Is it true that freedom is an overly idealized concept? Perhaps, but it is one of the few concepts worthy of idealization. It is so worthy, that it is worth dying for.
Since the dawn of recorded history human beings have fought and sacrificed to attain freedom. It is an inherent psychological construct. It is a principle that is rooted not only in the mind of man, but his spirit or soul. Scientists in the realm of the mind have struggled for generations to understand where it comes from — others have sought to dismiss it as a fanciful notion. Nihilists claim it doesn’t really exist, while other people center their entire lives on the proliferation of it. The concept of freedom, love it or hate it, is central to all cultures and all civilizations.
The most common dismissal of the idea of freedom that I have seen is the argument that none of us is really free because tyranny exists. Tyranny is a constant, therefore, in the view of the nihilists, freedom cannot exist. I believe this dim way of thinking stems from a misconception of what freedom is and where it comes from.
Freedom, first and foremost, begins in the mind, or the heart; whatever you are inclined to put more stock in. To think critically or to imagine wildly is indeed to be free. Tyranny, by extension, rises from the mire and muck in the physical world around us and ends in the mind and the heart. If one is free of mind, then one is never truly enslaved.
I have heard so many times the ignorant accusation that freedom requires action before consequence. That is to say, if you have suffered the consequences of a tyrannical system, then you have already failed to prevent your own enslavement. This is not how freedom works. It has never worked this way.