The individual versus the whole: We are all our own person

It is the business of the very few to be independent; it is a privilege of the strong. And whoever attempts it, even with the best right, but without being OBLIGED to do so, proves that he is probably not only strong, but also daring beyond measure. He enters into a labyrinth, he multiplies a thousandfold the dangers which life in itself already brings with it; not the least of which is that no one can see how and where he loses his way, becomes isolated, and is torn piecemeal by some minotaur of conscience. Supposing such a one comes to grief, it is so far from the comprehension of men that they neither feel it, nor sympathize with it. And he cannot any longer go back! He cannot even go back again to the sympathy of men!” Friedrich Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil

Among the many are the few who willingly engage in the pursuit of freedom on an individual basis. The definition of freedom is, “the power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants without hindrance or restraint.” To those who are capable of reading, it seems quite obvious that freedom is an individual thing, after all “as one” refers directly to the individual; in whom rests the power to act, speak or think without restraint. Nietzsche claimed that the individual or independent one cannot go back to what was before and in this respect Nietzsche is absolutely correct. Once freedom is tasted by each individual at the behest of ONLY that individual there is no returning to the life that was once had. Rather the life led now is one that continually causes the individual to be at odds with themselves and their decisions simply because they have tasted that which once tasted cannot be untasted.

Government, its supporters and adherents, especially those who would desire to lead you whether through election or “right” of blood, would have you the individual believe that it is the whole that matters regardless individual freedom. Rather the idea of rights is proposed and implemented. Given that rights can be defined as that which is morally or socially acceptable. It is an idea that by definition counters the individual. Without arguing the existence of the individual, I would that those reading this try a simple experiment. Place one solitary object on a background of your choice. Have four persons each view the object and its background for 30-45 seconds. Cover the object or remove the person from the where the object rests and ask them to state ONE thing they saw, ask them to be specific. In almost every single case you will find that the description of the item they give is varied to the point that if someone who has not seen the object themselves would not necessarily understand what it is that each person saw.

Now we look at the definition of person, “a human being regarded as an individual.” Individual meaning, “single, separate or that which is separated from the group, family or class.” As much as many would like us to become part of the group and think as one or at the least act as one to the benefit of those in control, we cannot. Sure, through a variety of social, monetary and even forceful approaches a gathering of individuals can easily be made to engage in social order. However, the truth is that freedom will always be one individual from becoming a reality for all. This is not an assumption that all individuals desire, require or even want freedom. However, it is a fact of life that all persons living on this planet are individuals and by default the line between control/ social order and individual freedom is a tenuous one that must be constantly fought by the governments in charge. Government will utilize education, promoting the idea of fitting inside the box that encompasses all versus the reality that no single individual is alike absolutely. Additionally government will utilize media to control how people think, financial markets to control the amount of free time individuals have, (least is best given the nature of a person to think and explore when time is available.) More importantly government will endorse and promote the idea that police and military are necessary and by introducing new items, persons, ideals and sometimes outright fantasies to fear that must be fought by the government to “defend” us they will engage the willing participation of the many all the while ensuring that the very few who take the steps towards individual freedom are crazy, insane, terrorists, racists and whatever else will work to ensure continued participation by the many.

As he enters the labyrinth he multiplies a thousandfold the dangers life brings with it, oh but the truth of this is absolute. It is only the very few who are capable of true freedom of the individual. All of us in todays world live under some sort of government regime, however, all of us have the capability to act in complete freedom if we decide to engage in this. For some the potential problems accompanying are extreme, for others depending on where they reside the problems are far fewer. Remember a simple thing, if it is voluntary between the individuals involved it is always right, it is only wrong when it is not completely voluntary between those involved. We can choose to follow some or all of the laws of the land we live in, or we can decide that freedom and our pursuit of it requires that we reject all of that. In the end it is the individual who must make the decisions they make to engage in the actions they do, remembering of course that all actions have consequences. As I tell my children, remember, everyone is their own person!

Free the mind and the body will follow


About Jesse Mathewson

Jesse Mathewson is the author of the popular blog, and provides commentary to many varied places based on a background that includes education in criminal justice, history, religion and even insurgency tactics and tactical training. His current role in his community is as an organizer of sorts and a preacher of community solidarity and agorism. He also runs Liberty Practical Training, a self defense school specializing in the practical applications of defensive approaches versus the theoretical. As an agorist, voluntaryist and atheist his life is seen as crazy and wild by many, though once they get to know him most realize he is a bluntly honest individual who will give you the shirt off his back if he believes it is necessary to help you. Very simple, "That which is voluntary between all individuals involved is always right, if it is not voluntary, it is always wrong."
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2 Responses to The individual versus the whole: We are all our own person

  1. cavpatriot says:

    Excellent. 🙂


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