Posted by: keepfishing | March 19, 2008

Freedom: A Question


Like last week’s question, I’ve heard this word banded about in several different contexts and with several different presuppositions about what it actually means.

If this post gets even half the response of the other one, I’ll be well chuffed, so once again, it would be great if you could leave your personal answer to the question:

  What is true freedom?


  1. Greetings.

    Freedom is Checkpoint Charlie, Berlin, November 9, 1989, with American Rock ‘n’ Roll blasting from West German boom boxes sticky from cheap half-dried East German champagne.

    Freedom is the freedom to write a letter to the Editor of La Nacion Costa Rica calling that country’s President a “son of a bitch”, and receiving a reply, in the same forum, two days later calling you an SOB, signed, El Presidente.

    Freedom is the freedom that prisoner Solzhenitsyn shared with his captors, the freedom to be free of enslaving lies and to live instead in the light of Truth.

    “Give me freedom and a day,” wrote Emerson, “and I shall make the pomp of emperors ridiculous!”

  2. The ability to act of your own volition, to choose the way you spend your time, to make your own way forward even if those choices lead to hardship, mistakes or failure. That’s my idea of freedom.

    From a physical standpoint, your picture gives a good impression. I think of throwing my arms wide in a beautiful place and taking deep breaths of clean air. That feels like freedom.

  3. It may be useful to point out that the Englishmen who led the American rebellion used the words “liberty” and “freedom” in consistently distinct contexts. To put it only a little simplistically, “liberty” meant the absence of unjust restraint FROM doing something, whereas “freedom” meant the affirmative capacity TO DO something. In nautical terms I suppose, liberty meant unmoored; freedom was a bristol wind in the spinnaker.

  4. Being able to live and do what you were made for.

  5. Yay! I LOVE that!

  6. “Man is born free, but everywhere he is in chains.”

    Jean-Jacques Rousseau.

    So from this, everything you inherit in this world is a hindrance on your freedom. To do what you were made to do, does not mean you are truely free. It may be as free as you will be, this side of death.

  7. I don’t think this question is so far removed from the last one our esteemed fisherman posed us. I guess the extent to which we have progressed is the extent to which we have become individually and collectively free. A lot of what Ms Wordcrafter posted in that thread would apply here. I saw someone post recently on another site under the nic “freethinker 05”. This did not strike me as very free.

    So far, people seem to have focussed mostly on the freedom to. Being a cynical bastard, I tend to think in terms of the freedom from.

    I have a pretty impressive capability for periodic mental and emotional self destruction. I’d like to be free from that.

    There are times when guilt or insecurity or fear prevent me from expressing myself how i’d like to, from doing the heroic or affirming thing i want to do, from taking a chance and seeing what it leads to – from really living life. I want to be free from the negative stuff, so that i’m free to experience and to share the positive stuff.

    I think when we get a sense of physical freedom and euphoria in the middle of a dancefloor, or in the middle of a field on a beautiful sunny day, when we’re breathing clear air, it’s because we subconciously recognise those sensations as the physical equivalents of the spiritual/sociological/psychological freedom that we’re all seeking. Its like a signpost or a glimpse of another world.

  8. Something that doesn’t involve being American, from what I can gather.

  9. EEK! That wasn’t in response to any of the comments on here. It was in reference to a nightmare trip to Texas, earlier this year.

  10. […] very nature of ‘culture’, with no firm conclusions. So, in the nature of some recent posts, where I’ve asked some questions and got wonderfully wide and varied responses, I want to […]

  11. Actually, Man is born in sin. Especially that J-J Rousseau guy. Oy vey, what a cad.

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