Freedom through self-empowerment is the most natural form there is, but it depends entirely on how you define it. Some feel it has to do with money and the toys/vacations/time it gets you. Not having a budget limit when traveling of course certainly buys you freedom in allowing you to go wherever you want, in a style much more comfortably than most.
Others would define it as practical things that just make life easier. Having health insurance for example, can be viewed as being free from bankruptcy due to high medical bills and that this makes it a right for the government to provide it for everyone.
Any social program really, from food stamps, to Medicaid, to student loans and housing assistance can be said to help ease the sting of life which can help empower people to live with more dignity and less worry and much more freedom. To a point.
The problem is that as these government programs grow to cover more and more responsibilities for increasing amounts of people, the individual coping skills of those they are “helping” shrinks. This is not a slam on people getting government assistance, as I would say anyone would follow this natural progression, that the more something is done for you, the less responsibility you will take for yourself.
This creates dependency and is not empowering at all. It also pits groups of people against each other via a wasteful and unfair system. Resources are forcibly taken from some through taxation and given to others after being recycled through the government bureaucracy blob where a mere pittance of what was collected ends up being delivered; a process Ronald Reagan once described as the “leaky bucket syndrome”.
This is of course managed by politicians who pretend to be such caring souls while they shake down money from some and use it to buy votes and exploit others all for “our own good”. Not all politicians have this intention and many do truly believe they are doing the right thing but this can actually be worse. As the late great C.S. Lewis once said, “Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victim may be the most oppressive. “ This is true! As politicians get drunk with their ever-increasing power and self-righteousness they can’t help butt in to every nook and cranny of our lives. What type of grocery bags you use, which light bulbs you are allowed, how much SODA you’re allowed to buy, they just can’t stop!
In its most basic form, freedom means the ability to control your own destiny. I would take it a step further and say that relying on God to fulfill and provide you with purpose is the ultimate freedom as your personal shackles (in my case need for approval, people pleasing, etc…) start to melt away and your sense of personal responsibility deepens. The more your relationship with God grows, the better you realize how beautiful and precious the uniqueness of each individual is and how important its independence and protection from a large and intrusive government is.
We are not victims in need of savior politicians but truly empowered and wonderfully free!