An Analysis of Freedom

The Great Reform Act of 1832 brought enormous change to the hitherto heredity advantages enjoyed by the political aristocracy. This was further advanced by the Municipal Corporations Act of 1835. The term Freeman of the Borough became no longer relevant with regard to inherited political advantages. The reforms of the 1830s were led in Parliament by Lord Grey and much resisted by Wellington.

This website relates the importance of inherited rights and as ‘freedom’ has many facets to its meaning, an analysis is in order for evaluation. Socrates and Aristotle would consider it a subject of love, friendship and kinship with justice and ethics.

Freedom – is there such a thing? Unshackled freedom could become anarchy! There must be an element of order and responsibility. Freedom or liberty is allocated. The breaking of a written rule, code, or practice (under oath) would be wrong. For example, a ‘freemen’ may make a vow that cannot be broken – therefore he/she is not absolutely free. Justice – what may that be.

Good comes from education, Evil comes from ignorance, Argument assists knowledge and Discussion will test the theories. Doing ‘the right thing’ ethically. I understand that morality has no justification, and it is in the ethics that there is reason. In fact being ethical is moral and ethics are rational. Goethe says ‘Knowledge of Freedom’ is the reality, ‘freewill and ethics are the ultimate questions. Greek philosophers say learning, kindness, friendship with self-determination, by right, obedience and willingness are examples of democratic freedom.

Empires cannot be democratic in every sense. It seems to me that rules and regulations are necessary and therefore reduce any complete sense of freedom. How do we compromise between freedom and the law (controls). Freedom must be related to responsibility. Free speech may be hurtful – causing damage. Regulations can reduce/remove freedom and or access even anarchy. Democracy requires order and construction.

The politics of the Middle Ages and even including the Commonwealth including citizens and freemen – their oligarchic operations can be seen as dynamic and even hotbeds of democracy. However, there was an almost complete exclusion of rights for women. Historically, the increase in the applications of Royal Charters brought about specific legal rights.

Freemen status within a Corporation conferred more than the simple rights bestowed by enrolment in a company or participation in an election – It conferred the value of ‘citizenship’ upon its holders, encouraging both a sense of ownership within the community and a sense of sacrifice to it. The ethos of citizenship gave individuals a ‘calling’ for government, – is this democracy? Social position is that of kindred for practitioners and for their protection. Freedom with responsibility includes ‘equality’ with natural justice. As liberties or privileges become ‘rights’ civilization is possibly diminished. Entitled society suffers a reduction of dynamic drive. Man is inclined to abuse their liberties and any ‘rights’ should come with responsibilities attached.

Is heritage moral? The Great Reform Act of 1832 made corrections to a non-democratic system. Although, the freemen’s privileges during the Middle Ages can be considered within their context to have been dynamic and democratic. Duties, responsibilities, and taxes were exchanged for protection and a position of self-importance. Self-esteem is certainly a contributary factor. Societal position in the ancient world of the Greeks and Romans can be seen as a model for analysis of Freedom. The Patrician being a free noble or aristocrat and the plebeian being a free commoner. The ‘citizen’ or denizen of the borough may be free by inheritance when compared to the peasant who is free to some extent but has no rights.

The concept of freedom to some philosophers is linked to the ideas of responsibility because ‘freedom gives you responsibility’. Freedom is the power to exercise your will to bring about a particular outcome. Freedom of speech relates to politics. Freedom is generally regarded to do what you want! Aristotle’s concept of freedom – ‘That a human being is free, who exists for their own sake and not another’s. Freedom allows choice while the unfree it is obeyance.

Kant, re liberal politics, philosophises – Happiness should not motivate the exclusion of duty. There is a moral responsibility. Rights and Freedoms – each person has a dignity that must not be trampled, no matter what. Kant endorses the laws of equal freedom and that they should be kept at a maximum. Kant’s moral philosophy justifies extremely strong individual rights against coercion. It can only be used in the defence of self or others. He advocates free play of citizens’ imaginations, enterprise, and experiments in living.

Summary and Conclusion

It clearly appears that some form of governance and regulatory control of society is required. Broadly speaking, freedom and democracy can ultimately lead to extreme ‘liberalisation’ if given no order. Policies are necessary to ensure justice and to control the economy. Such regulation, by necessity involves politics.

Political control inevitably results in a restriction to absolute freedom and provides a more even democracy. There is little doubt that ethically, there must be equal rights and morally, that attention be given to individuals self-esteem. In return, responsible freedom and democracy can reasonably be expected to generate friendship and communal happiness.


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