Online Journal
Front Page 
 Special Reports
 News Media
 Elections & Voting
 Social Security
 Editors' Blog
 Reclaiming America
 The Splendid Failure of Occupation
 The Lighter Side
 The Mailbag
 Online Journal Stores
 Official Merchandise
 Join Mailing List

Commentary Last Updated: Feb 20th, 2007 - 00:26:20

Freedom fries
By Mickey Z.
Online Journal Contributing Writer

Feb 20, 2007, 00:22

Email this article
 Printer friendly page

Freedom is an old song by Richie Havens.

When you write books, articles, and essays that typically fall into the �radical� category, you take hits from the full range of the political spectrum. Right, left, or anywhere in-between, beliefs run deep and viewpoints die hard. Often, however, irate critics of all stripes lazily fall back on empty rebuttals. For example, when I posted an essay called �Why I Hate America� at the liberal blog, Daily Kos, it provoked this timeless classic:

�America is a terrible country,� he/she snarked. �After all, how many other countries give you the RIGHT to write what you just wrote?�

Let�s put aside the unintentional (?) tongue twister (�the right to write what you just wrote�) and the fact that the obvious answer to his/her question�plenty of other countries do�destroys this line of reasoning [sic]. The larger issue, as I see it, is how we each choose to evaluate our freedom.

Freedom is a new song by George Michael.

Hey, I�m not living in Pinochet�s Chile or Duvalier�s Haiti or Hussein�s Iraq or Suharto�s Indonesia (insert your favorite U.S. client-state). I know. But what are we talking about here? Is freedom just an issue of bigger cages and longer chains? Is it merely a commodity sold to the highest bidder? Must the majority of us sit by and drool while freedom fries on the grill of capitalist avarice?

Freedom was a professional tennis team from Philadelphia.

Speaking of grills, I was once eating lunch in a Virginia Beach diner when I heard a loud roar. �What was that?� I bellowed. The waitress smiled and replied: �That�s an F-14 . . . the sound of freedom.�

Freedom is a taxpayer-subsidized killing machine.

To have more freedom than, say, a woman living under Taliban repression is not the same as being free. But it is the same as settling for less subjugation instead of demanding more liberty (or at least as much liberty currently guaranteed by virtue of the Constitution).

Being an American dissident usually results in marginalization and financial instability but rarely gets one jailed or disappeared. Still, the �it could be worse� excuse is no way to judge the quality and/or quantity of anything.

Freedom is, according to Rosa Luxemburg, �always and exclusively freedom for the one who thinks differently.�

Mickey Z. can be found on the Web at

Copyright © 1998-2007 Online Journal
Email Online Journal Editor

Top of Page

Latest Headlines
Populism then and now: Independence to debt peonage, part 2
It�s our unregulated capitalism, stupid!
It�s America that�s bankrupt
Grassroots movements, global elites and political economy in times of panic
Welcome shift change ahead
Life after Bush: Forecasting peace in Palestine
One nation under capitalism: It�s time for a crucifixion
The New American Century cut short by 92 years
Betrayed by the bailout: The death of democracy
Eulogy for a nation: The bailout passes; democracy passes on . . .
101 ways to get rich without doing anything socially useful
Failure on all fronts is Bush legacy
Fight the bailout; stop the hostile takeover of the United States
Definitions: The proletariat
America, it�s time to play Monopoly!
America should listen to Ahmadinejad
Islamophobia: the pathology of paranoia
Framing the $700 billion question
Eat your cats and dogs
Wall Street welfare