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Freedom, the first dogmatic slogan written on the
flags of all `Republics' is as such a Noumenon, a
meaningless, empty noise. The question if I am, or may
be free has sense only with respect to a context, to
a Referential. This context is more or less strongly
ordered with the basic Orderer Causality which has two
aspects Effectivity and Finality. Only Finality is pertinent
to Freedom. I'm certainly not free to act in any way on past
events. Once I have kicked a dog, there is no way I may
Finality accounts for all our acts, from most important,
like deciding a world war to most trivial like getting out
of bed in the morning. Even science while investigating
Effectivity for factual evidence, reposes itself entirely
in Finality, when conceiving its Axioms and Theorems,
or planning its experiments.
After these preliminaries let's move to Freedom itself.
As we have seen in previous chapters, Freedom is the inverse
aspect of Order: highly ordered systems have few degrees of
Freedom, chaotic ones have high, innumerable amount of them.
For a human being, the Freedom degrees of his context
represent options of his choice. Thus, on the face of it,
I am less free within highly ordered context than within
a less ordered my Freedom becoming illimited within the chaos.
However, under closer examination the problem appears more
complex. Let's consider the highway code. It's a highly
ordered system. It forbids me to drive on the left, to cross
continuous line and red lights, etc. In return it leaves one
Freedom degree open: the option to drive. Similarly, all
social systems are ordered by some code which blocks most of
rights, leaving open only very few. Thus, any social system
may be considered allegorically as a "prison".
Yet, perhaps a social system guaranteeing all rights,
without restricting anything would allow us to escape from
all prisons and to be entirely free? Well, let's imagine
the system "Road" without highway code, a chaotic system
with unrestricted Freedom.
After having evaded some trucks driving on the left and one
or two cars cutting in through red lights, one will stop at
the road side amazed to be still alive. Driving became
impossible. Newly opened rights act as obstacles blocking
the essential Freedom to drive. And if you cannot drive,
what is the use of the newly acquired Freedom to drive on
the left? Paradoxically, a chaotic system by opening too
much Freedom kills it entirely. Chaos, the absolute Freedom
results in noFreedom at all. A totally free system becomes
the strictest prison.
In this light Order appears as "Freedom-to" granted by
"Freedom-from". Order emerges from chaos by closing most
of hindering Freedom degrees and leaving open only a few.
In case they coincide with my desires I consider the system
as a "good prison", otherwise as a bad one. In a good prison
I am FREE FROM hindrances and FREE TO perform desired
actions efficiently. Ordered road grants me FREEDOM TO drive
efficiently by granting the FREEDOM FROM stress and danger.
Order stimulates efficiency and chaos paralyzes it. One can
accomplish something only within an ordered context.
Illusory absolute Freedom of chaos and restricted, but real
Freedom of order are beautifully contrasted in Faulkner's
novellas "The Wild Palms" and "Old Man".
In "The Wild Palms" Harry motivated by love refuses all
rules and conventions, goes down all steps of the social
ladder and finishes by killing Charlotte, the very object
of his love for whose sake he had claimed this absolute
In "Old Man" the Tall Convict executes orders of prison
guard and battles the great Mississippi flood to save
a pregnant woman. Free to stay out he returns spontaneously
to prison to regain the specific Freedom of his destiny.
The only Freedom we have is Freedom to choose a prison
like the Tall Convict did.
Finality may be seen as a project encompassing some potential
options each of which may be chosen and converted into active
Final Cause. Faced with these options I may chose some or
none. However, refusal to chose is a particular choice, a
decision committing the future, so I am bound to exert my
We are not only free, we are sentenced to Freedom.