Few freedoms are considere absolute in nature.The fameous 'yelling fire in a crowded theater' comes to mind.
I have always considered which freedoms are relative to population density as this is the major factor in many limitations of personal freedom.
The freedom or desire to continue some action that was dependant on a low population density is ridiculous when a dramatic increase in population is recognized..
If you live in the country you can usually shoot a gun in your back yard.
When your house becomes surrounded by others and the country becomes a village your freedom to make large noises and involve in dangerous sports becomes restricted.
The smoking ban in bars and resteraunts is over ten years old. How many now if offered the chance to return and remove restrictions would vote to do so?
Yet 'do-gooders' had to instigate this restriction and local government representatives had to vote on the controversial change.
Now ten years later the bars that cried doom are still in business, the resteraunts have more customers who wouldn't previously eat in smoke filled rooms and employees don't have to risk their health to earn a living.
All restrictive laws are not bad for the individual. As society increases in size it also benefits the individual in many ways.
More choices are made available in many areas and specialized options are more viable.
I consider todays supermarket vs. the corner grocery of yesterday (the 1940's)
The evolution of technology is partially due to increased commerce and demand for improved goods.
There is of course a downside to the larger society. Vehicle traffic, noise. potential pollution,which again is something that has required legislation. Pollution laws are actually resulting in cleaner air and water in many areas.
Industry complains about OSHA but ultimately this helps protect the health and safety of the individual worker.
Labor laws help with individual quality of life issues which otherwise would be ignored by large employers.
Individual freedoms are good when possible, freedom to exploit and cheat customers as has been done by some large businesses are not good except of course for those raking in the profits.
As social life becomes more complex it is producing clear benefits in many ways.
Attempts to change this continue as do watchdog groups opposing bad changes.
Temporary setbacks are often due to political changes. Fortunately before reaching extremes most of these negative changes are reversed by active counter-politics.
Although original choices may seem less available new ones have appeared.
How many would truly wish to reverse the social time line?
Before answering remember that our egos tend to obscure much of the unpleasant aspects of the past.
How do you think life was before the polio vaccine or antibiotics?
A close cousin of mune caught polio and I and another cousin were both exposed at the same time.
We escaped the fate of our other cousin who still lives today even though suffering from its permanent effects.
© 2008 albert vallone (albert 1) - 8/27/13