Your definition of Freedom - Politics | PoFo

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By Wellsy
For Hegel, freedom is more like a placeholder word. Let me try to explain what I mean by that. For Hegel, freedom is so important that it is the meaning and the point of human history in general. That if one asks about the bible: “Quickly, what’s it about?”, someone will go “The devil did it”, right? And that’s a quick account of the plot. Then if you ask Hegel quickly about history, Hegel will go: “It’s about how freedom wins”.

Hegel’s account of freedom is more sophisticated in a way than any I have given you up until now, because it is deeply historical. Here’s what I mean by that. In any given historical epoch, Hegel says: “Show me the obstacles that Human beings saw in their path to realising their concrete goals and the overcoming of those obstacles will receive the name Freedom”.

Now, the nice thing about that concept of freedom is it is a free concept of it, which means it allows each generation to pursue freedom’s goals, maybe reformulating them anew. All I have done is backtrack the 19th Century, contrast positive and negative freedom… tried to do that. But the Hegelian concept is historical and reminds us that when we formulate these goals… they are the work of each new group that comes along in the struggle for freedom.

For Hegel, freedom isn’t either external or internal or positive or negative. Freedom is not something which people have, to quote Alasdair MacIntyre, “Hegel’s view of freedom is not something that people have. It is what they are”. When they don’t have it, they aren’t. And that doesn’t mean they disappear, it means they are not human without it.
I agree with the above assessment on freedom. Freedom is essentially the most important commodity. Generations prior to world war 2 were much more aware than the current generations on how fragile & temporary basic freedom is, aside from lacking freedom because of foreign occupiers, imperialism and external forces they also lacked basic freedoms from within even when the foreign threat had been neutralised. Today we are lucky to enjoy a lot more freedoms than our ancestors did(because of millions of people sacrificed for freedom), but our societies are quickly becoming weak, lazy & disconnected and there is no escape from this state-of-affairs.
My first impulse was to say freedom is the ability to make choices, but in a technological world we are given even more choices and that feels like a lack of freedom. Technology seems to demand conformity and increases superficial choices and reduces meaningful ones. Globalization for example. So, freedom may not be connected to making choices at all. Is freedom just an emotion? Which may must be another way of saying it is who we are.
Intellectual (which includes religious) freedom matters I think but it's being replaced with materialistic conceptions of freedom because those aren't a threat to the power of the state right now. Access to luxuries which provide no additional utility are a pretty meaningless form of freedom though I think.
The basic freedom that humans have craved for centuries is the freedom to procreate and actually live and survive. I would call this the primary freedom.

Then we go on making lists about secondary freedoms that arise when someone has secured the primary freedom which we now take for granted but is in fact much more fragile than people think. All other freedoms hinge on the primary one and can only exist if that parameter is true.
I feel like you can sort of see the progression towards materialism in this summary of Hegel. Freedom is presented as a thing to be possessed or a thing that, when lacking, prevents the possession of other things. It's not explicitly materialist but it's getting closer.
Was thinking about someone's summary of Hegel's view of Freedom as recognition of necessity and submitting to it, which I thought of in terms of realizing the nature of things in order to fulfill their nature rather than unnecessarily struggle against it. But Hegel's view is as described done purely in through a self awareness and not through action. And I considered Engel's view that freedom was the recognition of necessity, which in his work I interpreted as being that an unawareness meant that one's decisions were arbitrary and thus not free as they weren't informed by some approximate comprehension of one's circumstance to make a meaningful decision on how to navigate it. In ruminating on this, found this piece that I thought was an interesting summary on freedom.
In Hegel's system, both freedom and necessity are defined in such a manner that their reconcilation through the universal idea is logically unavoidable. Freedom involves the recognition in consciousness of necessity in its entirety. Mind, as self-conscious nature, is reconciled with natural necessity by transforming the contingent in-itself into the rational for-itself through conscious thought. Nature is rational because reason is none other than nature conscious of itself. The opposition between the two is overcome in the Mind.

The problem with Hegel's conception lies in the fact that it is completely passive. It leaves no room for human practice beyond the exercise of the mind. It is a philosophy of reconciliation with the world as it is, leaving no room for its transformation.
Hegel's conception is based on the idea of externalisation (Entausserung). This idea is taken over by Marx and plays a vital role in his own understanding of humanity. For Hegel it is through externalisation that the Mind realises itself, by making determinations about the world beyond consciousness and so coming to appreciation of the fact that what the Mind itself is is in fact Nature made self-conscious. Through a dialectical movement, first opposing nature to itself and then overcoming this opposition by transforming the in-itself into the for-itself, in bringing nature to consciousness the Mind brings its own nature to consciousness, it becomes self-conscious - it realises itself as consciousness.

Conscious Mind does nothing with nature, it simply reconciles itself to it through the conscious understanding of natural necessity. In this way it realises its freedom.

For Marx this reconciliation is completely unacceptable, it leaves humanity in chains. In his eyes externalisation involves not thought, but practice. Marx's conception is one based on activity, rather than passivity.

For both Marx and Hegel human beings realise their essence through recognising themselves in the world beyond. For Hegel this takes place in the realm of the Mind, of thought, and is essentially an act of contemplation. For Marx however, it is through activity, through interaction with the external world outside themselves that human beings realise their own nature. This involves not only work, production, that is the moulding of nature to human design, but also social interaction where people recognise in each other their own selves.
Engels without doubt held to Marx's active, creative idea of the reconciliation between humans and nature, of freedom as the recognition of necessity in this practical, rather than contemplative sense. To the extent that necessity confronted human beings as something external or contingent, this was to be overcome through practice, whether social or productive, and not by submission as Hegel had advocated.
In order to restore Marx's ideas to their proper place, it is vital that this identification is overcome. Freedom as the recognition of necessity needs to be understood in its active, creative sense. This does not, however, involve the destruction of nature through the rampant use of ever more powerful technologies, but rather that human beings succeed in interacting with nature in such a manner that they are able both, to recognise themselves in it as natural beings, and to do so in the context of social relations of production in which too they can recognise themselves.

This means that the test of productive activity is not its ability to exploit nature more and more intensely, with less and less human effort required, but rather becomes a social and ethical test, in terms of the social relations it generates and the degree to which it preserves nature for future generations to also realise themselves creatively in.

In other words, there is no external necessity to which we have to submit. There are simply the conditions under which we can externalise and so realise our own nature. If this is Marx's sense, then unlike in Hegel's system there is no absolute truth towards which we are approaching with ever greater degrees of accuracy, another notion taken up within the Marxist tradition. Instead the nature of the truth we are seeking itself changes constantly, because it is embedded historically in the social, cultural and ethical relations of human beings themselves. This means the necessity we have to recognise is our own, as natural and social beings, through our own creative activity.

