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jerseygyrl1983 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Freedom is generally defined as the right and ability to act, speak, and think however one wants without fear of restraint or harm.

Most societies offer varying degrees of freedom. Some societies, such as totalitarian dictatorships, for example, offer hardly any freedom at all. The United States promotes itself as a beacon of freedom. Yet, even in this nation, there are limitations on freedom. Sometimes, these limitations exist to protect citizens or to maintain a level of public decency. For example, one is not allowed to use profanity on national radio or television due to obscenity standards imposed by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). 

It is also important to note that, in some societies, not all citizens are given the same level of freedom. Discrimination based on race, class, religion, ethnicity, and sometimes class, can disallow the expression of freedoms. In some countries, one's political views can also limit their freedom, especially if they happen to disagree with the regime in power. 

Working to ensure the freedom of everyone—regardless of one's identity, economic status, or political views—is important in the interest of generating new ideas and in allowing people to live authentic lives. Freedom allows for a more prosperous society, as well as a morally richer one.