Imagine this, you stand at the very edge of a beach. You can feel the sun warming your shoulders, the wind hums softly, and the ocean is so clear a school of fish is visible dancing in the waters. You take a step forward letting the ocean engulf you, finally the waters carry your body, you float, nothing but you and the ocean. That’s why I love the sea so much, it exudes a feeling of wonderment, of liberty, makes you think everything is possible like you can do anything. But that’s not really freedom, it’s just what we imagine it must feel like as gravity doesn’t bind us to the ground and we float in the water.
So, then what is freedom? According to The Institute of Ethics and Emerging Technologies, freedom … mean(s) the right to do as one pleases—to think, believe, speak, worship (or not worship), move about, gather, and generally act as you choose—but only until your choices start to infringe on another person’s freedom. (Treder). An aspect of Freedom is to express one’s ideas without fear of repercussions from others, but what does the liberty to express an opinion mean if we don’t have a way of sharing it with the rest, that is Freedom of Press. And, in a way, that’s the same kind of thinking that philosophers like Plato and Karl Marx shared. In this essay I will be going over what has become of our traditional definition of freedom of press, what did Plato and Marx thought constituted to be free, how do their theories differ from what is considered a traditional view today and how their ideas though centuries apart, coincide with one another.
Nowadays most of us live in democratic nations, and as such we tend to consider the democratic definition of freedom as our favorite to follow, this means that to most individuals freedom is, as aforementioned, when every and each of us are equally allowed by no one else but ourselves to do what we want. Straightforwardly freedom of press constitutes to project our free thoughts into a written format to then share them with the public. We’ve put so much value into this idea that it’s not only the First Amendment of the United States Constitution, but it’s written as one of our human rights, As the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states “Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers” (UN General Assembly art. 19). Seeing how highly we’ve place this right it’s even more strange to find just how often we overstep it. Teenage journalists being censored by their school officials for writing of protests, sexuality, and school news in their high school’s newspapers (Peiser), a judge that ordered the Los Angeles Times to delete a published article about a case that had been already on public records (Medina). And president Trump refusing to acknowledge CNN journalists while calling them “fake news” (Grynbaum) and all these happened throughout this month. With new advances the modern era gives us the option to express ourselves in many ways, technology has become a tool which has the prospect to open many doors, unfortunately it has the tools to shut them too. We like to have all these rights and privileges that protect our individualism but as soon as we feel threatened by another’s assertion of the same right we are quick to shut them down, more than a new concept this is a tradition the government in power has always practiced, philosophers like Karl Marx theorized that the bourgeoise’s blatant tyranny was the responsible for the proletariat’s economic, and as a result, journalistic oppression. To understand where Marx is coming from we need to first stablish what was freedom for him.
For Marx freedom was a goal to be attained, something to strive for as we separate from capitalism, since as we are, all of a person’s value fell upon their economic ministration to the wealth of the bourgeoise. For Marx capitalism administrated every aspect of our lives, he theorizes that the proletariat society worked tirelessly in meaningless jobs that not only dwarfed their individualism and alienated the workers from their work but “…It serves to profit the bourgeoisie, who are owners of the proletariat’s labour and deprive them of the means for self-cultivation…” (Weng). Marx believed that to be truly free people should have the option to see themselves in their work and cultivate themselves. His whole battle with the bourgeoise transfers into his ideology of freedom of press where he argues against censorship supporting the individual thought and the need to express our ideals. How does he change it from the traditional view AND what do you want to say about those changes His views on freedom in general don’t clash with todays point of view but they don’t necessarily match that much either.
We believe that in doing what we want with how we think of freedom but when we think of that it isn’t necessarily to go against the government, sure not all of us agree completely with the ones in charge and some laws but when we think of freedom it isn’t necessarily to go against the government. Now today’s views on freedom of speech, what we now consider traditional, may differ from Plato’s idea of freedom, but that doesn’t mean its completely warped.
Plato had a low regard for what we consider “freedom” he believed that democracy was bogus and that people who had a weaker mind should be at the mercy of the people who are stronger. How does he change it from the traditional view AND what do you want to say about those changes How did their ideas coincide Citations Treder, Mike. “The Meaning of Freedom.” Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies, 17 Sept. 2009,
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