And following the relation between freedom and necessity, Marx does seem concerned with pushing necessity back.
In addition to analyzing other moral theories, Marx, over the course of his writings, develops a moral philosophy based on human beings “in their actual, empirically perceptible process of development under definite conditions,” and the requirements that must be satisfied in order to bring about the circumstances in which we might see what Marx calls the “all-sided development” of “rich individuality”26. Marx examines the goals of such important struggles as the French Revolution and the workers' movement, and considers how they represent the highest consciousness about what is necessary in order for human beings to preserve the historical gains of class societies and to move closer toward an “all-sided development.” Based on his understanding of these struggles, their aims, and their historical role, together with his complex understanding of human nature, Marx draws the conclusion that man is the highest being for man, and that human development itself is therefore the most important goal for human beings. In his criticisms of other moral theories and of existing class society, his standard becomes: the continued existence of humanity, the preservation of its cultural heritage in its diversity and achievements, and the promotion of “rich individuality” and an “all-sided development” of human needs and capacities. In the Grundrisse, Marx asserts the desirability of:

the development of the rich individuality which is as all-sided in its production as in its consumption, and whose labour also therefore appears no longer as labour, but as the full development of activity itself, in which natural necessity in its direct form has disappeared; because a historically created need has taken the place of the natural one. (MECW 15:251)

Marx argues that one of the aims of human social existence is for human beings to bring increasingly more of the natural world and more of their own social relations under their conscious, rational control. That ability of human beings to extend greater control over themselves and over the natural world is a key aspect of bringing about their “all-sided development”. The extent to which labor is carried out as a mere means to life or as life-activity itself is another key aspect of the all-sided development of human beings.
Marx always understands that it is human beings who make history, but they do so within constraints from objective limits in the world and in the society around them. As a thinker deeply concerned with the realization and expansion of human freedom, Marx asks how those objective limits—when taken together, he often refers to these as a “boundary” of “natural necessity”—can be "pushed back” so that human beings may exercise more conscious, rational control in more areas of their existence, and realize human flourishing.

Which seems like not about production itself but using production to satisfy human needs so that our base needs no longer bother us and thus we're freed from such necessities in order to pursue things more freely. The person who isn't concerned for safety, shelter, food and such can develop themselves more completely than someone who is struggling day in and out to survive.
It's not that production is an unconditional good in it's own right, but that our productive capacities could serve as the basis for a human flourishing which currently is quite limited in those who it is a reality for.

And our freedom is to be found through society, not from it, the freedom from sentiment as idolized in liberalism is anti-social in it's very nature and at it's most extreme can be clearly seen for it's anti-humanism.
In this text Marx begins to make clear the distance between himself and his radical liberal colleagues among the Young Hegelians; in particular Bruno Bauer. Bauer had recently written against Jewish emancipation, from an atheist perspective, arguing that the religion of both Jews and Christians was a barrier to emancipation. In responding to Bauer, Marx makes one of the most enduring arguments from his early writings, by means of introducing a distinction between political emancipation — essentially the grant of liberal rights and liberties — and human emancipation. Marx’s reply to Bauer is that political emancipation is perfectly compatible with the continued existence of religion, as the contemporary example of the United States demonstrates. However, pushing matters deeper, in an argument reinvented by innumerable critics of liberalism, Marx argues that not only is political emancipation insufficient to bring about human emancipation, it is in some sense also a barrier. Liberal rights and ideas of justice are premised on the idea that each of us needs protection from other human beings who are a threat to our liberty and security. Therefore liberal rights are rights of separation, designed to protect us from such perceived threats. Freedom on such a view, is freedom from interference. What this view overlooks is the possibility — for Marx, the fact — that real freedom is to be found positively in our relations with other people. It is to be found in human community, not in isolation. Accordingly, insisting on a regime of rights encourages us to view each other in ways that undermine the possibility of the real freedom we may find in human emancipation. Now we should be clear that Marx does not oppose political emancipation, for he sees that liberalism is a great improvement on the systems of feud and religious prejudice and discrimination which existed in the Germany of his day. Nevertheless, such politically emancipated liberalism must be transcended on the route to genuine human emancipation. Unfortunately, Marx never tells us what human emancipation is, although it is clear that it is closely related to the idea of non-alienated labour, which we will explore below.

Freedom is having personal power and perfect freedom is impossible.

Basically I view freedom as the extent to which you can do things without interference. Which depends largely on your wealth and power.
This came to mind when trying to think of what freedom is for a real existing person as opposed to an abstract idealized individual.
Free Will and the Analytical Mind
If then, my own actions manifest human freedom (which is just what is to be proved), then the things I have in my field of vision at any given time, not to mention my economic situation, the friends and family I have, the books and computers I have at my disposal, my state of health, etc., etc., are manifestations of my own free activity . If we allow that these things, manifestations in part of my own free activity, participate in determining my thinking at any given moment, then nothing more is necessary to establish that my consciousness is in part the result of my own freedom, and is not determined by physics alone. The physical environment in which I live, inclusive of the internal constitution of my body, is the manifestation of both lawful physical activity and wilful human activity, including my own previous interactions with other people and things. If my consciousness is constituted, even in part, by states of this extended system, then my consciousness is not subject solely to the laws of physics – wholly but not solely.

This pushes the logician’s puzzle back one degree. If I ever had free will, then that free will is embedded in the environment in which I now live. There would still have to have been (for the logician) an original act of free will. So our logician still has a problem: in order for me to manifest free will in the use of something outside the brain in the determination of my consciousness, then I must have acted as a free person at some time in the past. This leads to an infinite regression: in order to be free I must already be free.

This is the same problem to which Johann Fichte addressed himself in 1799. His solution was this: it is necessary for some other person to recognise me as a free person, to call upon me to exercise my freedom. Free will therefore does not derive from the internal constitution of the human organism, but rather from the demands of other people. Free will is not an innate property of the human body, but a social product ‒ the creation of social formations in which people were required to act as free agents.

Does this resolve the problem of John, sitting alone at his writing desk, and just deciding to lift his arm? In this scenario he receives no impulse or demand from outside, it is entirely about a process going on inside his head plus his capacity to control his own body. Growing up as human beings, learning to exercise our freedom, we learn to manipulate our own minds in just the same way that we can manipulate objects. We learn to do this by internalising the use of objects, particularly artefacts . For example, by pointing to the letters on a page and listening to someone read them out, by copying the sounds they make, then reading aloud by ourselves, we may learn to read silently, and even memorise whole epic poems and study the conundrums of analytical philosophers.

