Liberty to listen to the Sirens is not merely a Liberty, but a Right acquired through Leadership.
Ulysses couldn’t have obtained the Compliance of his comrades to have wax fixed in their ears had he not been considered a useful and benevolent Leader. Ulysses’ comrades not only agreed to have their ears plugged with wax to disable them from listening to the Sirens, but obtained their approval for exempting himself from such ear plugs.
What Ulysses won was his Liberty to listen, cherish and even ethereally be transported with delight listening to the Sirens.
Having been made aware of the music and death, from Circe, Ulysses got his Liberty of motility restricted by getting himself tied to the mast and ordering his comrades not to untie him till they had crossed the island of the Sirens.
In true democratic fashion, Ulysses imposed a disability which would have allayed the scepticism of his comrades denying them what he himself wanted to relish.
May be in Voltaire terms it was a masterstroke of leadership when he imposed a disability on himself, as Voltaire says in his ‘Philosophical Dictionary’ thus:
“To succeed in chaining the multitude you must seem to wear the same fetters.”
But to what effect was this Liberty of Ulysses put to use?
He heard something which none had survived to tell.
That may look simple in the first flush, but it is those songs which move one’s standards higher. I’m sure, Ulysses would never have been impressed with the music of any troupe or person thereafter. He reached the next level of perception, denied to the underlings.
But to survive not only one has to have the Liberty, but the Leadership to afford an opportunity to go near the Isles of the Sirens ( without the galley or the sails and sailors there is remote chance of Ulysses reaching the isles); have the courage to tell one’s followers to deny what he didn’t deny himself; and finally leave instructions to tie him to the mast and not to untie him, come what may, till the Isles are past.
When all that is achieved, one succeeds in surviving after hearing the untold!