TRINPsite, 56.20.1-56.20.1 




Many countries, and also international organizations, guarantee the freedom of 'man' in their constitution or in another legal code. Thus they intend, or purport, to guarantee every person's freedom of conscience and right to pursue 'er own personal fulfilment without having to fear imprisonment or other curtailments of this freedom. But rather than being aimed at the termination of all exclusive measures based on the subjective judgments of particular groups or of citizens in a particular position these codes are often not much more than rhetorical products conceived in an atmosphere in which it was, or still is, unfashionable to admit any form of oppression or discrimination. They outlaw a limited number of political, judicial and social practises (particularly in the field of political and religious convictions, in the field of racial relations, and in the field of women's rights) which are, at least in the open, called "unacceptable" by a majority of nations or citizens. Notwithstanding the fact that these codes have only a limited scope, they often are ignored in specific measures by the very nations or citizens who pretend to support them. And so it may happen that a certain country recognizes the ideal of personal freedom and fulfilment, and that at the same time many citizens in such a country are unjustly imprisoned or otherwise restricted in their freedom, ignored or treated as inferior, simply because they were never meant to be included or treated as equals in a preconceived and preconditioned system.

Freedom is to be defined here not as mere absence of constraints but as availability of options. 'Complete freedom' is, then, the maximum availability of options in a situation in which no-one's right to personhood is violated. As such it reaches far beyond the question of governmental deprivations and restrictions. Some interpret freedom as the freedom to start and to own a private business, and to employ others; this is indeed one type of freedom, felt most deeply by the business person or employer when 'e has the funds or when 'e succeeds ('has made it'). But if the ones employed and the unemployed remain poor, they do not share in this freedom, because they have only a very small number of options: most things they just cannot afford. And it is but too often forgotten that poverty is a relative quality related to the average wealth at a certain time (and usually also a certain place); it is not an absolute financial condition for which the criterions would remain unchanged while the average moves up. Accordingly, the number of options workers, and perhaps also unemployed people, have, may increase, but their freedom not, if the relative position of this number with respect to the average quantity and quality of options does not change.

Freedom also reaches far beyond bodily and pecuniary matters. Someone can be a 'free person', that is, free to move around and rich enough to afford the most sophisticated, technical appliances, and yet have less freedom than those living in places where the problems which have made many of these appliances necessary are nonexistent; where people have, for example, the full choice of enjoying the whole of nature without being bothered by noise, water- or airpollution; where the collection of plant and animal species is still complete and where people have only to walk to it to see, hear, smell, taste and feel it all. (Maybe, this is not the description of another place but of another time.)

Restrictions of freedom do not only come from outside, but as much from within. Wherever people go and whatever they achieve, they take themselves with them. Exclusivist laws may be abolished, financial worries may be forgotten and the soundness of nature may be restored again, but many persons will still have to live with inhibitions, with feelings of alienation or with obsessions. In public they feel embarassed for their own or someone else's naked body. When alone and approached by foreigners, or in a foreign country, they feel nervous. And they are possessed by a compulsory feeling to smoke, to drink alcohol or to take other drugs. All these feelings diminish the number of options a person has, and therefore take away some of 'er freedom. The restriction of liberty (in its more serious forms oppression and the feeling of oppression) is thus inflicted by both the active constituents of exclusivism, such as exclusions, and the passive or sentimental constituents of exclusivism, such as inhibitions and obsessions. All ideologies which embrace or stimulate exclusivisms, or which have an exclusivist interpretation of the concept of freedom, such as a purely physical or a purely political one, may be expected to contribute to the curtailment of freedom; if not actively, then in the way it is experienced. Hence, universal freedom cannot be achieved unless a wholly inclusive attitude is developed both in the others and in ourselves.

©MVVM, 41-56 ASWW

Model of Neutral-Inclusivity
Book of Fundamentals
The Norm of Inclusivity
Universal Ideals and Omnifarious Failures