What is the meaning of this title? What is freedom anyway?
I could begin by listing all the heinous crimes and misdemeanors of George Bush and Dick Cheney, and all the Neo-cons writing Strategic Policies and advising the President that Iraqi oil would pay for the war, and that it would be a ‘cakewalk. Many have listed them ad infinitum on OpEdNews – some advocating this or that ‘answer to the crisis of Democracy’ in the United States. Impeachment – holding the Democrats’ feet to the fire and so on, to no apparent avail.
Many of these ‘solutions’ call on galvanizing the population of Americans to ‘wake up’ and ‘do something’. Like voting for Mike Gravel, Dennis Kucinich or Ron Paul. Or organizing a ‘boycott’ of the international corporations to ‘bring them to their knees’ and force a compromise with said corporations – nothing hurts them more than attacking their ‘bottom line.’ Or, like Code Pink, occupying Senators offices and reading the Constitution until they are arrested.What nearly everyone, both negative and positive writers, seem unable to grasp, although a few have mentioned the lack of interest of the general population in doing anything, is that, due to the dumbing down of the pernicious TV and newspapers, the American public is not only ill informed, but positively embrace their ignorance of their country and the larger world.
There is a saying that may have originated in the UK and says it all – “I’m alright Jack’. As long as I have a job, a home, a car and food on the table, then politics, like religion, is almost taboo in the general populace. Oh I nearly forgot, as long as I have the latest gadget/iPod/100 inch TV to watch ‘American Idol’ and the like, then don’t bother me with politics. In the run up to the election season, which by the way, seems to be the longest in the history of the world, there is a blitzkrieg of negative and positive ads bombarding the airwaves in order to ‘elect’ the corporate choice of candidates on both sides of the aisle’.
This is a quite universal condition. It is a particular mindset. It also permeates the online community as they rail against the ongoing and latest Bush signing statements or the Democratic spinelessness. Some of course, think that the Democrats are part of the problem, being tied to the Corporations just like the Republicans, making the ‘lesser of two evils’ the voting choice of ordinary people.
Many philosophers and gurus, including Jesus, advocated that we ‘Wake and Watch’, as in the garden of Gethsemane. Many have said that people are asleep. Behaviorists think that people are conditioned, act like robots but have the illusion of being whole, one person, with opinions that he or she has thought out, come to after due consideration, and are rational human beings.
If the gurus are to be believed, that is so far from the truth as the moon is from the earth. We do not make our own decisions – it may ‘seem’ like it – but can you honestly say that society, your family and friends have had absolutely no influence on your opinions, say since you were 10 years old? The Jesuits had a saying, “give me a boy before he is seven and I’ll give you the man”. What does that really mean? Does it mean that what you learn before you are seven will shape you and put you on a certain path, and that everything you learn after seven will not have the same effect?
America has a certain ‘mindset’ that eschews revolution even though it is quoted in the Constitution as necessary from time to time. France seems to have another mindset, where taking to the streets is almost a way of life, perhaps because of the storming of the Bastille. Oh how I wish Americans had a bit of the Bastille spirit! Even Britain has a history, what with Guy Fawks and the ‘Gunpowder plot’ and the overthrow of the Monarchy by Oliver Cromwell. The history of European countries have, without a comprehensive survey, had their ‘fascist’ times, with the Mussolini in Italy, The ‘Spanish War’ bringing Franco, and of course Germany with Hitler. This is outside of the eastern European countries going ‘communist’ under the yoke of the U.S.S.R.
So what was the ‘mindset’ of these various peoples at the time? Were they all deluded, coerced by illusions of nationalism, communism, capitalism or what? Do people have illusions? What about the ‘American Dream’, where ‘it is said’ anyone can become the President of the United States of America?
A moment’s refection will bring one to the conclusion that unless you have a few million dollars that is patently false. Is it really the ‘land of the free and home of the brave’? Or are Americans just like the rest of us – usually browbeaten into being economic slaves of the ruling class, which today are the CEOs of the transnational corporations?
They control the media, and there is a bill in Congress right now that, if passed, will extend their hold over the media even further. Why do they want more control? Is it because they know what works for ‘them’ - and they want more of it? They know how to manipulate public opinion; how to manage the information that you are allowed to see as ‘news’ conditioning you in many pernicious ways with an army of ‘writers’ and ‘pundits’ who feed the ‘message’ to the public for a predetermined result – namely, the continuation of the status quo.
What the Internet bloggers and writers have is an avenue of information that is unique in history, giving the opportunity for people to get information without the screen of the main stream media bias. But it is under attack, both with ‘trolls’ spreading misinformation and working from a not-so-hidden agenda to influence opinion. And there are moves in Congress to ‘regulate’ the Internet too.
What I mean by the title “America Is Not Free” is that all of our learned responses and opinions based on upbringing which fed us the illusions that afflict us all, is that we take our opinions and illusions with us when we sit down to read OpEdNews, to see what the dastardly George Bush and the Neocons have in store for America and the larger world.