Do we really want to be free?

Do we really want to be free? The answer might change depending on how we define freedom. Is it freedom – no control at all we want or less control?  The broad and common definition of freedom is thinking and acting without any limitations and having a non-forced choice. Although as a concept, it is not fully satisfied with definitions. Now, back to the question.

I believe that everything happens for a reason – by this I do not mean to unveil my thoughts on creation and religious topics. Everything happens for a reason in the sense of cause and effect. So for example, I like speeding on the motorway every now and then and I would definitely be happier if there wasn’t any cops waiting to bust me. I would like to have less control – more freedom on this matter. However, I also know that besides revenue raising, the main reason cops fine people who speed is to prevent accidents which results in people’s lives. So if I want to speed the chances are I am not the only one. (German autobahns are an exception, I know).

What occurs in our mind when the mechanism of control begins is a need to accomplish something since “that’s what the rule says”, “that is the way it must be done”. For instance, individuals who encounter the need to control often justify their conduct by saying “it must be done precisely this way”. Extreme control is proven to be not working in all aspects of life from parents wanting their kids to do well at school to running governments like North Korea. Sometimes to achieve what control wasn’t capable of, we need the opposite: letting go – freedom.  Extreme freedom can be detrimental too. A determined level of responsibility must be preserved. An individual could have absolute freedom as long as he/she is not a part of the society and the choices made have no effect on other people.

 

Let’s take 1990’s Russia (any post-soviet country for that matter) to shine some light on the question. Soviet Union had just collapsed and the existing “government” was too busy handling their own business. At that time residents of the Mother Russia had little to no control. You could drive the way you like, create the business you like and do illegal activities as well. It wasn’t a blooming period by any means as factories and businesses were collapsing as well but freedom was pretty much there. People like my parents who are first hand witnesses tell that you could do anything you want. But so could criminals and people with ill minds. That’s where the problem starts. There was no serious police system (yaaay! from the anti police state crowd), no jurisdiction (is there jurisdiction is Russia now?) so evil and good were equally uncontrolled.

The fine line between control and freedom might exist at someplace in the world right now where no one complains about neither being too controlled or too free. I hope we all get the chance of experiencing such environment before long.

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