Freedom of choice is a recent concept when we put its appearance and the scale of human history into perspective. Being free implies taking responsibility for the consequences and responsibility for one’s own choices, which is not convenient for everyone. It is much more comfortable to be guided by family or social injunctions rather than going against the tide. Indeed, when one does not make one’s own decisions, one can easily blame others for one’s failures while not being under adverse social pressure. The black sheep of families often have to fight against all odds, sometimes at their own risk and peril, all in order to live a life that is somewhat different from others. Freedom is dangerous because it challenges the status quo and can be the seed of greater rebellion, which is why these desires are often nipped in the bud by a disapproving and tormented entourage.
Non-freedom is comfortable, it allows one to refrain from thinking. Thinking is a threat to the group that is not used to it. Thinking is possibly questioning an established order, thinking is revolutionary. Why are there so many people among us who choose a predetermined life? Quite simply because life is complicated, even complex, and choosing freedom means adding a dose of complexity. Acting according to one’s own conventions exposes us to popular vindictiveness, which cannot bear to see someone who, by his actions alone, challenges the conformist life of the herd. The rebels are above all hunted down by their direct entourage because they have in front of them a mirror that reflects their own orthodoxy and even cowardice. The dissidents are attacked because their freedom is a provocation to all those who have never had the guts to live a life outside of tradition.
Freedom, however, is being clichéd. The freedom that is so much vaunted in the so-called developed countries is all too often a conformism disguised as freedom to consume. Real freedom is rare because it involves risk. Freedom without risk is not freedom. To all those who believe they are free, ask yourself if you are really free or are you lulled by illusion or propaganda? “Freedom is not given, it is conquered”. What have you done to conquer your freedom? What struggles have you led? Have you risked your life or challenged an establishment? If you cannot answer these questions precisely, it is because your freedom has been bequeathed to you and you are therefore living a substitute for freedom.