I’m as free as a bird

1 06 2013

Is freedom possible for human being?

Sure—conditionally. And there’s the rub.

dmf asked in response to the last post whether one could “step out of one’s socialization”, to which I can only say. . . I dunno.

As to “how does this work”, well, you can become aware of your socialization (if only partially), and as a result of that awareness alter your relationship to the forces which have shaped you. Is this awareness “freedom”? It could be, or it could simply be a precursor to said freedom.

It would seem to me that such awareness is necessary to an understanding of freedom in which the individual is able to make meaningful choices about her own being. This doesn’t mean she would have to go against her socialization, but it would mean that she would have to have some sense of other ways of being such that the decision to remain on the path on which she was set can be understood as a free decision.

Such a decision wouldn’t be absolutely free—“absolute freedom” is a nonsense concept—but it could (not necessarily would) be as free as any decision about human freedom. And that the decision is free doesn’t mean it wouldn’t be terrible or tragic: a person could freely choose a life of sacrifice or pain. If she knows she is choosing a life defined by hardship, she may choose it freely, nonetheless.

And that is my objection to closed systems: they block out knowledge of other ways of being. In  countries and cultures in which freedom is prized less than other values, such shuttering of the mind might be necessary, even laudable. Advocates of such systems are themselves free to argue in favor of closure, and I might understand why they’re making such arguments: tradition, truth, obedience, survival, even love.

But if the case for their way of being requires ignorance of other ways of being, it’s tough to see how they have any case at all.

Advertisements

Actions

Information

5 responses

2 06 2013
dmfant
3 06 2013
absurdbeats

Not a Fish fan. At some point he became less interested in excavating the underside of liberalism and more interested in poking liberals in the eyes. He might be enjoying himself, but as a reader I failed to get much out of it.

3 06 2013
dmfant

this was his earlier, more scholarly, work and worth reading I think.

4 06 2013
GeekHiker

“But if the case for their way of being requires ignorance of other ways of being, it’s tough to see how they have any case at all.” – Heh, isn’t that one of the basic tenants of political conservatives?

4 06 2013
absurdbeats

@dmf:Yeah, the insight-to-irritation ratio was much, much lower in his earlier work.

@gh: Now, now, don’t mistake a temporary political tactic for a general ideological disposition. . . .

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s




%d bloggers like this: