Freedom Today

Topics: Culture, Oxford English Dictionary, Definition Pages: 2 (763 words) Published: March 17, 2005
What exactly is freedom today and how does it affect us? The Oxford English Dictionary defines freedom as "The state of being able to act without hindrance or restraint, liberty of action" (524). More often than not, people do not take the time to realize all of the freedoms in existence around the world today. Bronislaw Malinowski states that "Freedom is the most dynamic, essential, and general factor in the problems of to-day" (22). Take a moment and realize the importance of freedom based upon the many struggles today and in the past for this ideal. Many major campaigns, wars, and conflicts have been driven by the conquest for freedom. The definition of freedom can be explained best using the literary concepts of description, exemplification, and negation. Freedom is a very complicated word to define in any one way. Sometimes the ideal is thought of as "the driving force of the cultural process". It presents many challenges in our direction (22). The concept of freedom has been fought for by many groups of people including Americans and is an ideal that is very dear to many people's hearts. The basic word "freedom" is appealing to most cultures emotionally and is used very often in political speech (23). It can be interpreted various ways because there are so many freedoms that are available to discuss and consult. If people were not allowed basic freedoms, such as freedom of speech, the world would be a drastically different place to live in. Malinowski wrote, "Freedom is a symbol which stands for a sublime and powerful ideal. The same symbol, however, may become a dangerous weapon in the hands of the enemies of freedom" (24). Indeed, freedom is quite powerful and when the wrong person possesses the power, it can become very limiting upon society's basic freedoms. Bronislaw Malinowski wrote, "Freedom can be defined as the conditions necessary and sufficient for the formation of a purpose, its translation into effective action through organized cultural...

Bibliography: Works Cited
"Freedom." The Oxford English Dictionary. 2nd ed. 1989.
Hook, Sidney. The Paradoxes of Freedom. Berkeley: University of California Press,
1962.
Malinowski, Bronislaw. Freedom and Civilization. Westport: Greenwood Press, 1944.
Governmental Issues
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