So we actually can intentionally “operate” our own brains, much as we can operate a car, while the remains all the while subject to the laws of physics. There is no border line with physical/law-governed on this side and free/voluntary on that side. Our growing up as human beings within a culture means that we are taught, and we learn to control the inner psychological and biological processes of our own bodies. Our bodies are a realm in which the determinate/physical is mixed in with the indeterminate and free.

The point (for me) is that we gain this freedom to control our own bodies only mediately via other people and the products of the culture around us. The question is: are we exercising genuinely free self-determination, or are we simply acting in a way that is determined by the means that the culture places at our disposal.

And that is a question which is not so easily answered. Perhaps Nature will trump Culture in the end, but it is not a trivial question.

What I rather like about it is the sense that our agency is mediated by social things. Even that which makes up our consciousness is thought to be things external to us objectified into symbolic language and such.
Which makes me think that how learning of certain abstract concepts enhances one's capacity to think about things in a way that could be thought of as enhancing one's capacity a substantive choice.
That the person who lacks even the language to connect with his bodily sensations so much that they can't communicate a difference between frustration and anger has less control and agency over themselves for that lacking than the person who is aware of the distinction and thus better able to express it.
It reminds me of a primary source for a woman in 1950's I think Australia who was lesbian but didn't have the word to explain her same sex sexual attraction nor the cultural tools to support her sexuality. So even beyond her struggle to make sense of her own sexuality for a lack of concepts (which probably speaks to the basis of concept creation, done out that which is useful to humans), she also was limited in her agency because of the lack of cultural products that supported her sexuality.
That heterosexuality has a greater freedom in many societies on the basis that it is validated in many expressions and has not only support in attitude but even the design of society coincides with it in things like legal arrangements. Which is why in the case of something like gay marriage, it is of great significance to enhancing the agency of people with same sex attraction/relationships because the law becomes a means of acting in the world more smoothly. Big issue here in Australia since we haven't legalized being that if someones partner got sick, the partner can be excluded based on the direct relatives or lose out on shared assets with their partner to family if challenged.
Freedom can not be individualized in the same way that whilst your thoughts are your own, your thoughts are the products of a social world and a history of objectified understandings of the world.

So in the end...
knowledge is power
But, we are still free to reject each and every outside influence as we wish. I can even blind myself so I am not influenced by vision. We may be what are environment dictates, but we are also more because we can choose.
One Degree wrote:But, we are still free to reject each and every outside influence as we wish. I can even blind myself so I am not influenced by vision. We may be what are environment dictates, but we are also more because we can choose.

Well I'd be careful with how broadly assert that, because I would assert that there is innate vulnerability to of every human being on the basis that they have an unconscious, the things that they don't know they know.
A man can do what he wants, but not want what he wants

You can raise your arm at will, can pursue what ever, but you don't choose so neatly what exactly you desire. Which isn't to say it can be effected, manipulated, which exactly why it's a vulnerability, but its something outside your consciousness in a way that one can in the vein of inception the movie, plant desires through social avenues in you that aren't your own interest. One cultivates desires so that one feels that they chose things for themselves even whilst it was intentionally cultivated, not with perfect control of course but not without significant impact.
Our social nature is both our means of freedom but also a means to manipulate us for better or worse.
One of the ironies of propaganda to work is that its population must be educated. Ellul argues that the university education forms the next generation of propagandist to manipulate its society. In other words, the more highly educated you are, the more integrated you are in this propaganda and its dissemination. Remember Ellul is not talking about the obvious Nazi or Communist propaganda during the Second World War which was for a short term campaign using a vertical process (top down approach easily countered by a competing top down approach). No, Ellul is talking about the horizontal process similar to how viruses infect adjoining people around them. Imagine an intellectual virus which spreads itself similar to a biological virus, through contact and multiply this with mass media technology as a delivery system.

So the more educated you become, the less aware you are that you are a victim of propaganda and the more you are ready to spread your ideology to others who will in turn reinforce you and be reinforced by you in a horizontal process. Leaders aren't telling you what to think (directly), you are being told by your peers what to think and you pass along this information to others to inform them what to think. Then when this ideology has reached a substantial portion of the population, you demand the leaders to comply and they reluctantly do so (which was their intention 30 to 40 years previously, but they won't tell you this). This is the essence of what Ellul says in his Propaganda book.

Authors who have cited Ellul as their personal inspiration come up with the following arguments: Nazi and Communist propaganda are to be avoided at all costs in our wonderful democratic societies because we do not want our great democracies to transform themselves into authoritarian regimes that use violence to force compliance. This can be avoided through education. The higher level of education you receive, the easier you can avoid the pitfalls of propaganda. Our democratic institutions can only function properly when not using propaganda, and the mass media prevents propaganda from overwhelming us.

This is quite disturbing because every single argument they use completely contradicts what Ellul clearly states in his book. Ellul is not being obscure, he flatly states that "2+2 is equal 4 and here is why". The scholars who quote Ellul end up saying that "2+2 is equal to everything but 4, just look at the Nazis". In the end, students who read the latest books on propaganda and ignore the dense works of Ellul will end up thinking that they are knowledgeable about propaganda and become its worse victims.

Of course, if we assume that Ellul is accurate in his view on propaganda, this very act of misunderstanding him would be proof of his claim: Propaganda makes its victim believe that he is immune, hence easier to manipulate. What would universities be doing with these modern textbooks that claim education will prevent one from being victimized in propaganda? Well it seems that they prove Ellul correct. Ellul says that Nazi and Communist propaganda is the easiest form to withstand and modern scholars claim that we must be eternally vigilant from falling victim to such insidious forms of propaganda as we witnessed with the Nazi and Communist regimes. (Yet modern advertising campaigns use short term techniques that no one bothers to condemn). So we focus on the vertical integration and pretend that the horizontal integration is non-existent, demonstrating propaganda at work in our society without opposition.

