Global Freedom is in the Cards
by Professor Dr. Jacob van der Westhuizen
Professor Dr. Jacob van der Westhuizen is a noted criminologist and the former director of a major South African criminology research institute; he currently serves as a Research Consultant to the University of South Africa where he directs the work of postgraduate students of criminal justice and the science of asset protection and security control. Dr. van der Westhuizen received his Bachelor of Arts degree, Bachelor of Arts with honors, Master of Arts cum laude as well as his Ph.D. degree from the University of South Africa. He is a member of the International Narcotic Enforcement Officers Association, the International Police Association, and an Associate Member of the International Association of Chiefs of Police.
Let us consider how to make the most of our freedom, despite constraints, rules, and regulations. For starters, take heed of the mind-boggling changes that have taken place at the turn of the last century – changes that may convince you to walk with me when we explore a fascinating concept called freedom.
Be warned: we are not going to walk with kings while attempting to keep the common touch. No, we are going to walk with the people at grass root level from where we try to get in touch with those who hover about through the dizzy heights above our heads.
We select our material from dictionaries, newspapers, popular magazines, and other books so as to discover the human element embedded in our respondents’ experiences, whether in isolation or in group context.
It follows that this is strictly speaking a popular-scientific effort at discovering what the members of the human race may experience during their lifetime. In no way any claim is made that these stories, definitions, and descriptions are verified for generalized reliability and validity – in fact, most of them are accepted on face value as true.
For anyone to allege that ‘global freedom is in the cards’, simply means that freedom is possible or likely to be achieved by the world population.
Author’s Note: For the record, please note that some of our eminent scientists: a) Dr Milos Dokulil, Professor of Philosophy, Brno, Czech Republic, published an article on Democracy and Human Rights: The Contemporaneous Globality of Human Rights, in the Journal of Global Issues & Solutions (the bi-monthly journal of the BWW Society). Quotes from this article are made as our discussion progresses and the need arises to introduce some of the various kinds of human rights mentioned by Dr Dokulil; b) Nguyen Tran Bat, Cultural Globalization: A View From Vietnam; c) Dr António Gentil Martins’s on The Medical Profession and Euthanasia; d) and another article in connection with the right of people to worship God independently, without any secular constraints imposed on them, is clearly and fearlessly spelt out by Dr Arnd Hollweg of Berlin, Germany, who wrote an article in the Journal of Global Issues & Solutions, under the title Christian Faith, Philosophy and Science against the background of the present Ecumenical Discussion. We are well aware of the fact that there are dozens of other papers covering the topic under discussion; but we have to submit to time and space constraints that prevent us to carry on indefinitely. However, colleagues are cordially invited to come up with their ideas, criticisms, and fresh perspectives.
1.0 Time-space footprint
Our frame of reference reflects a clear time-space footprint that limits our discussion to the symbolic a) impression made by a respondent’s foot or shoe; b) space taken up by his or her computer on a desk; and/or c) volume of his/her emotional, physical, and spiritual outcry of frustration or elation, depending on a bad or a satisfactory experience she or he has had.
This time-space footprint brings into sharp focus the following issues to be addressed: (i) a definition of the concept freedom; (ii) a brief discussion of its relation to other concepts; (iii) a description of the concept freedom; (iv) an explanation of the impact and force freedom may exert to get people organized or mobilized for action; (v) prediction of eventual repercussions or unforeseen results of freedom’s propagation and spread; (vi) control measures instituted by people in authority, once freedom’s influence tends to spill over in violence or any other form of anti-social conduct; and (vii) newspaper stories that may give us some idea of how basic ideas about freedom and accompanying rights may enhance the lifestyles of poor people.
2.0 Defining the concept ‘freedom’
According to the Reader’s Digest Oxford Complete Wordfinder(1 the following meanings can be attached to the freedom concept:
2.1 the condition of being free or unrestricted
2.2 personal or civic liberty; absence of slave status
2.3 the power of self-determination; the quality of not being controlled by fate or necessity
2.4 the state of being free to act or the freedom to leave
2.5 frankness, outspokenness; undue familiarity
2.6 the condition of being exempt from or not subject for example to a burden, or a defect
2.7 (a) full or honorary participation in membership, privileges, etc. (b) unrestricted use of membership, privileges, etc.
2.8 a privilege possessed by a city or corporation
2.9 facility (absence of difficulty) or ease of action or expression
2.10 boldness (fearless, courageous) of conception (imagination, an idea, a plan).
3.0 Relating the concept ‘freedom’ to the concept ‘right’
A concept which seems to be closely related to the freedom concept is right, which means:(2:
3.1 just, morally or socially correct
3.2 true, correct, not mistaken
3.3 less wrong or not wrong
3.4 more or most suitable or preferable
3.5 in a sound or normal condition, physically or mentally healthy, satisfactory
3.6 on or towards the side of a human body:
How to get orientated in order to exercise
your freedom to find your way home
point your outstretched
right arm to the east
- to where the sun comes up -
your outstretched left arm
will now point to the west
and you are now looking north
while south is behind your back
at rest, but out of reach.
4.0 Relating the concept ‘freedom’ to various synonyms
and other concepts
The Editors of The Reader’s Digest and the Funk & Wagnall’s Dictionary Staff in Reader’s Digest Use The Right Word.(3 New York: The Reader’s Digest, 1969, p. 506 link the concept ‘right’ with freedom, liberty, prerogative, and privilege. They say ‘these words refer to the fundamental claims a person can properly make or to his unfettered ability to choose’.
4.1 rights: they point out that rights are differently spelt out in different cultures. In western-oriented countries ‘right’ suggests a concrete claim established by legal, ethical, or religious sanctions; for example the private right to own and disperse at will of property; the right to free speech; and the right of equality before the law. In other cultures rights are defined differently or other rights come into play, for example, the right to have more than one wife or the right to claim back the land allegedly wrongfully taken from their forefathers by people who colonized it.
4.2 liberty: by contrast, liberty is a more general and abstract notion therefore suggesting the actor’s, the speaker’s, or writer’s chance or favorable opportunity to exercise choices among several given alternatives, for example, to join this or that church or religious faith. It boils down to the freedom to act according to one’s own intentions, needs, and desires, without external constraints or repression; or if these are in place, to ignore and sidestep them altogether.
4.3 privilege: privilege is a much more specific right than liberty and freedom; it concerns advantages given as favors or added luxuries rather than as necessary rights. A privilege may be allowed as a concession in exchange for something else.
4.4 prerogative: this concept refers to a right one has by virtue of one’s sex, age, position, or status. While it is also much more specific than the other concepts, it suggests a right to change one’s mind, or a necessary right to act independently.
5.0 Relating the concept ‘freedom’ to the concepts rightful, just, due, deserved, merited, well-earned, fair, and equitable(4
Other concepts that may be linked to the freedom concept, are rightful, just,
due, deserved, merited, well-earned, fair, and equitable. All of them refer to
something that is proper, fitting, and called forth by ethical and legal standards.
5.1 rightful suggests that human acts, feelings, thoughts, or standing are in agreement with an objective set of standards, such as a code of conduct or a code of ethics, which has been sanctioned by the majority of the members of some or other society, corporation, company , club, clan, or congregation.
5.2 just likewise stresses an objective set of acceptable standards by which to gauge whether a pronouncement, a statement, or an opinion is fitting within a moral or legal context.
5.3 due emphasizes a) reasonableness or appropriateness: for example a due punishment, a promise to answer in due course; b) moderation and practicality by denying that objective standards exist and that an arbitrary judgment seems to be in order, asserting for instance that there is no conflict between a specific law and a due regard for civil liberties; and c) neglect of duties that have been outstanding for some time, referring for example to pubic apathy that permits criminals to escape their due arraignment.
5.4 deserved and merited both emphasize the earning of something: deserved may be used positively and negatively, while merited is more often used for positive achievements. Well-earned is almost synonymous with merited, but has a greater informality and less stress on the actual value of the contribution made.
5.5 fair is not only the mildest and most general of the set, but also the most subjective in suggesting an appeal to reasonableness and open-mindedness, for example a referee that was scrupulously fair in all his decisions.
5.6 equitable is more formal than fair in that it suggests a solution that is just and reasonable to all parties concerned, but not necessarily wholly satisfactory to all, like striking an acceptable compromise between two opposing views.
