Is freedom useless to "the majority of users".

Rainer Trusch rainer.trusch at
Thu Jul 4 02:12:50 UTC 2002


On Tue, 2 Jul 2002, Rui Miguel Seabra wrote:
> On Tue, Jul 02, 2002 at 10:29:18PM +0200, Rainer Trusch wrote:
>> answer two small questions:
>> What is freedom?
> To be free from the control of anyone to do as it pleases without
> restricting the freedom of any fellow human being.

I give you another version:

To be free from the control of anyone to do as it pleases

And here a similar one, which you should know:

The freedom to run the program, for any purpose.

These are two versions with an essential difference. I used the
software freedom example, because it is quite often used as equal to
freedom. This makes it a bit tricky.

>> What is freedom for?
> Why, to live a long and prosper life, what else?
It's an aspect :-), but you can have it even in a dictatorship, if
you have the right position.

The question might sound stupid, but in a society freedom has meaning
and a function and this is changing during times. Okay, it's geting a
bit abstract, but that shouldn't be forgotten.

> I don't really see what's your problem. Fredom is a quite simple and
> basic thing...

I don't agree. It is getting really complex, even from these few
sentences. Off limits is a quite common form of freedom and everybody
carrys his/her own version of freedom the head. You can easily damage
another person with a misuse of free speech without limiting his/her

We have to take care about our relationship to these points. All our
ideas about freedom, free speach, democracy derive from times when we
didn't have all that. But this is more or less gone and keeping a
strong relationship to an every day issue is always
difficult. Moreover we are facing an increasing 'misuse' of our

I don't want to stress that to much, but if the term freedom is so
excessivly used and a basic idea, there should be some reflections on
it, which I hardly ever saw.



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