So, I must say I reject your point of having a choice in denying external influences, they act upon your regardless of your will. Though how to get past Jacque Ellul's paralyzing view is difficult, to which my suspicion is that because its an avenue of manipulation it's not only certain interests that have an impact on us. Certain things can have an impact on us that better suit our interests, better enhance our ability to manage that which arises in our consciousness. Because an idea of freedom shouldn't oppose the nature of our concrete existence and try and wish away that which is apart of us. As there is a tendency to want to assert an abstract self untouched by the world around it. But this only diminishes our ability to understand ourselves appropriately as our starting point should always be real existing people.
Abstract unqualified objects cannot exist because they cannot affect matter, and thereby cannot bring about the expression of their essences. It is for this reason that Marx says “abstract individuality is freedom from being, not freedom in being” (Doctoral Dissertation on Epicurus, MECW 1:62). Moreover, Marx argued, reasoning based on contemplation of such abstract objects will necessarily lapse into methodological idealism, eschewing material determinations as mere appearances that distract from a proper appreciation of the nature of reality, rather than being the absolute starting place for a proper understanding of reality

More tangential, this has made me think to another post where TIG quoted a point about Freud.
Humanity has in the course of time had to endure from the hands of science two great outrages upon its naive self-love. The first was when it realized that our earth was not the center of the universe, but only a tiny speck in a world-system of a magnitude hardly conceivable; this is associated in our minds with the name of Copernicus, although Alexandrian doctrines taught something very similar. The second was when biological research robbed man of his peculiar privilege of having been specially created, and relegated him to a descent from the animal world, implying an ineradicable animal nature in him: this transvaluation has been accomplished in our own time upon the instigation of Charles Darwin, Wallace, and their predecessors, and not without the most violent opposition from their contemporaries. But man's craving for grandiosity is now suffering the third and most bitter blow from present-day psychological research which is endeavoring to prove to the ‘ego’ of each one of us that he is not even master in his own house, but that he must remain content with the veriest scraps of information about what is going on unconsciously in his own mind. We psychoanalysts were neither the first nor the only ones to propose to mankind that they should look inward; but it appears to be our lot to advocate it most insistently and to support it by empirical evidence which touches every man closely.

Which relates to increasing our knowledge of things so as to allow a mastery of it's mediation.
Spoiler: show
Freud compares the conscious mind, in the book I have – I am talking about now – he compares the conscious mind to a garrison. A captured, tiny garrison in an immense city, the city of Rome; with all its layers of history, all its archaic barbarisms, all its hidden avenues, covered over by civilization after civilization. That’s our mind, that whole thing. But the conscious part of it is that one garrison that’s clear, that holds out in this captured city. A magnificent metaphor for all the surrounding motives, motivations, motifs, desires, that drive us… that are not philosophical… that cannot, even if we talk to our therapist a long time, all be brought up at once.
So the goal of analytic treatment would be for those unreflected massive areas – again to go back to that metaphor of the city – to become part of the garrison as it spreads out to things we are clear about. In other words, it’s not a bad metaphor saying we shouldn’t be clear about who we are, and have an “I”, or a self, or a subject. Now, why am I bringing this up now? Well, to contrast it with my last remarks about culture, if the goal of psychoanalysis is that the unreflected parts become reflected, that the “it” become the “I”, then the goal of a mass simulational culture – and this is a remark that I am using from the Frankfurt school, don’t worry about it.

The goal of a mass telecommunication culture is psychoanalysis in reverse. It’s that the little, last remaining parts of that garrison become unconscious. It’s precisely to reverse that process of enlightenment. Mass culture is enlightenment in reverse gear. Precisely to wipe out that last little garrison of autonomy. It is a constant assault upon it. That was why the last time I was out here, I approached it first from this religious angle of Kierkegaard’s, and characterised the assault as one that caused despair. Where despair was not a mood, but a structure that belongs to a captured garrison. Not an accidental feature of a captured garrison, but part of it. A structure of it. Fundamental to it.

Which reminds me of another characterization of a similar nature.
Kierkegaard’s concept of the self represents a religious idealization that is characteristic for the 19th century emphasis on the individual. Marx unveiled it as a bourgeois ideology if seen in the context of historical materialism. Kierkegaard’s individual is a lonely figure; the rootedness in society is not part of its definition. Our experience is different: today people are socialized into masses; and human sciences concern themselves with the prediction, the shaping, and the disciplining of behavior. The process of socialization has itself become a focus of political and economic interest, and, as a result, individual characters and biographies are formed according to the needs of society. The values of today are all related to the needs of the collective: team spirit, hard work, and consumer mentality. What we tend to forget is the fact that the transformation of society into a social machinery becomes a necessity for the reproduction of society in its given form. The “culture industry” knows how to reproduce and utilize our deepest fantasies. The flow of information is filtered in such a way that serious alternatives to the existing system never come into sight. The idea of democracy is endangered through a process that manufactures public opinions. This machinery works as long as it is veiled. People need the illusion of individualism, of unique subjectivity, in order to function as isolated individuals who are not aware of the degree to which they are integrated into the capitalistic totality of the market. In this respect, the idea of the uniqueness of the subject has become a marketing tool, exploited by the cynicism of the rulers: the way to the realization of this dream consists in getting rich.

Lacan makes it clear that psychoanalysis does not function in the service of this machinery. “To make oneself the guarantor of the possibility that a subject will in some way be able to find happiness even in analysis is a form of fraud. There’s absolutely no reason why we should make ourselves the guarantors of the bourgeois dream.” 27 He declares that the totalizing integration of man into a maximally expanded public sphere requires the sacrifice of desire, and that psychoanalysis works against this amputation – it will explore what (and whose) desire the subject really pursues.

“I think that throughout this historical period the desire of man, which has been felt, anesthetized, put to sleep by moralists, domesticated by educators, betrayed by the academics, has quite simply taken refuge or been repressed in that most subtle and blindest of passions, as the story of Oedipus shows, the passion for knowledge… Science, which occupies the place of desire, can only be a science of desire in the form of an enormous question mark, and this is doubtless not without a structural cause. In other words, science is animated by some mysterious desire, but it doesn’t know, any more than anything in the unconscious itself, what that desire means.” 28

As the “science” of desire and jouissance, psychoanalysis is the correlate to conjectural sciences. It starts with the discovery that human behavior and subjectivity are ruled by an unconscious will, and this discovery permanently damages the traditional theoretical perspective. We have reached a historical point where we realize that the search for meaning does not coincide with the quest for more knowledge. What binds them together is human desire, but its meaning remains unknown to us. The answers which we find in the search for more knowledge, only produce more questions. We find ourselves in the remote corner of a universe that resembles a construction zone of gigantic proportions, and we are, most likely, not even alone in it. But all this knowledge is useless when the question of desire is raised. At the most, it forces us to pursue the question with increased intensity. Religions give us speculative answers, but they, too, require the sacrifice of desire to the Other (God) in the hope of some future jouissance. Psychoanalysis allows a deciphering of the individual’s desire; in this regard it gives back to the individual what is most precious for it and completes what was already anticipated in the concept of the “person” throughout the centuries.