6.0 Relating the concept ‘freedom’ to the concepts obligation, duty, function, office, and responsibility(5 which are antonyms of freedom
6.1 obligation refers in general to what one is compelled to do, or refrain from doing by law, contract, promise, morality, or the like, emphasizing commission and omission of certain forms of behavior.
6.2 duty can sometimes be used interchangeably with obligation, but it refers rather to that which emerges from an interior moral or ethical impulse rather than from outside demands, like saying he puts duty before pleasure.
6.3 function refers to activities demanded by one’s position, profession or rank.
6.4 office is linked to the services, functions, and duties connected with a position of trust.
6.5 responsibility refers to obligation, duty, function, or office and implies accountability, liability, trust, truthfulness, and reliability.
This much is accomplished up till now: the concept freedom and some of its synonyms and antonyms are defined without any comment because the sources from which the definitions are quoted are deemed valid and reliable reflections of modern thought and skills and need no back-up rational notes to establish their status as scientific instruments of knowledge building. The next step is to describe the study object freedom.
But before an attempt is made in that direction, a brief comment on the impact of differing or opposing views, launched by different cultures as well as religious, economic, and political systems, have to be considered, or at least be mentioned for the record.
Putting these various definitions in perspective with global imperatives, one may find that the globalization concept and its ideal implementation may come into violent conflict with some, if not with most of the ideas which are rampantly propagated as valid and reliable points of view - arguments that call for a truce between the globalists and the loyalists, at least until such timely step-by-step time-space compromises could be reached whereby all the nations and cultural groups may benefit.
These inequalities are sharply reflected in the next section where a description of the freedom concept is attempted.
6.0 Description of the concept ‘freedom’
6.1 Freedom and cultural globalization
Nguyen Tran Bat, attorney and International Investment Executive in
Unfortunately the matter is not as cut-and-dried as these assertions would like us to believe. There is always a call ringing out and demanding to hear the other side of the story.(7
It is not farfetched to hear, believe, and propagate the ‘other side of the story’ - a version that tells us that race, ethnicity, or culture plays a definitive role in any decision that calls for very drastic changes in lifestyle, security, safety, integrity, loyalty, production, performance, language, economic outlook, religious faith, social custom, and tradition.
This pronouncement is a sure sign of the formidable suction power of the worldwide globalization proceedings we experience today – a fast-growing and ever escalating phenomenon that has started off by disbursing and introducing economic imperatives like finger-licking chicken, a taste-for-life cold drinks, and delectable M-burghers; closely followed by world-wide net surfing which in turn has been leading to internet buying and selling on a grand scale. Apart from this spectacular advance in globalization through economic strides, the cybernet has also stimulated socio-cultural association and friendships with ordinary folks as well as with movers, shakers, and many other kinds of opinion leaders. Then again, the cultural influence of globalization has changed the political scene formidably as pointed out by Nguyen Tran Bat.
6.1.1 With regard to political effects of cultural globalization Nguyen Tran Bat emphasizes that ‘it is clear to observe the effects of cultural globalization on politics. Cultural globalization has promulgated universal values throughout the world - these values include human rights, civil rights, democracy, and freedom – and have at the same time changed the nature of social relations.’(8
6.1.2 The old Republic of South Africa experienced the full might of globalization some three decades ago when the heavyweights in world politics had started to march in unison against South Africa’s so-called ‘apartheids’ policy which denied the majority of its people a) their rights and freedom to cast their votes for a better constitution, and government, and leadership; b) to lift sanctions on free movement to cities and towns or any other kinds of horizontal and vertical mobility in their socio-economic status; and c} a host of other sanctions on human rights. The rights of the ruling party to use the ad-on strategy in practicing the numbers game were no longer viewed as privileges, prerogatives, deserved rights, or justice prescribed for and by a minority, undemocratic government. (9
6.2 Freedom and human rights
The relationship between freedom and human rights is not yet firmly established and formulated.
6.2.1 Take for instance Dr António Gentil Martins’s article on The Medical Profession and Euthanasia, in which he tells us about the patient/doctor’s emotional association, particularly in the final stages of a terminal disease: ‘The Hippocratic Oath (5th century B.C.) contains inalterable principles such as the “Right to Life” and that all actions of the Medical Professional are directed to the health of all men, without exception, independently of their religion, ethnicity, sex, political options or social status, to whom he consecrates himself.‘
‘This principle (which had been cemented in ‘the Universal Declaration on Human Rights and approved by the United Nations in 1948) states that “all men has the right to life, to freedom, and to security as a person”. And the European Convention on Human Rights, of 1953, in Section 1, Article 2, establishes specifically, that the “Right to Life of anyone, will be protected by law.’
