Great freedom that comes to people who lack a strict moral or religious code or do not have strong societal structures to keep them boxed in always ends up filling those people with great rage.
The Weimar Republic culminated in Hitler. The Russian 1990s led to Putin. That kind of freedom rarely makes people soar. Mostly, it makes them crash. And then they become angry because crawling in the mud is degrading. They start wishing for a strong hand to reign them in and a powerful fist to beat out of others the memory of their recent debasement.
Freedom is fantastic when you can exercise self-restraint and know why you should. Most people do neither.
2 thoughts on “From Freedom to Rage”
A significant problem is that people often believe freedom automatically leads to success. When they don’t achieve success, they may decide that freedom is not worth it.
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I understand your comment in the light of the South African situation (my mother – a British expatriate in Constantia for over twenty years – left SA for good recently).
The issue, however – everywhere – is, what is freedom? There are disagreements on this topic, but for most people across the world – and the media they inevitably revolve around – the concept conveyed by that word aligns with the US/Western model built around other mantra words such as “democracy”, “liberalism” , “freedom of speech” and the like, which may mean many different things at different times.
The problem is that, over time, such words have become empty shells carrying meanings that may be very different from the original ones or that may mean different things to different people. We as a society no longer share a common ground of signifiers, intellectually speaking. In an atomised society, even when people listen to one another – which is not always the case – they may not understand what is being said not for lack of a common vocabulary but because the same word conveys a different concept to the various participants in the conversation. Most people these days are indeed speaking at cross purposes.