And it makes me think to how, following back into that notion of inception, therapy/counselling when done well operates by cultivating connections in a person's perception by guiding it and not stating it plainly for them. One can't drip information into someones mind and have them see, you have to shift the very frame of thought so that they form the connection to things about themselves. A good therapist can see your path before you are even aware that you were being guided to connect certain emotions, behaviours and memories and synthesize into some awareness.
Which relates well back to this sense of social mediation, in the case of therapy, or even a good friend, by talking with them, you are able to explore yourself with their help if they're any good. Bring into awareness things that were unconscious previously.

And this now makes me think to the nature of man as having base instincts and drives that are true of every average human being due to their biology but that their biological drives as expressed in desire for things is mediated socially.
Spoiler: show
I think this glass of water theory is completely un-Marxist, and, moreover, anti-social. In sexual life there is not only simple nature to be considered, but also cultural characteristics, whether they are of a high or low order. In his Origin of the Family Engels showed how significant is the development and refinement of the general sex urge into individual sex love. The relations of the sexes to each other are not simply an expression of the play of forces between the economics of society and a physical need, isolated in thought, by study, from the physiological aspect. It is rationalism, and not Marxism, to want to trace changes in these relations directly, and dissociated from their connections with ideology as a whole, to the economic foundations of society. Of course, thirst must be satisfied. But will the normal person in normal circumstances lie down in the gutter and drink out of a puddle, or out of a glass with a rim greasy from many lips? But the social aspect is most important of all. Drinking water is, of course, an individual affair. But in love two lives are concerned, and a third, a new life, arises, it is that which gives it its social interest, which gives rise to a duty towards the community.
Marx did not believe, as do many contemporary sociologists and psychologists, that there is no such thing as the nature of man; that man at birth is like a blank sheet of paper, on which the culture writes its text. Quite in contrast to this sociological relativism, Marx started out with the idea that man qua man is a recognizable and ascertainable entity; that man can be defined as man not only biologically, anatomically and physiologically, but also psychologically.

Of course, Marx was never tempted to assume that "human nature" was identical with that particular expression of human nature prevalent in his own society. In arguing against Bentham, Marx said: "To know what is useful for a dog, one must study dog nature. This nature itself is not to be deduced from the principle of utility. Applying this to man, he that would criticize all human acts, movements, relations, etc., by the principle of utility, must first deal with human nature in general, and then with human nature as modified in each historical epoch." [22] It must be noted that this concept of human nature is not, for Marx -- as it was not either for Hegel -an abstraction. It is the essence of man -- in contrast to the various forms of his historical existence -- and, as Marx said, "the essence of man is no abstraction inherent in each separate individual." [23] It must also be stated that this sentence from Capital, written by the "old Marx," shows the continuity of the concept of man's essence ( Wesen) which the young Marx wrote about in the Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts. He no longer used the term "essence" later on, as being abstract and unhistorical, but he clearly retained the notion of this essence in a more historical version, in the differentiation between "human nature in general" and "human nature as modified" with each historical period.

In line with this distinction between a general human nature and the specific expression of human nature in each culture, Marx distinguishes, as we have already mentioned above, two types of human drives and appetites: the constant or fixed ones, such as hunger and the sexual urge, which are an integral part of human nature, and which can be changed only in their form and the direction they take in various cultures, and the "relative" appetites, which are not an integral part of human nature but which "owe their origin to certain social structures and certain conditions of production and communication." [24] Marx gives as an example the needs produced by the capitalistic structure of society. "The need for money," he wrote in the Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts, "is therefore the real need created by the modern economy, and the only need which it creates.... This is shown subjectively, partly in the fact that the expansion of production and of needs becomes an ingenious and always calculating subservience to inhuman, depraved, unnatural, and imaginary appetites." [25]

Man's potential, for Marx, is a given potential; man is, as it were, the human raw material which, as such, cannot be changed, just as the brain structure has remained the same since the dawn of history. Yet, man does change in the course of history; he develops himself; he transforms himself, he is the product of history; since he makes his history, he is his own product. History is the history of man's self-realization; it is nothing but the self-creation of man through the process of his work and his production: "the whole of what is called world history is nothing but the creation of man by human labor, and the emergence of nature for man; he therefore has the evident and irrefutable proof of his self-creation, of his own origins." [26]

And this has raised another thing about desire, and desire seems to something that propels us towards things that we lack, without a lacking there can be no desire.
And I think a good way to conceptualize this is that we as real existing beings aren't unchanging perfection and thus must always actively maintain ourselves, seek things to satisfy and preserve our well being.
A good sense of this is expressed in Marx's treatment of love.
It is worthwhile in this context to note Marx's treatment of love which appears earlier in The Holy Family. The Young Hegelians inveigh against love on the grounds that it makes “sensuous objects” of human beings. Edgar Bauer wrote, “the beloved is important to the lover only as this external object of the emotion of his soul, as the object in which he wishes to see his selfish feeling satisfied” (The Holy Family, MECW 4:21). Marx and Engels viciously attack this view. Other human beings, after all, are external objects. The emotion of love cannot be denounced simply on the ground that it causes human beings to recognize others as the externally independently existing objects that they are. It is precisely this capacity of human beings to love that helps lead them to an understanding of the external, objective world as something that exists independently of the individual subject. Marx and Engels write, “love first really teaches man to believe in the objective world outside himself” (The Holy Family, MECW 4:21). Edgar Bauer complains that in loving another person, the lover wishes to see his “selfish feeling satisfied.” But if that is true, then it is this love-relation that allows human beings to see that they must seek their satisfaction outside of themselves and in the world around them. It causes them to attach importance to human beings. This hardly seems like the worst thing an emotion could be accused of 68.

For Marx, this is precisely what is of principal value in the relation of love. It is love that allows humans to understand that the satisfaction of their needs does lie in other human beings. The other human being becomes an object for his lover, a being with objective, independent reality. This is a basic principle in Marx's moral conception and in his philosophy as a whole. The interaction between, and mutual dependence upon, fellow human beings is what leads to consciousness, language, and in fact forms the entire basis of human social development.

And I don't think as concrete beings we should deny these instincts and drive, but they should be cultivated in human ways, through appropriate social mediation.
Because labor takes on such an unattractive character, instead of recognizing the labor process as the essence of human activity, workers feel that they are truly themselves and truly human only when they are at leisure or satisfying those needs which they have in common with animals.

As a result, therefore, man (the worker) only feels himself freely active in his animal functions – eating, drinking, procreating, or at most in his dwelling and in dressing-up, etc.; and in his human functions he no longer feels himself to be anything but an animal. What is animal becomes human and what is human becomes animal.

