ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

What Is Freedom and Why Are People Willing to Die for It?

Updated on February 13, 2018
MSantana profile image

She loves to write about science, the natural world and peoples questions about life. She has degrees in Biology, botany and Ecology.

By Mirna Santana

What is freedom?

"Freedom is the right to choose: The right to create for yourself the alternative of choice. Without the possibility of choice a man/person is person but a member, an instrument, a thing ."--Archival McLeish

What does freedom means to you?

Do you feel any constraint at the present moment? Do you experience any restrictions, economical, political, physical mobility? Are you restricted in your ability to make choices?

Even those who are free appear to experience lack of freedom. Usually we think that a person who is not free is perhaps enslaved or deprived of its freedom because of his/her own doing, or because of their ideologies, issues of power or other factors--yet that is not always the case. Many people who are walking ''free" on the streets around the world experience some type of restrictions of their freedom. I have feel restricted at times, perhaps you too have experience the sense of being impeded of making your own choices. But, is it possible that at least in some cases you selected against your own freedom?

Why does people feel restricted? One reason, in the existence of governments, and the laws that restrict or limit our choices. Societies, at least the so call democratic societies, select their own governance systems--but the individual may not feel that he/she had a saying regarding certain regulations. Besides that, society or our cultural/family upbringing also play a role in the ways we experience freedom or lack of it. An example of these is when people are restricted of certain behaviors because of religious beliefs.

Albert Camus said that freedom is nothing but the opportunity to better ourselves. And if that is so, we may wonder why people would choose to conduct themselves in ways that prevent them from being 'free', according to our definition of freedom. Why do we fail to understand freedom as one of the greatest truths Ashley Montagu wondered. Is there something intrinsically wrong with us, or those who don't recognize freedom as their human right?

The idea of freedom of one individual may clash with the idea or boundaries of another individual or the society. Individuals may be in conflict with certain rules of society but not all. Society seeks to provide norms for the majority, which may cause conflict to the few or even to most people to different degrees. The sole existence of regulations troubles those who reject authority. And those who reject the norms sometimes have the power to change the societies they live in. They may also have the power to move a society into another state. Interestingly enough, the portion of society that disagree or disregard the rules or seek to change them, may include a broad spectrum of people, the leaders as well as the criminals.

Ramsey Clark points out that there is no real conflict between liberty and safety. We either have both or neither. Thomas Jefferson also thought that there is a sort of dance between freedoms and restriction of freedom--and the members of the society decide when to let go and when to withheld 'freedom'. He said,

"The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground."

It is even paradoxically that institutions such as the military systems that prepare individuals to 'fight for freedom'--also restrain these people's freedom. I wonder if they do realize so.

It looks like there are several ways to experience freedom. The citizen freedom of speech guaranteed by constitutional rights, by the laws of the nations--supposedly. Yet, to guarantee such rights the governments have policies and agencies to enforce them. The police, the especial agencies, the military systems that not only are enforcers, but also act in some cases as instigators of fear. These systems are set up in ways that people give up their freedom almost without thinking or realizing it. Sometimes people are grateful for the way the are protected--and coerced at the same time. In the US, the Patriot Act represents this giving up of freedom in exchange of security. Yet, there are innumerable manifestations of these principle across a diverse array of societies around the world.

Mark Twain says that ''It is by the goodness of God that in our country [or the world]--we have those three unspeakably precious things: freedom of speech, freedom of conscience, and the prudence to never practice either of them."

Are we humans train to self-restrain ourselves or give up our freedom of choice?

And is it the freedom of my neighbor also my limitation? Benito Juarez a Mexican president said, the respect for other peoples rights means peace. Are we always willing to respect others people boundaries? If we would do so there would not be conflicts or war. Sometimes we walk on the invisible boundaries that are the sacred spaces of our family, our neighbors, or our friends without even noticing it...until it is late.

Perhaps, this happens because we do not know better. Frank Kafka said that we are free and that is why we are lost. Freedom is undefinable, and learning what it means for us is part of our living.

We fear to lose our freedom, yet if we are already free nobody could rob us from being who we are. This type of thinking is called by some people, philosophical, spiritual or the freedom of the human spirit. It implies a state beyond the physical or perhaps constraint by the physical. This kind of thinking allowed many people to survive restrictions of physical freedom, for example the holocaust.

Please, tell me what freedom means to you? Are you free? Are you feeling controlled by economical or other power system or by another person? Is that a physical restriction or a psychological or self-imposed restriction?

Are you free but you feel lost? Are you growing your understanding about the responsibilities of being free? Because being free is not easy. Former prisoners sometimes commit minor crimes to go back to the structured system that had just released them. Erich Fromm said "Man achieve freedom from--without yet having achieved freedom to--to be himself, to be productive, to be fully awake." Where are you? Are you reclaiming your freedom to be you?

Notes: The quotes are from Peter's Quotations, ideas for our time. William Morrow and Co. 1977




© 2012 MSantana

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • MSantana profile imageAUTHOR

      MSantana 

      6 years ago from Madison Wisconsin

      Thanks for commenting. Flankin was tough...perhaps we all have been there. After all we consent or our parents do for us to go to school, to make lines, to do things we consider 'normal', yet perhaps that is a way we contribute to peace.

    • Elenin profile image

      Elenin 

      6 years ago from So Cal

      As regards the [anti]Patriot Acts I submit the following;

      “They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.” Attributed to Ben Franklin 1775

      As for Freedom;

      “Freedom is just another word for nothing left to lose.” Written by Kris Kristofferson and Fred Foster, 1968

      My own thoughts on worldly freedom oscillate between the two. Interesting and thought provoking article +. What does freedom mean to you?

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)