It was a giant coercion machine

Friday, March 29th, 2024

Troubled by Rob HendersonWhen Rob Henderson attended the two-week Warrior-Scholar program at Yale, he explains (in Troubled), he couldn’t help but apply some of the lessons he learned from eminent Yale historian John Lewis Gaddis’s seminar on Isaiah Berlin’s concepts of positive and negative liberty to his own life:

For long stretches of my childhood, I had an abundance of negative liberty, and it simply allowed me to make a lot of bad decisions. The military stripped me of those freedoms; it was a giant coercion machine. It demanded I conform to certain beliefs and behaviors, which, at age seventeen, was beneficial.

Berlin believed people should not be tampered with or coerced. But he went on to say that giving children total freedom means they may “suffer the worst misfortunes from nature and from men.” Therefore, he believed, kids need a higher authority who knows better than they do in order to set boundaries. Restricting some freedom is essential for children to grow up, or, in the case of my enlistment, recover from the process of growing up.


  1. Harper’s Notes says:

    Women without children. The dominating group in the Democratic Party. Frustrated maternal instincts turned on the society at large, and those who do have children buying into the marketing promoting helicopter parenting. Maternalism and paternalism instincts turned into and amplified by culture. Women running the Human Resources Departments. DEI initiatives creeping upward in the levels of power in society. Now a worldwide phenomena and pervasive in the thinking of the one world government ideology. An idea that has been gnawing at my thinking, becoming increasingly more salient over time. Seeing it almost everywhere now.

  2. Jim says:

    Childless women are indeed the Regime’s most unwaveringly loyal footsoldiery.

  3. Albion says:

    The number of politicians without children is another troubling aspect of our modern world, yet they eagerly rush to make judgement on those who do as well as utterly failing to understand how the young, developing mind works.

    Not a great recipe for our future.

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