Georgia Institute of Technology What Is a Life of Freedom?


Question Description

What is a life of freedom?

Most authors we have read claim that we are unfree, trapped in a prison of the mind, but that through philosophy we can achieve freedom, i.e. think independently. What is their vision of a free life? It seems to look something like this: recognizing the desert of the real (The Matrix), recognizing (and opposing?) concentrated power in government and industry (Herman and Chomsky), shouldering the responsibility of governance (Plato, Huxley), living apart (Huxley), recognizing and embracing a life of “true” value (de Graaf).

Pick any four of these authors and describe their vision of the free life. Then argue for the vision you find most compelling.

Alternatively, you can include Owen Harries as one of your authors and explain why his rejection of enlightenment thinking and his embrace of the world-as-it-is is the more realistic and desirable vision of freedom. What do you think is his view of a life of freedom? [Hint: it might resemble life as described in country-western songs.]

  • Due: Wednesday, October 16, in class.
  • Length: 7-9 pages
  • Double spaced, 1-inch margins, 12-point font.
  • References format: APA (American Psychological Association)

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School: UIUC

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Life of Freedom


Life of Freedom

Traditionally, freedom has been understood as the independence of the arbitrary will of
others. The state contrasts with slavery, which is constantly subject to the will of others. Free
people can do what they wish as long as they stick by the law, and they do not violate the
freedom of others. Inner freedom exists where free will is preceded by free action. Complete
freedom entails external freedom of the environment and inner freedom of the will. It is a
valuable component for society and individuals as a prerequisite for moral and spiritual growth.
Free life enables people to make decisions that will impact their future. Notably, the following
discussion explores the visions of a free life from the perspectives of different authors.
Herman and Chomsky
Noam Chomsky and Edward Herman attempted to illustrate the behaviors of the media in
the US. Their work is strongly grounded in the critical-Marxist, especially in the traditional
median studies and political economy. The two scholars developed the propaganda model, which
emerged as one of the most tested frameworks in these fields.
The propaganda model is also considered as the general theory of the Free Press. It
criticizes the behaviors of the mass media and explores the association between the ideologies in
the interests of the social class and communicative power (Mullen & Klaehn, n.d). More
attention is based on the relationships in components like dominant social institutions, the media,
and the market, and the power of elites. Herman and Chomsky envision that structural and
political-economic forces components influence the overall patterns of the performance of the
media. They concentrate on the influence of their model in the free market analysis of
mainstream media. The model is challenged on its assumption that media are free and are



committed to serving public interests. News discourses are generated in ways that the media
themselves are positioned to serve propaganda functions in the context of liberal-democratic and
capitalist societies.
The processes of producing news are designed by a range of factors that can be
considered as filter elements that are associated with the model. The authors predict that these
elements influence what is to become news. They categorize them into five classes. The first is
the mainstream media and their ownership, size, and profit orientation. Social realities are
defined by the routines of the mainstream media, relying on agents of power. The third
component considers advertising as the principle that generates revenue of the mainstream media
and the corresponding influence of the process of production (Mullen & Klaehn, n.d). Other
elements are various ideological forces that are engaged in addressing the interests of the elites.
The last category entails organized factors that represent the mechanism of social control.
Herman and Chomsky had predicted that the propaganda model would receive little attention in
the fields of media and commu...

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