Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘value systems

Freedom or Liberty? Time to dissect an operational framework for the notion of Freedom

Do you understand what is meant by Freedom? How do you apply your “freedom”. What are the restrictions attached to your acts of freedom?

If Liberty has a statewide political connotation of independence and autonomy (already a terrible headache in the UN), the notion of Freedom is far more confusing and subject to political maneuvering in the dialogues and discussions.

The problem in the English language is the restriction on the usage of the term Liberty, such as Liberation or being liberated (any other ways?)

For example “We are not freed from the shackles. Someone else liberated us from the shackles of slavery and bondage, by a political decision and not on our free will”

For example, you read oxymoron terms like “Free Trade, Free Market, Free Expression, Free Sex…”  What is free in these expressions? And how they are that free?

If we replaced these expressions with “Libre trade, libre market, libre sex, libre opinions...” the citizens will acquire useful political terminologies and political education. These terms connote political decisions among communities and the treaties are spelled out in details.

For example, “libre from addiction” would relate to a specific addiction since mankind behaves intrinsically within a network (a web) of habits and customs.

Also, “libre sex” means a politically tolerant society and is different from free sex that has a monetary connotation attached to it. Sure, there are first time free sex, but the second time is never that free, but highly expensive in many ways.

Until the English language is liberated and the politicians liberate the term Freedom from their political maneuvering and taking Freedom hostage in their discourse and speeches, we have to contend in navigating the meander of Freedom.

Setting up an operational framework for this general and confusing “value” of Freedom is an endeavor to giving flesh and new blood to the mishandled expression of “Freedom for the people

A clear taxonomy for the definition of Freedom is tightly linked on how we define the other “set of value systems” that are connected to the term of freedom and are interrelated in the various fields of applications such as in economy, finance, politics, individual rights, human rights, and range of opportunities…

There is two main divergences for comprehending freedom: Individual freedom and “Community Freedom

If we take the “western” position that freedom is an individual right, we must raise the question: “How would you define freedom for each one of the 7 billion people and increasing? All these people with various customs, traditions and idiosyncrasies?

7 billion struggling within fast changing social environments, fast communication means, interacting quickly and observing the reality of what’s happening outside their close communities and the limitations offered within their social systems?

This is a daunting task that must be confronted piece meal, one problem at a time.

In order to avoid the bad connotation attached to individual freedom such as “Give me my space: I want to do what I like to do…” the concept of responsibility was closely linked to Freedom.

First, you have to practice tolerance with respect to the other people living in your community before you expand your space for freedom

Tolerance was included as the linkage between freedom and responsibility. It is the community job to educate its members on what is expected to tolerate and how to work out the pragmatic differences in value systems.

“A field separates the ideas of right and wrongdoings. I meet there” Rumi

It is also the community responsibility to open channel of communications with neighboring communities and compare their corresponding educational system for absorbing daily confrontations.

For example, if a western State or the wider EU block enact laws that have to be applied to all its members, this is tantamount to forming “cultural blocks” within the larger community. A procedure that hinders the step by step process of  “nurturing tolerance assimilation“.

The multiple problems within a “Republic” State take roots by imposing a unique State “law framework” on communities that are not coherent due to historical and cultural discrepancies.

Any imposition of “forced tolerance” without the adequate financial means, economic opportunities and political determination to bridge the gap among communities will be faced with violent reactions of the “have’ and “have not” full rights within a society.

Another alternative is to work within “community Freedom” systems, with far lesser interrelations and a better framework of a consensus idiosyncratic life-style and world view to apply the concept of freedom.

The lazy way is to split the world systems into a preconceived mentality and confront one system against another. For example, the western culture, the Eastern culture, the Far-Eastern, the Middle-Eastern, the African or the Latino cultures.

That is the current approach of civilization clashes, of opposing value systems, pretty convenient to the colonial powers.

The still strong colonial domination blocks serious hurtful political concessions in order to come to term with a fast evolving world, each community vying for a corner under the sun.

