Are you free this afternoon? Can you do or say anything you want without fear? Leaders of nations use the word freedom carefully. Kings and dictators avoid any reference to freedom of speech or freedom of the press. Those ideas could lead subjects to think they are free to choose the next leader in an election. Freedom is not something any man in power really likes to talk about.
In the United States the word freedom is used frequently. Freedom is used in speeches, freedom is written many times in documents like the United States Constitution. Freedom is etched into slogans on government buildings. Ask most U.S. citizens if they live in a free country or if they are free. They will invariably say, "Yes, I live in a free country, I am free."
When they say "freedom" most U.S. citizens are talking about concepts like freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of the press, freedom to vote for anyone or being free to choose to how to live their lives without someone else ordering them to do something they do not want to do.
In truth, most people living anywhere in this world, including the U.S.A. are not free. The few "liberties" some people believe they "enjoy" are in fact grand lies they have been carefully programmed to believe.
To begin looking at "freedoms" consider Freedom of the Press. Can you get anything you write printed in a big city newspaper? Will your small town paper print something you write? If you work for a newspaper can you write anything you want? If you are not rich or powerful or supporting the people in power you can forget about freedom of the press.
Now you think, at least you can read any book you want to read. No, you can read only any books the government, churches and the rich publishers allow printed and placed in bookstores. You can go to the library and read any book there. Remember this, since 2001, the government is keeping a list of the books you read at the library. Government leaders now have the power to force librarians to tell them what books you are reading.
You are free to go anywhere and read anything you want on the Internet, right? In some countries, yes, but the governments is watching what you do and keeping files on any person it considers "suspicious." In other countries many Internet sites are simply blocked by the rich and powerful. Even in free countries they use your freedom to find cause to jail you.
The recent popularity of blogs, public journals on the Internet such as this one, gives some people the illusion of true freedom of the press. However, most ideas now expressed in blogs are reaching only a very small percentage of the people around the world. Loss of control over even one percent of the population scares the rich and powerful. People with power and money are now working very hard to find ways to control and regulate blogs. Rich people are the only ones permitted freedom of the press on any scale in the world. The rich need this control to keep fooling people into giving them more money in return for trash. This trick is called advertising.
Freedom of religion? Do not talk about your religion at work, you will lose your job. Do not talk about religion on a street corner, people will have you placed in a hospital for people with mental illness. Do not disagree out loud with what the minister at your church tells you. You will not be allowed to attend that church, synagogue or temple any longer. Do not try to write a story about your religion and get that published in a public paper. You will be pilloried in the public square.
In many families children or even adults cannot even mention the idea of going to a different temple or church next Sunday. You can only believe what you are told to believe as a child. As an adult, if you have very different spiritual beliefs than the other people in your town you better keep quiet about it. If you really express any freedom with regard to religion, anywhere in the world, expect to lose the freedom to associate with most other people. In some nations you will be put to death. In all other nations you can expect not to be invited back to that party.
You think you are free to vote? Sure you are free to vote for one very rich businessman or another powerful wealthy person. Would a poor man have any chance in the next election? When was the last time you heard about a poor person running for any office higher than perhaps town council? Most town councils are even controlled by the people with the most money.
You are free to spend your money anywhere you want to, after you pay more and more taxes to the rich congressmen and President. Be sure he will waste all of that money on weapons to kill, fine wine and meats, not clean water or medicine to heal. When the leaders have spent your taxes they will borrow more money from the communist dictators. They all play the game of human torture now. They are free to beat men to death and bomb babies.
You are free to go anywhere you want, if you keep giving more and more money to the very rich oil barons. You are free to spout pollution into the atmosphere, heating Earth to death.
You are free to buy a house anywhere racist real estate agents let you buy a house, once you sign over your life earnings to the greedy local banker.
Freedom starts to look like something you can have only if you are evil enough and rich enough. Only the cold-blooded killers are free and they use that freedom to exploit the less fortunate.
You are free to work in any career you want to, right? Wrong, you can only work where the rich let you have a job. These jobs must help to make one person very rich and pay the other people working there as little as possible. You are free to be tossed out the factory door at the slightest whim of some rich man in the back office.
There is no freedom anywhere in this world. There is only a world with strict rules you must follow or else you will be put in prison or starved to death. Follow the rules that make the rich richer and the poor poorer. Do that or expect to die homeless on a steam vent. There is no freedom of any kind anywhere in this world, only rules, very strict rules. Follow the rules carefully or die as a result of your actions. This is the "civilization" we have developed over so many centuries. It still bears close resemblance to the jungle that spawned it.