A very sharp student in my high school class posts:
It seems to me that one of the greatest concepts discussed throughout the whole of human existence is freedom. People are fascinated by the concept: A concept so powerful that it seems to permeate the core of our very belief. The freedom of speech, religion, right to a fair trial, or even to view source code to a program. No other singular word seems to carry the weight or impact of “free” or “freedom.”
Yet, for something that we seem to hold so dear, I question, does it really even exist? Because it seems to me that no one in modern day society is “free.” We are all bound by rules, guidelines, routine. We can’t just “get up and go”, there’s always something holding us back. Right now it’s school or parents, in the future it will be a job, a sense of economic security, or even our children or loved ones. We are all prisoners: bound by emotion and expectations from others and ourselves. Just because the walls aren’t physical doesn’t make them any less real. None of us are free.
So, I ask. What’s all the hype this…idea…if it doesn’t really even exist?
Is being able to do whatever you want whenever you want regardless of the effects upon others “freedom”? Surely there is room for rules, guidelines and routine. What matters is if those patterns exist to perpetuate oppression or are born from common sense. For instance, it would be strange to argue that lowered speed limits in school zones infringes upon one’s freedom. Sure, one could argue so if feeling obstinate. But any serious person would consider such a rule to fit perfectly well with a free society.
The question of freedom “existing” or not is interesting though. What does exist is oppression – proof abounds. Perhaps then, freedom is not something that exists but rather what is when oppression is not.