Don't be alerted by the title, I love my freedom most of us in the 'modern' world experience. This is 'just' my contribution to Robert Hruzek's monthly group-writing project: "What I learned from.....Government"
When Robert announced this month's subject I told him I learned most about Government from a Science Fiction book - now that made him very curious of course. SF is not real, is it? (Although, if you wait long enough all SF inventions start to make their way into your life: communicators - read mobile phone -, hand-held computers etc - we're only still waiting to be "beamed up").
Many, many years ago I read this wonderful book by author Eric Frank Russel, published in 1962 (the year I was born): "The Great Explosion" - later also published (partly) as short story: "Then there were none".
To cut a long story short: inventor invents super-drive, humans spread out over the Galaxy and many centuries later Earth is trying to reconnect with all the groups that left her. So a brand new expedition, complete with soldiers, is launched to bring back the 'outcasts' back under the 'Government' of Earth. An Governmental Ambassador goes with the star ship and has the task to attach himself as the new Governor to one of the planets the various groups have made their own all those many years ago.
It is a very humorous book to read and on the third planet this star ship visits things get really interesting. At first sight it looks like the human inhabitants have stood still in time: farm land and small villages is all that can be seen from the ship before it lands. No big cities, no large and busy motor ways or planes in the sky.
The first inhabitant they meet is a farmer. When asked to lead the soldiers and the Ambassador's assistant to his leader he just shrugs his shoulders and suggest various names: like Mr something who likes to lead the annual dance. Anyway, you have to read the story yourself for all the other funny details.
It turns out this new society, thriving and happy society, is based purely on the reciprocation principle: no money changes hand, no government, no police, no greed, no criminality, no nothing of the sort. Just respect for each others talents and a seemingly ingrained principle of sharing. No rules, no regulations besides: if you do something for me, I do something for you. And oh dear the person who wants to take advantage of this principle: he soon runs out of friends, family, food, shelter etc - everyone knows and recognises a greedy 'taker' and word of mouth must be invented there on that planet.
Several soldier's group on R&R encounter different experiences: some groups can't even get hold of a single drink or something to eat - and call the population retards who don't understand the value of money or gold - others have the time of their life when helping out with a simple task and being 'rewarded' by food and company. One even deserts his ship (on his special push bike, hilarious) and starts a farm.
The credo of this peaceful and bountiful planet is: Freedom, not me!
It does sound as a contradiction, doesn't it? Everyone on that planet is free to do or not to do anything, at first sight the ultimate idea of Freedom. What would be the reaction of any Government to this 'free for all'? Total chaos, many would take advantage - wouldn't they? So, 'freedom' is restricted into rules and regulations: do this, don't do that. On this planet there is no government, and no chaos.
If you take a few minutes to ponder about it it is this ownership of sharing, of reciprocation that is the true freedom. Every single inhabitant of that planet decides for himself or herself what to share and at the same time fully realise they all depend on each other: Freedom, not me!
Mind-boggling, funny and phylisohpical credo. And in my honest opinion the best and most honest way to 'govern' any society.