Freedom is a word that arouses enthusiasm and support. It is a value for which men have fought and died; and no one disputes that it is better to be free than to be a slave or a prisoner. But this subject offers a spontaneous vision of freedom. Freedom, in this sense, would be when my desire and my will meet no limits. Positively, freedom would mean doing whatever you want. Negatively, freedom would be the absence of constraints.
Nowadays, in the media, they want people to believe that freedom, indeed, lies in the absence of constraints. In other words, the subject (in the proposed question) and the media imply an individualistic conception of freedom. But does this spontaneous definition of freedom stand up to scrutiny? Does it not lead to tragic consequences?
On the other hand, if freedom means doing whatever one wants, it implies that freedom and obedience are incompatible. And it is true that, at first sight, freedom seems to be contrary to obligation and constraint. Now, to obey is a constraint, an obligation. So, from this point of view, only those who do not obey in society would be free. The only ones who would be free are those who command, who give orders because supposedly they have no obligations. In that sense, those who command, the chiefs and the leaders would do whatever they want. The subordinates, who must obey, on the other hand, would therefore not be free.
Since there are many more subordinates than people who command, then few men are free, if being free means doing whatever one wants. In this vision of things, only a ruling elite would be free. This is precisely the thesis defended by Callicles in the dialogue Plato’s Gorgias.
In my opinion FREEDOM IS DOING WHATEVER YOU WANT TO DO, BUT WITH RESPECT FOR OTHERS. Because, if everyone did what they wanted without limits, no one would be free anymore. It is the philosopher Hobbes in The Citizen who imagines that in the state of nature men are endowed with unrestricted freedom, total freedom, and that is hell. Since everyone is absolutely free to do whatever he wants, “it is war of all against all,” says Hobbes. Total freedom is therefore inherently contradictory. Also, since freedom is not doing everything one wants to do , but doing everything one wants to do without harming others, there is a need for education.
In other words, freedom is not a given state of affairs.
Man is born free in law, but not in fact. For man to be free in law and in fact, the subject must have acquired a certain autonomy of thought; this autonomy of thought which makes the individual responsible is normally the product of education. Since freedom is not to do all that one wants, but to do all that one wants on the condition of respecting others, there is a need for education to achieve “true freedom”.
Freedom is achieved by learning obedience, because by obeying others one learns to control oneself. And in adulthood, the individual will no longer be controlled, because he will be able to control himself. The second goal of education is culture, instruction proper. It is important to be cultured and educated in order to be free, because otherwise one risks being dominated by anyone, such as sophists, demagogues and dictators. Moreover, freedom is not only a simple obedience to reason, it is also knowing how to listen to one’s inspiration and feelings, which is why the freest individuals have often been artists.