The Fear of Freedom

Freedom may be the fastest growing business in the Western World. We are rapidly removing the many constraints historically imposed by the no-longer-at stake necessities of surviving physically and economically and, thereby, of creating centralized strong protection systems such as church, marriage, governments, family, controlled sexuality, morality etc.

 

As liberating as Freedom may be, it brings its own set of growing problems: Depression, youth suicides, increase violence, distrust of authority, polarization of politics, democratic decline among others. Increased freedom is not the sole cause of this social degradation.

I believe Freedom also creates new fears in many: a sense of lost protection, of added responsibilities, reduced convictions and increased unknown. The safety valves established with social security and unemployment assistance do not protect us from having to make our own choices, an adventure that triggers a fear of failure once exposed to the consequences of our own choices.

 

Sure, Freedom means that we can do a lot of what we want, but what do we really want in fact? The question is often answered in social media where consumable memes are mass produced with the shining, self-reinforcing conviction of crowds. But crowds have historically made many mistakes when misguided by messiahs promoting the promised land. Oversimplified visions are increasingly unadapted to the complex modern times with freedom spilling the liquids of human dreams outside the bottles of strong systems. In the future, we may reconsider all such messiahs’ contribution to peace or wars, to having guided us in the right or wrong directions.

 

Yogi Berra confirmed it already: “the future is not what it used to be”. We better learn soon how to deal with Freedom…without fear.

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