Tag Archives: debate

The Illusion of Freedom

I’m not American, but I think we all know what this symbolises.

Freedom is dead. In actuality, it never existed.

A staple of Western society, regardless of whether you are British, American, Australian, etcetera, is that there is the commonly held belief that our society gives us far more freedoms than in other societies. We are not members of small, overtly religious, developing societies, and are thus we see ourselves as free from the many violations of freedom that plague them: religious persecution, persecution on the basis of sexuality, race, or ethnicity, the restriction of free speech or whatever else.

Except there are many freedoms we’ve given up, living in a Western world. As highlighted in a blog post by everwriting, it is difficult to speak freely in a world where every defence of your beliefs is read as an attack, and where the media jumps at the opportunity to create political sh*tstorms for money. Perhaps people are not usually killed, but they are socially devastated in attempting to exercise this freedom, from Anita Bryant to Aiden Burley to Peter Norman. It shouldn’t matter that you disagree because speech should, in a society that prides itself on freedom, be free. And quite often, it isn’t. Because of the media, because of political correctness (any English person will understand exactly what I mean there), because of human nature.

Moving away from speech, often freedom is bypassed even in democratic governments; racial profiling is blatant even in supposedly multicultural countries; ¬†and companies spy on you with or without your consent. Gays cannot join certain societies, blacks cannot join certain societies, gender-exclusive societies and clubs prohibit the unwanted sex from joining. Those born with silver-spoons in their mouth or in the right families, are able to join societies and experience things others of a “lower class” never can or will. This may seem a problem of equality to some, but there is a fine line between freedom and equality in my book. And this world has neither. Governments will tell us that we do, we may convince ourselves in the day-to-day running of our lives, but the truth is freedom has never been ours. Along with the growth of society, we may have developed new levels of tolerance and been moved to feats of greater audacity, but our freedom is still as restricted as in other cultures of the world. As we progress we’ve become victims of modern incursions on our liberty, and things have really only stayed the same: we’re victims to the illusion of freedom.

If you agree or disagree, or have any other points to make, feel free to leave a comment below and I’ll reply.

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