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The Fault In Contemporary Liberty -- How It Contradicts Itself

Updated: Mar 10

Statue of liberty at night.

Disclaimer: I do not hate Americans for being Americans, nor identify as an Anti-American. I simply criticize their world-reaching philosophy and how it affected public space and the power of the norms.


For years I believed to be a Westerner; a benevolent, modern thinker who has disconnected from the chains of tradition and its non-contemporary prejudice and conservatism. However, as I exposed myself and watched more people of the same degree as I was hoping to become, I was surprised to discover that they were the exact opposite of what I was expecting a "benevolent" person to be -- inconsiderate, degrading, undemocratic, unpluralistic and so forth. It was then when I have realized the great fault of Western Culture, in general, and why the term "benevolence" is but a guise of condescending elitism, enforced by norms, intolerated towards the different and/or eccentric.

America is basically the contemporary "version" of the Roman Empire, but instead of conquest and slavery, it uses its "imperialism" using financial materialism, and has created the mainstream philosophy of which the pursuit of wealth is "actually" the key to a happy and successful life. It's a theory which has been proven wrong by unsatisfied wealthy men and women whose wealth did not guarantee them the satisfaction they were looking for.

"Oh no!", you may think. "He has criticized the U.S!". Do you see what I'm talking about? It appears that America has become the modern Rome of the globe! Surely it is okay to talk negatively about the DPRK, Russia, Iran, or Israel, but when it comes to the land of "infinite possibilities", this is when one should, at least by the internet, be ashamed of themselves. Ashamed of, you know, having the "courage" to sound a different opinion, as if exercising basic a right such as this requires one to be brave.

This is the fault in contemporary freedom—it is okay that you will exercise your freedoms in a satisfying way, but not when people do not like it. When they do not, they will attempt to "eat you alive" for holding an unpopular opinion, in an attempt to discourage you from voicing it. That is, technically, harassment, which is a crime. Should one be shamed and harrassed for having thoughts and expressing them? Of course not, and yet, the attempt to shut it down through shaming is a regular occurrence, due to the belief that things are "made" for oneself, instead of being expressed in the name of the freedom of doing so.

And indeed, liberty on the virtual space, and perhaps on the physical one as well, is pseudo-liberty. It is, in fact, the dictatorship of the many which authorizes the preferred and "censors" the unperformable through cyber-violence, or a straight out demand to "keep things for yourself", as if those with voices one doesn't like need to do. A true democracy, however, is also measured by its capacity to accept the different and their minority's expression, and if the many will take that away, the liberty we are looking up to is but a guise that is tipped in favour of the norms. The same norms we so admire and are anxious to preserve.

This is why I don't like the norms, for they are followed with great zealotry while they limit the exercise of true democracy—one that sees in its eye the sight of all the people and not only the many. You can, for example, go around with a monk's gown around town. It's not like you will get arrested for wearing an uncommon clothing, but dear God if you actually do that, even though it is your right.

The fear of being different contributes to the anti-democratic practice of herd mentality.

Surely, people can express their anger, their discontent, but let us not forget that the world is not a plan for your preference. You can't expect everything to go in the way you want it to, and you can't expect those who don't comply with your demands to feel bad for themselves for not being as such. That goes both ways and that's why popularity isn't my priority when publishing my writings.

Why should everyone agree with you? The only way to change it a bit is by getting more power, as powerful people create biases in the hearts and minds of others, but I digress.

Why should one say the words you want them to say, think the same thoughts as you do? The world is not McDonald's and you can't expect an author to give you the hamburger you ordered, with the pickles and the extra fries and all. I've provided more criticism in my previous article about the inhumanity of the contemporary world, so feel free to check it out if desired.

This is the fault of Western Benevolence, and this is why I will identify myself not as a Westerner but as an Easterner, both because of my roots (Romania and Poland) and because of the relatively-ascetic behavior I've acquired from my ancestors, from food and drinks to finding satisfaction what I already have.

Let us face it—the North American philosophy of condescending, hedonistic entitlement of "everything should go my way," (AKA reckless individualism) with little care of the results of my actions and of those I will hurt, has thus far created a toxic, insensitive world. It's a world that won't hesitate to crush the eccentric and put it in the town square for all to mock and shame! Who cares if they are sensitive, if they will cry and get into a panic attack, heck, who cares if they will commit suicide!—"hearing what I want when I want" is the philosophy of pseudo-liberty—one that is greatly limited by the possibility of positive approval.

Contemporary liberty is only one that encourages freedom as long as it fits its advocates. If it will not be to their taste, they will seek or at least encourage to reduce all expressions of liberty in others which they do not like. Liberty is one that needs to be enabled based on reason and not on the comfort of emotion. Should we be too weak to look beyond the emotion, our emotion will influence us to contradict ourselves, even if we are not aware that we're doing just that. It is therefore unwise to act on emotion. Logical consistency is the key to avoid hypocrisy.

And all of that because of what? Because that common philosophy isn't willing to consider the reasonable possibility of respectfully disagreeing with a fellow human being, may it be a light or a heavy disagreement; and the sufferer remains he who thinks differently from the general audience, while the one who triumphs is he who believes he is entitled as a Walmart customer everywhere he goes.

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1 Comment

Roland Leblanc
Roland Leblanc
Dec 04, 2020

I agree with you ; I live just next to the US, being living in Canada?

I have thought the same way as you: seeing the Americans as Romans like?

I believe though that the problem is the current WorldView that is being taken for granted and that continues to be in force?

Maybe a change of worldview could be welcome; I wonder what are your thoughts about a different worldview; a mix of indigenous worldview and anarchist positive way of claiming a better worldview?

Note: I know : Anarchy sound bad for most, but in reality, anarchy is breaking this way of seeing as necessary:'... that one elite dominates the others? ...that colonialism is necessary? ...that punishment is necessary…


Tomasio A. Rubinshtein, Philosocom's Founder & Writer

I am a philosopher from Israel, author of several books in 2 languages, and Quora's Top Writer of the year 2018. I'm also a semi-hermit who has decided to dedicate his life to writing and sharing my articles across the globe. Several podcasts on me, as well as a radio interview, have been made since my career as a writer. More information about me can be found here.

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