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September 22, 2020

What is freedom

Compulsion or Choice?

Is it freedom if you have no choice? Freedom, the autonomy, with no external coercion or ignorance, is hard to come by, even with the masses striving to paint it as real. Take the Corona Virus pandemic; for example, if you don’t wear a mask in public, it is seen as ignorance, yet wearing it, as some groups continue to push, is giving in to compulsion by forces such as the governments. It is only freedom if you are wearing it as a free choice, with free will, but determinism quickly counteracts such a stand since it is seen to arise from laws of nature or governments.

What’s Right for You?

Democracy isn’t freedom since what’s right for one group isn’t necessarily the same for the next. Some people mistake democracy with freedom as they can air their opinion, but forget that it doesn’t necessarily follow free will. The significance of freedom can’t be stressed enough, yet making it real isn’t that simple, a concern that the current pandemic is making apparent. There are so many choices, yet your direction isn’t only driven by free will but also other considerations.

Contradicting Sides

While their core is fighting for freedom, we’ve seen contradicting groups, especially during the demonstrations. Like those utilizing the banners with the popular phrase “Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death,” some groups seem to be fighting the government, stating that they feel offended by the authoritarian lockdown policy. On the other hand, other groups are calling for people to remain at home to combat the spread of Covid-19.

Affording a Choice

Locking down the economy might seem like the only choice to protect people from the virus, but what portion of the population can afford it? Established brands, while feeling the hit, aren’t suffering as much as small-scale businesses. Furloughing employees exposes them to uncertainty since rent is due, they need food, and other basic needs to survive, yet the rich don’t seem to realize such concerns. They can afford to stay for months without touching their emergency fund, while those who aren’t as rich can hardly afford a meal if they go a month without an income.

Not a Simple Analogy

So, is staying at home to avoid catching the virus real freedom? How can you make it real? Would you rather die of hunger than get out and work while risking catching the deadly virus? This simple analogy isn’t that straightforward after all, showing how hard understanding real freedom is, how almost impossible it is to achieve it, the compromises we have to make to enjoy some freedom without affecting others.

Can it be Absolute

Governments can’t serve absolute freedom, even in the most democratic situations. You can’t live without making some compromises either, meaning that unconditional freedom is out of the question, even without factoring in determinism considerations such as fate, the Will of God, or the gods. Instead of dwelling on pushing for complete freedom, yet you can hardly strike a common cord with other forces in all situations, it would be better to accept and adapt. Accepting this makes it easier to lead a more enjoyable, free, and peaceful life.

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