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
Song from the movie Nashville, directed by Robert Altman
From the Kris Kristofferson’s song “Me and Bobby Mcgee”
such persons as have nothing to lose by them.
Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America
Jean Jacques Rousseau, The Social Contract
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
without constraint. Something is “free” if it can change easily
and is not constrained in its present state.
Wikipedia, June 2021
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.
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:
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
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.