Force is both the ideological and practical root of government, which is why all governments are fundamentally tyrannical, with “free” vs “oppressive” states measured merely in terms of degrees of force. That is, the amount of violence applied to compel individual compliance to the necessarily subjective, and therefore capricious, dictates of the State is the rubric for whether or not a State is considered a tyranny, not the absence of violent coercion, which is the only actual measure, I submit.
Now, the lower the degree of force would seem to indicate the reciprocal: a greater amount of freedom. However, this is not really the case. “Freedom” in a state which uses less overt violence to compel obedience suggests not more freedom, but merely less overt forms of control. This can be anything from subliminal or implied violence which never manifests because of fear, or more effective thought control–that is, a greater prevailing assumption amongst the populace that they are somehow free, in spite of the object and obvious fact that government, by nature and by design, depends upon the exact opposite. (On a side note, having a “Constitution” which “guarantees” specific individual freedoms, which the ruling class and its witting and unwitting advocates can reference when the state is accused of mendacious largess, and which ostensibly integrates individual freedom with the force of government even though these are clearly mutually exclusive concepts, is very helpful in spreading the specious notion of a free society under the absolute auspices of violent coercion.) In addition, I suppose it’s possible that less overt force might simply be due to the fact that the state hasn’t yet fully evolved into the inevitable (and therefore ipso facto) tyranny of which the philosophy undergirding it demands.
But here is why tyranny, regardless of how it may be perceived by the great unwashed masses, is always categorical at an given moment:
Force, as a metaphysical, epistemological, ethical, and political basis–that is, the rank philosophical foundation of government–is absolute, and thus the underlying real degree of tyranny is always complete. For without absolute tyranny, which I define as the fundamental “right” to compel behavior by force (violence), there can be no such thing as government. Remove force, and people are not organized by command, but by cooperation. And cooperating is NOT the same thing as being governed.
Under government, all human actions can occur only when the government allows it. This is total tyranny. Period. And because the auspices of violence are absolute by virtue of the underwriting philosophy, all actions of people existing within a society organized according to governing principles, which are rooted in the power of the state to force, are necessarily absolutely violently compelled.
Unfortunately, as long as people confuse comfort, or even “relative freedom”, with freedom, there will be no freedom.
As long as freedom is plotted on a bell curve, there can be no such thing.