Posts Tagged ‘freedom’

Freedom is mastery of our instincts, not their indulgence

December 9, 2014

…freedom is illusory if its exercise actually means the freedom to succumb to the tyranny of one’s desire and appetite. Indeed, the illusion that freedom consists in mastery by rather than of one’s instincts is precisely that from which we should liberate ourselves.

Anthony O’Hear, Plato’s Children, 2005, p.225-6

Faith of Communism

August 28, 2009

Arise, you prisoners of starvation!
Arise, you wretched of the earth!
For justice thunders condemnation:
A better world’s in birth!
No more tradition’s chains shall bind us,
Arise you slaves, no more in thrall!
The earth shall rise on new foundations:
We have been nought, we shall be all!
‘Tis the final conflict,
Let each stand in his place.
The international soviet
Shall be the human race
‘Tis the final conflict,
Let each stand in his place.
The international working class
Shall be the human race

We want no condescending saviors
To rule us from their judgment hall,
We workers ask not for their favors
Let us consult for all:
To make the thief disgorge his booty
To free the spirit from its cell,
We must ourselves decide our duty,
We must decide, and do it well.
‘Tis the final conflict,
Let each stand in his place.
The international soviet
Shall be the human race
‘Tis the final conflict,
Let each stand in his place.
The international working class
Shall be the human race

The Internationale, American Version

Note the faith – “a better world’s in birth”  and “The earth shall rise on new foundations” (really? How do you know?)

In light of history (Pol Pot, Mao etc.) the idea that the only human race is the ‘international working class’ is truly disturbing. And it presupposes, indeed glorifies conflict in eschatological terms – tis the fianl conflict (as if the battle is something like the Christ and the anti-Christ – no wonder Marxism is described as a Christian heresy)

Lest we forget

August 26, 2009

The nature of political doublespeak never changes and its agenda is always the same: Obliteration of historical memory in the service of power “The struggle of man against power,” wrote the Czech writer, Milan Kundera, “is the struggle of memory against forgetting.” Only a restored memory can demolish totalitarian myths and make men free.

(David Horowitz, in Big Lies, Center for the Study of Popular Culture, 2005)

I have a dream

August 23, 2009

This will be the day when all of God’s children will be able to sing with a new meaning, “My country, ’tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my fathers died, land of the pilgrim’s pride, from every mountainside, let freedom ring.” And if America is to be a great nation, this must become true. So let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire. Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York. Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania! Let freedom ring from the snowcapped Rockies of Colorado! Let freedom ring from the curvaceous peaks of California! But not only that; let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia! Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee! Let freedom ring from every hill and every molehill of Mississippi. From every mountainside, let freedom ring.
When we let freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old negro spiritual, “Free at last! free at last! thank God Almighty, we are free at last!

MLK, August 28th 1963

Freedom is power over our passions

August 23, 2009

In ancient times the Tyrant of Syracuse read the book of Epictetus, the philosopher slave, and admired it so greatly that he offered to set him free. ‘Free yourself!’ replied Epictetus. His visitor protested, ‘But I’m the king! The philosopher answered, ‘A tyrant ruled by his lusts is in bondage; as slave who rules his passions is free. King, free yourself!

Richard Wurmbrand, In God’s Underground, W.H. Allen, 1968, p.243

Freedom: always just out of reach?

August 23, 2009

Do I seem free? If I’m free it’s because I’m always running.

Jimi Hendrix

I am in the grip of habits that fetter me. I cannot escape from the pits into which I have fallen unless an arm from above should rescue me.


If the rich, famous and the powerful don’t attain freedom – who does?


August 23, 2009

Man was born free, and he is everywhere in chains. One man thinks himself the master of others, but remains more of a slave than they.

Jean Jacques Rousseau, The Social Contract, 1762

Free Will

August 22, 2009

 Men may be free to do what they will; but what they will they are not free to choose.

Jim Gourlay

Freedom comes at a price

August 22, 2009

Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty.

John F. Kennedy, January 20th, 1961

I just wanted to be free

August 22, 2009

Thousands of fans cheered as a naked girl danced today in front of the stage, wearing only a red bandanna and with red paint on her arms and nose. The cheers grew louder as the girl, who was very attractive, bounded into the press enclosure and turned cartwheels and somersaults. She was circled by photographers as she danced for ten minutes, writhing on the ground at times, while the Edgar Broughton Band played. The dance was stopped by a security guard. As she was taken away she said: ‘Why can’t they let me be what I am? I just wanted to be free.

Polly Toynbee, Pop Festival Blast-Off, The Observer, August 31st, 1969, commenting on the Isle of Wight Festival.