Q:

What is the opposite of freedom?

A:

According to the Collins Thesaurus, the most likely antonym for "freedom" is "slavery." However, because the word "freedom" has a complex and nuanced meaning, concepts like "dependence" or "limitation" may also be considered its opposite.

Dictionary.com defines "freedom" as a person's state of being free from some hindrance such as chains, regulation, prison or commitment. Slavery, in contrast, is a state of being owned. While one may call himself a slave to the state, that is rarely a literal statement. Rather, a "slave to the state" indicates someone who feels over-regulated or overtaxed by the government in some way. A person may also lack freedom due to his own good or bad choices, such as marriage or the decision to take a job. In these situations, the antonyms "limitation" or "suppression" are likely better matches.

In other cases, a person's situation creates a lack of freedom. A person who is paralyzed, for instance, has a limitation and is likely dependent upon others in order to live. A child is by definition dependent upon a parent. In all these cases, the opposite of "freedom" is "dependence," not "slavery." In society, William A. Galston observes,"freedom for the pike is death for the minnow." In other words, freedom for those with less power may be relative to those who have more power. For this reason, referring to a "free society" is nearly meaningless, as freedom must be curtailed for some in order to ensure it for others.


Is this answer helpful?

Similar Questions

  • Q:

    How did Harriet Tubman change the world?

    A:

    Harriet Tubman changed the world by escaping from slavery, becoming an abolitionist and helping many slaves attain their freedom by means of the Underground Railroad, a secret network of routes and safe houses to aid runaway slaves. Later in life, she helped John Brown plan his raid on Harper's Ferry and assisted the Union army during the Civil War as a scout, spy and nurse.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    When was Osbourn Dorsey born?

    A:

    According to Civil War Washington and an official petition for freedom from slavery, Osbourn Dorsey was "about eight months" old on May 19, 1862. This means his estimated birth date is around Sept. 19, 1862, but the exact date is not known.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Why was the Battle of San Jacinto so important?

    A:

    The Battle of San Jacinto was important because it secured Texas' freedom from Mexico. The battle, which occurred on March 13, 1836, ended the Texas Revolution and put Texas on the path to statehood. San Jacinto is considered the cradle of Texas freedom and is home to a monument that marks the site of the famous battle.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What was the role of women from 1920 through 1930?

    A:

    Post World War I, social changes and the acquiring of the right to vote led to a decade of increased freedom for women in the 1920s. This freedom included working outside the home, becoming more involved in politics and radical changes in fashions.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore