It is interesting to note that whenever someone with an extreme early retirement or financial independence philosophy, particularly the latter interacts with the average person, the latter will be completely unable to relate.
What the average person sees is the physical comfort that money can buy. And that’s it!
We allegedly live in a free society. We pride ourselves on our freedom. We use freedom as a slogan to go to war. Thinking about it though, most people voluntarily, indeed without a second thought, sign away their freedom for most of the daytime hours. They sign away their freedom to go where they want between 9 in the morning and 5 in the evening. The are not free to choose what clothes to wear. They are restricted in what they can say. They are restricted in what they can think about. In fact, most people have very little freedom for most of their waking hours. The only freedom they have is to quit their jobs and effectively sign away their freedom to someone else.
That is not freedom!
(Even if you get to pick your prison, you’re still in prison.)
They do so because most people completely lack sufficient assets to sustain their own livelihood. It was a process that essentially began a few hundred years ago in which people lost the ability to make their own livelihood through their crafts and skills and essentially became salaried wage slaves, dispossessed of their assets, no longer able to make a decent living without an employer. A similar process is currently occurring in developing countries where people are loosing their traditional asset based livelihoods for a dispossessed dependence on jobs.
Are you job dependent?
Later many of these wage slaves became professionals. Thanks to a new institutionalized educational system, many of these professionals actually take a certain pride in their lack of freedom. It has transformed into a sense of vocational belonging. In fact, what has happened is that the loss of freedom has been so completely internalized that it is no longer seen.
It is like a dog which has been trained not to go out of the yard. After sufficient schooling, the thought of leaving the yard does not even cross its mind. The thought no longer exist.
The freedom has become irrelevant.
This is where most wage slaves find themselves today. These professionals are not only job dependent for their money. They depend on their job for the very definition of their self-worth.
People still have the freedom to their human rights. To some extent, it can be argued that people still have political rights. Yet, most people lost their economical rights so many generations ago that the idea of being economically free has been forgotten.
We have become an economically enslaved people.
Well, most of us anyway.
People choose comfort and security over freedom. It was Franklin who said that people who value security over freedom deserve neither. I don’t know about that, but I do know that the average person vastly prefer his chains, as long as they are comfortable.
I can’t help but think of the Spartans in the movie 300 (that’s how I visualize that battle anyway) chose to fight for freedom rather than surrender in return for high ranking positions serving Xerxes.
People today? Ha! They would have sold out for first class plane tickets, nice cars, and extra bedrooms. Maybe a free iPad. Freedom to do what you want, wear what you want, think what you want, be where you want for most of the day for most of their adult life is a small price to pay for plasma TVs, new clothes, and other stuff.
You know, sometimes I feel alone. As one of the few free men in a world of enslaved souls.
(What makes it sad is that the rest of them don’t even seem to know it.)
Attention! Moneyfunk is doing the 21 day make over (drawn out over a longer period) [see my side bar] and blogging about it. Follow along or just subscribe and read about it. This may be particularly interesting to people with kids.
Originally posted 2010-06-04 23:02:19.