What is freedom is perhaps the most crucial question facing the existence, longevity, and future of humanity, as the proper implementation of freedom is pertinent to the evolution of any species, including ours, and relevant to the development of resources we depend on for survival.
With great respect to their incredible foresight, the U.S. founding fathers recognized the need for the protection of freedom early on. They implemented a set of paradoxical rules to protect freedom, dutifully described in the U.S. Constitution some 240 years ago. They took a much-needed first stab at liberty to rule the different states of the federation cohesively.
Naturally, the purview of the U.S. Constitution was and is restricted by our forefathers’ limited insight, limited worldview, and limited forms of communications for the constitution to evolve and adapt to become relevant to a broader and more sophisticated audience. A U.S. constitution, we now know, cannot and will not encircle the world. A constitution of outdated absolutism unable to encircle the world’s innate plurality.
The U.S. Constitution never explains what freedom is and why it is needed. It only references freedom with a few paradoxical rules to secure some form of freedom, pinpointing the reasonability of your question. To cut a long story short, the U.S. Constitution is eerily similar to a handbook of what thou shall not do in a game of soccer while leaving eerily undefined the very purpose of the game, scoring goals.
The U.S. Constitution must consist of the essential elements of a viable business plan, a set of rules and rights deployed and enforced to marketplace participants and citizens to achieve a specific outcome. In this case, the outcome for humanity is the strengthening of human evolution and securing human longevity long-term. A definition of upside paired with the protections of downside.
Despite A Constitution
But be that as it may, the good thing about the U.S. Constitution is that it acts as a baseline, not a choke-collar. And we can make real improvements to how we implement the operating-systems for humanity without touching the very constitution to which some of us are so literally married.
Hence, you guessed it, we do not have the kind of freedom instilled in the systems we built to proclaim the excellence we preach on the global stage rightfully, and we are instead, in the words of Goethe, still hopelessly enslaved by the pretense we do.
With that, let me address your two questions directly, beginning with why we need freedom:
Freedom is an evolutionary imperative, not a nice one to have. We need freedom because only (a plurality of) freedom can spot outliers to break the norm around a new normalization of evolutionary truth, which means that freedom is crucial in spawning a steady flow of outliers capable of reinventing how we can interpret and discover our world anew.
The definition of freedom cannot be a prescription of stale absolutism but must instead be implemented as a theory of relativity; to each his own. A method that supports a plurality of freedom to set freedom free forms evolutionary meritocracies to renew and replenish society—considering that freedom for all can only exist when paradoxical rules, equally subject to relativity, protects said freedom.