Tag Archives | Freedom

Proposals for a Freer and More Just Society

The unnamed (CC BY-SA 2.0)

The unnamed (CC BY-SA 2.0)

In case you haven’t noticed, the world is growing increasingly unfree and unjust. Just look around you.

As the revelations by Edward Snowden prove, surveillance of citizens’ private lives by government is at an all-time Orwellian high, with cameras becoming ubiquitous on street corners, drones patrolling the skies overhead, all forms of telecommunications regularly monitored and recorded. In general, there is massive intrusion by government into personal matters that would have been repelled by America’s founders. It was precisely such intrusion that inspired the writing of the Declaration of Independence, as well as the protections against such abuses supposedly enshrined in the Bill of Rights.

In addition to being constantly and suspiciously watched by a group having legal monopoly on both the creation and enforcement of its own rules, a group who seems ever more unaccountable for their own wrongdoing, it’s now taken for granted that cops everywhere carry military-grade hardware.… Read the rest

Continue Reading

Aesthetics, Immanuel Kant & Imagination

Irving Guyer

Does an artist perceive or invent his creation? How does imagination relate to freedom, beauty and nature?
Paul Guyer talks to four by three about the relationship between aesthetics and morality in the work of Immanuel Kant, Hegel’s rejection thereof and Schopenhauer’s positive conception of the aesthetic experience.


four by three: A substantial part of your work as a philosopher has been in the field of aesthetics. What motivated you to start working on this discipline of philosophy?

Paul Guyer: In hindsight, three things.  First, I started taking classes with Stanley Cavell as a freshman at Harvard (his large humanities class, some of the material from which turned up forty years later in his last book, Cities of Words). Cavell did not teach any conventional aesthetics in that course, or at any time during my undergraduate and graduate years at Harvard, but his title was ‘Professor of Aesthetics and General Theory of Value,’ and that may have both piqued my interest and licensed the subject of aesthetics for me.… Read the rest

Continue Reading

The Chemistry of Freedom: Is Free Will an Illusion? [Debate]

 

The cry of democrats and revolutionaries, we value freedom above almost anything. But neuroscientists claim they can predict decisions seven seconds before we act. Might free will be an illusion? Do we need to reimagine what it means to be human, or does freedom win over bad science?

The Panel

Neuroscientist Patrick Haggard, Templeton Prize winning physicist George FR Ellis and philosopher of mind and action Jennifer Hornsby consider where choice begins and chance ends.

Read the rest

Continue Reading

How We Lost Our “Freedom”

Jônatas Cunha CC BY-SA 2.0

Jônatas Cunha CC BY-SA 2.0

Andrew Levine writes at CounterPunch:

In Greek and Roman antiquity, “free” denoted a legal status; the opposite of “slave.” Independent political entities were also “free.” This usage never quite dropped away. Irish republicans, seeking independence from Britain, struggled to establish an “Irish free state.”   The national liberation movements of the latter half of the twentieth century shared this understanding.

In time, the underlying idea overflowed its origins. “Free” came to mean “independent” or “undominated,” irrespective of legal status. This was one of the ways it was understood when hundreds of thousands of African Americans and their allies in the Civil Rights movement marched for “freedom.”

Many of the most important political theorists in Europe in the early modern period understood freedom this way too. The strain of political theory they produced is called (small-r) “republican.”

The name is apt because, in addition to supplying its idea of freedom, the Roman republic, along with certain Greek city-states, inspired its leading thinkers’ visions of ideal political arrangements and their understandings of civic virtue.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

For the Age of the Information Wars, Some Pertinent Quotes Regarding the Future of Humanity

via chycho

assata shakur quote_thumb

We’re in the midst of a war on information. This war is being conducted on multiple fronts; to control the flow of public discourse on social networks, to control the flow of information on the Internet, to centralize power and continue the flow of disinformation by mainstream media (2, 3), to control public education and continue the indoctrination of the youth (2), to dismiss evidence and defund scientific research, and to acquire all private information for all peoples of all nations and consolidate that information into the data bases of centralized governments (1, 2, 3, 4, 5).

Below you will find some pertinent quotes regarding this war – the war that will decide the future of humanity. We should heed the warnings given and implement the solutions provided.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

The Decline In Children’s Freedom And Rise In Mental Disorders

children_playVia Aeon Magazine, psychologist and researcher Peter Gray writes that children’s free time to play is an essential form of learning which is  now being denied them:

For more than 50 years now, we in the United States have been gradually reducing children’s opportunities to play. By about 1900, the need for child labour had declined, so children had a good deal of free time. But then, beginning around 1960, adults began chipping away at that freedom by increasing the time that children had to spend at schoolwork and by reducing children’s freedom to play on their own, even when they were out of school and not doing homework. Parents’ fears led them, ever more, to forbid children from going out to play with other kids unsupervised.

Over the same decades that children’s play has been declining, childhood mental disorders have been increasing. It’s not just that we’re seeing disorders that we overlooked before.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

TSA: Pay Us $85 To Avoid Full-On Airport Molestation

imagesIf you give the civil servants at your local airport $85 then they may not touch your n0-no square. At least as much as they might otherwise.

“Freedom” is available at no charge, but perhaps you’d like to upgrade to our new “Freedom Plus” package!

Via Raw Story:

You’ve likely heard the phrase “freedom isn’t free” before, probably in the context of honoring our service men and women, paying taxes, voting, or paying for audio clips of the movie Braveheart. It’s one of those phrases that’s been used so often that it’s probably no longer worthwhile. My main complaint about the phrase, other than the generally mouth-breathing blowhards who use it, is it leaves the obvious follow up question unanswered: fine, then how much will freedom cost me? It’s an important question we’ve never really had an answer to…until now.

And that answer is? 85 whole American dollars. No, I didn’t get that out of some Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy fan-fiction.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

NSA pays £100m in secret funding for GCHQ

gchq-logoNSA has been funding the UK’s largest intelligence agency to the tune of $100 million over the past three years…

Nick Hopkins and Julian Borger report for the Guardian.

Via The Guardian:

The US government has paid at least £100m to the UK spy agency GCHQ over the last three years to secure access to and influence over Britain’s intelligence gathering programmes.

The top secret payments are set out in documents which make clear that the Americans expect a return on the investment, and that GCHQ has to work hard to meet their demands. “GCHQ must pull its weight and be seen to pull its weight,” a GCHQ strategy briefing said.

The funding underlines the closeness of the relationship between GCHQ and its US equivalent, the National Security Agency. But it will raise fears about the hold Washington has over the UK’s biggest and most important intelligence agency, and whether Britain’s dependency on the NSA has become too great.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Aldous Huxley Interviewed by Mike Wallace

Transcript via Harry Ransom Center: University of Texas at Austin

THE MIKE WALLACE INTERVIEW
Guest: Aldous Huxley
5/18/58

WALLACE: This is Aldous Huxley, a man haunted by a vision of hell on earth. A searing social critic, Mr. Huxley 27 years ago, wrote Brave New World, a novel that predicted that some day the entire world would live under a frightful dictatorship. Today Mr. Huxley says that his fictional world of horror is probably just around the corner for all of us. We’ll find out why, in a moment.

(OPENING CREDITS)

WALLACE: Good evening, I’m Mike Wallace. Tonight’s guest, Aldous Huxley, is a man of letters, as disturbing as he is distinguished. Born in England, now a resident of California, Mr. Huxley has written some of the most electric novels and social criticism of this century.

He’s just finished a series of essays called “Enemies of Freedom,” in which he outlines and defines some of the threats to our freedom in the United States; and Mr.

Read the rest
Continue Reading