inkwellFreedom is a difficult concept to grasp, let alone appreciate, if you have never been deprived of it. With what has been labelled the Arab Spring, Egypt, Tunisia and perhaps others have just had a taste freedom. Now, comes the difficult task of drawing up the rules of freedom. You see freedom doesn’t really mean free, in the sense that you can do whatever you want, as society always insists on rules, for the greater good. Freedom is a delicate balance of the state of mind and state of affairs, where rules of society are by and large crafted voluntarily by the collective for the benefit of the individual, collectively. At the same time, leaving room for rule change at the behest of the individual, in concert with the collective.

freedom150x84There are rules for self expression, you know, the bitching at anything and everything, in a way that let’s you vent your frustrations and promote change. It let’s everyone know how you really feel. We who take this freedom for granted, bitch, [sorry – express ourselves], at every turn. We bitch at our politicians; but that’s a given, well not everywhere. We bitch at our heroes; you know the athletes, if they don’t perform to our expectations. We bitch at being underpaid, over worked and at the boss who make us tow the line. Then, when the job disappears, so does the freedom to bitch about it.

You also need rules for competitive commerce, so you can buy and sell your stuff effectively and efficiently knowing the deal will be concluded as perceived and agreed. We, in the so called industrialized world tried it without rules for a while. You know, self regulation, and said you know best regulate yourselves and the market will be the judge and jury. Then came the toxic asset mortgage – backed securities crisis that almost caused a world wide economic meltdown; followed shortly by the gulf oil spill. In other parts of the world, we call that anarchy.

Egypt’s next step is to craft these rules, rules that balance the freedoms of the individual with the freedoms of society as a whole. Given the conduct of its citizens in the past few weeks success has a great chance. Bravo Egypt!~