Certainly eating, drinking, procreating, etc., are also genuinely human functions. But taken abstractly, separated from the sphere of all other human activity and turned into sole and ultimate ends, they are animal functions. (Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844, MECW 3:275)

I get the sense that Marx's morality fits in with superficial readings of Daoist thought I've seen, where it seems focused on fitting things to the nature of a thing. By understanding something as it really is, one is better able to treat it as it should be, in accordance with it's nature. To go against somethings nature is to necessarily be a detriment to it like not feeding a child, not keeping them warm or safe from harm, not loving them. To lack that which affirms our nature and satisfies us is immoral.
Last edited by Wellsy on 31 Aug 2017 02:30, edited 1 time in total.
@Wellsy Excellent post, but you and I are aware of this propaganda. This does not totally free us perhaps, but it definitely makes a big difference.
You seem to view the subconscious as something that acts on us. I view it as just a different part of our reasoning. You can listen to your subconscious willingly I believe and actively influence it with your conscious thoughts. It is a two way process, not one way. It appears too fast for our conscious minds, but that is an illusion. It just gives us what we ask for if we trust it and analyze the message.
It will replay any experience (propaganda) , but we are free to see it for what it is. It is the past and deductions made based on the past. We can reject, accept, or alter it. It is basically a storage device for every aspect of our entire existence and that is too much to have access to all the time.
I realize this probably does not make much sense because it is just what I think my subconscious has taught me and I am still trying to understand it. So it could be termed total bullshit, but I don't think so. I see no reason for us to believe the majority of our mind would be inaccessible and/or not understandable. That would be a contradiction of what we are finding out about how interrelated all are human parts are.
I even acknowledge this could all be rationalizing because I simply believe we have total free choice potential. We just need to listen to ourselves. We have the ability to choose freely but we choose not to.

Edit: @Wellsy since we store the emotion at the time we learned something it makes propaganda very effective, but if you pause and realize your current emotion is a memory, then you free yourself from it also.
True to my character I kind of went on a riff through different thoughts to see where they go, so might seem a bit chaotic.
Though this isn't the worst thing, I like to defend it as being creative and not being afraid of error, letting curiosity spur me rather than fear ;)
Whitehead gives his own deceptively bland statement of the problem of truth and error towards the beginning of Symbolism:

An adequate account of human mentality requires an explanation of (i) how we can know truly, (ii) how we can err, and (iii) how we can critically distinguish truth from error. (S 7)

Despite this unexceptionable goal, however, Whitehead does not seem to think that the problem of error is of great importance. Indeed, he takes what most philosophers would consider a cavalier, and indeed irresponsible, attitude towards the whole question. For he holds that "in the real world it is more important that a proposition be interesting than that it be true" (PR 259). A scientific observation, a common-sense hypothesis, or even a rigorous philosophical formulation may have relevent and important consequences, despite the fact that it is erroneous. For this reason, Whitehead is less concerned with eliminating error than in experimenting with it, and seeing what might arise from it. Error is not an evil to be exterminated, but a frequently useful "lure for feeling" (PR 25 and passim). It is a productive detour in the pathways of mental life: "We must not, however, judge too severely of error. In the initial stages of mental progress, error in symbolic reference is the discipline which promotes imaginative freedom" (S 19).

It is worth underlining how rare this position is in Western philosophy. It may well be a cliché of educational method (a subject in which Whitehead himself was deeply interested) that making mistakes is a necessary part of learning. But most philosophers overlook this. They are more concerned with the nature and content of truth, than they are with the question of how we may learn to attain it. Deleuze is the only other major philosopher I know who joins Whitehead in regarding the problem of error as in itself merely trivial (Difference and Repetition 148-151).

One Degree wrote:@Wellsy Excellent post, but you and I are aware of this propaganda. This does not totally free us perhaps, but it definitely makes a big difference.
You seem to view the subconscious as something that acts on us. I view it as just a different part of our reasoning. You can listen to your subconscious willingly I believe and actively influence it with your conscious thoughts. It is a two way process, not one way. It appears too fast for our conscious minds, but that is an illusion. It just gives us what we ask for if we trust it and analyze the message.
It will replay any experience (propaganda) , but we are free to see it for what it is. It is the past and deductions made based on the past. We can reject, accept, or alter it. It is basically a storage device for every aspect of our entire existence and that is too much to have access to all the time.
I realize this probably does not make much sense because it is just what I think my subconscious has taught me and I am still trying to understand it. So it could be termed total bullshit, but I don't think so. I see no reason for us to believe the majority of our mind would be inaccessible and/or not understandable. That would be a contradiction of what we are finding out about how interrelated all are human parts are.
I even acknowledge this could all be rationalizing because I simply believe we have total free choice potential. We just need to listen to ourselves. We have the ability to choose freely but we choose not to.

Edit: @Wellsy since we store the emotion at the time we learned something it makes propaganda very effective, but if you pause and realize your current emotion is a memory, then you free yourself from it also.

I do think that while can effect that which we are unconscious to and in the vein of psychoanalysis seek to bring more of that which is unconscious to us into a conscious awareness. I do get quite concerned with the power of that which we don't know we 'know' influencing us. Which doesn't require that we have no influence over it and can't manage it in someway, but because its outside of awareness and one can't be constantly aware of all things, it seems that it is necessarily blind spot that can't be actively guarded. Though it doesn't necessarily rule over consciousness but I agree with this sense of it just being another part of our reasoning. And it's through reasoning that we do have a significant control, and that control can be expanded also through an increase in the sort of conceptual tools we internalize and the perspective we have towards the empirical reality.
So I guess I see that there is no isolating it from our consciousness and that they two are intimately entwined and that it's clear that there is ability to influence our unconscious otherwise there'd be little concern for it as a vulnerable component for the manipulation of others. Who of course benefit from us lacking self awareness, which would make the unconscious more readily manipulated.
But there are reasons to not get too comfortable with ourselves as we necessarily go up against what we lack an awareness of which seems unlimited compared to what one thinks they do know. We typically take what might sometimes feel an arrogant position in which our views are treated as capital T truth until the point that we go through the motions on a subject to see the previous limits of our understanding.
The more you know the more aware you are of what you didn't know. Like an expanding circle in which the outer limit of the circle for a previous point of awareness seems minuscule relative to a new outer limit o understanding.

