Freedom and liberty at best can be illusions as democracy can never be perfect, equality can never be complete, and humans cannot ever reach sanity, negotiate reason, and find enough about themselves.
I used to say there’s no freedom of speech and so I could say little on the web, none of the things that I really think. I can’t say that for other countries. Colonies and slaves under Rome and Maya both seem to have enjoyed some degrees of freedom of speech. And some had the means to preserve for posterity. Edmund Burke and Alexis de Tocquevile both survived long enough to write books that contained ideas and opinions unfashionable enough to lead the authors to instant deaths in most other civilizations. People unafraid of death after years of torture can perform miracles because they are what casual people fear most and people in fear are the easiest targets for manipulation.
Sometimes I thought to myself people of courage and integrity should have died during times of revolutions and civil wars and in between. If that were true, survivors and their descendents would be criminals against the progress of justice and welfare for all, and corrupt and compromised at best. It was easy to conclude the only kind of honorable life’s killing oneself in the kamikaze style for some grand worthy cause. That was the core of Confucianism during the years I was grown up in the 1970s and 1980s.
Things looked better as prosperity was spreading and technologies were empowering individuals. But I still sense there are people who die premature death, for the wrong reasons, which result in little progress. People who notice such deaths tend to fear more, take more efforts to please those who can influence mass opinion to make life for some untolerable to impossible or commit outright assassinations. It may look absurd to talk about the deaths of some thousands of people in a land more than ten million were killed on similar backgrounds since the conclusion of last major world war. It may be a mere mutation on an isolated land long labelled as hermet kingdom, or it may be the common fate of all or most societies not lucky enough to reach consent of every power factor so as to allow mass self-deception to last forever.