Friday, September 16, 2005

The "Indispensible" Principle

Stuff like this annoys me:

"For sincere friends of freedom..."

Forget the context, forget the speaker. It seems an incessant refrain from Republicans and NeoCons down south. If you don't support the intervention in Iraq, you are somehow "anti-freedom".

Friends of Freedom. What a joke. As if the poor, homeless, and uneducated could be considered "free" simply because they have the right (not the ability) to trade across borders. An inherent aspect of my political philosophy will always involve an examination of proposals regarding the treatment of society's most unfortunate.

Only the most ardent communist ever called for equality of result. Equality of opportunity is simply not "freedom from...". It is also, on an equally important level, the "freedom to...". As a society we have a moral responsibility to our neighbours, and sorry but the best way to organize such an effort efficiently is through a central government-type system accountable to its constituents. I have a few other quotes for this Friday, but the truest and most guiding is this simple, masterful verse from Whitman's Leaves of Grass.


"OF Equality—As if it harm’d me, giving others the same chances and rights as myself—As if it were not indispensable to my own rights that others possess the same."

That's it. In my mind, the true vice of Bush (and Cheney, and Haliburton, and - heck - lots of Democrats) is the criminal neglect of this core principle. As if it were not indispensible. Not just an American "dream", but - purchance, someday - a global reality. A wonderful thought on which to begin another Rum and Coke Friday! ;-)


Blogger Declan said...

"Only the most ardent communist ever called for equality of result."

I remember reading an interesting essay (I think it was from Christopher Lasch's 'Revolt of the Elites') which argued that the original American dream actaully was a dream of (roughly) equal outcomes for everyone, but that it had been 'dumbed down' over the years to a dream of opportunity rather than result.

For what it's worth. Maybe I'll see if I can dig up a relevant quote.

3:41 PM  
Blogger James MacDuff said...

I would be interested.

The point is that "freedom" is a neo-con fallback. No longer. I'm tired of that argument, and I await a prominent statesman on the Left to make that case.

2:33 AM  
Blogger The Tiger said...

There is a reason why the richest countries in the world are the most economically free.

If you choose to fight against that, that is your choice (and your right), but it certainly doesn't get you to be considered a "friend of freedom".


8:57 AM  

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