Saturday, December 5, 2009

Whence Freedom?

It’s an interesting question. Why is it that Euromericans remain so passive as their freedoms are eroded? There is no single answer. Paranoia and anxiety are factors. Our leaders are constantly coming up with new threats, both real and imagined, to keep us on edge. And there is no doubt we are distracted by our toys. As long as you plastic isn’t maxed out, you’re living the good life, because we all know that freedom is the freedom to chose from cornucopia of consumer goods.

All of the above play a role, but there is one other factor that is rarely considered. Freedom is messy, inefficient, contradictory, disorderly, sometimes brutish and violent, smelly, chaotic, unpredictable and raucous. This is why the corporate state cannot abide it.

Freedom fosters instability, and instability cuts into productivity. Look at how much was lost during the civil rights movement as cities were burned and sit-ins disrupted respectable businesses. Then there was the sex and drugs of the hippies and the disruptions caused by the peace movement.

The sixties taught our oligarchs a valuable lesson—freedom is counterproductive.

This is why freedom has been reduced to an artifact kept locked away, one that is only trotted out when there is a war to be justified.

The erosion of freedom is aided and abetted by the fact that we are raised to accept fastidiousness as the norm. The slightest disruption unnerves us. A dust mote on a dung pile is unnoticed; the same dust mote on the polished lens of a telescope screams for attention.

Freedom often dirties the fingernails, and we prefer to keep ours clean and manicured.

So it is that we dutifully remove our shoes at airport checkpoints and wipe down the handles of our shopping carts with the sanitary wipes our supermarkets supply us with.

Our philosophy is that it’s better to be neat than free.

6 comments:

Seinbeetre said...

If you haven't read it yet I would recommend this book by AC Grayling
"Toward the Light of Liberty: The Struggles for Freedom and Rights That Made the Modern Western World"

Its a thoroughly interesting read and is quite eye opening as to how "expensive" the freedoms actually were that we are in the process of losing.

I think you will find that many Europeans, especially eastern Europeans are alot more aware of where they are free or losing their freedom.
As far as I can see the reason why most people just sit by and watch is that first of all, they have no direct experience, or indirect memory (relatives) of losing their "rights", "freedoms" or good life. The terrors of war and real oppression have avoided the USA, Canada and England for that matter (I specifically mean England on not the UK). The second world war lying a while back now as well probably means that the majority of western Europeans has no first hand experience of it any longer.

The second reason I see is education. People are generally not and never have been raised to question what goes on. Pete Seeger - what did you learn in school? ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VucczIg98Gw )
But the main reason I would say is the simple fat greedy lazyness we are experiencing in our developed world. Life is just too good for too many. Times ahead may change some things, but then again, they may not.
Computer games, movies, and all sorts of fantastic consumer products indulge our already dull minds and make for a nice escape from any reality.

A relatively young musician I am quite fond of put it nicely in one of his songs:
"All our minds are being neutralised by these fuckin playstations"
Natty - Hey man
( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RHWjc8yUFho )

The list of reasons could probably be continued...

Case Wagenvoord said...

You have pretty well summed it up. Living in the now involves a loss of the memory that keeps history from repeating itself.

Thanks for the Grayling recomendation. I'm looking forward to reading it.

Ivan Hentschel said...

I could argue your point: I think that living in the "now" simply enables history to repeat itself, because nobody remembers what happened last time unless it was fun. That is the strength and success of nostalgia in America: it is the whiskey bottle of memory.

Case Wagenvoord said...

Actually that's what I was saying in a poorly worded way.

TAO Walker said...

As a people, americans have never actually been free, anyhow. They've always been thoroughly domesticated....so much so that the existence of truly free Human Beings, the Native Peoples of Turtle Island, was such a threat to their artificial CONstruct they saw no alternative but to attempt the wholesale destruction of The People and their Way of Life.

What theamericanpeople "enjoyed," briefly, was a supposedly divinely-ordained "liberty," meant to be secured by an institutional set-up long since degenerated into the same old "power"-mongering CONfiguration afflicting the sub-species homo domesticus for ten thousand or more years now....and that's only THIS time around. That the thing's "true colors" are only just lately being recognized by the captives (who seem to've enjoyed about as much liberty as they can stand, anyway) is perhaps regrettable, but ought not to be surprising, really. It sure as hell isn't, here in Indian Country.

For genuine Human freedom there is The Tiyoshpaye Way. All the man-made make-believe abstractions are a DEAD END.

HokaHey!

Anonymous said...

God helps those who help themselves........................................