Thursday, September 30, 2010

Fichte on Freedom

Not really the fire breathing right winger I'd been lead to expect, at least not in the series of lectures entitled "The Characteristics of the Present Age". Anyways, he makes a basic but good point: that is that freedom, by definition, is meant to be used, and that freedom without the actual use and application of it is pretty empty and somewhat meaningless. Take for example Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Assembly, and Freedom of Religion. If most people don't speak their minds, decide to gather with other people in groups, or to practice a religion that they've decided on then what exactly is being accomplished with having these rights? If folks are conformists and obedient, then the society they live in might as well not have these sorts of rights, because they don't really need them. To really need these rights a society needs to have active people who think and express themselves in ways that they, and not the society around them, determine. A very Fichtean statement.

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