Monday, November 7, 2011

Freedom From

Whether you're leaving Egypt or holding off Persians or going Galt, we students of "the West" have plenty of stories of freedom-as-distance. Secession, removal, abandonment, these can bring freedom from certain forces.

It also leaves me wondering where things go next. The followers of Moses, the helots, the blonds with a tennis-player's physique--there were indeed free from Pharaoh and Xerxes and moochers, but what does that truly mean?

Is the ultimate freedom solitude? Or is there a freedom to be found with others?

If there's any freedom that matters, I think, there's got to be a way to be free with company.


  1. Great question, Cuneyt. Withdrawal is not, on its own, simply a matter of opting out, or copping out. Nor is it necessarily selfish, of the "I'm in the lifeboat already, find your own raft" variety, though it can be.

    But, it is a luxury afforded only to the very few.

  2. You're absolutely right. But we can withdraw from an awful lot, no matter how humble. To what do we run, however? There really is no "away" that is thorough.

    I am interested in the refuges we pick. Solitude, alcoholism, the military, the esoteric crap, intellectuality... All bring new orders and obedience to replace the old.

  3. The word that comes to mind over and over again is "contingency."

    Everything is contingent. I, for example, am a ratfuck advocate of doing bad things to badder people, and I know full well that my definition of "bad" cannot escape the perspectives I use. It's contingent. When I was younger - and non coincidentally, a bit better off - the hairsplitting had a stronger weight on my non-existent soul. It occupied me. Now, closer to death than to my moment of birth, it's easier not to care about how many angels fit on the pinhead. Or whether or not that's even a useful example.

    A tremendous benefit to accepting the contingent (because "universal contingency" is amusing to ponder) contingency of all things is the ability to accept imperfection (which is not the same thing as freeing oneself from the need for perfection) not as a defeat or surrender, but as an ineluctable function of mortality.

    Then, while haven seeking in a storm can still be recommended, the need for crystalline security, refuge retreats and moral redoubts diminishes.