Freedom Is An Illusion

Sometimes it’d just be easier to eradicate the necessity of decision making. Remove freedom. Wipe the slate clean of guilt and second guessing and those formidable ‘what ifs?’. To be pre-programmed, wired, robotic; emotionless. To drift through life carefree. Robotic-robust-mundane.

”Robot vehicles blindly programmed to preserve the selfish molecules known as genes”

– Richard Dawkins

I’d condemn this as being painfully and poisonously cynical, but really are we anything more than robots? Does freedom even exist in reality or is it just an idyllic concept?

What even is freedom?

To summarise the Oxford Dictionary, freedom is:

  1. The power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants- absence of subjection, independent of fate or necessity
  2. The state of not being imprisoned or enslaved
  3. Freedom from the state

The absence of restriction: does that really equate to ‘freedom’? How can absence correlate to things that we have been granted, for instance; the right to vote? It’s logically impossible for absence to equate to something: the absence of sadness does not revel the subject into happiness.  ‘You can’t prove a negative’ (James Randi) so can a negative be ‘something’?

Freedom from the state: can you call a society that is so heavily stipulated by money, and the media, free? Why if we are free to do as we please do we all aspire to such similar ideals, why do we follow the same path and conform to the same standardised expectations? Complete freedom from the state would entail a society whereby aspirations were based purely on happiness rather than social, political or economic factors. Where people had the opportunity to do whatever they wanted to do rather than being pigeon holed, spoon fed and indoctrinated into a ‘career’ prescribed to them by their socio-economic status- and nothing else. Why do we feel obliged to do things that we don’t want to do? It still feels like we need to break free from the constrictive chains of society, the cyclical 9-5 ominous clock ticking lifestyle- if that’s the sentiment how can this adhere to ‘freedom from the state’?

But do we even want to be free?



All we seem to do is restrict ourselves. Walking the same paths over and over again although there’s nothing stopping us from wandering off in another direction. It’s as if we all know we’re free but there’s some mental incapability to allow ourselves to fully embrace the freedom that we’ve been granted or to overturn the constraints of society. We enjoy being comfortable, not having to worry, eradicating decision making is so much easier- but then nothing seems worthwhile. We can’t have it all.

Are we free by nature but extrinsically restricted by our own surroundings?

Intrinsically free- extrinsically constrained.

Vaingloriousness


“There’s nothing wrong with an enlarged gap between rich and poor”

Said a privately educated middle class university student.  An enlarged gap between rich and poor is evidence of the failings of society, politics and economics. The fucking failings of mankind. The urge to retaliate to this imbecility is insatiable, to name and shame, out this idiot for his close minded naive opinions; but he’s not the only one.

I, for one, didn’t realise we were living in 1920s America where economic prosperity was stipulated by narrow minded money obsessed bankers with no understanding of the poor such as Andrew Mellon. I didn’t realise it was every man for himself. I thought we’d evolved somewhat past that point.

Do milestones such as the Great Depression and the Financial Crisis not signify that the ‘every man for himself’, hierarchical, money obsessed economy model doesn’t work? We’re still in a deficit, there are still people living below the breadline. Really- what is the point?

But we’ve got out own Andrew Mellon, our own big money-big business-crush the poor chancellor of the exchequer: George Osborne, who fails to understand over half of the population.

In light of the public shock facing the Philpott case Osborne claims:

“The courts are responsible for sentencing, but I think there is a question for government and for society about the welfare state, and the taxpayers who pay for the welfare state, subsidising lifestyles like that. I think that debate needs to be had.”

It isn’t a fucking lifestyle issue. It’s an issue of evil. Society can produce ‘bad’ people. But not evil. It’s intrinsic. It’s not due to the benefits system and the welfare state that Philpott to murdered his children- it’s because he was intrinsically evil- anyone would have to be to do that. Nature not nurture: fucking naivety. Maybe rather than looking at reforming the welfare state it is the judiciary system that needs to be analysed; because really, is his ‘life’ sentence good enough?

Society is unjust. Rather than punishing Philpott adequately for his crimes, MPs are calling for the welfare system to be analysed and thus punishing the poor. It’s blatant stereotyping and it’s completely uncalled for. As it stand only 3% of the total cost of welfare goes to the unemployed including the Philpott family and 40% is spent on the elderly- how does it seem right then to claim that the welfare state needs reforming due to this case? A reform that would simply widen the gap between rich and poor, desecrate equality and destroy lives. Statistics and figures should have no prevalence over people’s quality of life. Money should mean nothing but it consumes fucking everything.

In a society based on logic the concepts of ‘underprivileged’ and ‘deprived’ would not exist and people would not be perceived as either rich or poor

-but simply people.