I am reading a book where a totalitarian society (as in the book “1984”) is seeking ever more control, but has two groups of “rebels.”

One rebel group is seeking freedom and the other to increase chaos. Aren’t these rebels both seeking chaos? After all, if we all “did our own thing,” it seems to me that this might be pretty chaotic. Does the idea of responsibility (order?) play a part in any of this? What is the relationship between freedom and responsibility, order and chaos?

Are individual “rights” related to either of these ideas? Can we have freedom for each individual without responsibility? What does responsibility or rights even mean, and is the relationship between freedom and responsibility arbitrary and variable?

Does the last person on Earth have any responsibility and rights or is responsibility a social contract between and among individuals?

On my cynical days, it seems to me that both corporate America and the masses have too much freedom and too little responsibility. Is it possible for a society to achieve a balance of these two ideas and what would that look like? Could we have a dynamic balance of the two like a see-saw or a blend? Would such a relationship be possible to maintain without wild swings? Can you have just one of these concepts in a society?

Why is no one discussing this? Perhaps this is just a large brain cramp, and I should read a different book.

Peter Swartz


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.