The concept of freedom that i usually hear on the air waves are usually referring to political freedom, or freedom from the state institutions.
I have a more expansive understanding of freedom. To me true freedom dont just liberate you from the state but also from other constrains namely social constrains, psychological constrain and biophysical constrain.
Social constrains is the bases with which state constrain is a manifestation of. the constrain the state place upon its citizens are the result of historic development the society. State constrain only encompass the codified portion of social constrain not the implicit social etiquette. by implicit social etiquette i mean manners such as not eating with ones mouth open. violating implicit social etiquette do not result in punishments from the state but it will invite social isolation and disdain by others.
of course implicit social etiquette form of social constrain is only a constrain if you care about what other people think of you. if you do not there is no constrain. so why do we care? we care because we are genetically build to reproduce genes and survive not only by our own labor but by benefit derive from reciprocal relationship we have with other members of the society. We cannot naturally reproduce individually, and we survive better with the help of others.
People as i understand them, do not think in terms of reproduction and survival when they interact with others. Humans are driven by biological incentives systems that encourages human to act in a way that will result in survival and ultimately preserve of the gene. These incentive systems (carrot and stick) are in another word desires and dislikes, they are what i call psychological constrains.
While state and social constrains can be understood as constrain that the social environment place upon the individual by doing or not doing something to the individual. Psychological constrain are basically the desires within the individual. but does this make sense? what is this thing that can be free from ones desire? consciousness? and whats consciousness without desire? i mean, the prove of the existence of a human consciousness are acts of individuals that reflect self-awareness. but what are these acts that reflect self awareness if they do not reflect some sort of desire.
or as a cop-out we can understand psychology constrain as the conflict between desire that derive from our gene and desire result from learned experience. I am not entirely satisfy with this understanding because it simply places prominence of one source of desire over another. and i am not even too sure if desire can be categorize in to that way.
I would like to say that psychological constrain are emotions that troubles our consciousness, but i cannot make a clear case of it without developing a deeper understanding of what conciousness is.
I am just going to leave it here and move on to the next constrain.
biophysical constrain are the limit of laws of the physical universe. we have a limited life span, we can only strive on a very particular atmosphere, we need to eat, sleep . and that we cannot work through walls nor ignore gravity.
thats all for my unsatisfactory consciousness centered understanding of freedom. so what would a society looks like if it adopts this view?
it would be a society that maximize human power to change the environment and their biological self.
I am going to bed.