The musings of one Andrew Langer - defender of liberty, passionate protector of individual rights, foodie. (Note: Said Musings of Andrew Langer are his own, and the views represented herein are likewise his views, and not the views of any other people, entities, foodstuffs, etc [unless otherwise specifically and explicitly noted].)

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Freedom: A State Of Mind

Good weekend - up in New York for the first part (took a nice trip to Rye Playland), then back home for the 4th. Actually, we were down on the lower Delmarva at a friend's place - simply beautiful.

Last year on the 4th, I posted the Declaration of Independence. Could have done that again, but I decided to do something a little different.

When I was four or so (maybe five), I went to camp at Fieldston (some of you know this). Lots of vague memories - but one that stuck with me for years was the performance by some older kids of a song about freedom - with the refrain, "freedom is a state of mind!" Didn't know where it was from for the longest time, but eventually found the source on the internet. It's from a show called "Shenandoah".

Freedom ain't a state like Maine or Virginia
Freedom ain't across some county line
Freedom is a flame that burns within ya
Freedom's in the state of mind

Freedom, freedom,
Freedom, freedom
Freedom is a flame that burns within ya
Freedom's in the state of mind

Freedom ain't a boat that's leaving without ya
Freedom ain't a place ya float to find
Freedom's in the how ya think about ya
Freedom's in the state of mind


You can't get to freedom by riding on a train
The only way to freedom is right on through your brain

Freedom is a notion sweeping the nation
Freedom is the right of all mankind
Freedom is a body's imagination
Freedom is a state of mind

Freedom, freedom
Freedom, freedom
Freedom is a notion sweeping the nation
Freedom is a body's imagination
Freedom is a full-time occupation
Freedom's in the state of mind

Happy 4th.

- Andrew Langer


Blogger Laura Creekmore said...

This is nice. I think those with a deep sense of patriotism -- at least in my terribly non-scientific, anecdotal observations :) -- either have had a defining event in their lives or have had it taught from a young age. It is easy to let something so ephemeral as "freedom" or "liberty" fall by the intangible yet so critical to who we are.

OK I will stop now. I could just get wound up. :)

July 08, 2006 9:03 AM

Blogger Andrew Langer said...

At the Colorado summit I mentioned on the Blog a few weeks back, one of the things we discussed as a sort of "foundational exercise" were our core values. The 25 of us sitting in the circle were asked to use one word to describe those values - what gets us up in the morning and motivates us, something that was instilled in us at an early age.

For me, it was "liberty" - and I had that questioned as a value by one of my brethren on the left. He wondered if this were a motivating value that could be instilled at an early age.

I explained that it could, and that yes, it is the kind of thing that gets me going in the morning.

The incident reminded me of something from many years ago. When I was graduating from college and considering my options, someone had recommended me for a non-partisan activist group (I'll leave that nameless). I interviewed and made it to the 2nd round of interviews, in Washington, DC.

Among the things that we were asked to do as a group was to engage in a discussion of which was more important, justice or freedom. I was one of several arguing on behalf of the latter - and I stated the case simply: without freedom, there can be no true justice, therefore, QED, freedom is more important.

The statists in the group (and no, I didn't realize there were statists when I was 21-22) were positively frothing in arguing the opposite.

What fascinated me then, and continues to fascinate me today, is the disdain that statists show for liberty - and this was an issue that was central to our discussions at the Colorado summit.

July 09, 2006 2:17 PM

Blogger Laura Creekmore said...

Oh my goodness. Have these people not taken history? I don't care WHAT end of the political spectrum you come from, but if the 20th century taught us nothing else, it should have taught us that. While "justice" might not have been the true goal of communism or totalitarianism, much damage was done under those systems in justice's name.

That said, I think justice is terribly important. But never at the expense of freedom. I'm with you there. Give us freedom and we can make do on a lot of other points. I think that's been said a lot more eloquently by others. :)

July 10, 2006 2:34 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

now isn't patriotism kind of contradictory to freedom? just a thought. if you are dedicated to your country, then how can you be free if you are bound to them?

November 23, 2007 11:52 PM

Blogger Andrew Langer said...

The two are neither inextricably bound nor mutually exclusive. Blind or extreme partiotism, like all forms of blind allegiance to or extremism with regards to any credo or philosophy leads to a certain kind or bound servitude.

Patriotism, at least in the way that I view it (and, I believe, so does Ms. Creekmore), is a deep love of nation - not a "binding" or "blind allegiance", but a love for the country and that which makes it great - most importantly, the philosophies on which it was founded. At their very core, those philosophies are grounded in freedom.

So no, a patriotic love for America isn't contradictory to a love of freedom.

But thank you for asking.

November 24, 2007 2:58 PM


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