“And if all others accepted the lie which the Party imposed-if all records told the same tale-then the lie passed into history and became truth. ‘Who controls the past’ ran the Party slogan, ‘controls the future: who controls the present controls the past.’”
– George Orwell, 1984, Book 1, Chapter 3
In my life no question has plagued me like the question of freedom? Particularly given an idea of philosophy; upon entering a class on political philosophy in high school the teacher opened with that exact question; what is freedom, and how does a society obtain it? She claimed that this was the basis of political philosophy. We in class came to two conclusions, freedom is either giving of one’s self to the whole and then gaining the freedom of the whole threw that (communism), and keeping all of the freedom to one’s self and giving that back to each individual (anarchy). Weather or not these ideas rang true for anyone else it has driven my exploration into this question.
The idea behind Marxism was far less complex than that. Marx was less interested so much in what the answer to this question was, and more so involved in the natural progression of the human race as a whole. Pure Marxism was merely a progression of human nature and governing. It was leaders, such as Lenin and Mao, who really put the spin on the ideas presented and looked for answers to their own questions within what Marx said. They claimed something along the lines of the collective freedom was what would free the individual. Still these two ideas come to one conclusion that the state is the death of freedom. In fact even in many ideas of Democracy the idea is that any person can be the ruler and thus there is no room for a real state, but rather the rule of the people.
Still anarchy was lead down a much different path. Though communism and anarchy grew out of the same trunk the two came to two very different paths to the same basic ending, no central rule. In between the two there are varying ideas which lead to different conclusions. Anarchy being birthed from writers, such as Emma Goldman, “Anarchism is the great liberator of man from the phantoms that have held him captive; it is the arbiter and pacifier of the two forces for individual and social harmony.” Thus freedom from the philosophical wave was of same conclusions and differing paths. It is merely a question of what would make one happiest on these paths to freedom.
Yet once one got to a state that was perfect then what? The daily grind of the days wearing on like a hamster wheel would still cause stir in the hearts of millions and tragedy in the eyes of children. So then the sprit teaches of freedom beyond what we can sense, beyond the touch, smell, sight and taste. In yoga there is the idea of the Jiva Mukta, one who is freed within the body. One who lives above Karma, and ego. The path to this idea is the many different ways of yoga.
The difference between the political and theoretical ideas of the intellect and that of the spirit was merely the extent of time that one would be free. The ideas that the political philosophers gave was one which would only work so far as the material body was alive, where as the yogis allowed for something beyond that. Even in ideas outside of the yogi, such as that of the western, or other eastern thoughts of spirit, there is the idea that the freedom of the individual was only valid as long as it reached eons; that it reached outside of the material body. Different still was that the spirit gave different paths in which this freedom could be achieved. Even Marx did not give an idea of how to reach the ultimate goal of freedom.
Although the spiritual ideas seems to give more of a path than just a goal, there was still the idea of individual freedom verses grouped freedom; and how much of a centralized power does one group allow? Thus one steps completely outside the ideas of freedom and into the realm of religion verses the idea of spirit.
These ideas are always up for interpretation, and only the choice of the individual. There are many paths to the truth, but there is one truth. No one God is better than any one else’s God. There is only the ways of the political that one must respect and question, only that of the political that can hinder the freedom that can go beyond that of the material.