Proposition LXXIII. The man, who is guided by reason, is more free in a State, where he lives under a general system of law, than in solitude, where he is independent.
The man, who is guided by reason, does not obey through fear but, in so far as he endeavours to preserve his being according to the dictates of reason, that is he endeavours to live in freedom, he desires to order his life according to the general good and, consequently to live according to the laws of his country. Therefore the free man, in order to enjoy greater freedom, desires to possess the general rights of citizenship.
Note.—These and similar observations, which we have made on man's true freedom, that every man should desire for others the good which he seeks for himself. We may also repeat that the strong man has ever first in his thoughts, that all things follow from the necessity of the divine nature; so that whatsoever he deems to be hurtful and evil, assumes that appearance owing to his own disordered, fragmentary, and confused view of the universe.
Wherefore he strives before all things to conceive things as they really are, and to remove the hindrances to true knowledge, such as are hatred, anger, envy, derision, pride, and similar emotions, which I have mentioned above. Thus he endeavours as far as in him lies, to do good, and to go on his way rejoicing. How far human virtue is capable of attaining to such a condition, and what its powers may be, I will prove in the following Part.