In the end, I just have an anxiety about it being a blind spot that one can never have a complete awareness of, as it's necessarily outside of awareness and so by definition can't know what influences you until you bring elements of the unconscious into the conscious. Which even then is but a first step, awareness isn't enough to resist things, as one can know something and still be stuck to the belief.
Like the person who is aware that they have a fetish for something, but the awareness doesn't break the spell. Breaking from habits and tendencies requiring further effort than just an awareness.
The distinction being that one can become aware of things yet practically behave as if nothing changed, even though subjectively much has changed.
And even with emotions, whilst we associate certain feelings with memories of other sensations such as a smell or sound or what ever. It's not clear to me that one necessarily makes an accurate memory of their subjective sensations at the time. Because it seems to me that one can in fact reflect upon events in ones life with entirely different emotions. So something that was intensely terrifying has dissipated and is now funny and a amusing memory. I think this can make fuzzy management of the influence of emotions in relation to past things. Though emotions clearly play an important part in memory as you may not be conscious of things but can remember feeling a certain way and it can serve rational ends even though one has no rational sense about their behaviour preserving themselves from harm or something.

I guess this is vague because we're speaking to subjective/inner things that we probably haven't much of a framework and language to articulate the nature of. But I guess the vague point in my mind is one of skepticism to the control we have over ourselves. Which I am averse to that which restricts us so heavily to being simply detereministic and unable to have some sense of a concrete agency as mediated through things. Imperfect control isn't so bad to me compared to the sense that we're condemned to a strict determinism, as reality seems more complicated than that.
To sum up, all processes in the world are evoked not by a one-way or one-sided action but are based on the relationship of at least two interacting objects.

Just as various paths may lead to one and the same place, so various causes lead to one and the same effect. And one and the same cause may have different consequences. A cause does not always operate in the same way, because its result depends not only on its own essence but also on the character of the phenomenon it influences. Thus, the heat of the sun dries out canvas, evokes extremely complex processes of biosynthesis in plants, etc. Intense heat melts wax but tempers steel. At the same time an effect in the form of heat may be the result of various causes: sun rays, friction, a mechanical blow, chemical reaction, electricity, disintegration of an atom, and so on. He would be a bad doctor who did not know that the same diseases may be due to different causes. Headache, for instance, has more than one hundred.

The rule of only one cause for one effect holds good only in elementary cases with causes and effects that cannot be further analysed. In real life there are no phenomena that have only one cause and have not been affected by secondary causes. Otherwise we should be living in a world of pure necessity, ruled by destiny alone.

That there are limits to things but within those limits things are complex in their constant interactions with one another, allowing approximations/probabilities rather than accurate and specific prediction.
It may be true that within certain limits, it is possible to see the same mathematical patterns that have been identified in other models or chaotic systems. But given the almost limitless complexity of human society and economics, it is inconceivable that major events like wars would not disrupt these patterns. Marxists would argue that society does lend itself to scientific study. In contrast to those who see only formlessness, Marxists see human development from the starting point of material forces, and a scientific description of social categories like classes, and so on. If the development of chaos science leads to an acceptance that the scientific method is valid in politics and economics, then it is a valuable plus. However, as Marx and Engels have always understood, theirs is an inexact science, meaning that broad trends and developments could be traced, but detailed and intimate knowledge of all influences and conditions is not possible.

I'm just ruminating atm, but another thing that came to mind about the relation between emotion and propaganda is something which I in a sort of purposely offensive manner describe as people acting like pavlovian dogs.

An allergy is an uncontrolled negative emotional response towards some idea or person. It’s the gut-wrenching feeling that a person you dislike provokes in you, or the feeling of anger and discontent certain ideas or concepts can spawn.

We all have these emotions, but the metamodernist has developed its mind (what researchers call metacognition) to keep these allergies in check, so as not to let them pollute the capability to make objective judgments and fair analysis. The wisdom is, just because something makes you feel bad, doesn’t mean it’s wrong.

It’s not your feeling towards something that makes it right or wrong, no, determining the truth and value of something must be based on careful analysis. The trick is to know when your brain is bullshitting you, often one’s emotions will seduce reason to construct truths that correspond with that intuitive feeling. That’s ok if it’ll lead you towards good arguments, but you need to be aware that, that’s what’s going on – that your brain is biased and your emotions don’t tell the whole truth.

To be aware of your emotion’s impact on the way you’re thinking is a personal development stage towards a metamodern mindset. Don’t bullshit yourself; become aware of your emotions. For example, if you react negatively towards certain words, you have an allergy. Let’s try a few out:

White males,
Justin Bieber.

If you suddenly get the impulse to explain why any of these words refer to something inherently bad, then you have an allergy. If you understand this point, that you are being subjected to an automatic allergic response, the allergy loses some its power over your thought structures. You can reclaim responsibility for your own mind, your own thoughts, and your own truth. Because all of these examples are neutral terms referring to a great host of phenomena that can be considered both good and bad, then you’ve made the first step towards metamodern thinking.

But this seems but a minor form of what is considered some sort of influence that can be use to manipulate things to some desired end, it's a lower stage in which people are still yet to take some direction over their emotions.
I suppose I'm concerned that what ever propaganda may be, seems to be so broad as to take advantage of our social nexus integral to our nature. This is something wonderful about ourselves and is to our great advantage but of course is the same avenue in which social influences can be managed through some means. Not perfectly and not without great orchestration of certain resources within the social climate that exists.

Which makes me think to how certain conditions give rise to certain views have more of a resonance with people. So for example, the popularity of certain ideologies and ways of giving meaning/sense to the world such as Marxism in a sense already exist as resonate in people based on their real world conditions but only find their sympathy at pivotal times where not only people are exposed to it but they're driven to find their interest in such interpretations.
I like Ficthe's point to emphasize that because we generally have a particular development and experience of the world growing up, that certain things find their persuasiveness in our felt sense of how real it is along side how it is in accordance with our own reasoning.
Of course, the thinking of people is formed first of all not by teachers and philosophers, but by the real conditions of their lives.

As Fichte said, the kind of philosophy you choose depends upon the type of person you are. Everyone is attracted to a philosophy which corresponds to the already formed image of his own thinking. He finds in it a mirror which fully presents everything that earlier existed in the form of a vague tendency, an indistinctly expressed allusion. A philosophical system arms the thinking (consciousness) of the individual with self-consciousness, i.e. with a critical look at oneself as if it were from the side, or from the point of view of the experience common to all mankind, of the experience of the history of thinking.
Fichte insisted that it was necessary to found science on a single principle, but held that such a first principle cannot be derived by philosophical means. Whether you choose a given principle to be the founding principle of your theory of knowledge or not “depends on what sort of person you are” he said. The choice of a theory of knowledge is therefore also an ethical act.
It must be granted that the truth of the Wissenschaftslehre's starting point cannot be established by any philosophical means, including its utility as a philosophical first principle. On the contrary—and this is one of Fichte's most characteristic and controversial claims—one already has to be convinced, on wholly extra-philosophical grounds, of the reality of one's own freedom before one can enter into the chain of deductions and arguments that constitute the Wissenschaftslehre. This is the meaning of Fichte's oft-cited assertion that “the kind of philosophy one chooses depends upon the kind of person one is.”

