Freedom is an illusion ... a mere swing of the pendulum.
PMOC Justin Trudeau once gave a talk at McGill U. about Canadian "freedom". It was well-meaning enough, but I had already decided, years ago - when I was stopped at a red light at 4 am with no other vehicles in sight - that I wasn't really free. I could have run the light, but I couldn't be sure there wasn't a traffic cop hiding in the bushes. Paranoid, or what? I don't think so. There really could have been.
Think about it: you can't get married, own a vehicle, or drive anything on wheels other than a tricycle without a licence and registration. You can't have a baby, or a dog, or a firearm without registering it. You can't hunt, you can't fish without a licence. You also have to foot the bill for all these restrictions, on top of having to hand over a percentage of your annual income, some of which goes to the enforcement of all these rules.
Then there are fines for littering and driving over the speed limit, although obviously this doesn't happen automatically - you need to actually be caught in the act - which reduces a large number of littering speeders to the level of 5-year-olds waiting until their parents are in another room, then dipping their hands into the cookie jar.
I'm sure you can think of other examples of legislation for our own good. Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose (Janis Joplin). And it ain't just England that swings like a pendulum do. (Roger Miller)
Why a pendulum? Well, I've lived quite a long time and I've watched the personal freedom rules go up and down like hemlines (okay, it's a bad metaphor for a pendulum, but stay with me, please). Here's a for-instance: We used to be shocked if a woman showed up on the beach in a bikini; now we're not sure if we're supposed to be offended or impressed if she's wearing a burkini.
Personally, I think all women should choose the burkini. It would save on a lot of shaving, waxing and dieting and the self-mutilation of implants. In fact, men should wear them too - especially the ones with the hairy boobs and over-hang bellies.
On the positive side, a pendulum is always seeking stasis, which it will achieve - eventually - if left alone. But some fool always comes along and winds it up again. You're absolutely free to ponder this or not.
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