The idea of freedom has been hollowed out. It has become a metaphor for a simplistic democracy where one can vote and that’s it. If one speaks out against the state of affairs one is vilified and accused of being a traitor. Defending the ruling paradigm has always allowed manipulation and influencing of the general public by lies and misrepresentation, the lofty goals making the unseemly means ‘acceptable’ to some. Such a situation leads to corruption of power. In many western democracies it are the industry barons, oil peddlers and media moguls who in fact own the country. Their interests are taken to heart by the governments they fund, going against the needs of the general public of the dispossessed and the middle class. Our freedom has been redefined as a free market economy, and our choice reduced to red, white or blue stripes in one’s toothpaste, or so it seems. The concept of freedom seemed to imply that if liberal democracy ruled the world that we would all become rational and free-thinking individuals, mistaking economic principles of always greater gain as the basis for ethical choices by the individual. So I would redefine the western democracies as a market democracy, not behaving rationally, non-violently, nor fairly. Ask the small farmers, ask the developing countries. Freedom imposed on other countries through economic means or through force & coercion always has perverse consequences and leads to chaos, murder and mayhem. Then usually people stop caring for a deep-seated, multifaceted concept of freedom and out of fear start looking for order brought by a leader. Nationalism breaks out, security concerns overriding everything else, since for safety some people are willing to loose themselves in the state, giving up their freedom to think and speak and thus canceling our fundamental rights. Perception manipulation, exaggeration, fear mongering have been the instruments of choice by totalitarian states, and are now used by some of what used to be the greatest nations in the world. The thought that one can actually export ‘freedom’ and ‘democracy’ as defined in a narrow concept of freedom as a free market economy within a class society engenders a utopian bloodbath and not justice. Only in letting go of all this, can hope rise.
Yes I am hopeful, especially now that in Northern Ireland Gerry Adams and Ian Paisley have for the first time shaken hands and are sharing power in the Northern Irish government, working together. After centuries of bloodshed, inflated nationalism en terrorism by both sides, peace returns to the hearts and minds in Ireland as a beacon in a dark night of the soul.…
Clowns from Amsterdam
7 years ago