070 Freedom?

In what is probably one of the currently most popular and widespread political blog entries on the web, Jacob Hornberger, founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation, sheds a little light on what he calls “Bush’s Freedom Delusion.”

While - as a believer in the afterlife - I don’t necessarily agree with him that “Dead people cannot experience freedom,…” I do agree that that’s probably not the kind of freedom the Iraqi people were hoping for. It reminds one of the joke about the preacher in the Wild West who asked his crowd who wanted to go to Heaven, and everybody raised his hand. Then a drunk gun slinger stands up and says, “You’re not asking that question the right way, Preacher!” – pulls his guns, and asks, “Now, who wants to go to Heaven?!”

I guess Bush’s idea of “Heaven” or “Freedom” differs somewhat from that of most clear thinking folk, as does that of those “religious broadcasters,” who can give a standing ovation and shout “Amens” to such a farce.

If that’s freedom, then who wants it? If that’s the kind of people we’ll meet in Heaven, then who wants to got there?

Rightly, Hornberger questions, “If freedom and democracy really was the be-all and end-all for President Bush, would he really have spent the last several years funneling millions of dollars in U.S. taxpayer aid to his close friend and partner Pervez Musharraf, the unelected brutal military dictator of Pakistan? The reason that Bush has never supported democracy in Pakistan is because it might produce a regime that isn’t favorable to the U.S. government.

It made me wonder. What is it, then, that makes us, in the West, worthy of the luxury of democracy, while other people are having paid dictators to keep them enslaved? What quality is it that makes us bona fide candidates for that oh, so glorious golden and shiny bluebird of happiness, Democracy?

You’re not going to like my conclusion.

It’s the fact that we’re already brainwashed. They managed to make us believe their hogwash ever since we were kids in school, and they ensure that we stay brainwashed by bombarding us with the same old tunes over and over and over again: when you pick up a magazine at the dentist’s, when you turn on the tube or the radio, when you go to church, work, or school… They don’t have to worry about us anymore.

It’s like the old story about black Sam, who was a slave on some cotton farm in the South before the Civil War. One day his master asked him, “Sam, how come you’re a Christian, and yet you seem to be having so many problems? I don’t even believe in God & don’t have nearly as many troubles as you.” Sam had to think about that for a while before he was ready to answer. But a few days later, they went on a duck hunt, and there Sam’s master told him to collect the wounded ducks and leave the dead ones lay. Sam came back with a big grin to his master after the hunt & said, “I now have the answer to your question, Boss! You see, I’m a live one. The Devil’s trying to get me bagged, and that’s why he’s giving me so many troubles. You’re a dead duck! He’s already got you in his bag, that’s why he’s leavin’ you alone.”

Most of us who enjoy democracy only have that privilege because the Devil’s already got us in his bag. We think we’re free, and take the freedom to give that same freedom to other helpless nations at the point of a gun, or at least we pay our corrupt leaders to do it, or give standing ovations to speeches he actually made us believe that he believed their content himself.

Apparently even Hornberger seems to believe that. Well, that’s one more point I disagree with him on. Guess one day we’ll know.

In any case, now we know – or at least I know what makes us liable for democracy: a propaganda machine that operates so well that it can keep the masses perfectly enslaved without them even noticing it. We even applaud our oppressors.

If this is freedom, it makes me wonder if the Iraqis aren’t truly the luckier ones in this deal…

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