Philosophy of Freedom Commentary

Submitted by Tom Last on Thu, 07/07/2011 - 2:23pm.


Philosophy of Freedom Commentary

Rudolf Steiner describes his path to freedom in The Philosophy of Freedom. In order to sort out individual freedom from the many other determinants of knowledge and action the book examines both freedom and determinism. Progress toward freedom can be made from both sides. We can strengthen our powers of self-determination by learning about what freedom is, and we can weaken the inner and outer determinants that enslave us by becoming conscious of their influence.

We act freely when we obey ourselves, we act unfreely when we obey some other compulsion. The influences that control us are part of the perceptible world and can be identified. For every unfree act there is a thing, or person or institution that has caused the person to act and it can be identified. (10-6)

These natural and social determinants have value in playing a part in our development. Nature makes us a natural being, society makes us a law-abiding being, but it is up to each one of us to make ourselves a free being. (9-11)

While justified at an early stage of human development, these controlling determinants will eventually become barriers to freedom in the way that is similar to the overly possessive parent who smothers the free spirit of the maturing offspring. Nothing in nature, nothing in society, nothing in religion, and nothing in heaven can give us freedom. This is something we can only give to ourselves.

This commentary makes no attempt to meet any academic standards, or to broadly characterize anything or anybody beyond the specific example, or to claim that the information is accurate, or that it is even the writers own writing. The commentary includes text and illustrations that have been found on the internet without usually citing sources. These can be found by doing a Google search of the sentences or pictures (picture search is possible now).


Israel Draws International Criticism for Sweeping Anti-Boycott Law

Submitted by Tom Last on Fri, 07/22/2011 - 8:47pm.

Israel continues to be such a bountiful source of internationally reported examples of the suppression of the individual that I can't seem to get away from it. Israel has now passed a new law outlawing citizens and organizations from advocating for boycotts against any Israeli person or entity. The law is drawing criticism from around the world as an attack on freedom of speech. Under the new law, any person, including journalists, calling for the boycott or divestment of Israel or the occupied West Bank can be sued by the boycott’s targets, without having to prove that they sustained damage.

Concerning the laws of the state the Philosophy of Freedom says a free spirit will usually follow them —unless he has a better idea! "the laws of the state always originate in the head of a statesman...  If (the free spirit) thinks his intuitions are better than the existing laws, he will try to put them in place of the existing laws. If he thinks the laws justified, he will act in accordance with them as if they were his own." (9-12).

This new Israeli law is a good one to break. I call for a boycott and divestment of Israel —Tom Last. Links to boycott sites:
Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions  Innovative Minds   Palestine Solidarity Campaign 

14-0 Individuality and Type: Family and Tribalism

At first glance, a sense of “belonging” may appear to be a very positive thing, but the more strongly you feel the bond of belonging to your own group, the more hostile or even violent your feelings may become toward Outsiders.

14-0 Individuality and Type: Race

Submitted by Tom Last on Fri, 07/08/2011 - 4:18pm.

The peoples of the world today appear to possess equal biological potential for assimilating any human culture. Racist political doctrines find no foundation in scientific knowledge concerning modern or past human populations.