Friday, August 05, 2011

Notes on Human Freedom

Regarding the great recession of 2007, it's 2011 and this economic downturn shows no sign of abating.  The politicians are getting crazier and crazier.  They're being pushed and pulled by divergent forces.  Their first impulse is to protect wealth and the wealthy – they are compelled to do so, for that is their bread and butter.  That puts them at opposite poles in regards to the majority of their constituents, who elect them; for it is the overwhelming majority that is dining off the diminishing crumbs inadvertently dropped from the table of the ever-feasting ruling class.  Members of the Congress, therefore, have to make preposterous statements and ludicrous rationalizations as they ever so indelicately whittle away at the middle class. 


All the pandering, all the gesticulating, all the discordant voices, all the feeble pronouncements of pretend optimism has gotten me thinking about freedom.  That is the commodity we as Americans are supposed to be so proud of having.  We may eventually be living in the detritus of our own making, but we are repeatedly told that we have our freedom to be thankful for.  This is what I call one of the big lies we are constantly fed.  The claim is that we are guaranteed our freedom as an essential feature of our political system.  I believe this to be patent nonsense.  Our brains are being filled with the empty contents of the modern age.  We are given marvelous electronic devices to entertain us and essentially distract us.  The communal discourse is filtered, contrived and controlled.  The vast majority of the population is comprised of individuals who are essentially wage slaves constantly afraid of losing their ever-diminishing access to bread, shelter, meaningful education and good health.  We are now told that they we expect to never retire from our jobs, if there are jobs, for retirement may mean instant destitution.


The kind of freedom that is available is of little value especially when one's preoccupation is with survival.  True freedom, in fact, cannot be granted or for that matter taken away.  True freedom lies within the life of the mind.  I have the capacity anytime I choose to rise above the fray and free myself from the ludicrous.  Nothing can take this away – not abject poverty, not disease, not government fiat, not personal adversity.  Let the voices from all corners of the political spectrum drone on with their tiresome and repetitive messages trying to tell me whom to hate and what to fear.  The entire substance of our culture may very well collapse from the ineluctable force of gravity as it devours its structure from within.  I have no control over such an historic destiny.  Humans have the remarkable capacity to undo themselves and be totally surprised as to how it happened.  Societies, cultures, civilizations come and go like individuals.  All choices have consequences.  Even the most well structured and benevolent decision can lead to disaster.  Making choices in which the outcomes are known to be ruinous is a particularly well-developed trait as far as humanity is concerned.


In essence, true human freedom comes when we take the responsibility to free our minds of the constraints placed upon us from without.  Only then will we be able to undo the yolk of greed and relentless acquisition that has been imposed on the collective imagination.

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