Limiting Freedom In the Name of Freedom
Updated: Jun 17
(Note: this article has been revamped, and some of the details reported are not up-to-date. Please mind the date of release).
Freedom is invaluable to most people in the contemporary world, if not all people, on a planet that is largely ruled by liberating democracies and by resistance-encouraging dictatorships that have still managed to survive the vast democratization of the world.
However, without restrictions enforced by one or more local authorities, such desired freedom could easily lead to a state of anarchy, which can be described as the darker shade of freedom. In an anarchist regime, there is no strong enough government to ensure the official and practical unification of a nation. This in turn leads to many problems, such as high rates of crime, the development of terrorist and rebellious cells, and general governmental incompetence as a ruling body.
There is another negative shade of unrestricted freedom that is not as necessarily talked about as anarchy and its consequences. We should also remind ourselves of the dangers of having too much freedom that does not lead to anarchy. A freedom that leads to the exact opposite, at least in certain areas of our lives today.
This freedom has the potential for conquest by global corporations over our lives, privacy, and most especially, our power to access information. It also has the power to censor information, leading to a possible, global state in the future. A state where the world is governed and managed not only by local governments but also by revenue-greedy, competition-eliminating corporations. Corporations which have risen to power by economic and ethical freedoms, granted by said democracies.
In other words, the freedoms granted by local and international laws could theoretically lead to an oppression of those freedoms by corporations that are big enough to not only eliminate competition, but also to have a monopoly in one or more areas of our lives. This could result in both domination and the possible restriction of our own freedoms.
For example, in Israel, there is the Electric Company, or Hev'rat Ha'chashmal, a corporation powerful enough to be the sole provider of electricity to the entirety of Israel and the Palestinian Authority. Just imagine being so influential over such an essential resource today, that with your power you are able to determine the quality of life of many people, all of whom depend on you to manage it alone, with no competitors to oppose you.
Indeed, corporations should not be underestimated, for they have the potential of becoming even stronger than some countries, especially because of their international power. This power could be stronger than the geopolitical dominance of a well-considered country. And, because we tend to underestimate the powers of such corporations, to the point we are willing to skip entire documents such as privacy policies and user's agreements with little-to-no reading, which in turn gives them even more power.
Behold how the herd mentality is used here: you know you want to access a corporation's product, such as having an account on Facebook, and you know that there are many others who are also on that platform, including your own circle of friends, family, or followers.
Now ask yourself, how much time are you actually going to dedicate to considering having a Facebook account when the gratification of doing so, even if so short-term, is available to you with a push of a few buttons?
And since there is, arguably, little-to-no regulation on global corporations who managed to rule the virtual world, for instance, said corporations become their own regulators, thus filling the void of potential rulership. No other regulator might stand in their greedy way.
Once such corporations reach a state where they become an authority on their customers/consumers, the freedom lost by the lack of competition decreases even more when these new regulators have an optimal state of control of many people's private information, information from public spaces, and most importantly, censored information.
Such power can make said corporations capable of being actual dictatorships. Even if said "corporate dictatorships" are not political, they can still crush our human and civil rights.
If such corporations are not regulated enough, the world might evolve to a state that is less exaggerated from the world of the Tekken lore, a state of existence where corporations are much more powerful than governments themselves (In Tekken: the Mashima Zaibatsu). Other good examples from the fictional realms are LexCorp from DC and the Umbrella Corporation from the Resident Evil series.
Basically, even if the dominant corporations of the future won't be as immensely strong as your stereotypical dystopian corporations, they can still have a considerable degree of negative influence on our individual freedoms if we are not to be too passive and too conforming to what their services have to offer us. Thus, I suggest to consider regulation on the most powerful corporations out there, not only for the sake of ensuring competition from people looking to make a decent living, but to avoid said companies from becoming too powerful to the point they will be some form of corporate dictatorships.
I speak personally when I claim that as an internet writer, some censorships that exist on various websites, can often be absurd, to the point of unfair censorship, which in turn limits my and others' freedom of expression, most likely in the name of preserving as much traffic as possible in the original website. Only recently I've noticed that Facebook didn't only censor my website's link, but basically any share with the name "Philosocom" written in it, to violate its policies.
For those not in the know, I once took a break from Facebook after they didn't allow any further sharing of imy articles to occur. People that I know told me that apparently my website contains hate speech, or something like that, which is non-existent as many of you have probably already experienced.
I have no desire or intention to incite against anyone or any organization. I am not that kind of man. I'm not an internet warlord. Fortunately, I am not an actual warlord, either. I only like to wage war in my fantasies, not in reality. In reality it can be a grave mistake, doing so.
To conclude all that has been written, if we desire our freedoms as human beings among the civilized world, we ought to encourage at least some regulation on corporations that could take said freedoms away from us, and therefore we should, as users, consumers and customers, limit some freedom in order to save the potential loss of our own. It is like the democratic process of "Checks and Balances" between the governmental branches, only economically and socially.