Read Between the Lines if you Can…1

a condition in which all forms of liberty are gradually suppressed; madness shows us nothing more than the natural constants of a detemrinism, with the sequences of its causes, and the discursive movement of its forms; for madness threatens modern man only with that return to the bleak world of beasts and things, to their fettered freedom. (Madness and Civilization, p.83)                                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                                                      With nothing much to do on a lazy Saturday morning I tried surfing Net for some information on Foucault’s Power/Knowledge Essays and came across a page containing Dictionary for understanding the works of Michael Foucault! It was like a treasure hunt and I could not stop myself from sharing my simple comprehension about the connotative meanings of these words. I am sure that the people who know me well and also the people who know about the situation I am in would be able to read between the lines!

How true is the meaning assigned to the word Determinism! …. a condition in which all forms of liberty is supressed.” This fragment of a sentence set me thinking about the conditions prevalent around me and I could not help wondering that how truly it had been mentioned. Liberty is being suppressed around us. The first liberty that I want to avail as a human being is my right to free expression but is it being allowed to us as a part of an organization? Unfortunately not. You dare to express yourself, may be in the best interests of all, and face the music. And unfortunately each and every rational human being, or may I say all those who used to be rational human beings once upon a time, have ceded their right ot free expression. Yes, one more thing I want to make clear–when I talk about right ot free expression I don’t mean by it making statements that bring out protests as people are/were rational. On the other hand I mean by free expression–statements for the welfare of all concerned and for the benefit of the system. But such basic liberty is suppressed. And “madness shows nothing more than the natural constants of a determinsm“, but whose madness? Who has the power to snatch away gradually freedom and liberty? It is always people at the top who enjoy such blatant power or display of power that makes people under them to cede their freedom, albeit no one ever says so. Neither the snatcher nor the ceder! Isn’t it the politics of mutual gratification but all for the benefit and pleasure of the power holder?

And the other part of the statement threatens the “modern man only with that return to the bleak world of beasts and things, to their fettered freedom.” Now reading this line I am struck by two words/phrases “Bleak world of beasts and things” and “fettered freedom”. Would we ever confess openly that the world we inhabit and work in is, in fact, a bleak world of beasts and things where survival of the fittest or say the strongest is the rule of the jungle. But we are all rational human beings on the surface at least and would never so much as mummerabout the kind of life that we have been led to live. Such is the unfortunate condition that we don’t even acknowledge this truth to our ownself leave alone to each other in the system. And then how can someone from the outside world can even glimpse inside our shadowy and callous world?

We live and enjoy our “fettered freedom“! We have become so used to such fettered freedom that I am afraid that if one fine morning we would be set free by some divine chance, we would have lost all sense of direction and space as we have been led for a long time and we have ceded our right to free thought and free expression long back.

We have become prisoners of fettered freedom and sadly we seem to relish our status.

One thought on “Read Between the Lines if you Can…1

  1. Dear Aunty ji,

    Hope your arm is much better now and may you get your spirit back in expressing..

    On a sufferer’s point of view it can be analyzed true. Again re-reading everything on a ruler’s view. Again the lines stand true !!

    Now on the point of freedom of expression – I have observed one thing in my little experience. Knowledge overrules power always – when expressed/used rightly.

    Be it workplace or social segment – Expressing the plain naked truth for mass does not work right most of the time. At those times, very much tactically, with the asset of knowledge, with ‘right’ expression – we do need to get the aim achieved.

    I am taking the lively example of the French Philosopher – who has expressed really well !!

    It was a nice read indeed.


    p.s. Could not get the meaning of ‘ceder’ used in the post.

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