Saturday, February 12, 2011

The cry for love is stronger than the cry for freedom, Mr Obama

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak has ended his three-decade long rule. Just as there has been recently in other Arab countries as well, there was a ray of light in Egypt! Democracy, freedom for the people, a chance to breathe...

"There's something in the soul that cries out for freedom," commented Obama. I agree, but want to bring a layer of complexity to this thought. Yes, we are crying out for freedom - but not to be alienated entities flying around solo; what we wish to have is freedom to be committed, tied up and constrained.

The cry for love is deeper than the cry for freedom, which is why we so easily get manipulated by strong politicians. We wish to fit in, so we go with the crowd. We wish to be accepted, so we adapt to majorities. We wish to be loved, so we sacrifice freedom.

As humans we are not supposed to be free from other humans, but to be able to choose the frames and cages we put ourselves in. Marriage, friendship, work, having a pet - everything that leads to joy and happiness also comes with dependency and rules. Love comes with a package. It´s not a 'cost' in a negative sense, but a mutual agreement. Freedom gives us the possibility to pick our own mix of mutual agreements.

I was a freedom fighter for 20 years, debating and writing from a libertarian perspective (for Swedish think-tank and others), but found the political view of freedom a bit limited and constrained in itself. All we - and the great philosophers through time - ever spoke about was freedom FROM the state, freedom FROM taxes and regulations, freedom FROM dictators like Mubarak. Only John Stuart Mill touched the subject of freedom from other people, and especially freedom TO grow, develop and become who you are supposed to be.

To me, that is my goal. I wish for all people to have the chance to choose their own personal contracts, and to develop as humans, because that will make us happy. Happiness comes from making your own decisions, going through life´s trials and tribulations and coming out as stronger souls. Life will never be perfect, but when we live in freedom and flow we get the 'natural' imperfections.

There is also the factor that not only politicians limit our choices, but culture, traditions and your mates are also mini-dictators For example, I fought for freedom from gender roles, talking about how we as humans limit other humans by judging them when 'misbehaving'. When a girl is acting like a boy her world will tell her off, and by doing that driving her into the norm. Why are all my fellow libertarians so quiet when it comes to these kind of limitations.

I think we as political commentators, thinkers and writers were stuck in our own way of thinking politics. 'Politics is supposed to be about politics' we thought. The fight against Mubarak fits like a glove for the liberal political movements. 'Bring the bastard down, and it´s all good' sort of. But we all know that he has created a mentality in Egypt that lives longer than himself.

Because human nature is more complex than what Obama tells us, the Egyptians have gotten used to being dictated. The soul actually cries out for committment more than freedom. We want to fit in, be like the others to be loved. So people accept lack of freedom and they will encourage it. We have seen it several times through history. Those who are trapped will after a while accept and play along.

By fighting against non-freedom we will not see freedom. People are still not free, just because they can vote. Now, the lack of freedom will be spread through those who have been in chains.

And in a way we will never be free. Which is all good, since that is not the ultimate goal, not the purpose of life. The soul is crying out for happiness through love and communities, and that will always come with committments. Freedom is simply a condition, it´s just soil for the people to grow in, to be able to blossom and feel joy.

I will celebrate today, but removing a dictator is not a quick fix, it´s just one first step.

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