‘Yet it seems that in the modern world two great theses clash: one, that believes that there exists a natural moral and law, fundamental and unalterable base of Human Dignity, and another, that believes that moral and law are no more than progressive and conjunctional principles, in constant alteration, in order to serve the apparent momentary interests of each Society.’
‘It is obvious that we share the first one, and repudiate the second.’(10
6.2.2 Freedom of choice likewise comes into conflict with time-
space socio-economic constraints, as well as numerous other constraints such as socio-legal, socio-political, socio-cultural, and socio-religious restrictions that play a definitive role when human choices are made.
Sometimes the time-space constraints imposed on humans as a result of their age or financial capacity, supply enough cold water on a person to either extinguish his/her heart’s desires and lofty ideals, or otherwise motivate him/her to follow the line of least resistance that may lead to (i) a freeze-mode of retreat into, for example, a complete reliance on parents or peer groups; (ii) a flight-mode of retreat into legal or illegal taking of stress-reducing drugs, or drugs that may boost his manhood or her womanhood to stages where they refuse to surrender, but rather switch over to substitute behaviour patterns; and (iii) a fight-mode of survival prompting them to rebel against the imposed odds and to achieve their set goals along different alternative angles, pathways, or illegal acts which include theft, fraud, violence, assault, and battery.
6.2.3 H. W. Longfellow reminds those that fall by the roadside: ‘the height by great men reached and kept / were not attained by sudden flight, / but they, while their companions slept, / were toiling upward in the night’(11. And then again the poet sends out a warning note to the young and restless: ‘not in the clamour of the crowded street / not in the shouts and plaudits of the throng / but in ourselves, are triumph and defeat’.(12
6.2.4 Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882-1945) reminds us that he
fancies a world founded upon four essential freedoms. ‘The first is freedom of speech and expression. The second is freedom of every person to worship God in his own way. The third is freedom from want. The fourth is freedom from fear.’(13
6.2.5 The modern world has made great strides to realize
these ideal freedoms, largely without resorting to the abuse of other human rights such as promulgating laws and rules that stifle human enterprise and privacy; or going to extremes to redress a wrong: such as fierce retaliation after being attacked by criminals or terrorists who based their cowardly acts on the premise that they act to compensate the victims for horrific wrongs done to them in the past, or free their kinsman from dastardly starvation in a sea of slavery and poverty.
6.2.6 The link between freedom and freedom fighters is by
any means and purposes not firmly verified by telling the world that the one party’s terrorists are the other party’s freedom fighters. It is still a long shot at a shifting target and the arguments put forward are rather centering on the depth of the graves dug for the casualties on both sides of the disputed battle line, than on a real and trustful effort to clear up a vital issue. Sara Tulloch tells us that a freedom fighter is any person who takes part in violent resistance to an established political system. On the flipside of the fighting-for-freedom coin, the established political system calls the ‘freedom fighters’ terrorists, insurgents, saboteurs, revolutionaries, resistance fighters, or underground fighters.(14
6.2.7 Freedom and the relativity theory utilized by Einstein to
explain and rationalize his Energy Formula, reflects the notion that everything on earth is relative and insecure (not absolute or independent, but equal to a more-or-less condition). Note for instance how Arthur Buller (1874-1944) hilariously views this Law of Physics:
‘there was a young Lady named Bright, / whose speed was
far faster than light; / she set out one day / in a relative
way, / and returned home the previous night /.(15
The question could now be asked whether any one of our earthly perceptions and definitions would qualify as reliable and valid observations, hoping against hope that human rights concepts like freedom of choice, freedom from want or fear, and freedom of movement might just perhaps pull the correct trigger to strike the proposed target. The answer, however masqueraded, is a resounding: ‘No’.
