Social Question

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Are we free?

Asked by RealEyesRealizeRealLies (30874points) May 18th, 2013

Please denote your country, and region. Do you feel as though you live in a free society?

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23 Answers

snowberry's avatar

USA. Less free every single day.

filmfann's avatar

United States Left Coast.

I feel free.

ragingloli's avatar

As you well know, appearances can be deceiving, which brings me back to the reason why we are here. We are not here because we are free. We are here because we are not free. There is no escaping reason; no denying purpose. Because as we both know, without purpose, we would not exist. It is purpose that created us, purpose that connects us, purpose that pulls us, that guides us, that drives us; it is purpose that defines us, purpose that binds us. We are here because of you, Mr. Anderson. We are here to take from you what you tried to take from us. Purpose.

syz's avatar

US, all things are relative, and yes, we have incredible freedoms.

dxs's avatar

USA is free enough for me. Actually, I’d like a bit more freedom…like being free to smoke marijuana and marry whomever you want.

Pachy's avatar

Southwest USA, and yes, I feel free. Through the years I’ve been able to do more and more things that made me realize how free—not less free—I am.

zenvelo's avatar

US, neighbor of @filmfann (next town over). I’m as free as a bird, now

marinelife's avatar

We pay a price in personal freedom to live in a society. But it is our free choice to do so. US.

cookieman's avatar

No, but we’re cheap.

Okay, serious answer
US, NorthEast
Honestly, I have no idea. I feel pretty free, but I know I’m not. I have to work and follow the rules there. I live in a community, which has rules. There’s state and federal laws. Societal expectations, familial responsibility, and two pets to care for. So, ultimately no — not free. Just a reasonable facimily thereof.

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

I feel free, most of the time when I am abroad, especially at sea. Stateside among Americans? Not so much. It’s hard to explain to young people. It’s easier to understand if one has lived and closely witnessed America for the past 45 years or so.

There is an old Abbott and Costello routine. Abbott spends the last of their money on a hamburger, leaving Costello with a magazine page on which there is a picture of a steak. As Costello drools at the hamburger that Abbott is eating, Abbott explains that it is all mind over matter. He tells Costello to eat the magazine page. Costello hesitantly brings the page to his mouth. Abbott encourages him, complaining that all he has to eat is a lousy hamburger while Costello has a big beautiful steak. Costello chews the page and swallows.

We have all become Costello. We eat the illusion as we starve. We eat and evacuate “freedom” and “liberty,” “compassion” and “justice”—the words, not the real things. The more Abbott says “steak,” the less its truth. The more that words such as freedom and liberty—and truth—fill the air like the cloying redolences of cheap plastic deodorizers, the more endangered and suppressed are freedom, liberty, and truth in fact. They become like the “spring bouquet” and “mountain wildflowers” of the deodorizer—a stench of artificiality, a lie. But unlike Costello, we have come to enjoy our meal. We have been conditioned to consume it with a pleasant and politically correct smile. It has become the only blandness our systems can take. And the more that empty words take the place of things – the more they come not to denote, but to supplant. So, fuck all those that pay lip service to Henry Thoreau’s essay Resistance to Civil Government, or to their own imagined individuality, while meekly obeying whatever obnoxious regulations authorities impose, for they are the impotent, the guilty, they are those who condemn us to eating facsimiles. They are us.

If this seems to be an extremist statement, let two things be remembered: that extremes are reached through increment; and that the dead cells of liberty, like the tresses of a corpse, seem to flourish awhile after death. The illusion lingers.

Blackberry's avatar

Yes, being from the U.S., I have so much freedom I don’t know what to do with it lol.

pleiades's avatar

No. I was born into a world of capitalism. 1987. If I could have it my way, I’m pretty sure a life in a hunter gatherer society would be much more amazing and satisfying. I think people would see beauty in nature and be more appreciative of that.

jerv's avatar

US, Seattle area.

Relatively, but only because the Conservatives haven’t taken over. If the South or even Eastern WA have their way, there will be no freedom for us non-Christian, pro-choice people who don’t care what consenting adults do in the bedroom.

bossob's avatar

This is Social, right? Now that I’ve read this entire thread, I wonder why some smart ass hasn’t mentioned that ‘freedom’s just another word for nothing else to lose’. I must be missing something!

The older I get, the more free I feel as the obligations and responsibilities fade away.

U.S. west coast

poisonedantidote's avatar

No, not by a long shot.

If we were truly free, there would be some part of the planet, that is a neutral zone for those who want to opt out of being governed. The way things are at the moment, you are forced to belong to one country or another.

