Aldi: Hey Rick, if you wanted to become the president, which promise would you make to your people, peace or freedom?
Rick: I’d promise to work toward both.
Aldi: Try to imagine a society on Earth where all the humans have real peace. What would that be like?
Rick: Well, there would be no more wars, no conflict of any kind. Everybody would get along, respect each other, and live together in harmony. I guess that’s the thinking behind those “Coexist” bumper stickers you were asking me about.
Aldi: Now try to imagine a society on Earth where all the humans have real freedom. What would that be like?
Rick: I guess there wouldn’t be nearly as many rules and regulations. People would be able to live in whatever way seems right to them. They would live by their own consciences. That’s the idea behind that flag with the snake on it and the words “Don’t Tread on Me.”
Aldi: It seems to me that human societies cannot have both. A society that tries to ensure real peace would have to exert tremendous control over the citizens in order to maintain it. And a society that tries to give its citizens real freedom would have to allow violence to occur. It comes into my mind that the best you humans can achieve is a balance of partial peace and limited freedom.
Rick: Okay, if I wanted to become the president, I would promise to find that balance.
Aldi: You could promise it, but you would never find it because a partial peace is not true peace, and a limited freedom is not real freedom. And every time you moved toward one, you would lose some of the other.
Rick: Your point?
Aldi: Just an observation. It is part of the human dilemma.
Rick: What human dilemma?