This is where at present I have a sentiment that those that are prone to fascism had a significant disposition based on their conditions, similarly with those of the working class having their own dispositions. Though the nuances of it can be kept immature, juvenile based on the lack of organization and cultivation of certain views and concepts to provide people with the conscious clarity that they need.
I guess it gets me back to a question of the relationship between our consciousness and our concrete existence with things impacting us. Like the heuristic that one's class position tends to express itself in class based self interests seems sensible as a probabilistic trend, but it's also the case that many in spite of their class position, express a perspective and allegiance with a class that they don't belong to. Which captures that whole lack of strict determinism, perhaps a space of freedom.
Figures such as Robert Owen and, I might add, Carl Sagan or Emile Zola, demonstrate some of the most progressive viewpoints possible within a bourgeois perspective. In addition to them, there are of course persons such as John D. Rockefeller or John F. Kennedy who simply seek mostly to rationally advance the interests of their class (I am speaking of course of a narrowly instrumental “rationality” in these cases).

Additionally, there are individuals such as Charles or David Koch, Joseph McCarthy, or Father Charles Coughlin, who actively promote the most brazenly reactionary tendencies of their class. Marx would argue that across this range of bourgeois actors, their identifications with that class inhibit them, so long as they maintain those identifications, from fully recognizing the progressive role of the proletariat and its fitness to lead society, or from fully embracing the historical materialist perspective developed in Marx's thought. However, within that bourgeois perspective and bourgeois class identification, a wide range of thought and action is possible and the charge of crude economic determinism does not recognize this, as Marx does. Furthermore, not only is a wide range of action possible within a bourgeois class identification, but it is possible for individuals to choose to renounce that identification entirely. Already in The Communist Manifesto, Marx explains that confronted by the immense contradictions of capitalist society, increasingly many individual members of the bourgeoisie or the petty bourgeoisie may switch their class allegiance entirely to the camp of the proletariat, coming to the view that it is only the victory of the working class, leading a movement towards communism, that can safeguard the continued existence and development of humanity. Of course, one need look no further than Marx's collaborator, Frederick Engels, for an example of a bourgeois who chooses this course. However, it would be deeply misguided to develop a theory of and a program for social and economic development that relied heavily on such occasional changes of camp, when in a society based on profit, it is the profit motive, by and large, that dominates in the decisionmaking of capitalists, just as it is the conscious or unconscious struggle against the inhuman aspects of labor under capitalism that dominates in the decision-making of workers.

Marx argues that economic relations determine human action to a significant extent, but this by no means licenses interpreters to dub him a strict economic determinist who sees no room for freedom of human action. He is able to describe and account for a wide range of human action, even as he sees that action being constrained by economic factors. Marx's theory, as a theory of the emancipation of the human species through the self-emancipation of the working class, depends precisely on the struggle of human beings to realize themselves as free and conscious human actors, and to be more than “appendages to machines” or mere subjects of economic and social relations that dominate them instead of being directed by them.
Critical thinkers end up discussing how little we know. This is an amazing part of the human condition. If we could know then our lives would lose meaning. I like Whitehead's view of experimenting with err.
Exploration is enjoyable and the errors are essential in exploration of ourselves and the nature of reality. We should not even want to find some universal truth of our existence. We should just understand allowing each to pursue their erroneous beliefs is what makes us interesting.
Freedom is bad because freedom is:

- Doing graffiti.
- Gambling.
- Doing recreational drugs.
- Burning peoples' homes.
- Verbally abusing other people (shit talking).
- People partying all night, preventing near by workers from sleeping and they will be tired when they need to get up.
- People having the right to beat up random people, which causes potential victims to form gangs that oppress themselves via manipulation.
- Random women getting raped on the streets.
- Social chaos, which leads to excessive mental illness for victims, increased rates of suicide, and waste of labour energy.

I would rather live under an oppressor then be "free" around people who can do Whatever they want to me.

My personal definition of "freedom" that I support is introversion, social privacy, confidentiality, sexual liberation, secularism and free thought, the abolition of the family institution, and solitude.
SSDR wrote:Freedom is bad because freedom is:

- Doing graffiti.
- Gambling.
- Doing recreational drugs.
- Burning peoples' homes.
- Verbally abusing other people (shit talking).
- People partying all night, preventing near by workers from sleeping and they will be tired when they need to get up.
- People having the right to beat up random people, which causes potential victims to form gangs that oppress themselves via manipulation.
- Random women getting raped on the streets.
- Social chaos, which leads to excessive mental illness for victims, increased rates of suicide, and waste of labour energy.

I would rather live under an oppressor then be "free" around people who can do Whatever they want to me.

I'm sure most people who call for "freedom" would not support most of what is on that list. I for one would say that freedom should not include the right to violate other's rights/freedom. Destroying the property of others and hurting innocents would pretty much only be tolerated that egregiously under The Purge-style anarchy, which isn't a "free" society, though admittedly, what is "freedom" can be subjective.
Random American wrote:I'm sure most people who call for "freedom" would not support most of what is on that list.

It depends on what definition of freedom you view or support. The definition and characteristics of freedom you support shows what political ideology you have.

A lot of radical liberals and anarchists support graffiti, doing recreational drugs (legalizing marijuana, heroin, cocaine, LSD, meth, etc.) gambling (some casinos are very wealthy and have high sale recordings), verbally abusing others (freedom of speech, freedom of expression), loving to party all night in night clubs that promote capitalist culture, fighting (some people love to fight for them it is fun) and legalizing rape (some anarchist leaning people of the far right want to legalize rape, people like "Incels" or "Men Going Their Own Way").

Many radical liberals and anarchists have different views of social chaos than anti anarchists like myself. Many radical liberals and anarchists believe that "police brutality," death penalties, "state tortures," and discipline to criminals (that anarchists don't view as criminals) is "socially chaotic."
I for one would say that freedom should not include the right to violate other's rights/freedom.

But, different people have different definitions of freedom, that is what defines their politics. Telling an anarchist to not do graffiti or to party all night and keep other workers from sleeping is violating their freedom because that is what they believe is "freedom" because they are anarchists. Different political ideologies use different definitions of "freedom" based on what they believe.
Destroying the property of others and hurting innocents would pretty much only be tolerated that egregiously under The Purge-style anarchy,

which isn't a "free" society, though admittedly, what is "freedom" can be subjective.

Correct. Anarchy is the most oppressive type of system because people would be able to do whatever they want to you. That "subjective" defines one's political views and ideology.

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