Monday, November 16, 2009

With Freedom Comes Responsibility

By Joseph Kellard

From the title essay in Ayn Rand's book "For the New Intellectual":

"From the start of the post-Renaissance period, philosophy — released from its bondage as handmaiden of theology — went seeking a new form of servitude, like a frightened slave, broken in spirit, who recoils from the responsibility of freedom."

This reminds me of my recent readings, particularly in the New York Times, on the 20th anniversary of the Berlin Wall’s fall. Of the few articles and columns on the subject I came across, there was little, if any, mention of the actual oppression and suffering people faced under communist regimes. But, of course, readers read about when communist-states collapsed and people got a taste of freedom, many of them eventually longed for the supposed security blanket of the Soviet Union — you know, that state that took care of everyone from cradle to grave. In reality, the communists really took care of people getting into those (mass) graves. What I didn’t read about, particularly in those opinion columns, was any mention of the responsibility of freedom, which first and foremost demands that you think for yourself and stand on your own two feet.

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