united for freedom 

The Fear Of Freedom

The Fear Of Freedom is a fear of the costs we may create it is a fear of responsibility and a fear of accountability. There is however a cost to this fear. This essay is a look at why we have for so long endured a life that creates so many social costs. Animals live within a sphere of limited opportunity. The great social organizations of the insects are miracles of carefully controlled activity.  But is this sort of regulated existence appropriate for humans? Are we animals that require the same barriers and barricades that fix and guide the behaviouir of the lower orders?

This raises the question as to who is man; is he an animal or a higher creature? Are human beings the possessors of free will to be treated as if they were governed by instinct and not governed but by their own moral sense of what ought to be the case?

Freedom is something we all strive for in the abstract but abhor in the particulars of crime, waste, oppression and mayhem. We want freedom for ourselves yet fear the freedom of others and enjoy the security of a well-armed police force and justice system. This is the conundrum we all face, the paradox of freedom. We do wish to be free but we want the actions of others controlled. Even Libertarians, those champions of freedom when it comes to the free market never take the next step and advocate the abolition of government. Most people do not like government and hate paying taxes but few think anarchy is the solution. Those who fight for freedom shy away from its full realization.

No one like someone else telling them what to do. Our fear of freedom starts with our fear of freedom exercised by others and in rebellion against our parents and in less demonstative ways continues on throughout life as we fume against bosses or recalcitrant employees, to end with the quiet desperation of the old and infirm battling those who are required to assist them. We do not like it when we have to obey others and we do not wish to be beholden to others, to have others do for us more than we can do for them. So, we strive for equality and freedom without knowing what either means.

We struggle against inherent weaknesses and genetic disorders and the overwhelming might of reality to no avail. The struggle strengthns us but often it displays a weakness. There are two sides to freedom. There is wilful freedom and there is the freedom that comes with knowing right from wrong and submission to moral necessity. Wilful freedom is selfish, egotistical and often intolerent. It does not consider the consequences or cost because these are seen as hindrances and obstacles to freedom.

Civilization responded to the problem of misused freedom by creating leaders. Leaders are men with unusual degrees of freedom and power so they have the power to control the actions of those below them. Management by these kings and dictators was wilfull and sometimes petulant and even chaotic but it was in one sense predictable and localized. The costs created by this way of controlling freedom eventually caused mankind to introduce the rule of law and parliaments.

But law is a heavy tool by which to organize the delicate operations of civilization. So most people do not feel we have solved the quandry of freedom versus control. Many see the costs of control impact the planet in unfortunate ways. The ecological health of the planet provides a framework in which freedom can be exercised, the state of the planet gives direction and guidance to our search for freedom and the amount of control that ought to be imposed. The perfect health of the planet is a Utopian Dream that is yet realizable when quantified in terms of planetary equity. This focus can be localized by forming Exchanges. Exchanges are local environments or ecosystems given an equity value by those who inhabit the place. By doing that which increases the equity value of the Exchange the overall trend is to increase the equity value of the planet and over time realize a Rational Utopia.






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