The Macksey Journal


Freedom, an ubiquitous word in Western Civilization, can be interpreted as the entitlement of a citizen to speak, act, or think without repression from certain authorities. It is true that as a member of a democratic country, a citizen is free to participate in political deliberations that pertain to their right to debate and vote. This definition, however, applies to citizens of a state, not the individuals who are a part of the broader civilization. As soon as a citizen transforms into an individual residing in society, they are still haunted by the fetters that strip their freedom away from them, be they of a religious, rational or irrational nature. Individuals under the confines of moral obligations in a civilization cannot express certain fundamental drives relating to Eros and the desire for violence. According to Sigmund Freud’s models of the psyche, the superego(the authority of the psyche) is always in friction with a person’s subordinate ego resulting in the concealment of certain drives that limit the freedom of the individual. They arise out of a sense of guilt, need for punishment, loss of beloved ones and awareness of remorse those drive moral conscience and thwart an individual’s will to freedom. Additionally, people seek refuge in an intangible force called religion. Religion derives from the Latin word ‘religio’ that means faith, piety, or uprightness. This institution promises individuals a path towards hope, happiness, and free will. However, under the cloak of ascetic ideals, this prehistoric narcotic that gives people an 'oceanic feeling' exacerbates the situation by emphasizing sublimation and renunciation of instincts and desires. In this paper, I will discuss components of our culture and civilization that prevent us from freedom, their consequences in an individual, and eventually the cures and an ultimate resolution that will provide individuals ways to gain actual freedom in their society.