Pennsif’s Progress #584 – What is freedom?


For someone living a relatively comfortable middle class life in the beautiful Welsh countryside in the UK it is very easy to assume one is free.

I can do what I want, when I want, where I want, how I want and with whom I want.

I think. When I have the money. And when the rules don’t stop me.

It is easier to assume the positive than to question the negative.

Being on steem has made me think more about what freedom is.

One of the bedrocks of the steem platform is the decentralisation and the (apparent) lack of censorship.

But that is not the point.

Freedom is more pointed in the offline world.

I talk to people around the world. Every day. I learn from them.

I learn that their life is different to mine. My norms are different to theirs. And their version of freedom is often very different to mine.

When I was involved in local elections I walked a lot and got very tired. When they get involved in elections they talk a lot and get beaten up. Or worse.

When I want to buy in bulk to save some cash I go to the cash and carry. When they want to buy a few dozen shoes to give to street kids they are investigated and suspected of illicit trading.

When our children reached school age we chose to homeschool. But in some countries that is plain illegal, and if you persist you might need to flee the country, else face the prospect of having your children taken away from you.

Freedom comes in many flavours, some more bitter tasting than others.

I’ve explored many of these issues with guests on my Alternative Lifestyle Show. From that I’ve begun to compile my own little checklist of freedom points of reference.

As well as the big ticket items like free elections, freedom of worship and free press, these are some of the freedom markers that I have identified so far :

  1. Homeschooling / Unschooling – allowed with little or no restrictions / allowed with heavy intervention and regulation  / not allowed at
  2. Drugs – cannabis in particular – medical and recreational use allowed / medical use only / not allowed at all
  3. Vaccinations – parents have total rights to chose / restrictions placed on those parents and children who do not vaccinate / absolute legal compulsion
  4. Guns – all types of guns permitted / only certain types of guns permitted in certain circumstances / no guns permitted except for very restricted licensed use
  5. Cryptocurrency – no restrictions on use of cryptocurrency / allowed but with restrictions / not allowed all

What else should go on this list?

Looking at this list again I am not sure I am so free and easy in the UK.

Lock and load, how does your country fare…?