A realistic, contemporary interpretation of “the ideology of being free”, or Freedom was put up in one of the mailing lists. It is a transparent and dialectical analysis of freedom, rather than being superfluous and unrealistic. It goes as follows:
Is a jobless man who is starving, free? Is an illiterate, ignorant person, shut off from the world of books and culture, free? Is a man chained to a job 52 weeks a year with never a few days off for rest, vacation, and travel, free? Is a man continually beset with worries about making ends meet, free? Is a man in constant fear of losing his job, free? Is a talented person unable to afford the school-ing which would help his talent flourish, free?
Only the rich are able to enjoy freedom in its broader sense of abundance, security, leisure. The poor are not free. There is a struggle to share the freedom.
After reading these lines, I, conversely started contemplating the ever existent, but, the subdued urge to set ourselves free from various forces binding us to rigidity, in various forms and to different extents.
I believe, the quest to Freedom manifests itself in people, at different strata, to different extents, based on which of their needs are fulfilled and which aren’t. It is more dependent on the social coordinate of each individual in this ever expanding, disparity prone framework of the society. The urge to break free from shackles, which hold back an individual is the strongest amongst the suppressed people, who in most cases, aren’t in a position to exercise their will because of their disadvantageous socio-economic position.
Freedom, as a matter of fact is not absolute- contrarily it is highly relative, varying from individual to individual, section to section.
For instance, a person who is not able to cater to his basic needs envisages a freedom which would break the gradient between the inhibitors and the needy. Likewise, a mind which is constrained by the lack of any true value or purpose in the society, would want to break free from the rigid shackles of ignorance into cognizance.
These are natural traits in us, which most of the times are expressed only when the suppression breaks beyond a threshold, which again varies with individuals.
But again, most of the time, even when we are aware of the need to be free from such constraints, we seem to grow numb towards this urge, mostly because of the compromises we make in life to keep our wants fulfilled.
We end up being servile in one aspect or another, to something or the other.
This is the Irony of Freedom, constantly haunting each one of us!