We all talk about freedom, or freedoms: the modern period is shot through with liberating the individual from the tyrannical claims of the group, and various self-help and movement-politics trends position themselves as furthering the cause of freedom.
Talk of freedom –the concern for further spreading freedom-as-liberties, for maximizing personal freedom-as-autonomy– is everywhere today, and the pursuit and establishment of freedom are a hallmark of the modern period. Financial success and stability is marketed as offering freedom. The Stoic trend that has steadily risen in philosophically-oriented self-help fora concerning liberation from one’s own passions is one form of this concern for freedom — it simply turns the eyes of the individuals from liberation from external forces and conditions that enslave to liberation from internal masters (endogenous over exogenous concerns). There are so many movements that seek to overturn conventions and taboos for the sake of freedom (exogenous over endogenous concerns). Fears about potential or actual threats against journalistic freedom are another form of this; concerns about religious freedom are another form of this (both from some of the religious and some of the non-religious); movements to bring about a state of greater economic parity between segments of the population are yet another form of this. I could go on.
None of this is objectionable, and we all want people to be free. The concern for freedom is everywhere. But what is freedom?