The Fallacy of Freedom

Published: 19th May 2014 10:23 AM  |   Last Updated: 19th May 2014 10:24 AM   |  A+A-


BANGALORE: It is only a make-believe idea that we are born free. Have you wondered why authorities register your birth? To keep track of you. It is like tying a collar radar on the neck of a beast. Government is the diplomatic watchdog of individual freedom and a state is a prison. Of course the state is so glorified and camouflaged with various facades that it appears to be the place you always wanted to be, live and die for. This is your delusion. And a thinker who points out your delusion is believed to be a rebel.

We all suffer from persecution delusion. Society is an unfortunate outcome of an abrupt phenomenon called civilisation, where people who are accidentally in a powerful position dictate terms of the society and set the norms. The powerless or less powerful obey. Have you been intimidated by the fact that each one of the so-called authorities including hospitals, educational institutions, governments, employment organisations intrude into our personal spaces? Have you questioned as to why do they ask for a surname along with your name?

What is the purpose of including nationality, religion, and sub-community in your certificates? What right do they have to ask you about your income details? What gives them the right to know if you are married or single?

Now the laws also decide who to love and ‘how’. We succumb to the school authorities by giving them non-refundable donations. We succumb to the principals and teacher’s suggestions for our kids. We succumb to college authorities, community power, religious influence, employer’s threats and artificially created sophisticated byelaws of the company. We at times succumb to the authority of bureaucrats, to the power of the builders who eye the slums or old but prime properties.

It is not accidental that even slightly intelligent people have always been against the establishment; may it be Rousseau, Voltaire, Spinoza, Osho or Socrates. They expressed their displeasure against the establishment and were persecuted sooner or later. This society or may be this state of collective human consciousness is too unevolved to allow intelligent, freedom loving beings to live and thrive.

At this juncture values like justice, freedom, truth, beauty… seem to be too fragile to be. Or may be at any given time they are fragile. Only occasionally a bud of freedom, of truth blooms for a while and soon withers away.

Nilesh P Megnani is a professor of philosophy


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