Many people have told me that freedom has a price. While others have told me that freedom has a cost. It got me thinking about the difference between a price and a cost.
While pondering about this I recalled the Oscar Wilde quote: “A cynic is a man who knows the price of everything but the value of nothing.”
Perhaps value is only perceived in relative rather than in absolute terms? How do we know freedom is a good thing unless we know that repression exists? Freedom is precious. But the true value of freedom is only known in relation to un-freedom.
Starting with a dictionary, the definitions are:
Price: “agreed exchange value, that will purchase a definite quantity, weight, or other measure of a good or service”
Cost: An amount paid or required in payment for a purchase; a price. Or the expenditure of something, such as time or labor, necessary for the attainment of a goal.
Thus it seems that both groups of people are right when they talk about freedom. It has an agreed exchange value (a.k.a. price), which is the expenditure of something (a.k.a. cost) to attain a goal.
But since freedom is not tangible (sometimes it is easier to see freedom by its absence) and it can easily be whittled away without us noticing.
Freedom is under attack all over the world. Rules, laws, things meant to protect us all chip away at freedom. Each little chip has a plausible reason, when taken in isolation. However, the sum total of the overall pattern is reduction in freedom.
What have you done today to defend, protect or extend freedom? What is the price of freedom? And what cost are you willing to bear?