What is freedom?
Is it ultimate free roam and free will?
Is it a state of chaos, of pure energy and movement?
How do you define it? What is the price of freedom?
More importantly, what are the responsibilities of those with freedom?
In human life today there is a perpetual struggle to stay ahead of the pack. We compete for test scores, promotions, degrees, funding, space in the line at the grocery store, you name it and we fight to own the majority share of it. Is this freedom? No.
We have not evolved over millenia to continue the same Darwinian existance we lived to begin with. This rules out the “free market” and capitalist systems of commerce and production as mechanisms for freedom. Animalistic opportunism is not freedom.
What if we lived in a system where all aspects of our lives were taken care of and we didn’t have to make choices about our lives and circumstances. What if these choices were made by those with more power than us? What if we all had the same houses and the same cars and the same food, but we recieved them for free? We would have all we needed to exist, but not all that we would want or desire. This is not freedom. Being beneath someone, having no control over your life or circumstances and having no choice but to simply exist is no real way to live.
Freedom is having responsibility for yourself in a society that will not take advantage of you, mistreat you or hold power over you. Freedom is taking responsibility for the production of the materials and objects you want and need in your life. Freedom is a community that nourishes intellect, creativity, compassion, diversity and true democracy.
Freedom is not the contents a shop window or a dinner in an expensive resteraunt. It is not the choice between designer shoes. Freedom is not religion and it is not racism, sexism, homophobia or bigotry of any kind. It is not a single mother working two jobs with no way out. It is not inaccessable health care or poisoned waterways or climate change or war. Freedom is not the dollars in your bank account or the cents in your swear jar. It is not corrupt politicians, it is not internet surveilance, it is not media monopolies or protest bans. It isn’t unaffordable education or private universities. It is not the house you own, the things you buy or the clothes you wear.
It is not the right to vote for someone to make their own decisions and say they’re yours.
Freedom is access to food without compromising the roof over your head. Freedom is self expression without forcing others to bow to it. Freedom is living in safety and equality with others. Freedom is a fulfilling career that contributes to society without money being involved. Freedom is free quality health care, healthy ecosystems and a healthy planet where we don’t fight in foreign countries for their mineral resources. Freedom is the separation of wealth and wellbeing. Freedom is self-representation, having your say, freedom of expression and information, it’s the right to unbiased reporting of the facts and the ability to protest if you disagree with the way things are. Freedom is quality free education, from early childhood to old age. It is a secure place to live, the freedom from needing to compare yourself to others via what material posessions you own.
It is the right to participate directly and equally with others in decisions that affect your community, your city, your region and your country.
Maybe even the world.
That’s true freedom.