An Existential Prelude
The main character of Toni Morrison’s brilliant novel Song of Solomon utters this line in a moment of clarity. It shall serve as the refrain of my book, my existential anthem. Coiled within its deceptively simple sentiment is an understanding of freedom as a return on investment-an investment constituted by struggle, specifically against chains. The chains are crucial, as is the apprehension of their true function. The message I aim to bring out is that one has to make of oneself someone who is free. A free person is a freed person-better yet, a self-freed person. Thus it is no more a mark of freedom to rage against ineluctable physics or immutable human biology than simply to wish away impediments of every kind. Freedom is not simply a matter of being unencumbered. Impediments are simply not the point.