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Man Is Born Free But Everywhere He Is In Chain. J. J. Rousseau Discuss The Meaning And Importance Of Freedom In The Light Of This Quotation

880 words - 4 pages

Man is born freeBut everywhere he is in chain. - J. J. RousseauDiscuss the meaning and importance of freedom in the light of this quotation. |
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Every animal including man is born free. All animals in their natural state, except man who is precluded by civilization to be in his natural state, are free. Some animals lose their freedom only because of man's needs and deeds. The world is 'open' and not 'closed' in its natural state; every animal - man is not exempted - desires novelty, spontaneity and genuine creativity, which are the hallmarks of freedom.Man, though born free like other animals, is in chain everywhere. This is because of the restrictions and restraints which he imposes ...view middle of the document...

It continues unabated, and it can be traced back until it is obscured in the dim past. The Magna Carta, the French Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen, the American Bill of Rights, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and the Supreme Court decisions on civil liberties in the United States, India, etc. point to man's craving for freedom. He has always said:Off with the fettersThat chafe and restrain!Off with the chain!Emerson almost deifies Freedom; he sings:My angel - his name is Freedom -Choose him to be your King;He shall cut pathways east and west,And fend you with his wing.Today man in his civilised existence attaches importance to freedom in the sense of the protection of the civil liberties, of which the rights to think, speak, and write are especially important. These and related freedoms are not granted by the state or any group in society, even though the state may need to exercise some control where conflicts of rights occur. If the state grants these rights, then the state can take them away, and that is what freedom-loving men in the past have not been willing to admit. Those rights are human, social, natural or god-given, based on the nature of man and the conditions necessary for his development and the common good.Four kinds of freedom need to be distinguished. There is first, freedom of choice, or moral freedom. There is, second, freedom from external restraint, or physical freedom. This is a particularly important issue where totalitarian governments are in power. Freedom from external compulsion is very important. Even...

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