A friend sent me the following quote about freedom. Back in 1972, Wendell Berry speaks straight to the heart of a problem that’s only intensified since then. When we as people cannot supply our own needs because of man and his system, we are not free. When someone cannot find work from an employer, he feels helpless. Why? We’ve become conditioned to the idea that we must depend on someone or an organization. Very few are free.
A person dependent on somebody else for everything from potatoes to opinions may declare that he is a free man, and his government may issue a certificate granting him his freedom, but he will not be free. He is that variety of specialist known as a consumer, which means that he is the abject dependent of producers. How can he be free if he can do nothing for himself? What is the First Amendment to him whose mouth is stuck to the tit of the “affluent society”? Men are free precisely to the extent that they are equal to their own needs. The most able are the most free.
–Wendell Berry, “Discipline and Hope” in A Continuous Harmony (1972), pp. 124
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