Home Freedom is Impossible

Freedom means: that one has no restrictions whatsoever; that one can do whatever one's will aspires to do; and that there will be no need to fight for it. While this might sound like an ideal world and one to strive for, one will find that it is inextricably contradicted in its foundation.

To gain perspective I will look at this problem first from a very basic point of view. The existing world around us that simultaneously is the source of all our pleasure, pain, and sustenance, has certain universal and unalterable rules. For instance, one cannot decide to null the effects of gravity or relinquish one's need for food. Therefore, we cannot say that a person can have absolute freedom, but freedom within boundaries. (Unless you are a god or a computer programmer.)

Figuring into the equation that absolute freedom is unattainable within our reality, we must now take a look at our current Liberal Democracy and the validity of the freedom which it bases its existence on and protects so vigorously. In our society, we have many restrictions on our actions, whether they are laws or social expectations. Each of these restrictions is in place to keep us from infringing upon other's supposed freedom and the number of restrictions is ever increasing. This morning I was listening to the radio and heard about a rural situation where neighbors had been complaining about the noise level of a nearby farm operation. The farm had been using air cannons to protect their crops from birds and other wildlife and the neighbors were complaining that it was disturbing their quiet and serene surroundings. Obviously no one can disagree that in our society everyone has the right to farm, but also the right to a nice and not overly sound polluted neighborhood. What then is the course of action to be taken in this situation, disregarding whether the farm or residents were there first because there are many issues that represent both cases? I would say that the farm takes precedence over the residents because it performs a vital task whereas the residents are just looking for creature comforts, but that is not my point. My point is that even with restrictions, we will never reach a state where everyone's freedom is respected and none are infringed upon until the restrictions entirely stop us from doing any action for fear of treading on someone else's chance to do a similar or related action. Therefore, if everyone is free to do what they want but not to take from others even the chance of certain actions then no one can do anything at all. Freedom is enslavement.

The more we look at civil conflicts arising in our world today, the more this point will be proven. Instead of finding compromises for each of these situations, which in effect are quick fixes, we must look at the fundamental problems of our society. We are plugging the holes in our poorly built dam, as they appear ever increasingly, when we should be strengthening the foundations and opening the floodgates.

We find out that freedom is not a right, but a privilege. A privilege gained by those with power. Freedom is yet another quality found in each person that differs in quantity. Just like how aptitudes and skill-sets differ between individuals, so does freedom. A person who can impose fear can coerce action even from an unwilling subject and therefore has freedom to dictate his will to them. Also, a well-respected person can create crowd reactions of disproportionate magnitude to an average person and so has freedom to speak out with more confidence no matter whether his ideas are smart or stupid, because he has the crowd behind him to back up his actions. These are but simple examples of power and the freedom it gives, but the point is still true.

So if a world where everyone has freedom is not one to strive for, then what world is? When we say we are working towards a better world, we mean we are working towards a better system to control, judge, and instill our actions. I would move that organic systems are a good place to start in order to derive governmental style and social order and what better than the human body as a subject.

The first thing to notice about the body is that each system is dependent upon and works with all other systems. If each facet of the body could think, it would recognize that it owes its very existence and purpose to the body and that it must always work for the greater good of the body rather than its own immediate personal gains. Also, one will notice that only the head controls the body because it is the only one with the capacity to control. If democracy were tested on a body, it would fail horribly because each organ would want to do a different task than each other organ and they could never reach consensus. The stomach would want to eat as much as possible to give it work; the eyes and ears would want to see and hear as much as possible; all the muscles would be tensing erratically to strengthen themselves. There would be no unified purpose and nothing keeping the body healthy. Most people will point out that what I'm talking about is similar to a dictatorship and I will admit that they are right in their conclusions. And despite the numerous failed and hated dictatorships that have existed I stick to my point.

Going back to the body, we must take a look at the mind/body relationship. Again, we must notice the mutual dependence between the two and that each serves a unique and specialized purpose with which each of them could not do without. The mind does control the body absolutely, but it must also care for its health as a whole and service its many needs. In turn the body serves the minds will and has its needs taken care of. So must be the same with any workable government/populace relationship.

If we derive our system from the body and how it functions then we come out with a highly segregated system where each small group performs a specific and specialized task and work in tandem with other groups all coordinated by the leading group.But what has been thoroughly examined has been the legitimacy of the democratic society and its promised freedom, which I hope I have shown to be an unsound blind rhetoric.

April 19, 2007

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