Freedom v. Freedom

Freedom is brought down by freedom.

One of the failures of translating the Bible into English is the inability to easily or smoothly indicate a difference between a plural “you” and a singular “you”.

This parallels a distinction between communal “freedom” and individual “freedom”.

A declaration or constitution of a regional freedom from a colonial power does offer some increase of opportunity for individual freedom. In such a case, personal freedom or liberty is subsumed under the communal. A liberty to subvert the freedom of the larger community/nation is still labeled as treason.

Over time the United States has belied its claim to a unity that keeps it engaged with and free from the sway of other nations. It remains independent from other nations but reliant upon a unified citizenry (not unified in priorities but in process and common sources of evaluation, e.g., a majority of votes wins an election). 

Little-by-little, the issue of freedom has devolved from a nation’s common vision to that of individual desires or individual state biases. It is now “my” freedom that takes precedence over “our” freedom.

This gradual shift eventually caused an internal discord that hollows out a sense of general welfare or common good and leaves no coherent substance for a defense of the freedom of the plurality.

Of course, plural freedom can be oppressive. Still, when denied as irrelevant in the face of individual liberty, such as claiming “religious” freedom to avoid a communal norm, we lose an important point of balance and topple inward and downward.

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