19 November 2011

The good life isn't ruled by money, intro

For the most part my first year university courses are a blur.  Besides the obvious problem of drinking, there was the fact that I was reading like a madman, though most of it wasn't really for the courses that I was taking.  I had read The Social Contract when I was in high school, but I remembered next to nothing from it.  After my second reading in my freshman year I came away with at least that first line, "Man is born free, but he is everywhere in chains."  Rosseau thought that those chains could be broken, and they have been for the most part.  Unfortunately, most of us have willingly replaced them with another set of chains of our own forging.

If you're reading this blog, you are probably in a place that is freer than any other place has ever been in the history of the world. About 45% of my readers are American, 45% Canadian, and the rest scattered around various other free places in the world.  The unparalleled freedom present in these locations is only matched by the willingness that people have to be dominated by money. We face the problem not of being held in bondage, but in deciding whether we will allow ourselves to simply be the means through which another person can make money.

More to come later this week...


  1. One of the best opening lines in the history of writing, right up there with the first line of Iain Banks' "The Crow Road."

  2. Key phrase here; "...most of us have willingly replaced them with another set of chains of our own forging." True story. The freedom to make ourselves less free by choice is still freedom. Money is just paper, it symbolizes the exchange of debt or equity dependent on the nature of the transaction. The underlying nature of all transactions of value is such that transactions are entered into willingly. If the transaction is forced by the contract, the contract was entered into willingly by both parties - otherwise it wouldn't be a contract. Freedom is pretty great. =D

  3. The easy chains to break are the social ones, they have always been broken and reset, but we've been trying for thousands of years to break the ones that we make ourselves. They're much more complicated.

  4. The deepest chains are those formed from are biology and genetics.... You can choose to change societies, or join a sub culture, you can't choose to change your essence. Though it can me molded somewhat...