Freedom in Society

"The truth is, of course, that external conditions modify human nature, and that harmony between the two is to be sought by a mutual interaction. A man taken from one environment and plunged suddenly into another may be by no means free, and yet the new environment may give freedom to those accustomed to it. We cannot therefore deal with freedom without taking account of the possibility of variable desires owing to changing environment. In some cases this makes the attainment of freedom more difficult, since a new environment, while satisfying old desires, may generate new ones which it cannot satisfy."

Bertrand Russell, Freedom in Society

The situation is worsening particularly in our society, as exposure to the outside world and their liberal ideas are influencing the youth, bringing to them a new consciousness and generating in them beliefs and desires, that the present society does not morally and socially allow or has no means of fulfilling.

No, i do not wish to say that the fault lies in the 'evil' exposure of our youth to Western world, nor do i suggest that the solution is the social isolation of a society. Such is the thinking of the conservatives. In my view, the only solution is a change in the social structure... the introduction of an attitude of freedom; of live and let live. As Russell puts it later in the essay '... the right to live as we choose and think as we choose where our doing so does not prevent others from doing likewise.'

But i do not see this change coming as long as the older conservative generation has social and economic hold over the younger generation.

Comments

Abdul Sami said…
wasn't pakistan a great nation , technically, socially, and even politically up to the 60s, before all these so called moral and social limits were imposed on our society ???
misspecs said…
"But i do not see this change coming as long as the older conservative generation has social and economic hold over the younger generation."

I agree 100%

@Abdul Sami: what was great in the 1960's isn't that great in 2009. While that generation might've kept up with the environment and situation of its own tme; their ideas are rendered redundant and useless by the environment of 2009. We don't control those factors so we have to change with them... or we risk being left behind.
Abdul Sami said…
u r missin my point

the point was... we lagged behind because we implemented these limits on ourselves... before the limits were imposed we were doing jus about right !!!
Tazeen said…
Yes,

the dark ages of Zia pushed us back a good 100 years. Whats ironic is that no one after Zia did anything concrete to reverse the damage and kept on appeasing the obscurantist forces
Abdul Sami said…
religion has become such a taboo subject in our country that you cannot touch it with a 2 mile long pole !!!

everythin is as it should be and shall remain so...

try anythin different and the masses take to the streets!

such easily manipulated nation of fools we are!
Awais Karim said…
So what u guys are suggesting is that country named as "Islamic" Republic of Pakistan be changed to "Pakistan"...You want drinking of alcohol free...dating should be allowed...that is my interpretation of what u had wrote on the blog...Dude u sure need some counselling "if" u are a muslim.

if my interpretation was wrong then i would definitely like to know abt the kind of freedom u want? what are u being denyed by living in these social values?
Awais said…
I don't drink, nor do i recommend it, but if a person does drink, it is not a matter for state to deal with. [Of course, laws like prohibition of driving under the influence of alcohol would still be applicable.] Dating should be allowed; the couple isn't doing any harm to you or anyone.

It is tragic that the idea of personal liberty is so alien to the people of our society. If Islam means coercion and oppression of people, and denying them individual freedom, then i am afraid i am against such a conception of it.
Abdul Sami said…
no where in islam is the concept of oppression... i suggest you go and study it properly... in fact it was islam where the whole concept of liberation of human thought comes from... so my dear friend who thinks that we are trying to say non-islamic things... plz do your homework and then have a logical argument!

we are mostly muslims by name then by our natures or by our acts... i rather be a muslim by nature and acts then just hav a name and do nothing about it !!!
Awais Karim said…
U can still find alcoholic drinks(i know ppl who drink)...u can date too(i know ppl who do)...u can go out and find all other things that are islamically prohibited so again what freedom are u looking for or talking about...Being an islamic state u cannot allow all that legally...so i will repeat my question what is that u want and not getting?
Abdul Sami said…
u r takin it incorrectly my friend!

all of these things are available... but the simple human nature is that since these things are considered taboo when one gets these they definitely cross limits !!!

i do not ask you to legalize drinking, but we need to address the bigger issues here...

not drinking...

what about education... what about equal opportunities... what about having your mullah as a well educated person rather than the kid who did not do well at school... that is the kind of freedom i m talkin about... but if you think that you are doing well in the set up u r just because you cannot buy an alcoholic drink or date somebody... then you are sadly mistaken !!!

open your eyes and take a look around... you are most probably better aware of things than i am !
Awais said…
Legality is just one of the factors to be considered. The post was primarily about social inhibitions. Yes, people drink and date but few are able to do so without becoming a social outcast and facing social stigma. And the youth who are dependent more than adults on the society are affected by these social inhibitions much more. The issue is not just what I want. A girl being forced to marry early owing to social pressure. A homosexual hiding his identity from even his own family and friends. A couple in love interacting secretly to avoid exposure and the social taboo. There are professors in universities who will fail students who are reportedly having affairs. An atheist hiding his views from friends and family at the risk of becoming an outcast. A girl doing purdah just because her family is strict about it. There are so many examples that may be considered.
Awais Karim said…
@Abdul...the kind of freedom u said i totally agree with u freedom of getting educated, freedom of working etc this is defiantly an issue and must be resolved. I agree...as far as equally opportunities are concerned government has done what it can by allocating quota for women's (though i disagree with this system because when u talk about equal opportunities this is against it). it is on us to provide that equal opportunities to female not a government issue. We should convince our elders and on this and i am sure the society in which "we" are living(i am not talking abt ppl whom we cannot influence) gives these equal opportunities. so what is all this fuss about????

freedom about which Awais is talking...allowed to date, make love etc can simply be not allowed officially.

Again its my opinion and every one is "free" to have an opinion and express it.

I will pray for u dude.
Awais said…
I respect your opinion. But i still believe that every person has a right to live his life that way he wants, even if me or you disapprove of it. And society should recognize and respect this right.