The Paradox of Freedom

The Paradox of Freedom

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If we assume that freedom is always a good thing, then it seems we should experience happiness in proportion to the amount of freedom that we have…

But does greater freedom lead to greater happiness?

Apparently not…

This fact is the paradox of freedom.

The paradox of freedom is that too much freedom ultimately leads to slavery… Both in society and in ourselves.

Karl Popper writes about the paradox of freedom in his book “The Open Society and Its Enemies: Volume 1”:

The so-called paradox of freedom is the well-known idea that freedom in the sense of absence of any restraining control must lead to very great restraint, since it makes the bully free to enslave the meek. This idea is, in a slightly different form, and with a very different tendency, clearly expressed by Plato.

The fact is that we now have more freedom than ever in how to spend our time. We also have more access to information and ways to connect with each other, and therefore more career choices…

Access to greater choice should go hand in hand with options to choose an appropriate path to prosperity.

And yet, the suicide rate, substance abuse and drug overdose rates in America are growing.

Why?

A Lack of Discipline Feeds The Lizard in Ourselves

We are more or less free to do whatever we want… But a focus on “just having fun” and living “in the moment” can lead to bad habits and problems with alcohol and drugs.

Easy access to drugs and alcohol can lead to depression, which can prevent us from seeing all the options available to us.

According to the book, “The Paradox of Choice“, people who are suffering from depression believe they have fewer choices than people who are happy.

This can cause people to seek refuge in more drugs and alcohol… Causing a downward spiral.

However, because America is largely a forgiving culture, people suffering from drug abuse may still be able to function… Never reaching rock bottom.

The lizard loves a good “intervention”.

A lack of internal discipline is all the fuel the lizard needs to fuel a downward spiral…

As such, those with the greatest amount of freedom require greater constraint in order to succeed.

With great power comes great responsibility.

Self-discipline must be present along with freedom… Or tyranny takes over.

The paradox of weakness is that weakness is strong…

The lizard inside all of us is nothing but a bully…

Lizards are vicious cannibals… Known to feed on themselves when the opportunity arises.

The lizard can easily take over if it is left alone in a mind without discipline.