cry that it must be (may be) racism. To then get upset that people defend their honor just shows how pathetic they really are. I cannot imagine the life of unhappiness when I live to be upset by any and everything. 

    • #5
  6. Raxxalan Member
    Raxxalan
    @Raxxalan

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    I just spoke up on a listserv, where because two “women of color” as they were called, were not yet approved and the poster wondered if it was racism.

    Then when people (like me) defended the moderators from the clear charge of racism, people get accused of white defense or something or another.

    It is pretty sick. Glad I could risk standing up. Not sure I am going to have a long debate with anyone, because that is not what the listserv is for.

    It is amazing to me how messed up minorities are around this stuff. The idea that if anything happens to any minority (they keep using BIOPIC or some such series of letters I don’t even know they mean) they want to cry that it must be (may be) racism. To then get upset that people defend their honor just shows how pathetic they really are. I cannot imagine the life of unhappiness when I live to be upset by any and everything.

    How would anyone know what race someone was online if that person didn’t tell you?  Also how could you be sure? Finally why does it matter?  I think that Ben Shapiro is right the demand for racism far exceeds the supply.   Good for you for speaking up though.  We need to start calling out this foolishness.  

    • #6
  7. Keith Lowery Coolidge
    Keith Lowery
    @keithlowery

    “Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at the testing point.” – C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters

    • #7