What is Freedom?

Posted by on Jul 5, 2009 in Interviews, Philosophy

At a cookout yesterday for the 4th of July, this question was asked.



  1. globatron
    July 5, 2009

    Having thought a lot about this question this week, I thought I would be prepared to answer this question. I found it extremely hard to answer as soon as a camera was stuck in my face. Some of the answers are primo, especially the ones by the youngsters.

    I hope by watching this you can have some time to think about what freedom means to you. If you care to leave a comment as to what that is, it would be much appreciated.

    I had such a fun time with this project I hope to make it a 4th of July tradition. It made the consumption of nearly unlimited amounts of food and drink a lot more meaningful.

    God bless America!

    Much thanks to Bridget Hillyer who did most of the filming. I believe as the hostess of the shindig her asking the question made the answers much more authentic.

  2. Logocentric
    July 6, 2009

    What is freedom?

    Why not? I’ll give it a shot.

    Speaking from the point of view of a lowly person without profound knowledge about how the world is ordered:

    Freedom might result from a condition of perfect information exchange that would bridge the gap that exists between 1) those who maintain social systems (the architects and protectors of political regimes, perhaps?) via the prescription and enforcement of ideas that favor the maintenance of such systems and 2) those who are involved in the (mechanical, automatic) maintenance of those systems. Such an exchange of information would not necessarily result in an instantaneous breaking of bonds that hold most to their jobs, their ideas of their social roles, or even their feelings that the maintenance of existing social and political organizations should continue. But it could renew ideas of choice or personal agency as means of engaging in, supporting, or opposing systems of belief and knowledge that are currently accepted. Such a condition of choice could be a step in the direction of freedom.

    On another note, Globatron, I am so glad that you decided to do this project. I think that the participants—all who were involved—offered thought-provoking and inspiring responses, especially the kids. Bravo.


  3. globatron
    July 6, 2009

    Great Logocentric. Your definition reminds me of freedom in a system such as the hive mind or after the Singularity. Do you think such conditions are possible in our current paradigm with bodies that need food, shelter, etc.

    I was most impressed with the definition that described freedom being the lack of noise and it being an almost Zen like state. I enjoy that because it leads me to believe that while being enslaved one is still able to experience freedom. I enjoy that because I know total freedom is not possible with so many social constraints, but mostly because it is usually defined in a physical context.

    So if one is to step outside one’s body and define freedom it would have a much broader definition. In my short answer I failed to answer freedom as a spiritual path vs. a political/physical path.

    I believe you are defining freedom on a more spiritual path because it seems to acknowledge the physical constraints put on the machine that defines our personal freedoms.

    I’m glad you enjoyed the project. Thank you for sharing your own definition. It is much appreciated.

  4. toy crusher
    July 6, 2009

    I think the best response was the little one who just walked away from the camera.


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