Before talking about freedom, we first need to understand its basic concept, what it is and how did it originate. There are many philosophers along with Karl Marx and Immanuel Kant who defined freedom from different perspectives. Most of these philosophers tried to define the core values of freedom and defended its necessity. They attempted to answer how the principle of freedom defines the future of our society.
Nevertheless, the whole philosophical discourse that discusses the basic concept and the necessity of freedom for the future can be categorised into two camps. The first camp considers freedom in a metaphysical sense. This camp defends the limitation of freedom and delegitimises its material experiences silently.
But the second camp, which defends the material experience of freedom, redefines its basic principle from a materialist perspective. It talks about the logic of complete freedom and its genuine concern to lead individuals as well as a society for liberation. This means that the principle of freedom not just defines the status of an individual and her free movement from all power relations including social and cultural boundaries, but also penetrates a natural sense of togetherness and collective social life in our society as well as individuals.
In our contemporary society, the principle of freedom has not just been stigmatised in various ways, but also controlled by different social and political institutions such as state, religion, race and caste. These institutions, for example, socially as well as culturally limit our individual space, thinking and behaviour by dictating our mind and body everyday life.
For example, religion, caste and race have been important factors in our society, and they have created different forms of inequality that still exist across families and the whole society at large. These social factors, on one hand, divide the entire society silently by creating inequality at different levels. The principle of freedom, in that sense, is not just controlled by different forms of inequality, but also delegitimises an individual’s notion of freedom and togetherness.
On the other hand, these social factors silently direct our thinking, behaviour and the way through which we perceive a thing or an activity that happens in our society or even in our family. In other words, not just it is not just the state, but also religion, race and caste that often define the principle of freedom in a metaphysical sense. This definition also discredits the material ground that offers the core value of freedom and principle to free individuals and society from all obstacles, including social and political boundaries.
It is a fact that all these societal factors in our society lead us in a more complex situation that destroys our natural way of life and togetherness. At the same time, they also create different forms of boundaries in our mind and the way in which we perceive others. For all these reasons, we not only suffer from different problems in our social life, but are also forced to survive in our whole life with various kinds of nostalgic notions. The general public everywhere is struggling to get freedom from not just the boundaries set by class, caste and race, but also from inequality and social hierarchy.
Therefore, to practice freedom in our society and within, social and personal life is a kind of struggle. It develops a will in ourselves to encounter different forms of social and political boundaries. It is also a kind of self-conscious activity; it redefines the whole social life as well as human sentiment in a different perspective.
But one of the interesting things is that the practice of freedom in either our personal or social life forces us to rethink not just our social behaviour and thinking, but also the way in which we engage with each other. In other words, we may call it is a pursuit of knowledge and love that struggle to transform society into a more progressive and egalitarian place.
Therefore, the practice of freedom has the silent objective of freeing individuals as well as society from different social boundaries. In this case, freedom often performs as a liberator and offers the individual as well as community to liberate themselves from irrationality, naïve transitivity and fanaticised consciousness. This, in the case of social and individual transformation, leads our thinking and way of perceiving one another. It is not just to offer a natural and more rational behaviour in every individual, but also to inculcate a sense of recognising society or individual equally.