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As we navigate through life, particularly during the transition from our teenage years to adulthood, that is where I think we begin assuming, naturally, that the world is improving and becoming a better place. Don’t get me wrong here. There are significant improvements made each and every day. But that is not what I am referencing to here. As adults going about our daily lives, we generally believe that the world is getting better with each passing year. However, when I observe the direction our culture is heading, specifically in Western civilization rather than at a national level, I can’t help but feel that we are actually becoming less free than we were two to three decades ago.

Where Freedom is Heading

If we look back ca. 20 years ago, the internet was relatively “decentralized” (freedom of information), and to put it into perspective, in my opinion didn’t require blockchain technology – something I am a proponent of. The banking system, as a whole, when looked at holistically, was also more unrestricted (freedom of cash flow, while today limits and cashless society are underway). Despite the significant advancements in technology that have brought us convenience today, we now witness Apple and Google controlling the flow of information and apps on our phones. Similarly, Mastercard and Visa, along with their networks, determine what goods and services we can purchase. If we delve into this subject, we’ll notice that each year, we relinquish more power and control to corporate executives who are driving political agendas, gradually shaping society and dictating what is permissible and what is not. Central bankers and inflation anyone?

Today, nearly all of us willingly carry tracking devices in the form of our smartphones. Corporations utilize our private data to target us with content that keeps us distracted with various forms of entertainment, convincing us that our lives are becoming easier and better. It’s important to note that I’m speaking from a broad perspective here. While technology has its benefits, it is also making us somewhat “dumber” and desensitized to many things. We sacrifice privacy in exchange for the illusion of safety because we believe it is for the greater good. Just look at China with its extensive CCTV network (which is making its way to Europe and the West) and AI utilization, ensuring that no one can hide. Twenty years ago, we didn’t require such measures. Unfortunately, our Western societies and countries aren’t faring much better, with examples like England, Ireland, Europe and certain parts of the United States.

I mean honestly, it’s not just an impression I have; it’s a reality. We can observe our leaders gradually leaning towards authoritarian rule. In 2017, China surpassed the US as the largest economy by purchasing power, proving that individual freedoms are not essential for economic success or development. Many countries, including the US, Germany, and the UK, are gradually curbing human rights such as freedom of speech, movement, and assembly. Yet, because these changes happen so slowly and we are preoccupied with our daily lives, we simply carry on without much resistance.

We continue with our routines, myself included, believing that our political systems have the necessary checks and balances to prevent the abuse of power. However, the gradual erosion of these safeguards is what ultimately leads to society’s general acceptance of the status quo, with a mindset of “it is what it is.” As long as we have jobs and can afford our basic needs, we tend to overlook the fact that the current generation is shaping a future society filled with repression, anxiety, and limitations for our children.

Many technology leaders, including startups and successful companies, are solving significant problems, but they are operating within a shrinking realm of “free enterprise.” Take, for example, the documentary “The Social Dilemma,” where brilliant minds and creative individuals build digital content, genuinely believing they are creating something amazing. Yet, in hindsight, these former executives and tech engineers realize the unintended consequences of their creations. As a society, instead of critically assessing this changing trend and taking action, we often shrug our shoulders and move on.

So What Now?

Let’s not dwell in pessimism, but it’s crucial to acknowledge the diminishing opportunities ahead. The window of potential is gradually closing as those in positions of power become subtly corrupt, a corruption that we tolerate because its effects are not directly impacting us at the moment. However, if we fail to address this issue, the legacy of our generation could be remembered as one that allowed society to regress from advancements in sciences, technology, health, and other crucial areas, descending into a dystopian nightmare. It is imperative that we take action and actively engage in the political arena, urging those in power, both political figures and influential individuals, to uphold the hard-fought freedoms that previous generations fought for (hard!) – whether civil liberties or LGB rights!

As I mentioned above, our willingness to carry phones, for instance, is a subtle encroachment on personal privacy and civil liberties in the name of safety and convenience. We willingly share vast amounts of personal data, unknowingly consenting to surveillance through our smartphones and online activities. While it may seem harmless at first, this unchecked invasion of privacy can lead to the erosion of fundamental rights and the loss of individual autonomy. Furthermore, the increasing concentration of power in the hands of technology giants is another concerning aspect. Just look at what happening during Covid. Censoring and deplatforming of any and all critics of government. Is that not part of freedom, regardless of your opinion on right and wrong. Should you not be able to say the sky is green while your counterpart argues it is red?

You may perceive this post as somewhat unconventional or far-fetched, but the unsettling truth behind its content is what truly concerns me. It’s this truth that compels me to take on the responsibility of initiating discussions, engaging with others, and taking concrete actions. I believe it is crucial to prevent ourselves, including me, from becoming complacent and comfortable with the gradual erosion of our societal foundations. We must remain vigilant, for there are forces at play that subtly undermine the stability and values we hold dear.

Imagine a scenario where societal norms are gradually altered, and the fundamental principles we once took for granted are slowly eroded (like the trans movement). Why is this being shoved down everyone’s throats, especially children? Organizations such as “Gays Against Groomers” are standing up and saying enough. This is not what they have fought so hard for. The rights and laws in place today. It may seem inconceivable or exaggerated at first glance, but history has shown that such transformations can occur when we least expect them. This realization motivates me to voice my concerns, engage in meaningful conversations, and actively participate in actions aimed at safeguarding our society’s core values.

By initiating discussions, we can raise awareness about the issues at hand and foster a collective understanding of the potential risks we face. Engaging with others allows us to exchange ideas, challenge assumptions, and seek solutions together. It is through dialogue and collaboration that we can generate innovative approaches to counteract the subtle shifts in power and protect the integrity of our societal fabric. However, discussions alone are not always sufficient. We must also take tangible actions that align with our beliefs. This could involve advocating for policies that preserve individual freedoms, supporting organizations that defend human rights, or participating in grassroots movements that champion actual social justice – not the mumbo jumbo happening across the West today. Each action, no matter how small, contributes to the larger effort of maintaining a robust and inclusive society.

In essence, my intention is not to spread fear or foster a sense of paranoia (stay positive). Rather, it is to emphasize the importance of remaining vigilant, engaging in meaningful dialogue, and taking action to safeguard our society’s well-being. Together, we can navigate the complexities of the world and strive to preserve the principles that form the bedrock of our communities.

I find it my responsibility to act through discussion, through engagement, through action, to ensure that all of us, myself included, do not get too comfortable with the gradual aspect of others pulling the rug ever so slightly out from underneath our (society’s) feet. Whether right, left, moderate – I honestly do not care. I believe in humanity and the core principles of live and let live. Power should not be consolidated. Money should not determine what can and cannot be done. As humans, we may not always agree on everything, but together we can accomplish so much more.