Day 102: Liberalism':
"Within liberalism it is believed that the individual can only “realise their potential” within being ‘free’. All individuals ought to enjoy equal freedom and within this is implied that people are only free to the extent that their freedom does not infringe that of others. Liberalism also likes to emphasizes freedom in the light of private matters and freedom as the absence of state interference. State intervention is often interpreted as undermining the individual’s liberty, which is why liberals are pro capitalism and proponents of free market economies."
The principle of individual freedom is used time and time again to prevent a way of organising society in a way that places the group above the individual.
So - we take a moment here to look at the question: what are these individual freedoms that are so important to be defended?
Apparently we are all immensely free and any proposition to focus our efforts towards the common good instead of individual pursuits of happiness would infringe on these freedoms. So, I took a moment to look at a human being's life and started wondering what all these freedoms are that people keep talking about.
Looking at a human being's life today, there really isn't that much people can 'choose' for themselves. You cannot choose to go to school, this is usually mandatory, you cannot choose to go to work, you have to go to work to make money. So - in terms of the basic structure of your life-path, it has already been laid out before us and there's nothing much you can do to change that at all.
So, what we can do is 'fill in the colours' - we can choose what we study. However, this choice is not exactly 'free' in the absolute extent, because what we study is often determined by intelligence, by money available by the parents or support structure and by the prospect of how much money you'll be able to make with a job once you've completed these studies.
We can also not exactly choose what job we want to do, because it depends on whether there are any vacancies available and if you can 'compete' with other people out for the same position.
So, what is left then? We can choose who we spend our life with, but even this is often determined by the need for financial security, where marriages often happen for money and not for 'love'.
Then, what does choice come down to?
To what we wear? Come on! What you wear is firstly determined by the size and shape of your body, by what is available in the stores, by what you can afford, by what is seen as acceptable in your social group of friends. And that's not even considering the limitations imposed by regulations that would deem certain ways of clothing to be offensive or 'too provoking'.
What brands we buy, maybe that's where our freedom lies. But what brands we buy is again influenced by our social environment and most of all by advertisements - where companies continuously brainwash us to think and believe that their brand is the best and buying their brand would make us happy. When we act on this brainwashing, is this the freedom that is spoken about?
Maybe our freedom is in what we do with our 'free time', like what hobbies and activities we partake in. But what we can do with our free time is again determined by the money we have available, what are talents and skills are.
Freedom could be picking out the next holiday-destination - but then again, can you really speak about freedom when you're talking about one or two weeks in a year where you are able to leave your home while the rest of the year you're forced to work?
Or maybe you mean that freedom is the ability to go vote once every so many years to choose the people to represent you in politics - but I mean, really - you only vote once every so many years and beyond that, you have no say.
I'm just trying to figure this out, you know - what everyone keeps talking about.
Let's take an Equal Money System as an example. You'll still be going through education and herein have a say in what you enjoy studying. You'll still work, although will only require to work for about 4 years and after that, it's up to you if you want to contribute or not. Your clothing will still be determined by what is available, except you'll have time to play with making your own clothes and be creative within it. You'll have a massive amount of free time where you can really dedicate time to what you enjoy doing, to developing skills and interests. You'll be able to decide who you live with and this time money won't even be a constricting factor. In terms of politics, you'll be involved in all decision-making, not just once every so many years. So - looking at all the freedoms we're so afraid of losing - you won't lose any in an economic system that is focused on the well-being of the group - you'll only gain more.
So, someone please explain to me what these important freedoms are we apparently stand to lose, because I'm just not seeing it!