The principle of health freedom is really the underlying principle of freedom generally: that I own my body, and that no presumed governmental authority wearing whatever hat or badge can force me into ceding that ownership to them.
In an age where women are being arrested for holding signs warning drivers about speed traps up ahead, police across the country are swooping in to shut down children’s lemonade stands, and new traveling VIPR teams are bringing that special brand of TSA tyranny to the treets of America, it is perhaps a morbid speculation to ponder which particular aspect of modern American life would cause the founding fathers to spin in their graves the most vigorously.
But it is not idle speculation, after all, and if the respect for individual liberty that the country was supposedly founded upon means anything at all, surely the axe of tyranny must necessarily be striking closer or further from the root of the tree of liberty with each swipe of its blade.
“Freedom” is a word that has been so abused in the modern era that it is difficult to remember that it is not just a campaign slogan or a nebulous item that causes ISIS/Russian/Korean boogeymen to hate us. It is an ideal for which men have fought and died, an ideal that for the vast majority of human existence was almost literally unthinkable.
In the earliest civilizations, the pharaohs and emperors were worshiped as gods on earth. In these societies, life was nasty, brutish and short, and most of it was spent performing back-breaking labour in the service of another. For many, as in Imperial China, for instance, the greatest position that the average person could obtain was that of court eunuch, permitting them access to the Forbidden City and all the unimaginable riches of the imperial court; riches they could see, but never partake in. To the inhabitants of this era, speaking of freedom and the natural rights of men and women would have been to speak in a foreign and untranslatable tongue.
In the Middle Ages, things were hardly any better. Society was pictured as a beehive, with a rigidly defined and divinely-appointed order. At the very top was the king, appointed by God himself to rule over the kingdom. Below that, the nobility, clerics and scholars. Below them, the knights and warrior class. And at the bottom, the vast majority lived as peasants, scraping out a subsistence living from the sweat of their labour. In this era, too, to talk of the freedom of the individual would be to propose a concept that could scarcely be comprehended.
It wasn’t until the invention of Gutenberg’s movable type printing press and the spread of Enlightenment ideas throughout Europe in the 17th century that our modern conception of freedom began to be articulated. John Locke in particular was one of the key inspirations for Thomas Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence, who formulated the idea of government by consent and postulated the right of life, liberty and property. In Locke’s philosophy, private property is derived from labour, the principle being that, as we own our bodies, so too do we own the products of the labour that we perform with that body.
But now, that most basic form of freedom–the freedom to do what we like with our own bodies, and the attendant freedom from outside coercion by others–is under assault at every level. [see this and this and this]
Like so many other tyrannies, this particular form of oppression, too, has been sold to the public in the name of “safety.” In this case, supposed concerns over the safety of foods and medical treatments have given rise to large, powerful bureaucratic agencies like the FDA that act as regulators. These bodies have been given broad legislative and judicial powers in the name of creating a regulatory framework for the country as a whole, powers that by their very nature are inherently tyrannical.
Bodies like the FDA are worrying because they have been granted broad powers to regulate what people can or cannot do with their bodies. The so-called self-proclaimed authorities are increasingly claiming the power to regulate and restrict the sale of alternative medicines, homegrown organic foods, and even raw milk. Even worse, they are increasingly attempting to cross the line into medical martial law by prepping the public to accept invasive medical procedures with a growing insistence on mandatory vaccinations.
Most worrying of all, however, is how the federal government is actively working behind the scenes to cede away these powers to even less accountable international institutions in which the ordinary citizen has no say whatsoever.
The principle of health freedom is really the underlying principle of freedom generally: that I own my body, and that no presumed governmental authority wearing whatever hat or badge can force me into ceding that ownership to them. Whether that be the freedom to drink raw milk or the freedom from being shot up with Big Pharma’s latest untested vaccine, it’s a freedom that touches each and every person on the planet’s life in the most personal way possible. And for that reason, the fight for health freedom is the key battleground in the war for individual liberty.
Echoing the words of George W. Bush, the enemy do hate us for our freedoms. But the enemy is not who we are told they are.