"You think you're free. You're not."
--Diamond Dog (Con Air)
Jacob Hornberger observes that, during their school years, US citizens are inculcated into believing that they are free. But just because we are able to move about, talk to others, surf the Internet, et al with little restraint, that does not mean that we are free.
JH highlights three restraints on liberty that prohibit us from living truly free lives:
1) Government wields control over income. Practically speaking, the current tax system puts government in control of all income; it decides how much each person is permitted to keep. Until we are free to work and dispose of our production and property as we see fit, then we are not free.
2) Government wields control over peaceful behavior. In addition to economic activity, government controls what we do in our leisure time. Drugs, prostitution, gambling, and other activities are regulated by the government. Until we are allowed to make choices, even bad ones, concerning our own well-being, then we are not free.
3) Government wields control over the war machine. Government justifies much of its actions in the name of 'national security.' By and large, however, these actions are aggressive rather than defensive in nature. People can be spied upon and taken into custody if they are deemed threats to national security. Until we throw off totalitarian methods of the warfare state, then we are not free.