Before stretching the concept of freedom to include all people, it is advisable that every State works out its value system, iron it out, implement it within the world framework.

This means to keep an opened and a flexible revolving door to understand other value systems for later connectivity), and observe, eyes wide open, the repercussions and consequences on the other societies.

Note: Margin for freedom

Smell of your money

I explained in a previous post “Color of your money” ( that liquidity (currencies and banknotes) is no longer neutral and that it has lost its mythical concept of a “lubricating” medium to facilitate the exchange of merchandise   This post is investigating the other attributes of money on family, close relative relationships, and how it might have contributed in changing value systems.

Money has acquired an “intrinsic” value,  independent of the barter value concept or image that most economists are still  trying to perpetuate for over a century.

The rationale was that, since money is mainly an oiling mechanism to encourage and expand commerce then, money should be dissociated from the economic factors of national worth.

The fact is that the lubricating notion of money was tampered with since after US independence when Britain regained its monopoly over issuing US money supply, which shrank the expanding internal trades.  For example,  when the authority refrains from accommodating economic expansion by infusing more money in the market then, money is overvalued:  Particular merchandises gets practically more expensive, internal market shrinks, export is slowed down, and commerce suffers because of lack of liquidity.

When a person is in need of liquid money then he is at disadvantage when bargaining for the right price of goods that he is trying to sell as liquid money is overvalued.

The dollar is still powerful ,though it is not worth a dime if accounted on factors such as national debt, gold reserves, or even manufactured goods.  The liquidity of the dollar, being accepted as a global currency for global exchange, is its fundamental power.   The dollar is steadily being challenged to be replaced by a basket of valuable reserves indexes.

This article “Smell of your money” examines the effects of money in the affective sphere among family members and close relatives.

Sociologists started with the hypothesis that money will enhance rational “cold” interactions among family members and thus, money will eventually tarnish the traditional family value standards.  Currently, sociologists came to the realization that it was changes in the value systems that affected monetary exchanges among family members.

For example, working wives decide on either a proportional (equity) division of incoming salaries or stubbornly insist on equal shares in the household expenses, even though women might be earning less than men.

Why this irrational decision for equal shares?

In this struggle for acquiring autonomy and equality between genders in society, a wife might react as if “equitability” is promoting the perception of older generation values of “man economic dominance and power in the household”.

Money has different smell and is not neutral relative to its sources.

For example, single mothers smell money differently with respect to the sources:  money received from State welfare systems is accounted differently than money acquired by other means and spent differently on personal wants.  Thus, money is spent and viewed differently.

Money gained from prostitution is lavishly spent on luxury items.  At first, we might attribute this lavish behavior as “re-investing” in the business: to catch high scale clients you have got to look it!  Then, the luxury trend makes room to a different smell of money: luxury generates luxurious behaviors that are not easily broken.  Money from prostitution is set aside for personal class statue appearances  (class standing) and reactions to society’s perception for this oldest of businesses.

Another example is related to divorce cases. Adultery is always and originally an affective hurt that might lead to divorce.  Adultery behavior is mainly mentioned and it then takes the forefront in monetary negotiation in a divorce deal when one party does not feel that the division is fair. The issue is “how much was spent to entertaining the lover?

Adultery thus becomes an important economic factor for dilapidation of family “confidence” and traditional value systems.  Adultery remuneration in divorce cases is comparable to winning the lotto: we feel free to spending lavishly this extra windfall that was not earned from our sweat.

Another example of smell of money is the gifts to family members.

Gifts are transformed from gifts in kinds into liquid money, though verbal “contracts” are usually attached on how money should be spent.  In the 1920’s, US social assistance to the poorer classes attached clauses on how money aid should be spent.  Consequently, social workers acquired vast supervisory leverage to controlling the recipients of money aid. Maybe one day, verbal contracts will be accepted by courts as information and communication technologies become standard tools in most family applications.

Change in value systems is the major factor that easily explains social transformations, but there are needs to considering the consequences of intermediate direct factors.

The intermediate factor is, for example, the expansion and development of economic base that generates various wants and needs.

