Freedom is generally thought about in the context of political freedoms within a state, or being allowed to do as one wishes.
However, the idea of being allowed to do as you wish is not that simple because it depends on how you define “you”. There is the “you” that wants to fix world hunger, and there is the “you” that just wants the fame and attention for solving world hunger. The former is your conscious self, and the latter is your subconscious, unconscious, or instinct.
Political freedom is vital as a human right, but there is another type of freedom that will be referred to here as personal freedom. Personal freedom is being free from the control of your subconscious. A lot of people do not realise that this is a form of control because they do not see the distinction between these two parts of the mind. Evidence of this is that the two parts have different objectives and likes. A lot of people give in to the temptation that the subconscious gives you and think they are acting of their own volition because it comes from themselves, not another person, but in reality they are choosing to be slaves to their subconscious and convince themselves that they are making their own decisions.
Sex and Drugs
Your subconscious not only tells you what to do, but when to do it. The likes and goals of the subconscious are purely mechanical, they program you to want pleasure and drive you to desire the different ways to get pleasure. The only reason we want sex is because a part of our brain is pumping out chemicals that make us want it. In reality, we do not really want sex, we desire it. What we might actually want is to be with someone we love, and that might involve sex, but not through the mechanisms of sex drive.
The same concept applies to alcohol. Alcohol has no meaning for us, it does not taste good and other than wine tasting it has little artistic value, the main reason we want it, and in some cultures almost worship it is because it gives us almost instant pleasure. Pleasure is not the same thing as true happiness though, as pleasure is simply a temporary feeling that has no meaning, while happiness is a state that is brought about for an objective and justified reason, which can last forever.
This is why when people are slave to themselves and blindly follow hedonistic impulses like sex drive and wanting to drink or smoke, they are not free. They are neither free from addiction nor free to make decisions themselves, since their decisions are made for them by their subconscious.
Being a slave to your desires does not make you a bad person, or weak necessarily. There are many other factors that are involved with addiction, but whenever possible this is the ideal virtue to strive for.
Political and Personal Freedom, and Morality and Virtue
Political freedom can be twisted to mean the right for people to be slaves, either to others or themselves. Therefore people with a lot of political freedom can in fact only have a little bit of almost meaningless freedom. It is not until they decide to make their own decisions instead of letting other people, or other parts of their brain, decide for them, that they can truly consider themselves free.
The right to be a slave to yourself is not as bad as the right to be a slave to other people, but both of these things are still bad. Slavery to others is morally bad, while not being able to control your own future because of your desires is bad because it will have negative consequences for you. Because of the nature of self slavery, it is not morally bad, but instead is unvirtuous.
Freedom from others is a moral human right, and freedom from your brain is a highly important virtue.