With nationality being obligatory and taxation being an obligatory part of having a nationality, we are all more or less just cattle. We have birth certificates for all the livestock, police to control them and make them follow the rules of the politicians, and there is no way to opt out of the system.

You are forced to belong to a tribe/club/nation, but told you are free because you can move to any nation, a clever way of saying “choose what farm you want to be owned by”. We are then told we are free to choose who the farmer is going to be, and that we can vote, totally distracting from the fact that some of us simply don’t want leaders of any kind.

I just got finished watching Euro Vision a while ago, so I am in an more anti establishment mood than usual. Euro Vision, it almost seems like a show cooked up by a crazy dictator that wants to be worshiped and have his ego massaged by deciding who wins.

Every single aspect of your life is organized for you, and you are nothing like you would have been, had you have been born in the wild.

As soon as you are born, the “brainwashing” begins. By the time you are 5 years old, you are almost totally conditioned to the world that has been created for us. Then education starts, and that just reinforces everything and gets you fully wired in to the system.

In my opinion, everything is just bullshit that was made up by abandoned children. We are born mindless children, and told that our parents are wise and know best. Time goes on, you get old, grow up, you have kids, your parents die, and now, you have totally traded places. You are now the parent, and now you have a kid.

See the thing is, you used to be a child, but now you are a parent, and you are supposed to know best, but you don’t know best. You are just a child, that stayed around long enough to grow a bit. No one has lived before, and for all of us, this is just our first life, our first go, our practice run, and only run.

If a 5 year old child walks in to a field, and claims the field is a country, it does not make the field a country.

If a million 5 year olds walk in to a field, and claim the field is a country, it does not make it a country.

If a million 8 year olds walk in to a field, and claim the field is a country, it does not make it a country, and if a million 12 year olds walk in to a field, and claim the field is a country, it does not make it a country.

So why, if a million people in their 30’s to 80’s walk in to a field and call it a country, they can actually make it so, and do paperwork, and make deals with other countries.

There is no such thing as a country, there is no such thing as law, there is no such thing as any of this shit that has been made up. It is all the fiction of some orphaned child that got big, making shit up as he goes along on his 1 practice run at being a human. And us, we are all forced to be a part of it, so no, we are not free.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

@poisonedantidote ”...there is no way to opt out of the system…”

I will not argue against that.

Would you argue against the idea that we do have enough freedom to change the system?

rooeytoo's avatar

I can’t think of anything I want to do that any law prevents me from doing. So I would say yep, I am free and I am grateful to be so.

LuckyGuy's avatar

US Rural NY. Yep I’m free – with responsibilities. I can go outside right now, in my underwear, and shoot a shot gun at the water jug I inadvertently left on the wood pile. I can even pee on the weeds next to the pile. If that isn’t freedom, what is?

For this freedom, I pay income tax and more than $7000 per year in property tax. I also put in quite a bit of my time and labor. Here’s what I did yesterday: lubricated the tractor and changed the battery, filed holes in the lawn and reseeded, moved the wood pile out of the roadway to the barn, cut up 2 downed trees that were blocking the path in the woods, pulled out the dead honeysuckle bush so we could plant a new one.
Plus I answered at least 6 work emails and 3 phone calls.

I am free to do all, or none, of it. But if I want to enjoy my home and the freedom that comes with it I must pay for it by working.

gailcalled's avatar

@LuckyGuy : Feel free to come and work on my property any time you want.

this_velvet_glove's avatar

Never been.
I live in Greece, by the way.

LuckyGuy's avatar

@gailcalled You know it would be a pleasure. I’d even take care of those pesky squirrels for you. The birds would love it.

Crumpet's avatar

I’m from the north of England. I don’t have a religion, although I was brought up to be somewhat catholic.
I can wake up in the morning, get on my bike, cycle through the country side. Do a bit of open water swimming. Get back home, have a nice cup of tea in the garden. Go to the pub, have a few pints. Etc etc.
When it comes to politics and things like that, I try not to think too deeply into it, or let it majorly affect my life.
I feel free.
Although you could argue that freedom is a state of mind, seeing as though we are all trapped in our own heads anyway. Ooh I’m getting deep now, I’m gonna stop.

Nullo's avatar

Let’s look at freedom of religion. Theoretically, people in my country can practice whichever faith they want, but there are limitations. For instance, human sacrifice is out, and there are always people pushing one ban or another – and in a country such as this, those people can modify what’s legal for other people, for good or ill. Ultimately you cannot have a separation of church and state: the state will always try to regulate the church, and the church will always try to steer the state, because they are both staffed with people who live in the same country.

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