Is Free Time The Time Of Our Freedom?
The subject seems to assume that our time is divided into "free" time as opposed to another time that would not be, it is a good allotted to us.
Is this presupposed time "free" then? Is this the time of our true freedom?
To answer this question, we will need to clarify when and under what conditions we can talk about "free time."
Is our "free" time only our "liberated" time, the time of liberation from the constraints of our life, the time that directly opposes our working time for example. When this is true can we say that our freedom is a simple liberation? And our work or the constraints of our daily lives always synonymous with lack of freedom?
What do we really mean by "free time?"
I would argue that, yes in fact, free time is the time of our freedom. "Free time" as compensation for those hours spend at work (both paid and private).
Marx spoke on work as alienating, imposed, necessary to survive and is not freely chosen. Work is then for him a constraint that does not allow me to derive any personal satisfaction. It's a commodity I sell my time as a member of the work force.
In contrast, my free time is one where I choose what I do, I choose when I do it, I am "liberated" from constraints, from subsistence. Yet it is further divided and is not to be seen as one single good.
"Free time" is also the time of our leisure.
It's the time for my personal projects, my "hobbies", in fact it's the time when I really decide what I want to do. This can be seen as our free moment. We can do with it as we please or "do nothing" at all. My freedom is not only a liberation from my constraints imposed on be by society it also the freedom to carry out my own motivations and desires.
But without the work am I free to enjoy this leisure time?
One example springs to mind, it is the example of the unemployed man who has a lot of so-called "free" time, but would like to have a job because the time does not benefit him.
More is traded when you work than merely your time for money.
An employed person receives intangible benefits as well.
For work also involves social relations, projects common to a group of people (socialization: man is a social animal, he needs others to accomplish himself: See Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics "[friendship] is a virtue or implies virtue, and is besides most necessary with a view of living. For without friends no one would choose to live, though he had all other goods; even rich men." (Book VIII, Chapter 1, 1155a 1-11)
It is also the condition of my remuneration and therefore this is what will allow me not only to survive but to have sufficient purchasing power for my leisure time. I cannot talk about freedom if I can't do anything I want because I can't afford it. And I cannot acquire pleasure from it when I do not have anyone to share the time with.
As you can see our tree time can be the time of our freedom just the same way that work can be, as I am aware of all my constraints and I accept them and integrate them into my life. My activities, or inactivities are free only if I have freely chosen them, i.e. in conscience, knowingly and with a life that is mine.
I leave you today once again with Aristotle: "Happiness then is the best, noblest, and most pleasant thing in the world" something that does not come with a price and is freely attainable by each and every person when they consciously choose to be happy.