Freedom. A basic and incorruptible concept, so often misunderstood.
The enlightenment value of liberty was attained so long ago that we have conceded it without knowing. We take for granted that which we do not possess.
However, from the day I realised we are trapped, I became fixated on what I believe freedom to be.
It isn’t just freedom from government control, or freedom to walk the streets. I mean individual freedom. Freedom of independent thought and expression.
At no point in history – outside of China – have we been so oppressed. Cameras on every corner relay our movements to a central control unit. Each thought, each action is documented – voluntarily.
Our interactions are manufactured, the people we speak to were selected on the basis of their interests. Conflict is discouraged before it even arises. We tell ourselves we are right, and we all agree.
We are little more than numbers in a machine.
Our decisions are guided by an unseen hand. It’s not Big Brother we should be worried about, it’s advertisers. Power is concentrated in the hands of whoever controls the algorithms.
We submit ourselves to our data-gathering overlords without a second thought. Our conversations are monitored so products we never knew we wanted can be foisted on us. Our interests and opinions are reflected back at us. It’s no coincidence you see the world as you do. Make no mistake, we are bring watched.
And yet, even as we convince ourselves we are independent, we are corralled into a pen of collective experience. The machines connect us with like-minded others, with whom we inhabit an ersatz community, but the machines do not act on our behalf. The machines have other intentions. The humans who tell them what to do are flawed, imperfect, biased, even wrong.
How different our lives would be without an unassailable force guiding our decisions on the whims of utopian Californian idealists.
If you desire freedom, ask yourself this: is this what I want?
You may not like the answer, for the answer may be inconvenient, but it is the only thing the algorithms will not tell you. Freedom is not a convenience, freedom is hard fought and hard won. There can be no compromises.
I know what I want, I want no part of this world. I am a libertarian, I want liberty and nothing less, and it feels so… liberating.