Thursday, December 11, 2014

Order and Freedom: Everybody's a Critic

Order and freedom, despite being apparent antonyms, cannot exist without each other.  They each define points on a balance, a balance which, if tipped all the way to one side or the other, takes on a new name.  If order dominates, order becomes tyranny, an overabundance of control that sparks revolution and upheaval.  If freedom, a concept with generally a positive connotation, takes over, then it is replaced with chaos, a complete lack of cohesion that results in little good for anyone.  Since both extremes bring bad results, it is self-evident that a balance must be struck--most every society has tried to strike that balance.  Many would say it has yet to be struck.  However, this implies the possibility of such a balance being attained.  The simple fact is, both have their merits, but never can they balance to perfection.

Order is necessary.  Without it, all society would collapse as every individual acted on whim at all times.  Any world power implements order--without it, they would have no government.  Too much perceived power is met by immediate resistance.  The American Revolution occurred due to too much perceived power of Britain over its colonies, resulting in a more "free" institution.  That institution, the Articles of Confederation, lasted 10 years, before being replaced by the more orderly Constitution, which lasts to this day.  The constant value across three very general (and fluctuating within) institutions is that there was always protesting.  People will never be completely happy with what they are given, certainly not when told to do something.  Wherever order is present, there will be downsides to it.

The same is true, of course, for an overabundance of freedom.  Liberty is an honorable virtue to live by, but in any instance it can be seen as too present.  Freedom of choice brings the ability to do wrong.  In a completely controlled world, there would be no crime.  However, there would also be no choice, no progress.  Freedom is what allows for expansion.  Any freedom is a risk, because it could result in a loss, but it could also yield things that America has, like scientific discovery, innovation, and expansion.  Just like order, freedom as a principle has ups and downs in any amount, and cannot be perfected as it is conditional, and can only be evaluated in hindsight.

The truth is, the perfect balance between order and freedom is impossible to strike, because both order and freedom have pros and cons in any extent.  If it could be achieved, it already has been, but is being protested against because someone believes they know how to do it better.  The ideal balance varies among individuals, and applying that ideal to any larger group will yield imperfect results.

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