Peace Through Freedom

And given that “elective affinities” are the general rule and principle of the social world on a number of levels, in order for these elective affinities to be realized by as many people in the world as possible, freedoms have to gradually be expanded rather than curtailed by governments and states across the world. Yet, as we see in the United States on numerous fronts and in terms of issues such as TikTok or women’s reproductive rights or even foreign policy and sanctions and international trade which in essence make up parts of a general reaction towards globalization in our society here in the United States, there appears to be an inclination towards curtailing freedoms on the part of the most vociferous and obnoxious and toxic people in our public sphere and in our elite level of society rather than expanding freedoms, which is both odd and hypocritical given all the rhetoric in the public sphere about freedom. 

The issue or question of freedom versus repression has thus risen to the surface level of our general discourse yet again, and it is an issue which renders all economic, political, social, or even national security issues as contingent to the essential or necessary issue or question at hand which is none other than the issue of freedom versus repression. And coincidentally, elective affinities as a general rule or principle of the social world demonstrates how the issue of freedom versus repression in the most basic sense surpasses all other issues in terms of importance and significance. The basic “imperatives” of elective affinities, for instance, contradict and clash with the basic imperatives of an institution that is as basic to our life as a society as marriage, in the sense that while elective affinities demand and require unbridled freedom, marriage by its very nature is a claustrophobic and repressive institution aimed at controlling the bodies and the reproductive organs of an individual.

Even the most basic moral and religious concepts and ideas which cut across a range of cultures and religions such as eschatology and heaven and hell, for instance, are intertwined with the issue of freedom and elective affinities and the need for the expansion of all kinds of freedoms so that elective affinities are realized by as many people as possible and on as many different levels as possible. As Jean-Paul Sartre argued, hell is not exactly a place we go to when we die physically. Rather, hell is a seemingly eternal and perpetual psychosocial situation where you are basically stuck with people with whom no elective affinities arise. As a result, freedom and its expansion in as many ways as possible are the only resolution to what is otherwise a hellish situation for people the world over. 

And as Henry Kissinger wisely noted, freedom and order are two sides of the same coin. In order for one to exist, the other needs to exist as well. The establishment of order and stability, as Kissinger argued, will “require an approach that respects both the multifariousness of the human condition and the ingrained human quest for freedom.” Kissinger also wrote: “Order in this sense must be cultivated; it cannot be imposed. This is particularly so in an age of instantaneous communication and revolutionary political flux.”

But here is perhaps the most important part of Kissinger’s argument about how freedom and order are intertwined and interdependent and how freedom and order are essentially two sides of the same coin:

“Any system of world order, to be sustainable, must be accepted as just – not only by leaders, but also by citizens. It must reflect two truths: order without freedom, even if sustained by momentary exaltation, eventually creates its own counterpoise; yet freedom cannot be secured or sustained without a framework or order to keep the peace. Order and freedom, sometimes described as opposite poles on the spectrum of experience, should instead be understood as interdependent. Can today’s leaders rise above the urgency of day-to-day events to achieve this balance?”

As it appears, rather than rising to the occasion in order to address the most important issue of our day and age – namely, the issue of how we will be able to expand freedoms for all rather than curtail them – our leaders and politicians are more inclined towards missing the most basic point of all and are creating a window for the curtailment of all kinds of freedoms, for a number of reasons. 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s