Thursday, 1 April 2010

Freedom

I was pointed to this story by Candy.

Please take time to click the link and read it. In it a Jew who survived the Nazi final solution talks about how great his freedom is within America where he settled after the war.

It got me thinking - this guy really knew the meaning of freedom didn't he? Freedom is one of those words that has got lost in the nonsense soundbite nature of today's politics and press. On the one hand politicians are telling us that new laws to restrict this or that will protect our freedom, our soldiers die in dusty lands which few I doubt can find on a map or know much about other than these soldiers are "protecting our freedom"... etc. etc.

We should be grateful for freedom, I have the freedom to write this and apart from somebody who thinks I'm a berk posting a critical comment there is little it will cost me. We have little suppression of expression or opinion in this country. Good. Sometimes though I see people complaining about others expressing their opinions and want to suppress that to retain their freedoms or so they say... but hang on you can't have your cake and eat it can you? If you want the freedom to say this, do that, be able to meet who you like when you like where you like, the freedom to travel, the freedom to read, look, ask, question etc. you have to extend that to everyone even if it is not for you. To suppress it takes away the very freedom you state you are protecting. Tracey Emin's sexual depictions for example - not my cup of tea but I can't deny her right to produce those works.

I did this political compass thing some time back and was fairly libertarian in my positioning. I'm not surprised I would rather people have freedom and learn to judge wisely how to use it and to determine what is right or wrong for them... as long as others are harmed by it. For example my policy with Internet in the house has always been an open policy, no filters to stop this or that - I trust my kids to use it wisely. My son one day some how found himself on some websites about far right politics. I'd rather he find that look at it and come to a conclusion on his own rather than me impose something stopping him or to stop him that people have a right to say that stuff.

Freedom... if you have it use it wisely, consider what that means to what others you may disagree with can do with it also and weigh the risk/benefit of that.

Freedom - something we don't value or think about enough you know in my humble opinion

6 comments:

  1. Yes, we definitely need to be reminded to cherish it. Thanks :)

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  2. Unfortunately, the people in power here, you know, the Manchurian President et al are very much trying to turn this into a socialist haven. While the rest of the world laughs at his ignorance of everything!
    Looks like it's time for another revolution...

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  3. @punxxi - TBH I'm more of a socialist than not - I think the NHS is one of the crown jewels of the UK. I think it sad we have sold off our power supply to private companies who now only invest in the short term and make huge profits while people with little or a small fixed income struggle to pay the bills. I have a privatised water supply but no competition - how is that beneficial to me? Same on the trains and what a poor service they now supply.

    But that has nothing to do with freedom... the socialist nations in the old East block were dominated by a class of rulers frightened about freedom and challenge.. but actually that has little to do with some values of socialism... that's the point I'm trying to make.

    The US health bill is a great thing. 32 million people will get better health care.. it is a great thing

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  4. It's very true. We take it so much for granted.

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  5. Spot on old bean.

    Ever considered getting elected?

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  6. @FD - once a long time ago :-)

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