Freedom and petulance

Freedom is a good thing. Petulance is a bad thing.

That can be confusing. Petulance can look like a love of freedom, if you aren’t thinking very carefully.

Petulance is defiance for the sake of defiance. It is fighting against a rule merely because it is a rule, with no thought of whether it might be a good rule that’s worth following.

This looks like a love of freedom only if freedom is severely misunderstood.

Freedom isn’t the absence of rules. Freedom isn’t the ability to do whatever you want — at least, not the good freedom, the desirable freedom, the freedom that is beneficial rather than destructive of individuals and societies.

Freedom is the ability to do the things that are good. Laws that stop you from doing things that are not good are, all else being equal, good laws that don’t actually infringe on your freedom.

Don’t be petulant. It is bad for you and bad for all around you.

Be free.

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