Freedom is the basis for a lot of my life and thinking. I refuse to be a clone or slotted into a hole. I want to be free to think, feel, experience and express myself.
I resent any intrusion into what I regard as my freedom.
But I do recognise that freedom is a compromise and is limited. None of us are free.
The only way we can be completely free is to be living entirely on our own. Even then we are constrained by our abilities and nature.
I do not want extreme freedom.
I do not want to live in a society where people are allowed to be violent.
I do not want to live in a society where they are free to bully, express hatred, practice misogyny or racism, threaten, rape, steal or damage. I’m happy that there are laws to prevent this.
I do not want to live in a society where everyone has guns and armed police can shoot me.
I do not want to live in a society where those of a disposition can practice incest or paedophilia. I am happy there are laws on incest and an age of consent.
I feel that I am fairly able to live as I like. It is not a police state. I can vote for who I want, say what I like about the government and religion with impunity. I can believe in what I like or not, worship or not and blaspheme. I will not be tortured, imprisoned or burnt at the stake.
I might complain about the sham of our democracy and argue about certain laws – such as the drug laws – or complain about the exploitation and elitism – but I can go where I want, say what I want and do what I want.
If freedom was absolute we would have anarchy and a violent society in which nobody was safe. The violent bullies would rule. It would be grossly unfair and frightening.
So freedom for me is a compromise.
I’m OK with governments forcing short-term restrictions in an emergency – such as a pandemic – as long as those restrictions are limited, fair and removed ASAP.
I get aeriated about religions indoctrinating children or restricting women’s rights. I get aeriated about government censorship or political restrictions. I get vexed about media lies, government spin and fake news – it undermines truth and removes freedom.
I’m on the side of the people of Myanmar opposing their military government, those who fought apartheid, the Muslim women refusing the veil, the people standing up to juntas and oppression of any form. I’m for civil rights and for us all to be equal and free.
But let anybody try to take away my free speech, right to travel, right to vote or right to not worship and I would be forced to fight them.
Freedom is a basic right as far as I’m concerned. But freedom is a slippery beast. It is a compromise at best. Freedom is an ever evolving battle.