A Few Quotes on FREEDOM

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A Few Quotes on FREEDOM

Freedom, generally, is having the ability to act or change without constraint. Something is "free" if it can change easily and is not constrained in its present state. ~Wikipedia, June 2021

Freedom, generally, is having the ability to act or change without constraint. Something is "free" if it can change easily and is not constrained in its present state. ~Wikipedia, June 2021

You may say that I ain’t free, but it don’t bother me.
Song from the movie Nashville, directed by Robert Altman
Freedom’s just another word for nothin’ left to lose.
From the Kris Kristofferson’s song “Me and Bobby Mcgee
Amongst civilized nations revolts are rarely excited, except by
such persons as have nothing to lose by them.
Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America
Man is born free and everywhere he is in chains.
Jean Jacques Rousseau, The Social Contract
Late last year, amid a surge in COVID cases, California’s
governor, Gavin Newsom, banned all in-person dining in
restaurants. Baret Lepejina, the owner of Tinhorn Flats, a joint
with swinging saloon doors, refused to follow the order. “It’s
pure tyranny,” he told the conservative commentator Mike
Slater. “This is right up there with organized crime.”
Quoted in The New Yorker, Micah Hauser, June 14, 2001
Freedom, generally, is having the ability to act or change
without constraint. Something is “free” if it can change easily
and is not constrained in its present state.
Wikipedia, June 2021
Freedom is when the kids leave home and the dog dies.
Old joke.
Freedom is untidy.
Donald Rumsfeld
The mountains look on Marathon,
and Marathon looks on the sea,
And, musing there an hour alone,
I dreamed that Greece might still be free.
For, standing on the Persians’ grave,
I could not deem myself a slave.
Lord Byron, “The Isles of Greece,” written shortly before his
death with the Greek forces at Missolonghi.
[I] will live my one life like I want to regardless. I will be outside
doing what I do, I’ll be out in public. If your (sic) scared of me
then steer clear, or get vaccinated . . . I may die of covid, but I’d
rather die actually living.
Cole Beasley, American, professional football player.

And several observations by Alexis de Tocqueville from Democracy in America:

What good does it do me, after all, if an ever-watchful authority keeps an eye out to ensure that my pleasures will be tranquil and races ahead of me to ward off all danger, sparing me the need even to think about such things, if that authority, even as it removes the smallest thorns from my path, is also absolute master of my liberty and my life; if it monopolizes vitality and existence to such a degree that when it languishes, everything around it must also languish; when it sleeps, everything must also sleep; and when it dies, everything must also perish?
Our contemporaries are constantly excited by two conflicting passions; they want to be led, and they wish to remain free: as they cannot destroy either one or the other of these contrary propensities, they strive to satisfy them both at once. They devise a sole, tutelary, and all-powerful form of government, but elected by the people. They combine the principle of centralization and that of popular sovereignty; this gives them a respite: they console themselves for being in tutelage by the reflection that they have chosen their own guardians. Every man allows himself to be put in leading-strings, because he sees that it is not a person or a class of persons, but the people at large that holds the end of his chain.
By this system the people shake off their state of dependence just long enough to select their master, and then relapse into it again. A great many persons at the present day are quite contented with this sort of compromise between administrative despotism and the sovereignty of the people; and they think they have done enough for the protection of individual freedom when they have surrendered it to the power of the nation at large. This does not satisfy me: the nature of him I am to obey signifies less to me than the fact of extorted obedience.
He who in given cases consents to obey his fellows with servility, and who submits his will, and even his thoughts, to their control, how can he pretend that he wishes to be free?”

So religion, which among the Americans never directly takes part in the government of society, must be considered as the first of their political institutions; for if it does not give them the taste for liberty, it singularly facilitates their use of it.” 

It was never assumed in the United States that the citizen of a free country has a right to do whatever he pleases; on the contrary, social obligations were there imposed upon him more various than anywhere else.

And a quote from American philosopher Joseph Tussman: from a speech given at Kosmos Club, Berkeley 2002

Each of us is an individual person but we are all group generated, group shaped, group sustained, group dependent. This is beautifully expressed in the great Platonic parable about our two-stage marsupial birth, about how after we emerge from a brief time in the first womb we are popped into our great marsupial pouch, the Polis, in which we complete our development into human beings, equipped with language, mind, character and culture.
I pause to note that as members of groups we are involved in a division of labour, a variety of tasks, a differentiation of function. And that we experience cycles of dependence, interdependence and relative independence.
But I linger over a crucial implication of being “group” creatures. It seems utterly clear to me that group creatures must have a psychological make-up suitable for that condition. They must have innate, deep-seated drives, cravings, impulses that serve the interests, well-being and preservation of the group, including the sporadic pleasure of self-sacrifice. This is so obvious that I am puzzled by how reluctant people are to admit it. The dominating metaphysical assumption – really counter-intuitive – is that we are individuals constructed so as to always seek and promote our own personal interests.
 We seek to explain “altruism” away as really selfishness after all or, if that fails, a sort of insane aberration. An old philosophy professor of mine invented a lovely fallacy –“the fallacy of the suppressed correlative.” Put simply: we make the obvious distinction between selfish and unselfish acts. Then, in a mood of cynicism or disillusionment we deny the distinction – suppress the correlative – all acts, including the “unselfish” act, are selfish after all. My individualistic friends are always doing that. All acts are selfish, they insist, even as they proceed to trample on their private interests for the sake of children, colleagues, friends, lovers, and even country. But as I once said, “Nothing is as irresistible as an error whose time has come.” It is an error dear to our age of individualism.
Morality is deeply concerned with the relations of members of groups to one another. The language in which the demands of morality are expressed is the language of obligation – of should, ought, of what one is supposed to do, ought to do, is obliged to do or, in a grimmer mode, has a duty to do. Being moral involves doing the right thing in the domain of obligation.