The Paradox of Freedom: Constraints, Oppression, and the Quest for Liberty

Lucas Charbonnier

Lucas Charbonnier

Aug 30, 20233 min read


The Paradox of Freedom: Constraints, Oppression, and the Quest for Liberty


Freedom, often referred to as "la liberté," is a concept deeply ingrained in human society. It represents the power to do what one desires, contrasting with constraints, oppression, servitude, and alienation. However, the nature of human freedom remains a subject of debate. Is freedom absolute or relative? Can it be experienced and proven, or is it merely an illusion? In this article, we will explore the paradox of freedom, connecting various perspectives and shedding light on its intricate relationship with constraints, laws, and societal influences.

The Quest for Absolute Freedom:

Some philosophers argue that human freedom is absolute, making it the essence of our being. This notion implies that individuals are not bound by the general laws of nature and are solely determined by themselves. It suggests a dualism between the mind and the body, reminiscent of Plato's philosophy that devalues the physical realm. However, the idea of absolute freedom raises questions about its paradoxical and inexplicable nature. Can we truly know if our choices are free from unknown causes? Are we capable of escaping the multiple influences of the world we inhabit?

The Illusion of Free Will:

Spinoza, among others, challenges the illusion of free will. He suggests that humans are not impervious to external causes and are instead conditioned and determined by various natural factors. This perspective emphasizes that freedom is not an inherent aspect of existence but rather a difficult and uncertain conquest that requires an understanding of the determinisms, causalities, and influences that shape our lives. Thus, the notion of absolute freedom becomes elusive and enigmatic, calling into question our ability to prove its existence.

The Intersection of Freedom and Law:

At first glance, freedom and constraints seem incompatible. Adhering to rules and collective social prohibitions may appear to diminish individual liberty. However, is it necessary to oppose freedom and law? In a well-organized society governed by laws, individuals often experience greater freedom. Political freedom, in this context, is only possible and guaranteed when it is limited by legal frameworks. The coexistence of various freedoms hinges on the presence of laws that prevent mutual destruction. Hence, the law, decided democratically in a state of law, enables the preservation of freedom and its responsible exercise.

Actionable Advice:

  • 1. Understand and Navigate Constraints: Recognize that freedom is not absolute but a delicate balance between personal choice and external influences. Educate yourself about the determinisms and causalities that shape your life, enabling you to navigate constraints more effectively.
  • 2. Embrace Responsible Action: True freedom lies not in doing whatever one pleases but in acting with determination and responsibility. Consider the consequences of your choices and prioritize actions that align with your values and long-term well-being.
  • 3. Seek a Harmonious Relationship with the Law: Instead of viewing the law as an obstacle to freedom, perceive it as a framework that safeguards individual liberties. Strive to contribute to the democratic process and uphold the principles of justice and equality.


The concept of freedom is complex and multifaceted, intertwining with constraints, laws, and societal influences. While the idea of absolute freedom remains elusive, it is crucial to understand the nuances of freedom and the role it plays in our lives. By embracing a nuanced perspective, navigating constraints, and fostering a harmonious relationship with the law, individuals can strive for a more authentic and responsible exercise of their freedom. Remember, true freedom lies not in escaping all limitations but in the conscious and intentional pursuit of a life aligned with one's values.


  1. "La liberté", (Glasp)
  2. "Je bosse au Luxembourg et j’ai beaucoup perdu en qualité de vie sur le forum Blabla 18-25 ans - 17-07-2023 07:57:16 - page 2 -", (Glasp)

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