- Historically, freedom has been a vital and mostly unanswered
question of mankind who has constantly endeavored to realize a free and
tranquil life, particularly in the developing world, where the abundance
and pervasiveness of natural resources almost sows the seeds for the emergence
of corrupt, illegitimate and despotic power and lays the groundwork for
a long-term instatement of totalitarianism and autocracy.
- The annals of our contemporary history are full of the
real fictions and stories of people who have bargained their life at the
expense of freedom, fulfilling the ambitions of nations and achieving sustainable
liberty. Struggling for freedom and helping the suffocated masses broadcast
their voice is a perennial catchphrase of wars and revolutions, so even
the hardliner monarchs and dictators know well how to use the motto of
- However, what does real freedom essentially look like?
Why do the candidates of Presidential and Parliamentary elections constantly
orchestrate the slogan of freedom to win the hearts and souls? Why the
international powers always employ the pretext of "liberating people"
in order to justify their military expeditions all around the world? Why
the unique catchword of popular advocates of human rights, political prisoners,
opposition leaders and social critics is the one-word pledge of "freedom"?
- Personally, I have for so long had the problem of defining
the concept of freedom and materializing it from an abstract perception
to a concrete and tangible reality.
- What we usually think of when emphasizing the inevitability
of freedom is rather an idealistic and impractical mindset about a liberal,
unrestricted and limitless society in which the residents, from the grassroots,
proletariat and workers to the rhetoricians, journalists, dissidents and
scholars are free to act, express and challenge in any way they want to.
So, what is the external incarnation of this "free" world where
the constraints and chains do not exist and people breathe in the air of
"freedom" and "liberty" perfectly?
- Can we basically mark out the example of an absolute
manifestation for such a free society where the people in authority would
not forcefully defy their opponents even faintly, the intellectual diversification
is not refuted and the dissident voices have the opportunity to be publicized?
- The inarguable hallmark of contemporary literature, Paulo
Coelho, stresses in his latest novel, Zahir, that the "absolute freedom
does not exist, what does exist is the freedom to choose anything you like
and then commit yourself to that decision."
- Richard H. Bube of the Stanford University argues that
basically, the "absolute freedom does not exist in the created universe",
because it fails to take into account objective reality; "absolute
freedom is characteristic only of chaos and is incompatible with order."
- The renowned British thinker and professor of the late
1850s, questions the same obscurity: "There are two freedoms - the
false, where a man is free to do what he likes; the true, where he is free
to do what he ought"
- So, freedom should be conceptualized in a realistic,
practical and possible manner. We must yield ourselves to the fact that
freedom, in is very existence is not free absolutely. By providing a definition
of any given subject, take freedom, you restrict it to a certain domain
which would not violate the other contextual areas and can be recognized
from the other meanings and definitions precisely.
- It's a universal fact that freedom, which conventionally
signifies "the condition of not being subject to restrictions, coercion,
or control, imposed by another person or society; to choose goals and actions
on one's own initiative", cannot be borderless and unrestrained, even
if the borders and limitations are infinitesimal.
- In his "How To Save Our Country" book, the
University of Arizona Professor Miklós Szilágyi exemplifies
the limitation of our freedom in a smart and conceivable way: "If
the actions of a person constitute a threat to the freedom of another person,
it is a justification for curtailing the freedom of the attacker... consequently,
absolute freedom does not exist. The destructive elements of freedom must
be constrained. Take, for example, smoking. Free people should not be restricted
if they wish to smoke. Other free people, however, who happen to wish to
breathe smokeless fresh air, should not be restricted, either. The solution
is evidently the designation of smoking and non-smoking areas in public
- Therefore, freedom would be defensible and worthwhile
as long as it does not undermine the freedom of others or violate their
rights. A free driver, for instance, may prefer to drive at the speed of
200 km/h in streets, which would be his "unalienable right" according
to the virtues of freedom; the right to act upon your own convenience and
desire, without the interference of others or their obstruction; however,
what would be the fate of passers-by who have equally the right to cross
that street safely, without being endangered or coerced by external forces?
- If we lift the ideology of logic from the whole equation,
we will devote the right to the driver to sprint with the speed of 200
km/h and the right to cross the street to the passer-by at a same time,
which is reasonably impossible. So we adopt the "law" and "regulation"
to prevent the disastrous incident from taking place, hindering the driver
to employ the atypical speed and saving the life of walker-by.
- Liberally, this would contradict the absolute freedom
which the mankind is supposed to be endowed with; nevertheless, we should
note that living in a material world, where we don't deal with mere reflectivity
and mentality, where we visualize our notions into action and where we
should "decide" ultimately, does have its own obligations and
observations. Even if we are led toward conservation, we have to brace
ourselves for the reality that freedom even has its own remarks.