Freedom of Choice
One of the things that make life so interesting, is its various outcomes due to choices made at specific situations. The problem with individuals and choices have always been a hot debate in all societies, namely: does the individual possess a choice at all, and if it does, how big should the freedom be to make these kind of choices?
The question itself is something we as modern citizens of the Western world always have to deal with, whether it may be choosing wife or picking the right college. And, opposed to ancient totalitarian states, we seem in a Democracy be able to make more choices and thereby have more freedom to discover more options and opportunities in life. Or do we really?
Perhaps one of the first choices to be made in a new family, is whether the mother should stay home with her children, or leave them in the hands of a stranger at kindergarten, in order to put focus on personal career. We are told that this is something the mother may choose on her own and that this works as a contrast to the traditional society, where women had a pre-decided place in the household - mainly to cook food and care for the family, while the man was at work. But oh, how fooled is not the modern woman, when she thinks this is an actual option.
Today women have no choice but to leave their children to another woman's care, since it simply costs too much to stay home and raise children. And kids growing up without their mother clearly show that they run a greater risk to become insecure and mentally unstable. The only choice in this sense, is the opposite to the traditional family, and a society without a stable ground to stand on, that is - healthy and stable families, quickly falls apart. In families where the mother could have stayed home with her children, the economic situation still becomes very tight, since a normal modern family is supposed to possess a wide variety of material things, such as TV, stereo, computer, VCR and cell phone - and preferably keep them updated with the latest technology. If we see it like this, it becomes obvious that a choice really does not exist, except for those with great wealth.
Feminism at its basic core supports this notion of a "modern family" and praises the individualism that today is a standard mindset of most people. Feminists often speak about the "liberty" and "freedom" of the modern woman, yet, what "freedom" are they really speaking about? A woman is now able to choose her career over her family, this is obvious, but in the end it seems like this freedom ultimately rejects itself. Being able to work just as the man in previous times did, the woman now becomes an ordinary consumer, which benefits all of those who wish to make a quick buck on a product. It's obvious that the "freedom" women today have, is a bad excuse for putting them into the consumer lifestyle just like the men now are in, and have them spend just as much money on things like men do. I wonder, if any righteous Feminist ever has considered this option. Clearly not, as they'd provide me with their usual comment: At least we have a choice!
But the "freedom of choice" doesn't stop here. We've all heard them go on and on for hours, making no real sense in what they're trying to project as "truth". I'm talking about Democratic debates. Here we see parties from left to right arguing about major issues in our society, such as work, healthcare, culture (money) and so on. And more, how often are we not told how glad we should be for having these debates in our countries - because the opposite would be the restricted and fascistic totalitarian state where no choices would be available. People lap this up as common truth and who can blame them? But when we set the illusions aside and analyse what the men in red and blue suits really are talking about, we quickly come to the conclusion that they're all speaking about the same basic things.
They all have the same goals, just different means to get there. Both parties advocate humanism, both parties want the current globalisation to more or less continue, both parties want more of the lovely multicultural society - yet, where are the parties with different ideas? Or more correctly; where is the freedom of actual choice? It becomes obvious that people voting for different major parties, 100% certain that their party is the saviour, really votes for different sides of the same coin. It's the same old money-driven policy, where globalism is international trade (selling out a country's interest is no big deal for someone that can make a quick buck on it), where "multiculturism" is a bad excuse for using immigrants as cheap labour workers, where humanism makes sure no one is feeling bad about their neurotic lifestyle - where no one may cause any change to an already failing system. Again, I ask, where is that good old "freedom of choice" you're talking about?
Something that probably bugs many people, is how these debates go on and on without changing a thing. You see their lips move and their eyes fixated on your wallet, yet, where does the promises of a better and healthier society come in? These endless discussions on the same topic confuse and moralise people into thinking that something actually is being done, when in reality, all things more or less stay the same. Any dissident ideas are of course silenced, since they are either "nazi", "fascistic" or even "racist". And isn't this more or less a proof of what kind of "freedom of choice" we're talking about here, when certain opinions and ideas are banned from social agenda.
The problem with these scenarios, is that most people simply follow eachother. You have a majority of a nation following some kind of leadership, and when they have control over which ideas being okay and not okay, you'll easily become fooled by phrases such as "freedom of choice". Many people often say: "But I'm allowed to think the way I think, and I perhaps wouldn't be able to do that in a fascistic state. God praise Democracy". And indeed, God praise Democracy, because a better example of a self-cheating paradox will be hard to find. Of course you're allowed to think the way you think - you think like the majority! When someone's ideas coincide with the ideas of the masses, they'll get into thinking that they have a freedom to think what they want, when in reality, they just happen to think in the "right way". Try adding some ideas from Adolf Hitler, and suddenly you're an insane Nazi trying to infiltrate the pure and innocent minds of unknowing Democrats. Suddenly, the freedom of choice has lost its meaning.
And this is how the illusion goes on and on, by constantly reminding people of how fortunate they are to be born in a nation of free choices, while they at the same time regulate and restrict the choices available, so that you won't pick "the bad one". Imagine I put three balls in front of you, each with a distinct colour. Now, what if I hide one and then present the other two? The person picking balls will of course at first think he has got a freedom to choose, and indeed he does, but at the same time he's still unaware of that hidden ball disappearing down my pocket. This is how Democracy today fools people: by hiding uncomfortable ideas and instead propagating for the "sane" ones. It must strike many as odd, that a truth needs so much treatment and consideration, so many laws to uphold and secure it, instead of just letting it speak for itself. By now you'd figure most people would be able to understand which type of society they'd want, and obviously they are, when only presented with one story.
But this kind of illusionary thinking is not a new thing: it has existed for a very long time. Something that immediately comes to mind is the ever-going conflict between the Judeo-Christian religions. Here we have three religions saying that their version of Jesus and God is the right one, while they in actuality slave under the same God, the same morals, the same material emptiness. And how easy is it not to get confused, where a Muslim confronts you and say "Allah is everyone's God", and where a Jew will go "We're God's chosen people" and the Christian will say...well, the Christians are too liberal to say anything, so they'll be happy with some Sunday preaching in church. The interesting thing to notice, is how these groups feel so certain on the fact that they're opposites and even rivals, when they in reality propagate the same basic ideas: humanism over idealism, absolute rhetorical thinking over relative subjective truths, slave morality over heroism etc. In this sense, you might as well as a Christian, just like people today switch from liberal parties to conservative parties, convert to Judaism tomorrow, as you'll probably be shaking hands with the same God.
When you think about all of this, you probably will come to the conclusion that most of modern society disguises itself in "freedom of choices", although the actual choices often are very few, that is - if there are any at all. It becomes obvious that all societies more or less are intolerant, more or less restrictive, and that which separates these from eachother, is what they tolerate and what they do not tolerate. The modern world defends destruction of Mother Earth, while it sheds tears over 6 million Jews being gassed some 50 years ago. Who will shed the last tear when the "society of choices" has caused the Earth to collapse?
To this writer it becomes apparent that this debate on freedom of choice really comes down to a single point: quantity versus quality. I am not interested in having as many freedoms as possible, but instead I value what these freedoms are. You may be able to come out as a homosexual deviant, crying Jew, obsessed consumer, communist or even as a famous pop star - but in the end - is this really what we care about? The future, does it benefit from these freedoms in order to create a healthier and lasting society? I think not. I'd rather pick one freedom to live in harmony with nature, than a million of freedoms to destroy it. In this sense, I say no to "freedom of choice", and yes to actual possibilities in life.
March 10, 2006
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