The Narrow View Of Freedom

The problem with freedom is that we go about our lives with blinders on, only concerning ourselves with our individual narrow view, taking care of liberties only when oppression blocks our path. We don’t take notice of the restrictions to our right or to our left.

But the blockage that is off to one side, is the obstacle in the path of life of another.

Unless we regard liberty as an absolute necessity to the human condition, no one will be free. For the end of your journey is of no concern for those next to you, since their blinders prevent them from noticing.

This is how many individuals lose their freedom. Not through overwhelm, or gory violence, but rather it is chewed away in small but unmistakable bites, unnoticeable to onlookers, yet painful to the inflicted, until the whole of your liberties is utterly consumed.

Standing next to you, will be one who could have helped,
but you didn’t notice his being eaten either.

Mules with blinders


  1. I believe that conformity is the natural human condition. We are social creatures who have evolved to stay within the status quo.

    Here’s a fun illustration of the idea:

    This is not to say I disagree with the notion that we should value liberty or that would should encourage other people to value liberty. It is simply my belief that in doing so, we are pitting ourselves against a basic human instinct.

    1. The Asch experiments are a fascinating study. I agree that we have evolved as social creatures and that much of our society is based off of our “natural” instincts. However, we are a very adaptable species as well. Environment has much to do with what becomes our “natural” tendencies.

      Of interest here is:

      Also- I feel it is helpful (for morale) to remind myself that evolution is not an end-game. We are still evolving. As we see more and more emphasis on rational thinking, individualism and secular morality, the decrease of religion and increase of science, increasing liberty (on a global/historical scale at least), and our adaptations to our own technologies, I hope that we are evolving toward a more peaceful and responsible society of rational individuals.

      So I suppose when I say “liberty as an absolute necessity to the human condition”, I’m referring to a hopeful evolutionary future, while your words “conformity is the natural human condition”, is part of an undeniable evolutionary history.

      Thank you very much for your comment! I look forward to further discussion(s)!

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