The Freedom of Constraints

From the never-ending debates over individual rights versus common good to the wide-spread rhetoric of Utopian Societies, the Philosophy of Politics is a subject of history, humanity, and controversy.

As the first city-state emerges, questions over authority, power, ethics, rights, and justice follow. The broad spectrum and the innumerable branches gave it a notorious reputation, as politics has always been regarded as “sensitive” alongside religion and other opinion-oriented subjects. As we contemplate and evaluate the conducts of the authority figure, Politics is no more than a response to humanity—for the society remains as a mere reflection of human characteristics. While the behavior of individuals is influenced by group mentality, the ensemble collectively acts upon and portray qualities none other than our nature. A society with strong-willed and open-minded beings will ultimately opt for a Liberalist, Capitalist, or Egalitarian models, whereas conservative education give birth to individuals that are accustomed to conformity and eventually embrace Nationalist, Totalitarianist, or Contractarianist models (refer to the SEP for definitions and more).

The concept becomes perceivable when one acknowledges the inevitable failure of a Utopian Society: the so-called perfect governing model.

While the argument against the existence of perfection prevails, its impossibility originates from nothing but the imperfections of humanity—or rather, the existence of humanity.

Examine a hypothetical government with extreme attempts to reduce chaos and create social order, it becomes immediate that the diversity of the race must be eliminated in order to avoid conflict. One that responds to variations by categorizing, organizing, and sectioning the population might just end up being overthrown by exceptions and irregularities (winking at Veronica Roth here). Without any deeper understanding of politics and ethics, we still can safely assert that no one single model can successfully satisfy the needs and wants of each individual, nor can a Philosophy become accepted by every being without any form of dissent or coercion.

However, most societies rather aim closer to perfection than succumb to complete capitulation to advance. Neither an Democratic nation nor a Fascist state can be assessed on a simple scale, and the performance and success of each are, unfortunately, influenced by uncountable factors (geography, history, international relations etc.). Ergo, the solution drawn ought to accommodate the specific attributes of humans yet tolerate those as flaws. Diversity serve as the beginning of evolution but remains as the fuel to disorder. It becomes a matter of what to sacrifice.

In the field of Liberalism, no matter what form, the individuals posit freedom of choice, thought, and speech as their basic rights, and the government powerless aside from maintaining their welfare. The prerequisite, however, is a body of competent beings able to exercise their freedom wisely and effectively.

As a result, Liberalism becomes one of the most desirable forms of governance as it minimizes generalization and coercion, in turn grant freedom to tolerate the various features of humanity.

Within certain parameters, citizens can create their own forms of discipline to satisfy specific needs. And as much as one would prefer the riddance of any restraints, the potential violent nature within every individual require a form of authority in place—a sacrifice of some sort, as with everything else one gains.