The immediate factor is the transformation, due to economic expansion, to the creation of various forms of liquidity in money such as checks, credit cards, and technical facilities to withdrawing cash money.

Forms of liquid money are not neutral: they qualitatively contribute to value transformations within family relations.

What is the Meaning of Life?   

In a previous essay “Ideology: Not such a bad Concept before Ruling” I dealt with the notions of ideologies, philosophies, and religions: their purposes and structures. I ended the essay with the following paragraph:

“In many moments in life we ask “what is the meaning of and purpose in life?”   How about we start from the obvious?  We are a bunch of jumbled passions that we all share and that drive our life; we ache by reflection to re-order our passions and sort out the strongest passions that mean most to us. We want to be discriminated as an individual, not on physical traits but as thinking reflecting persons that have distinct set of strong passions that we manage to prioritize and focus; we finally think that we know who we are and what passions drove our life. We want to be at peace with our soul and spirit.”

When we claim that we are in an introspection phase then we are explicitly finding time to sort out the driving passions that were predictive of our life path.  We all have the same passions at various degrees of power and interest that no outside processes can change or transform unless we consciously act on them to redirect our focus.  Introspections are highly useful conscious periods in our life to comprehend the strongest of our passions and set priority for future activities.  Basically, we are adopting a philosophy to life that is compatible with our strongest passions.  That is what we constantly do: we are addicted to constructing models because we are spiritual designers.  We want to categorize our passions intellectually, by our volition and labor of reflection.

Most religions have to erect an ideology and sometimes slightly update it to face changes; the sacerdotal castes main job is to pressure you to accept their set values and morals as the best that characterize you.  In fact, religions do not want you to exercise introspection and learn your own characteristics; they want to “save you that hassle” and show you the proper way; they want you to be the man among all same men with preferred set of passions instead of realizing your individuality.  Only those following the preferred “type” are selected in heaven as on earth; the black sheep of strong individuality are not recognized in heaven because only the mediocre, the humble, the naïve, the simple minded can be saved.


That was a good starting lead to answering the meaning of life.  I have a question: if you were to chose between knowing the “truth” or safeguarding and preserving your conscious then what would you decide?   I know that you will try to circumvent this basic query by returning a question with another one such as “Isn’t conscious linked to truth searching?” or “Isn’t knowledge an illusion?”

If even scientific facts should be recognized as statistical facts because uncontrolled observations have the tendency to show up occasionally and need to be categorized, understood, and then modeled.  If justice is fundamentally a consensus agreement among the jury then why do we cling so staunchly to truth or “absolute fact”?  If “truth” is not reachable, if we know that any predictive model can be altered by surprised “chance” observations, if it is proven at every moment in our life that uncertainty is king and it loves to convince you at the most critical events, then why fight for truth and spread disorder for an illusion?  Our scientific and rational mind is fighting the good fight and is persistent in its endeavor because it refuses impositions of religious abstract notions that have no foundations or convincing premises. Our scientific mind is not fighting “faith” but fighting the sacerdotal castes’ value systems and ideologies.

What about conscious? We can define conscious by its consequences on our nerves, its wrenching battle through sleepless nights, and through nightmares.  Conscious is the constant fighting between imposed religious set values and your strong valid passions that define your individuality.  We are battling to preserve our rightful individuality in a manner that would not shock the community as “crazy behaviors”.  Most of the time we define conscious as how the community expect us to act and decide because religious belief system is enduring and hard to conciliate with.


You always have a choice: truth or conscious; and this dichotomy is not to vanish any time soon and you will have to select differently at many moments. This critical choice is our daily battle and our constant struggle to find meaning to our life.


By God, I hope that the set values imposed on me is the correct one.  I would hate after death to face up a reality that is not compatible with what I cowardly submitted to.  I would hate to be condemned for laziness in the mind or condemned for not acting according to my own labor of reflection. Justice is ultimately an individual case and what the community believed is totally irrelevant and redundant for supporting clemency.




March 2023

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