Liberty or Freedom

On October 13th, 2011, Posted by author

Last modified: October 26, 2015


This is a free essay on Liberty or Freedom. Writing an essay on such topics could be part of your coursework and if you need any help with a topic like this, you can visit us at

Liberty or freedom is defined as the power or right to act, speak or think as one wants; not subjugated to a foreign power or a despotic government; the control of self-determination being vested in one’s own will; the quality of being independent of fate or necessity; the state of not being imprisoned or enslaved; unrestricted movement and use of something (Oxford English Dictionary, 2011). Man is obsessed with freedom and demands it at every opportunity. But at what cost?

If we recall Rousseau’s words that “man was born free, and he is everywhere in chains.image One man thinks that he is the master of others, but remains more of a slave than they”, we remember that though mankind prides itself of being free, there are various restrictions and rules binding him such as the government, family, society, wealth, land and so on. This brings us to the conclusion that the very concept of freedom is enmeshed in the freedom of others and cannot be really revelled in without any constraints. A.G. Gardiner once wrote, “that in order that the liberties of all may be preserved, the liberties of everybody must be curtailed.” He meant that there is a constant balancing act between societal freedom and individual freedom.

freedom_of_speechFreedom of speech that is linked to freedom of the press is a topic that is being much debated on today. Direct and indirect control of the print and digital media is practised by almost all the governments although they assert that freedom of speech is guaranteed by the constitutions of these countries. What is seen as information by some is seen as being derogatory or invasion of privacy by others. Freedom to say or publish provoking or scurrilous material could hurt or cause harm to others. Provocative, seditious and  traitorous statements have to be controlled to protect society. But some would see it as unnecessary restrictions placed on the freedom of the press. Whistle-blowers, like Julian Assange may be seen as saviours of society or as iconoclasts, but those affected by the revealed information would want to curb such freedom.

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