7.0 Contemporary rights and freedoms on display
There is no evidence to put forward or suggestion to be made that any of the ‘rights’ or accompanying ‘freedoms’ that are here on display, are sound reflections of the truthfulness of all the human rights formulated or being formulated by leaders and followers in the human right’s lobbies and meetings; or in parliaments. Neither can one insist that the rights mentioned should be accepted as reliable and valid because they have been formulated by eminent leaders who had been instructed by millions of people to draw up a code of conduct/code of ethics for world-wide use and consumption.
If we therefore draw up a list of ‘kinds of rights and freedom that goes with it’ (and here we refrain from calling them ‘types of rights’ which is much more formal than ‘kinds of rights’) we can expect readers to come up with hosts of other kinds of rights than those mentioned here as examples. Nevertheless it is imperative to note that the list is not an exhausted record of human rights and kinds of global freedom concepts on file. It is wise to keep it in mind that the following list only provides some examples for discussion and must not be seen as samples from an existing comprehensive inventory.
Traditionally, the following ‘rights’ (and/or kinds of freedom) are displayed for the ensuing discussion:
7.1 the right to search (by the police): nowadays the Police need to produce search warrants to enable and authorize them to enter and search a premise, a motor vehicle, or a person.
7.2 the right to enjoy freedom of speech and expression by the media and all members of mankind: we find to our disappointment that only a few countries support this ‘right’.
7.3 the right and freedom to worship God in one’s own way, are recognized almost everywhere on earth and nations even flock together to form United Front Organizations in order to bring all denominations and faiths together under one common roof.
7.4 two of the abovementioned ‘rights’ , no’s 7.2 and 7.3, are quoted from Cohen and Cohen, ibid., having been gleaned from a speech made by President Roosevelt of the United States of America, in 1942. The other ‘rights’ he mentioned were a) the right to be free from fear; and b) the right to be free from want. Both of these ‘rights’ are unattainable whatever means are used to reach these two lofty ends: ‘freedom from fear’ shall never be attained because the means are in essence retaliatory; while the ‘freedom from want’ goal is thwarted by a historical truth that reiterates that the poor and the poorest of the poor will be with us to the end of time. The only light in the tunnel is the eventual creation of (i) sustainable employment, at viable salaries, for all able-bodied men and woman; or (ii) sustainable sources and provision of food, water, and shelter to each and everybody on earth, free of charge and at no cost whatsoever. The problem is that the ‘freedom from rights’ goal has never been achieved by man, and it is a moot point if it can be reached by even the best of the best in modern times.
7.5 the right to own a firearm, is a typical right, which has come embedded in the American culture from the time their struggle started to civilize the West – a ‘right’ that is still being kept alive and well today, and strongly connected with the right to go hunting, and the right to protect yourself, your family, your property, and those who become victimize in your presence. The right to enjoy a life and lifestyle free of criminal harassment and onslaught, was firmly established and has been respected since the time the human race endeavored to safeguard themselves against ferocious wild animals as well as other human beings that had the audacity to bide their time to parasitize on those members who succeeded in gathering and hoarding enough foodstuffs to survive cold spells and cold seasons.
7.6 the right of people to worship God independently, without any secular constraints imposed on them, is clearly and fearlessly spelt out by Dr Arnd Hollweg of Berlin, Germany, who wrote an article in the Journal of Global Issues & Solutions, under the title Christian Faith, Philosophy and Science against the background of the present Eucumenical Discussion.(16The author comes to the conclusion that … ‘everybody in any denomination, institution or culture who can share (the) Biblical confession of faith, belongs to the Church of Jesus Christ … (because) Christian faith is always ecumenical.’
