Are We Really Free?

I sometimes wonder if we are individuals, or if society and the media are trying to tell us we should all be the same. I didn’t learn anything about critical thinking until I went to college, and high school was taught in a black-and-white way. I wonder if society doesn’t want people thinking critically. We’re supposed to all follow the societal rules without question. Like my last post in which I wrote about experiencing life, I now wonder if society tries to discourage that. They want us to be blind, living life without thinking, without allowing our minds to grow.

This is America, and supposedly we have freedom. But it’s freedom within our society’s rules. We can do whatever we want, as long as we go to college, get married, work practical jobs, have children, and don’t ask questions. Even though we’re “free,” there are still societal limitations. There are in every culture. Even in America, if a person branches too far from those expectations, they can be shunned from society.

I have to wonder: Are we really free?


  1. As long as we live in an economic system we will never be free. Everybody is free to vote for one of two hand-picked candidates that are sure to keep the status quo, everyone is free to choose whatever career they like so long as they are good consumers/producers that make their masters filthy rich while they barely make enough to provide the necessities of life, everyone is free to do what they want as long as they continue to believe that the system, which enslaves them and causes all the worlds misery, is absolutely necessary for their survival. Sadly, most people just want their bread and circuses and don’t want to think critically if they are even able to anymore. With all the prescription drugs people are on these days its a wonder anyone can think or feel anything at all.

    1. I agree! It’s interesting what you brought up about politicians. We’re able to vote in a democratic election, but people are chosen based on particular qualifications on specific beliefs.

      It does seem to me that in most schools, we’re never taught how to think critically or question things. If students never learn that in life, then they’ll believe whatever society tells them. It’s funny the way the world works…

      1. You are very right Rebecca, they do not teach critical thinking in school and even most universities do not offer a course in this. There is a reason for this however, I cannot remember the title of the book but John Dewey, yes the decimal system guy, wrote a book about the establishment of the education system in the US and what its purpose was. Its a very good read and after all he was involved in actually setting it up! He basically said school was to do three things 1) Accustom children to be in the same place for eight hours a day 2) teach them how to be on-time and prompt and 3) to get them used to doing rote tasks. These things, he said, would make them better factory workers than if they left their “education” up to the parents.

      2. That’s really interesting! I should see if I can find that book. I remember hearing about those ideas and how they wanted people to get used to routines and following rules to prepare for future jobs. This is understandable, but it’s said that we’re barely taught how to be creative and think criticially; these things are almost discouraged in the educational system.

      3. Well if school is all about training future workers so they can better serve their corporate masters then it becomes easy to see how creativity, critical thinking and also leadership skills would be a threat to that type of control. If we encourage and foster creative and critical thinkers they are more likely to question the system of control and desire to truly be free. If this is allowed to happen on a mass scale then you get a population of free thinking individuals who wouldn’t very easily allow or submit to the type of control we live under today. Even one person like this is dangerous because it’s likely that they can help others to see and think critically and if enough people start to question things then those in Authority lose the only power they have over us and that is the power of our consent! Nothing is done to us that we do not allow to happen either by our passive indifference or our complete ignorance to the motives of their actions. Every action, whether it is an action taken or one not taken, is a choice that someone makes. We say we don’t like wars but people make a choice to become soldiers and go off to war and kill total strangers all because someone they’ve never met said so. Everyone decides everyday to continue upholding the current system that limits their freedom in exchange for a perceived sense of security.

      4. That is all so true! No matter what we think about being free, it’s all an illusion because society has to be controlled in some way in order for the people to comply with everything the government tells us. While we may think we are free, there is still someone controlling our education, what we do for work, what we believe. The news is biased, so even the information we receive is not always accurate. There is always some form of control over us that we aren’t aware of and don’t see.

      5. That’s it precisely! I often think of the matrix movies as a good analogy for this, we kind of live in and believe in a false reality while at the same time we are being controlled by the real but unseen reality!

      6. That’s a really interesting idea! I can completely understand the Matrix analogy because we do live in a false reality. Everything is controlled in some way and we just don’t see it.

      7. Well at least there are 2 people in the world who can still think critically 😉 Although I have met and talked to others, there really aren’t many people asking the questions that you are and I applaud you for doing so!

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