Editor`s Letters, Society & Culture

What is freedom to you ?

february 21st 2008

A contact of mine discusses on another page very interesting things about communism and the way she saw it. I really enjoy reading her posts. Recently she wrote how it is now, 18 years after the fall of Ceausescu, saying that things are a lot better. She said: We are free. That’s the most important thing.
We have the freedom of speach, things aren’t censored anymore. We have acces to all the informations we want by books, TV, radio and Internet.
We have political parties, we can vote freely, express our political options.
We are free to travel everywhere in the world.
Since we are a part of EU we can travel in Europe just with our identity card, we don’t even need a passport for that.
We can find everything we want in stores, we don’t need to buy things on the black-market anymore. It was a real hustle before, I can tell you that! :))
There is a problem though…prices are almost as they are in Europe, while
the salaries for most of the people are not even a quarter of the minimum
wage in Europe. So, for a lot of people life is still difficult,  because they
hardly can pay for their daily needs. And the things don’t seem to get better,
not soon anyway. People are very dissapointed by that situation and by the politicians who seem interested just to fill their pockets.
A lot of romanians migrated after 1989, we are all over the world!
Spain, Italy, Germany, UK, USA, Australia, New Zeeland..”

I agree, and like the world now, but I don`t totally agree because of the following. I wrote her a reply:

“Liberty can be devided in material and formal liberty. Now here in Romania we have formal liberty but no such thing as material liberty. We are allowed to do anything but the majority can`t afford it. I always imagined that things should be made in such a way so that everybdy can live right now, and not to have to build a future. According to a study, the average Romanian must work 5 lives in order to buy a house only. That`s not freedom in my eyes.
You said we find everything we want to buy in stores, but I never find the things I want, because they don`t represent interest for the masses, so there is no way these things will be imported. I think all types of persons should find all types of things. You find everything, but everything the masses need. This is why we buy things from other countries. i believe a developed society is a society where everything is very specialized on different sectors. And freedom of speech? Well, I agree, it`s better, but if you write something on the Internet, in a newspaper or elsewhere it won`t matter. And there is no such thing as a public tv station specialized on news, where the issues of the country should really be brought in first plan. We have only private news channels which always look for the extraordinary.
And we, as a people really don`t understand what freedom means. If I stare at things or people on the street, or say something about someone in his/her presence, I`ll get a big nice “what are you staring at?” If I am with smb on the street and see a jacket I don`t like on a person or in a store and say “it`s dreadful!” I`ll sure get at least some looks, if not being thrown out of the store. Arn`t I allowed not to like something?
I`m happy with the world is, but we have a lot of catching up to do. “

What do you think? What is freedom for you?

About Iosif

Creative Director Iosif Trif takes interest in developing creative works as well as studying the impact works of art and cultural products have on people on both a personal and group level.


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