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Monday, March 21, 2016

Freedom-much abused and misused word

Freedom- cries for freedom?

Freedom has more to do with the context and content, i.e. Freedom from what?

Why freedom at a particular time and place?

Which implies that it does not exist there?

What degree or intensity of freedom is required?

So, first freedom has to be defined in context.

Though there are many interesting definitions and quotes on freedom both brief as well as elaborate, I find the two following quotes go straight into the heart of the matter.

“Freedom is a condition of mind, and the best way to secure it is to breed it" says Elbert Hubbard, the same author further elaborates “freedom is the supreme good-freedom from self-imposed limitation".

This I feel is a very fair and acceptable definition of freedom in any context, for, most often freedom is hampered because of self –imposed limitations. 

These self-imposed limitations end up mostly as ideological identities under various banners like religion, culture, politics etc.

Nietzche said, "Freedom is the will to be responsible to ourselves".

I would like to add by extension ‘ourselves’ as part and parcel of the society at large wherein we exist and the mental attitude which emanates from our mind which is part of the universal  consciousness/ mind.
The word free too has two sides the brighter one goes in its root to the word love itself but the darker one is an adverb you get something free, not for free. To quote from ‘Word Nerd’ ‘freebooter is a pirate,” frees” the “booty” from a ship. The elements of freedom are free and doom, but when the word came into English, this combination meant “condition of being judged to be free” and doom then meant “deem”.
Regarding the word liberty, the etymology of the word liberty itself from the Latin words "Liber," "Libera," and "Liberum" -- with a Long I -- came from the root meaning, "to pour." From this, we get the word "Liberty" (hence pronounced with a short I), from the freedom we feel when we get drunk ,  a sort of feeling high .

 So a lot depends on what you pour and what gives a feeling of high. If the same word ‘liber’with a long I -- means, "to peel," [from which the word library is supposed to have come ] and the word liberal from latin liberalis  “ noble, gracious, munificient” and according to one of the best books on history ‘History for a united world’ that I have read long back by an author called Edward Herbert Dance  he mentions that the word liberty and liberal were used for nobles and the aristocrats and it indicated or referred more to ‘class privilege than anything else’.

This author incidentally writes “India was far advanced in many areas when the west was still groping about in dark ages”

So even taking it literally liberty depends on what gives you a feeling of high and it gets its identity with that and as indicated above in modern media labeling it gets identified with anything that is perceived as leftist socialistic concepts correctness and therefore, or to be more blunt and precise, because of that very reason there is nothing lofty about the word liberal itself.

Therefore, if someone says he is very liberal minded means exactly that ‘he is identifying himself with a concept of correctness as defined and determined by the leftist socialistic ideology and it varies from country to country, sometimes as in India within  different brands of left parties themselves. 

The left must be credited for mutilating even the very meaning of the word ‘liberal’  by the connotations that they have given it and the brand building exercises that they have carried on.

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