The Paradox Of Freedom

Freedom is the hallmark of American society, which attracted me to this country. Little did I know then that I would have to define American freedom if I wanted to live amongst it.

I am a staunch supporter of freedom, not just because my story is a deliberate continuum of its pursuit. But more importantly, freedom is mandatory in developing our merit, that of our offspring, and the sustainability of our evolution.

Without accurately defining what constitutes freedom, not nature’s law will put us under. Still, we become the limiting factor to ourselves in the endurance of human evolution — way before the sun heats our planet to unbearable temperatures in some 3.5 billion years.

The Grand Canyon of Freedom

Despite a significant incentive to keep ourselves in tip-top shape, combined with our avid posturing on the world stage of freedom, we make a mess out of freedom.

We artificially divide people in the U.S. into two main groups, each with their own “religion” of freedom. It is so stark that many people increasingly base their friendships on their shared political affiliations — a sad state of affairs.

Republicans generally believe freedom should have no boundaries, and Democrats wallow in trying to regulate everything to protect freedom. Unfortunately, plenty of evidence exists (and I provide it on my blog) to signal that neither stance adequately serves our diverse freedom needs.

Some 70% of the U.S. population executes their freedom not to vote. It has already disenfranchised itself from the politics of freedom, as those politics consistently fail to produce a responsible reality of liberty. And people who do vote, perhaps unknowingly, promote governance that leads to an astounding 27% of children wondering where their next meal will come from (yes, in more than one state of the United States).

When we cannot even raise our children right, I suggest we stop acting like the mother of the world. Let us not brag to the rest of the world about what freedom looks like until we have adequately defined a model of freedom we can successfully apply to ourselves and become a real inspiration to the rest of the world.

Disconnected governance

The exposure of spying practices by the National Security Agency (NSA) further heats the discussion about freedom and shows more of our government’s ugly underbelly. More will surface as increased transparency will drive its accelerated exposure. Thus spawning an even more vocal outcry and a broader spectrum of freedom, we seem to demand from our government.

I couldn’t care less about our current political system because I don’t believe the makeup of humanity is divided into two camps. The current political system, too, will meet the sickle of freedom one day. Thus, the current political system cannot be used as the model that serves the evolution of humanity.

Despite my ignorance of politics today, I do not believe in a grand government conspiracy by its politicians, no matter which party rules the roost. However, I am also confident we would all pare down our criticism of specific government actions, knowing what the NSA knows about the covert threats to freedom that plague our world.

Yes, many generations of our flawed implementation of freedom have also scorned the integrity of the political system we built. No surprise. But we cannot hate the players for playing the game we created. Having personally met some of The House and Senate members, I can attest they mean well and are curious. However, their focus on partisan struggles makes them generally uninformed about and disconnected from the real world.

Wolf in sheep’s clothing

Even in the private sector, technology hangers-on like Google chairman Eric Schmidt, who managed to make enough money to buy everyone’s attention, now attempt to promote the unleashing of freedom further—for example, suggesting to end all government censorship by encrypting everything on the internet.

First, that suggestion coming from Eric Schmidt ignites in me the same Pavlovian response as when venture firm KPCB wrote a document of how to turn around the United States of America, while KPCB’s performance on its home turf (in spawning groundbreaking innovation) left, now admittedly, a lot to be desired.

Eric is equally calling the kettle black. Not only do I not have any faith in the person who could not reinvent the technology powerhouse Novell as its CEO, but he performed equally underwhelming at Google. Google succeeded not because of but despite Eric Schmidt. And while Google builds some impressive technology, my technology security experts convince me it could only do so courtesy of a war chest amassed by years of sneaky monetization techniques on the backs of willfully uninformed consumers.

Freedom is unlikely to come from those who still revel in and benefit from its abuse.

The paradox

But here, too, prevails the ignorance of freedom. And we cannot merely act in disdain and punish those who take freedom’s lack of definition for a glorious ride.

We should not punish an untrained dog for leaving the house when we leave the front door open. Nor can we hold our government or most people in the private sector responsible for abusing similar undefined freedom. Neither will think they did anything wrong. Nor will the dog. Until we define what “wrong” is.

Freedom is a relativity theory that cannot be supported by absolutism that defines its application. Still, it can – and must be – protected by a single model that prevents abuse. Thus, freedom cannot exist without guard rails, the paradox that protects each pursuit of freedom from harming another.

All of us govern freedom, versus no one

Freedom cannot exist when the governance of freedom is only in the hands of a government, nor can it survive when it is just in the hands of its people. The need for collective freedom must be balanced with the need for individual freedom.

The past has repeatedly demonstrated how unbridled freedom by the people is just as bad as unfettered freedom by our government.

Hence, the wild suggestions to obliterate the NSA or encrypt all internet traffic are ideas that confess gross ignorance of what constitutes freedom. If executed, it will lead, as the past has already demonstrated, to quite the opposite of freedom.

Freedom is the hallmark of American society, which attracted me to this country. But, little did I know then I would have to define the economics of freedom myself if I ever wanted to live amongst it.

[ I humbly dedicate this blog to the most selfless freedom fighter who ever lived: Nelson Mandela 1918 – 2013 ]

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The sign of a vibrant, innovative nation is its willingness to pursue the ever-unfolding discovery of nature's truth and reinvent itself continually against those proven new normalizations upstream. Let’s inspire the world with new rigors of excellence we first and successfully apply to ourselves.

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