7.7 the ‘right’ to define ‘right’ raises many a moot point, as indicated by Dr Dokulil in his article that is introduced supra on page 1 of this current discussion on ‘freedom’. (a) Following Grotius, he says that ‘rights’ are defined as ‘natural’ or ‘moral’. (It then follows that) … a ‘right’ (as a value) has been intuitively connected with some ‘good’ as a result of its implementation and fulfillment.’ This generalization heaps validity and respect on the means that are used to achieve some unspecified ‘good’ as a target. It is a pity that the end product ‘good’ justifies and sanitizes the means (which is backed up by a ‘right’ in whatever form or shape). (b) He continuous by saying that … ‘rights’ are often characterized as ‘natural’ and if ‘natural’ then not necessarily positive (enacted as law). He rightly shoots this rationale down in flames because of its politico-theoretical connotation and eventual political pressure which may surely follow in the wake of its preliminary acceptance by the majority of the people. (c) Dr Dokulil is also convinced that … ‘Human rights’ as ‘rights’ share their genesis with the concept of ‘social contract’; both the terms/concepts are a fiction of political theory.’ I share the same sentiments here and wish to add that the original assertion that human rights are inherent in humanity is devoid of any truth. (d) The author also discuss several other articles that he correctly guillotined, among others for example ‘the right to own property’, and ‘anyone has the right to leave any country’. He also points out that governments’ not individual citizens, are the major culprits in violating human rights.(16
7.8 The author enumerates ten major ‘human rights’ (HR’s) and hints at several hindrances preventing their realization:
7.8.1 HR of living a sustainable life (not sure what is meant)
7.8.2 HR of a hopeful childbirth and childhood (irresponsible parents and poor care of children are not tolerated)
7.8.3 HR of having a share in decent social order, including a home (guaranteed personal freedom and security; the possibility of getting a job; in case of need, to have effective access to welfare; the right of free speech and expression of views; etc.)
7.8.4 HR of an efficient and satisfying share in democracy (never easy to fulfill satisfactorily)
7.8.5 HR of a decent economic milieu, without corruption (a right imported from a land of fairy-tales)
7.8.6 HR of evading the threat of war or civil war (everyone should have the right to refuse participation in a war)
7.8.7 HR of upholding law, and justified and efficient legal practices (introduction of fairness in civic, economic, and political activities with little or no intervention like selfish ‘lobbying’ as a steady basis for corruption and social insecurity)
7.8.8 HR of not being threatened by organized crime, including, of course, its bloody terror (mostly committed by young, very clever, disciplined people with corresponding technical means and large financial resources)
7.8.9 HR of reasonable solutions of thorny issues (very difficult to come up with effective counter measures)
7.8.10 HR of educational and cultural advance (rarely missed and if slowly evaporating, difficult to recover)
7.9 Appraisal of rights and freedoms: an explanation of the impact and force freedom may exert to get people organized or mobilized for action
A somewhat lengthy discussion of rights and freedoms brings us to a point where a brief appraisal of interacting rights and freedoms would signal our departure for the next important dimension which is in the cards: the violent impact and unforeseen force any lay or even quasi-learned definition of ‘freedom’ may trigger off.
Leaders struggling to free their country and its people of oppression, as other political parties have been doing right around the world for many years now, devise ways and means to send out the correct and most effective clarion calls for action in the form of maxims, mottos, slogans, or clichés, like for example ‘Your Country wants YOU to join us for FREEDOM’; ‘Freedom Fighters Unite!’; ‘Free your Country and Save the People!’.
The freedom culture is usurped by young, energetic freedom fighters, which are eager, willing, and determined to fire on all cylinders for THE CAUSE.
Then, one day, the freedom fighter that has gone through tortuous hardships and severe suffering and privation, is told that the war is over and that they can all bow out as the victorious party.
Having started his ‘career’ at a very young age, he finds it difficult to adopt ‘a mild and mellow’ lifestyle when his goal to free his country from repression and injustice, has been reached at length and the guns fell silent. After the freedom campaign had been called off, he discovers that he is not allowed to partake readily and fully in the spoils of war.
Soon he discovers something else: that he is being ignored and classified as a ‘has been’ that all the nice jobs with big money checks at the end of each month, have been dished out to a lucky few of his comrades. Now stress and distress kick in and are threatening to disrupt his known world to smithereens. He begins to explore other avenues; ways and means to make money, lots of it, at the expense of the society that owes him, but which is crafty enough to shun him. He looks up his old comrades who feel the pain like he does and who in hindsight; agree that it was high time to go into action, this time on their own, taking as they do so, the law into their own hands in order to redress the wrongs that have been done to them.
Sadly, there has been no authoritative effort at ‘debriefing’ and/or ‘rehabilitating’ the freedom fighter physically, psychologically, and spiritually. He was simply left out in the cold, to deal with his recurrent fears and scars all by himself.
