Some have described freedom as something of the inner-self. They have argued that a person chained in a dungeon is free if he allows his imagination to set himself free. An alternative view is that freedom is a condition external to the mind: that we can dream all we want but that we're not free unless we are unchained.
Freedom can be described as power over odious circumstances. Unfortunately, such freedom for individuals requires money. We are freer if we have the power to buy what we want, including transportation to wherever we please. An opposing idea attracted some to Marxism, collective rather than individualistic: collective power over odious circumstances without an individualistic need of money.
Freedom can also be associated with access to knowledge. Knowledge allows us more choices, and freedom is about being able to make choices. People are more free if they have a body of ideas to choose from in deciding what church to belong to or whether to be free of any association with a religious organization or institution.
Politically, people are free if they can choose who they want as their leaders. And individuals within a community have more freedom if by law the community protects their right to information, including a free press.
Some people have disliked making political choices and have found refuge in figures of authority. They have preferred dictation to freedom.
Copyright © 2004-2011 by Frank E. Smitha. All rights reserved.