I have been silent on this blog for over a week as I live in personal quietude. It has been important for me to remain off the grid so as to immerse myself in my thoughts on BOX and life musings. However, once in a while the rabbit must poke its head out of its burrow. Today, the rabbit speaks on freedom.
We live in an increasingly unfree and personally violated world. This shouldn’t be a surprise to us. We pay a fee to live from the second we are born. Do you really think the air we breathe and clean water we drink is free? One word: subsidies. We have also been moving towards a semblance of a 1984 world for some time now. For example, the UK is notorious for its overuse of CCTV to monitor ‘public’ spaces. Those of us who live in modern 1st worlds are all culpable in this slow transformation. We give up freedoms for material convenience and entertainment. As I type this, I’m fielding text messages on my iPhone and Facebook. To satisfy my ease of communication I have had to compromise on my own privacy. This vexes me. We aren’t given much choice in the matter as there aren’t many private alternatives. At some point, society becomes complacent in this forced contract and we come to treat it as a norm.
Some argue that only those who do wrong have something to hide. This is a lazy and bullshit argument. We don’t always know when our seemingly innocent actions or conversations can be deemed criminal or treasonous under certain situations. Are you privy to every federal law that you may come in violation of no matter how inconsequential or archaic? Even outside of the federal law system we see over reach in punishment. Children get expelled from schools for lab experiments gone wrong. Employees get fired for seemingly innocuous behavior in their private lives. Facebook and social media in general has become a playground for employers, government, and law enforcement agencies to track our behavior openly. Even if you keep your social media practices private from certain people, employers can force your hand as a job ‘requirement’.
On another side, our data is being used by businesses to manipulate the market through analytics. Our lives are seemingly being tailored to us. When did we choose for our lives to be tailored? Everything we buy and experience in the material world has been specifically designed and pandered to us.
We think we live in a free world, but we are bound to our own apathy, complacence and habits which we defend irrationally. There are few of us who are openly self aware on deeper levels who act in defiance when we can, but it is an invisible war. Civil liberties are violated everyday en masse and hidden well through careful PR. The fight for an open society is ongoing and being fought by stalwart defenders of an open internet, open government, civil liberties, investigative journalism, rational free speech, etc.
This is not intended as a cynical rant.
A prominent tool in ensuring that we live free lives is to become overtly self aware ourselves. We can only blame the government and bad corporate behavior for so much before it falls into our own laps. It is then that we look into the mirror of what we extend outwards from our own oblivious behavior. It is imperative that we begin to understand that the violations of freedom that are committed are, in essence, committed by ourselves. We are not free when we act on habitual tendencies that add to the noise of society. We are not free when we do not think past the convenient political and societal arguments that we hear and perpetuate. We are not free when we do not take the time to understand the origination of societal issues and instead rely on information after the fact. We are not free when we blame others for our problems.
The title of this post is: Quietudes of Freedom.
Freedom will be found when we begin to quiet and displace ourselves from the noise that accumulates within.
Escape your own BOX.
The rabbit now returns to his burrow to write.