Posted on Friday, December 04, 2009 | By Gautam | In civilization , democracy , freedom , Geo-politics , life , morality
It’s easy to fight for freedom but it’s tough to retain it.
Readers beware. The following post is going to take some digs towards the concept of freedom as we've conceived it and are portraying it (at best). But portrayals seldom last a lifetime. They too are subjected to the lifecycle of an idea sprouting and dying a death. Natural or forced alike. Be warned.
Freedom is over rated.
There, I said it all. And before all of the freedom loving bandwagon jumps into the debate with their cohorts, read on. Just what is it about freedom that means to you the most? To have our fundamental rights in place? Guess what, its passé. When was the last time the state did not encroach upon your right in the name of national interest?! To pee or spit on the roads?! I’d not venture down that dirty road. But what is it about freedom that makes us jump up out of our slumber and start ranting all about it is a question to which I have no answers till date. It happens all too regularly when we encroach upon the rights of others crushing them under our inflated egos and the false sense of superiority. The meek take the hit. The poor take the hit. Every-damn-time. The right to freedom of speech/ expression are the most hit. Still we vow to live by our constitution and champion the cause of freedom. Farcical.
Let us take some leaves out of history and understand this phenomenon better. France championed the cause of freedom almost 300 years ago. It did a good job at overthrowing the despotic rule of Antoinette who had suggested them to have cakes when they couldn’t afford bread. This particular event in history inspired many a revolutions all around the world. But did it? Almost a couple of years back, Paris faced one of the worst riots in its suburbs, ghettoising them. The prodigal champion of instant democracy all over the world- the US is a classic example. Bombing sovereign countries because they have a hunch that the rouge country is hiding weapons of mass destruction seems to be their forte now. The Noble peace (?) prize declared, Obama decides to up the count of soldiers in Afghanistan by 50000. Some nobility there. The Russian revolution was to create a classless and just society. But we all know how Stalin killed his own countrymen in the name of upholding the honour and dignity of the fatherland. Did someone say China? Mao. His cultural revolution. The Tien Mann square massacre. The image of a boy braving a battle tank. Freedom??? ‘nuff said.
But the cited examples raise a quintessential question. Why is it so? Why did freedom fail when the intentions were good? Pious? As Edmund Burke has succinctly put- All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing. And believe me you, history bares naked the impotency of good men. Men of honour reduced to mere spectators by their own indifference and ignorance. And indecision. Yes. Indecision is one of the foremost reason I recognize when talking about the failure of institutions. Take an example on a micro level. There in our classes we’ve have had vociferous kids who would seem to make all the decisions all the time. And we would be left cribbing. And it’s sort of a vicious cycle that continues. But why is it so, is the food for thought here. Our indecision. Whenever we have a public with diverse interest and wants, fighting about what needs to be done, not for one moment stopping to find a common minimum interest, a figure rises and towers all the confusion bringing stability. And stability is what we long for. An equilibrium is what makes the masses happy. Period.
The best example to support the logic would be the rise of Adolf Hitler himself. In a county with a bruised ego and divided thought process with an incredible amount of indecision and political instability, he brought some sort of orderliness. And when people started to blindly follow him, reposing in him their faith and support, an unprecedented genocide begun.
So as we all can see, freedom is short lived. Humans somehow cannot take cognisance of that the fact their inability will lead to their downfall. One way or the other. Chaos is eternal. And so will all those with dictatorial tendencies lurking in their heads.
Equilibrium will be attained. But at the cost of freedom.
Gentlemen, the melancholy event of yesterday reads to us an awful lesson against being too much troubled about any of the objects of ordinary ambition. The worthy gentleman, who has been snatched from us at the moment of the election, and in the middle of contest, whilst his desires were as warm, and his hopes as eager as ours, has feelingly told us, what shadows we are, and what shadows we pursue~ Edmund Burke