To be truly free in our society today encompasses a lot of things, and therefore it is difficult to determine if a Liberal Arts education promotes this ideal. I definitely believe that gaining a liberal arts educations benefits society, and gives people a more universal perspective on their lives and the systems in which they live. However I do not believe that gaining a liberal arts educations holds the only key to being truly free in our society today.
To start, I don’t think that a Liberal Arts education is required to get and maintain a job that enables you to enjoy a standard of living about that equivalent to a “wage slavery” job, but it certainly helps. There are many people who have not even received a college degree doing exceptionally well for themselves, and there are many people with a liberal arts education currently in “wage slavery” jobs. One of the reasons people with liberal arts educations tend to do better in the job market, however, is because they have a broader view of life. One of the critical aspects of any high level job is being able to see things from multiple angles and viewpoints to better choose where change needs to occur. By forcing ourselves at an earlier age to be exposed to multiple disciplines and subject, we gain that advantage. However, particularly now with the internet, a person can gain knowledge on a myriad of subjects if they so choose. In my opinion, those people who have sought on their own to gain a variety of knowledge with do just as well as someone with a liberal arts education.
In response to the last questions, I am not entirely sure. It would be so easy to say that if everyone was exposed to multiple disciplines and viewpoints, and if they gained a liberal arts education, that overall the world would be a better place. And in some sense, that is true. There has always been a belief that if you can walk a mile in another person’s shoes, and see things from different perspectives, you will be better off. However, just as important, is a person’s desire to see those perspectives. If someone has no desire to learn, they won’t, no matter how many different angles you throw at them. So, at the end of the day, a person’s will to learn and change is much greater than their actual accumulation of knowledge.