Freedom, liberty, no oppression, a fine ideal.
Living in Western Europe, specifically on a rather nice island to the west of mainland Europe, we enjoy a lot of freedom.
We are free work or not. The actual work is not specified because the freedom is the freedom to work, not a specified job or career. Times are changing, automation is on the increase, and will spread to all sorts of sectors. Jobs and careers are a lot more fluid, with a large rise in short term specific task contracts, the gig economy. We don’t pay any income tax until earnings are in excess of £11000. If we are not able to work, the system will pay basic frugal funds. Not enough for a full life, but the basics are covered.
From Birth to death, the system provides. There is no regulation on who can reproduce. The only requirement is to be female. Fertility can be helped, sperm donors are available to those with a suitable mate. At least when you adopt a rescue dog, you get a home visit to assess suitability, an interview, and of course a suitable donation.
All through pregnancy and early years, support is available to ensure development is progressing at a arbitrarily determined level. All provided free to the end user.
Education is provided free from about four to eighteen. You are free to take advantage of it or not.
We are free to make poor choices, and it follows we are free to live with the consequences, whatever they are.
We are free to vote for whichever MP wants to put themselves on offer. You are free to stand as an MP if you can find the deposit, about £500, and persuade ten other voters to sign your form. Given we elect every five years, that is slightly cheaper than a weekly lottery ticket, and better odds of winning.
You are free to follow any religion you like, free to believe anything you want. You are even free to remove yourself from the job market, by choice, and you will still get supported by the state.
You are also free to leave, but we make it nice and comfortable if you stay. You don’t even have to speak English.
I have a modest theory about the current drift left towards Socialism and it’s nasty cousin Marxism.
We have too many choices. The Education system and media does not equip people with the reasoning skills to make correct choices. Only experience can do that. As a person who has made some poor choices over the years, I have the advantage of hindsight. A second strand to this line of thought struck me on a visit to DDR museum in Berlin. In the DDR, a lot of the practical things were taken care off. Housing, healthcare, jobs etc. Not perfect by any means, but, those who accepted it, and went along with the restrictions on their personal liberty, survived and thrived. Limited choices, basics provided for. Sorted.
I am of the opinion that many people actually want that. I am also of the opinion many leaders in governments, health, education, to name but a few, also want that.
Freedom is a wonderful thing, but it has a cost, and with freedom comes responsibility, and a duty to fulfil your own personal potential. That is just too difficult for some people.
You views are welcome.