Political ‘Freethinking’ is, unfortunately, a philosophy that is not commonly known or understood fully.
Freethinking is, simply put, holding the position that reason, logic, evidence and objective analysis should supersede authority that is based on tradition, religious canonization, or dogmatic ideology.
In addition, and in modern terms, political freethinking attempts to thwart the left-right dichotomy and transcend partisanship through a rigorous effort of exhibiting critical, evidence-based thinking free of external manipulation.
This premise is challenging as political currents have a tendency to pull individuals into collective bodies of thought.
For example, a conservative Republican who has a specific progressive idea (such as minimum wage increase) has a propensity to abandon or passively ignore the belief, that deviates from the perceived purist ideology, in order to align more wholly with the group.
Conversely, a progressive Democrat who holds a belief that is thought to be more conservative (such as adhering to 2nd amendment principles) is more likely to conceal their stance on guns because it challenges progressive orthodoxy and they may fear being mocked or ridiculed.
This behavior reverts back to an evolutionary pattern (seen in early human tribalism) where an individual follows the pack in order to ensure their survival. Upsetting the herd would risk, to the individual, becoming an outcast, thus reducing their chances at eating, mating etc.
We refer to this as the ‘Hive Mind‘; the notion that complexities should be simplified and participants should work collectively in order to achieve the greatest possible outcome; targeting the ultimate goal of the hive.
In terms of evolution and outcomes (such as in business), there is proposed benefits of collective or ‘hive mind’ behavior, as published by the Oxford Saïd Review.
In politics, the hive mind concept is largely criticized as having an overtly socialistic foundation that, while theoretically utopian, inadvertently leads to authoritarianism.
A popular satire and critique of Stalinism (the hive mind) is George Orwell’s 1984, which takes us into a sensationalized, albeit strangely realistic, world of horrific totalitarianism.
Freethinking doesn’t necessarily aim to diametrically oppose a ‘greater outcome’ theory, however, challenges the methodology of obtaining such results.
Humans are not intrinsically individualistic or collectivist, but rather possess elements of both simultaneously. In essence this is the great human schism, the birth of politics and the impossible question: “how should we govern?”
The freethinker attempts to answer that question through deep contemplation utilizing carefully analysed data, intrepid reasoning and objectivity whilst maintaining a realistic, although troubling, viewpoint that there is no ubiquitously satisfying conclusion.
Political philosophy, based on the idea of maximizing individual liberty while maintaining a balance of functionality, has given rise to many political theories: Democracy, Libertarian Socialism, Anarcho-Capitalism, Marxism ( Anarcho-Communism), Agorism, Objectivism and a plethora of different schools of socioeconomic thought.
The art of Political Freethinking evolves into a mastered state when the individual exhibits the ability to study various political theory and questions not only the beliefs of others, but their own beliefs as well.
Questioning your own beliefs is imperative to freethinking.
One such technique of freethinking is derived from a Freudian theory of surrealism:
Try this: sit in a room by yourself, turn off the world around you, no tv, no phones, no music, no god, no ghosts, nothing, just you and the silent darkness. Clear your mind, erase all previously established beliefs, then ask yourself questions to which you give 100% honest answers to. Turn on the lights, write down the questions and the answers you gave with the intention that you will never show another living soul your responses (this allows you to be fully honest because there is no fear of criticism.)
Optionally, when you are in a group with your friends (at a party or discussion group etc.) have someone ask one of the questions that you asked yourself during your experiment and have everyone, including yourself, vocally answer.
See how, or if at all, your response changes from when you were alone to when you were in the group.
This is the art of freethinking: to think and form ideas without manipulation or contrivance of previously established doctrines or institutions of thought, and without fear of others or yourself.