invites you to ask and answer questions covering social themes of global significance. When you ask in order to understand, when you answer in order to share, this is what we mean by dropping knowledge.
QuestionWhat is freedom? Is it relative to where you are in the world? apwong
Michael E. Tigar: Oh my goodness. Have you ever heard the song that Janis Joplin used to sing, "Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose, nothin' ain't worth nothing, but it’s free?" Yes, freedom, well it is a power to choose. I don't say a right to choose. Abstractly we can proclaim all sorts of rights to choose where you live and where you're gonna go and so on. It's the power to choose. When we think of it that way we understand that freedom is constrained by necessity. I might be free to live anywhere I want, but I don't have the power to live anywhere I want. I might be free to choose good medical care, but I don't have the power to choose medical care. Why? Because I'm in a condition and situation of deprivation. The difference between the shadow and the substance of freedom, it can be contained in one word equality. Unless we understand that freedom is worth nothing to the great majority of people, unless we couple it with equal access for all the goods that are available in the world, then it's just a shadow. And Janis Joplin’s song turned out to be true, hasn't it? Good luck, because in Canada you have begun to confront these issues, and I welcome your concern with the struggle that you've brought to our attention. Thanks.