8.0 Prediction of eventual repercussions or unforeseen results of
freedom’s propagation and spread
‘Freedom’s propagation and spread is predictable after the turn of the century. For one thing is sure: information technology in the shape of television sets, cell phones, and computers has allowed us to surf the internet, view almost everything to our heart’s content and desire; and to enjoy the freedom of choice, the freedom of association, and the freedom of free education at will. Our newly-discovered empowerment has provided us with confidence, knowledge, and wisdom and a sense of power that may deteriorate into prejudice, or intolerance of other people’s points of view, especially what we regard as outmoded and obsolete ideas and notions being rammed down our throats by well-meaning, but ‘backward’ folks. Yet, sometimes our eyes are forced wide open by the damning results of our undisciplined sexual behavior.
A sad song is sung when freedom of choice enters our sexual life and causes our sex drive to go rampant. With a diagnostic test result of HIV-AIDS in front of us, we may now feel the pain of someone who has received the death penalty. But our legacy paints a far more horrible picture: both parents of one family who have passed away, leaving three children orphaned at 8, 6, and 3 years of age to fend for themselves, or to be sent to orphanages or to foster parents. What a price to be paid for sexual freedom!
9.0 Control measures instituted by other people once freedom’s influence tends to spill over in violence or any other form of anti-social conduct. This statement reflects an ideal reaction, a reaction not readily coming forth in a country where those now in office and authority, were themselves branded as underground fighters or terrorists by the previous regime; although now they are respected and recognized as ‘freedom fighters’.
Any leader of freedom fighters, who has now taken up office as a leader of the majority group after being declared victorious, may find it very difficult, if not intolerably impossible, to discipline his erstwhile comrade in arms or to condone his infringement of a law – after all he is still a colleague, a soldier who was instrumental in freeing the country, but one who has now landed up in serious trouble.
10.0 Tales of human suffering and hardship told by people who have seen the dark side of life. There are thousands of untold stories that can be aired to illustrate how circumstances and strange definitions of situations may turn someone’s life upside down. All over the world we may be able to find people in all walks of life who tend to dominate and enslave others, forcing the young and the restless, and the meek and the mild to ‘work’ for them, especially targeting young children and adults of lesser standing and influence, to be illegally employed as soldiers, drug runners, drug mules, laborers, and sex objects. The hardships and oppression suffered by these unfortunate victims of crime left indelible marks on many of them and annihilated all their chances of leading their own lives in peace and enjoying a certain measure of freedom from these horrible constraints being imposed on them.
11.0 Stories of hope are the stories of dedicated people and visionary commercial companies in South Africa who are determined to create brighter opportunities for its poor and destitute people by investing, inspiring, educating, and empowering those in need, in projects that are sustainable and self-propelling concerns. The grand idea is to attain freedom through independence and empowerment through knowledge.(17
12.0 Freedom being viewed in a global context
Perhaps it was high time to view freedom in a global context – one created to resolve the cul-de-sac we have been landing in by arguing supra that all our definitions of freedom and all the other concepts presented here are relative in nature, subjectively grounded ideas, and arbitrary definitions of time-space relevance only, and that no-one can lay a claim that they are globally, let alone universally, sound and valid rules of earthly laws.
Perhaps we may concede that the loyalists have put a strong point of view
on the negotiating table, but we are not sure whether this conclusion leaves us with a workable frame of reference and a likely roadmap whereby all globalists would be able to travel fearlessly down a rather obscure pathway.
In my view it is necessary to take two steps first and then to bide our time until the democratic majority of adults of the world population, or a representative sample of them (if this can ever be achieved by us) may then be requested to draw up a code of conduct to reflect human rights within a worldwide freedom-projected context. This is one way – surely not the easiest path to travel towards the achievement of a realistic ‘freedom’ goal.
The next human right’s path to explore for a reliable and valid solution, seems to be the acceptance of a qualified representative sample of one or other selected group’s consensus agreement that their end product meets the stringent requirements of a scientific fact in that the panel who has produced the CODE OF ETHICS has used a scientific instrument called The Delphi Technique(18 by means of which consensus is reached as to which ‘rights’ qualify as human rights. The basic requirement is to select a panel of at least 10 participants and one team leader. The members of the team send their responses via land mail or airmail to the leader and are not allowed to come together or to exchange views on the subject under review. At least four to five runs are planned as follows:
1. First run: All members are selected for their knowledge of ‘rights’, especially ‘human rights’; and are now requested to draw up their own private list of 10 human rights to be appraised by the panel in subsequent rounds.
