November 4, 2013

We Call This Freedom Monday

This meme about our lack of real freedom reminded me of the American band Rage Against The Machine. True to their name, they are calling us to fight for our freedom, and our lives. They are promoting the importance of a major shift in the way we do things.

The way that guitarist Tom Morello describes our system makes sense to me. I, like most of us, have direct experience with what he is talking about.

He says, "America touts itself as the land of the free, but the number one freedom that you and I have is the freedom to enter into a subservient role in the workplace. Once you exercise this freedom you've lost all control over what you do, what is produced, and how it is produced. And in the end, the product doesn't belong to you."

He also figures that the number two freedom in America is the freedom to starve.


The land of the free?

Whoever told you that is your enemy..."

- Rage Against The Machine, Know Your Enemy


  1. Anonymous11/04/2013

    What about those countries like North Korea where if you have even a differing thought of the status quo, you and your whole family are put into "re-education" camps with no hope of seeing natural light ever again? I have seen images like the one above and I have to wonder if the "lack of freedom" people experience in America is purely mental. I have heard of the notion of poverty consciousness and that the fundamental difference between a destitute, homeless man and a nomadic one on the road - is perception. I have to question what sort of 'freedom' people are lacking in America when they can openly mock the government like Tumblr did during the shutdown, and write songs about it like Rage Against the Machine. I believe that the lack of freedom that people are awakening to is the fact they'd been duped into thinking needs and wants are the same thing and that technology will make people's lives easier - and it has done just that! - but it has also made them complacent. Learned-helplessness, if you could call it that. The difference between the great depression of the twenties and the great recession of 2008 is the ingenuity of the people. This generation lacks it. Time to learn the old arts!....and by old I mean /analog/. Before the internet. ;)

    1. Anon,

      We could use more re-education... but only if it is voluntary. And you know exactly what it is that we need to learn. "The old arts." Yes!

      Thankfully we still have the freedom to learn the skills of self-sufficiency and simple livening. I think exercising that freedom is the one of the best ways to get out of the system described above, and ultimately lead to change.

      It is all very complicated, and you bring up some excellent examples of that. Perception makes all the difference. I agree that people are beginning to ask questions about what wants and needs. We are waking up from a stuff-induced coma.

      We increasingly hear from people that are choosing to simplify their lives and pull back from a system they see as damaging to themselves and the planet. For now, that is still a choice we can make.

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts. Now I am thinking about what it would be like to go analog. I do remember life before the internet. Vaguely.

  2. This picture is so hauntingly true, it is scary. I love it but it makes me feel powerless too. At least I know I have something to stand for...and those damned water bills we get, well....freedom...yeah right.

  3. In Sweden we don't pay for water, but people living in their own houses pay for plumbing and heating of the water. Even industries get as much water they want for free. That fact has caused the EU to try to get our government to stop giving it away for free but they haven't succeeded - yet. They have even threatened to go to EC Court of Justice.

    Here it's a strange "non-question". Just the thought of paying for water...well no Swede could ever think of such silly notion! But who knows...we are a people sometimes with a sense of dangerous kind of self-importance in the issues we take for granted. One day perhaps we will wake up and get our first water bill because the EU forced us and what we thought to be unthinkable became reality without any fight. Swedes don't fight, we are so "peacefully" stupid and overly confident that our rights will never be taken away.

    But the other things written on the pig-picture ... well your many blog posts open my eyes.


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