Free-market definitions of absolutism – the ones we deploy and strong-arm across the world – are not free at all, and they can easily be called a ruse. “For none are more foolishly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free,” as Goethe wrote.
Governments have a hard time imagining this relativity of freedom because:
- Real freedom requires a change in foundational principles, substantive change upstream that may challenge its (outdated) constitutional religions and scripture. It takes real leadership from a President or a dominant political party to push through, the kind of leadership that requires vision. The type of leadership that is hard to find in government.
- Real freedom is “messy” because it is predicated on genuine respect for others. We would rather encircle the world with a single model of absolutism that is easier to control than to respect the plurality of freedom (to each his own) governed by a higher granularity of distributed sovereignty.
Despite those challenges, human capacity and ingenuity are dependent on the exploration of the relativity theory of freedom. Because only real freedom will breed the outliers so crucial to the reinvention of our man-made systems meant to establish and maintain a continual equilibrium with nature.
In the long-run, all forms of absolutism fail. Full stop. A reason why the Greek and Roman empires eventually collapsed, and ours will too if we do not recognize our differences are so much more important than our commonalities, towards optimization of the prospects of our evolution.
The reinvention of freedom lies at the heart of the longevity of humanity.