2. Second run: The leader draws up a ‘consensus list of all items that are nominated by the panel, for example, a list containing 20 nominations as follows:
3. Third run: The Panel is asked to study the list and to draw up a new list of their preference and submit it again containing only 15 preferred ‘rights’. They are also asked what motivated them to leave out some of the rights on the leader’s consensus list. From the member’s input the leader now put a consensus list of 15 rights on paper and proceeds by asking the panel members to once again study the list and to submit their own list of only 10 of the ‘rights mentioned on his list.
4. Fourth and last run: The fourth and last run is completed when the leader of the project has received the new lists containing each member’s choices. Having collated the information carefully, the leader now forwarded to all panel members a draft containing only the final 10 human rights chosen by THE PANEL; and to inform them of the consensus reached and to thank them for their cooperation in the project. They are invited to comment on the final result and to make some last minute remarks on the panel’s choice. The leader calls it a day if no serious landslide criticisms are forthcoming.
Please note that the project is aimed at ultimate consensus, but its initial stages should always be marked by conflict and dissimilarity. It is under these conditions that the best decisions are eventually made.
13.0 Concluding remarks
This somewhat long-winded discussion of the freedom concept has in the end proved to be a conundrum which calls for a global approach and a global solution.
In the final analysis one may come to the conclusion that human rights issues should never be subjected to the stringent requirements of science in that every human right issue must be absolutely declared to reflect a verifiable grain of truth that is guaranteed to remain reliably defined and validly cleared in the court of representative public opinion. If one, however, presses for one hundred percent objectivity insofar as the time-space requirements demand us to do, all we can say is that currently all our measurements and quantification efforts are going to be gone with the wind.
We would rather settle for two systematic approaches here: a) an earthbound system in which the relativity issue is ignored for the sake of convenience and practical expediency; and b) a universal or cosmic system that spans the whole creation, from a nanosecond to a light-year. The naked truth is that we do not as yet have the knowledge and wisdom to correctly apply the universal laws of physics in our efforts to define ‘human rights’ and ‘freedom’ , nor do we know how to adapt the time-space constraints which undermine our capacity to rationalize our definition of the situation.
So we are left with only one option: we shall have to make do with the global law of consensus.
Reader’s Digest Oxford: Complete Word
Finder – a Unique and Powerful Combination of Dictionary and Thesaurus, edited
by Sara Tulloch, The Reader’s Digest Association Limited.
2.0 ibid., p. 1324
Reader’s Digest: Use the Right Word –
Modern Guide to Synonyms and Related Words, edited by Editors of the
Reader’s Digest and the Funk & Wagnalls Dictionary Staff.
4.0 ibid., pp. 506-7
5.0 ibid., ibid. p.395
Journal of Global Issues & Solutions,
This audi alteram partem principle
has been known and quoted in court cases for centuries: Hiemstra V.G. & H.L.
Gonin. Trilingual Legal Dictionary. Juta:
Cohen J.M. and M.J. The Penguin
Dictionary of Quotations.
See the article by Jacob van der Westhuizen:
Criminology & Globalization: The Numbers Game in Global Perspective With the Crime Phenomenon. Journal of Global Issues &
Solutions, edited by
See Dr António Gentil Martins’s article on The
Medical Profession and Euthanasia , Journal of Global Issues &
Solutions, edited by
Additional Footnotes: (i) ‘Quot homines tot sententae: suo quoque
mos – As many opinions as there are men’ written by Terrence (c. 195-259 nB.C.)
quoted by Cohen and Cohen, ibid., p. 392; (ii) Magna Charta, which is
deemed to be the origin and nature of the Human Rights ideas, may be
described as (a) a charter of liberty and political rights obtained from King
W. Longfellow quoted by Cohen J.M. and M.J. The
Penguin Dictionary of Quotations.
12.0 ibid., p. 236
13.0 ibid., p. 299
14.0 Tulloch, p. 596
15.0 Cohen & Cohen, p. 79
16.0 Dr Arnd Holweg in an article in the Bi-monthly Journal of the WW Bib.
Kaelo Stories of Hope Sandie Koza:
Jacob van der Westhuizen. Security
Jacob van der Westhuizen
Global freedom is in the cards ©
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