Freedom! Liberty! These words connote a forceful and positive vibrance that anyone would be insane to deny as a pinnacle of human values. Within the spectrum of perspectives regarding the nature of man and the implicit social contract that emerges upon the co-existence of individuals, it is safe to say that freedom is ultimately the benchmark.
Freedom, such a gilded work of semantics! To the communist, the worker is free from the bourgeois. To the anarcho-capitalist, the entrepreneur and family are free from the collective. What an elusive and seemingly contradictory concept, the Janus of values. If, as Hegel asserted, we are to dialectically refine our system so that maximal freedom is attained as the pinnacle and teleological apex of history’s journey, what validity can be reasonably ascertained from the various definitions and perceptions of that superlatively elusive word? The child free from discipline, free to play according to his own ethics of time management, free to eat the junkiest of junk foods to his heart’s content—oh, what grandiose freedom ignorance has wrought! The latchkey kid, the freest of all children! Pity to the oppressed children of tyrannical guidance under the well educated and disciplined!
As the free child, at liberty to play at his whim, looks in disdain through the window to the oppressed child, he revels in his own independence, his liberty. What oppressors those other parents are! They have their child read, he is given healthy foods, he is to attend courses of music! And of course, as positive cultivation (tyranny) manifests into the child’s foundational character, the epochs of life unfold into a drearier and drearier reality to the formerly free child. The greatest of ironies unfolds like a cruel, lifelong joke. Now they are no longer children, and the edifice of character and inner-capital constructed from the liberty he once enjoyed is non-existent.
His neighbor, once under the tyranny of cultivation, now looks at him through the window, with pitying eyes that reflect a soul of self-confidence, aptitude, education, will, health, and virility. He looks on through the window, at the freest of free children, and he gazes into the greatest tyranny of all: the uncultivated, shallow, disoriented soul. What freedom hath this tyranny wrought! What oppression has this freedom wrought! Don’t you see?
We have traced the linguistic fallacy to the roots now. When you speak of freedom, do you speak of lower or higher freedom? Do you speak of positive or negative freedom? Do you speak of freedom from or freedom for? Do you speak of congruence or isolation? Of self-actualization or self for self’s sake?
The child is a metaphor of course, for we are not children. We are upright humans, who deserve the freedom from, no? How dare the arbiter of the social contract of the society of which I am a part dictate to me—I am an individual! No, it is not a metaphor. All adults were once children, and all adults now sit among the spectrum of cultivation, calcified relative to the freedom or oppression of their childhoods, and this root, this source of their character, now has real, tangible, palpable effects on themselves—no, more than on themselves: on others.
For, will the uncultivated child, the negatively free child, simply grow as an unfulfilled adult, in atomic isolation, where the rest of society, themselves varying in spectrum on fulfillment and freedom, can look on him and pity, but then go back to their atomic lives? No. Each person as a node of the Whole feeds back continuously! From the ethereal to the tangible, it is all-encompassing. Do the unfulfilled contribute positivity? Even so much as a smile to a stranger on the street or a kind word to another child? Do they invent ground breaking ideas? Technology? Do these Last Men revel in the potential of the human being, and the human race—and more, actually live and contribute to it? Is their lack of contribution neutral? In aggregate, does less human capital in the human mind allow for more discovery of opportunity, or less? For more creation of opportunity, or less?
Atomic isolation, and therefore negative freedom, are simply illusory. True freedom certainly exists, in bastardized form, as we know it now.
There are those who, from the first coordinates of their existence on this earth, are led (in ultimate child “oppression”) to maximize all potential. The parents say, “I noticed you had a propensity for sound: here are music lessons, and here is your instrument! Ah, you find this concept interesting? Here! Books, tutors, camps!” Hence, to the lucky few, true freedom is real.
However, this is freedom’s shadow, for it is only disproportionate wealth, in most cases, that allows these elite free to remain so, for it is the uncultivated, the humans whose consciousness ebbs slightly closer to the animal spectrum than to the god, that remain as fodder. What better system than this for those elect free, no?
For if in this way you simply maintain an underclass with no propensity for autonomy, self-esteem, creativity, and virility, two things are ensured: they will simply shop, reveling in materialism that acts as a simulacrum of accomplishment and self-betterment (thereby funneling their menial wealth obtained by their menial work upwards to the Free) and they in midst of their ignorance will never truly realize the extent of their enslavement!
One must marvel at the genius of having created an animalistic underclass of Last Men, who keep your Free class erected with their labor, and who, because they are at liberty to shop and consume junk media, truly and sincerely believe themselves to be free. The freedom of their uncultivated childhoods have now seamlessly transitioned into the same negative freedom into their adulthoods. Ah, the Truly Free must revel, as the simulated free wave the symbols of their own enslavement.
But once more, it is all bastardized. For the true, Platonic freedom in its ultimate, teleological, highest form, by axiom is one in which the vulgar negative freedom is put in its place, relegated and in check perpetually to the nobler, highest form of true, positive freedom. For it is the gravest of fallacies that the master of others is himself free. The slave-owners are slaves, the elite are the underclass, kings are peasants, but so broken is their propensity for utilizing the veil of ignorance that they wallow in the filth of their freedom and smell perfume.
It is simply this. Does every single child in society have the rearing necessary to achieve maximum actualization? Pay attention. I did not say some, I did not say most. I said Every. Single. Child. Consider if you were to die, and discover an ethereal realm that seated your soul, of having shed your physical encapsulation, illuminating the obvious position that that shell of ego and skin was simply an illusory construct of Self, and that you and all other souls are infinitely closer in substance than black, white, rich or poor have ever led you to believe, and you knew that you were again to enter into another body, literally any single human being that was being conceived at that instant, regardless of race, position, or geography. Had you been an oppressor, should you incarnate into the oppressed? If you had been oppressed, should you incarnate into the oppressor? Would you want to? Would you change your political beliefs? Would you realize that the ideal society is one in which it literally would not matter because you would be free either way?
Should society be “free” insofar as each individual child is at liberty to be left alone, irrespective of where on Maslow’s Pyramid their inner world stands? Or should society be FREE insofar as each individual child is cultivated to maximize their position on Maslow’s Pyramid? Is the person with barely enough to eat, but left alone, truly more free than the person cultivated by a culture focused on bringing them to the level of not only material comfort but self-actualization?
Once more, let all children be free, encouraged and self-actualized. Can this happen in a system of familial inheritance? If we can discern that true freedom for all is the obvious teleological ideal, the “beating of the game of life”, then what is the practical application? Must it not be a central arbiter, a State whose explicit goal it is to perpetuate this grand project of human cultivation and maximization?
Is not the answer a State that is competent and driven to these ends, that disallows the transfer of wealth from generation to generation within private hands, but in turn utilizes those very resources of the dead to reinvest in every single child? Can this grand plan—this grand architecture of human civilization—be accomplished? If life could evolve from single-celled organisms through the various complex animals until civilization itself was reached, what is the trajectory?