1 Oct 2014

Freedom:- Never have we been so free

Based on an article by Paul Verhaeghe

“Never have we been so free. Never have we felt so powerless.” We are indeed freer than before, we can criticise religion, take advantage of the new casual attitude to sex and support any political movement we like.
We can do these things because they no longer have any significance, our freedom is prompted by indifference.
On the other hand, our daily lives have become a constant battle against a bureaucracy, there are regulations about everything, from the salt content of bread to urban poultry-keeping and rules about what we can say(politically correct).
Our freedom is based on one central condition: We must be successful – that is, “make” something of ourselves.Here are some obvious ones:
  •  A highly skilled individual who puts parenting before their career comes in for criticism.
  • A person with a good job who turns down a promotion to invest more time in other things is seen as crazy – unless those other things ensure success.
  • A young woman who wants to become a primary school teacher is told by her parents that she should start off by getting a master’s degree in economics – a primary school teacher, why because that would be considered success.

Then we have the so called values in our culture. Yes our norms and values make up an integral and essential part of our identity.
So they cannot be lost, so we think. Well maybe not but they can be changed. That is precisely what has happened and is happening still.
A changed economy reflects changed ethics and brings about changed identity. The current economic system is bringing out the worst in us. It is capitalism gone mad, the god of privatization and big profit has replaced our ethics.
Even love these days, such as a mother staying at home to care for a child has has been devalued because it is not considered to be a good career 'its not making something of ourselves'.
Why is it that almost all work involved in caring for others is undervalued and considered to be at the bottom rung of success, whereas the greedy are held up to us as great examples.
Is this the direction in which we as humans want to head, is this the success we want humanity.
All we need is a large dose of ethics before its to late.

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