Illusion of freedom

The definition of freedom is the power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants without hindrance or restraint.

When you rolled out of bed this morning and stared at yourself in the bathroom mirror did you tell yourself you are a free person, that you live in a free society. 

Perhaps you realized you were shocked out of a sound sleep by a loud buzzing alarm, rolled out of bed, went into the bathroom, brushed your hair and teeth, put on clothes and were on you way to fight traffic to get to a job that will make someone else rich while you are expected to be grateful for that job.

If you were truly free, you might have said to yourself you would just skip work and go fishing.

While we all tout we live in a free society, is it really free? Do we really have freedom in the good old USA?

Not sure who said it, but the following may well define most of our lives: “Get a job. Go to work. Get married. Have children. Follow fashion. Act normal. Walk on the pavement. Watch TV. Obey the law. Save for your old age. Now repeat after me: 'I am free.' ”

If we want to assess our freedom, we have to go back to the definition where it says “without hindrance or restraint.”

The most obvious hindrance to freedom is law. The laws. We must obey laws, and if there is not a law, our legislators will make one, no matter how asinine or trivial. All it takes to create a law is for someone to be offended by something, and these days anyone can be offended by anything.

While you may think you have the right to freedom of speech, you are sadly mistaken. Perhaps you've heard of defamation of character. Even newspapers and other media have libel laws that restrict what can be said about a private individual.

In this country, there are those who want to tell you how you should live your life,what religion you should believe in, what you can and cannot do with your own body, who you can marry and who you can't, you are watched by cameras everywhere you go and the list goes on.

When we see communist countries stopping their people on the streets, asking for identification, or “papers,” or they are not permitted to freely leave the country to visit another country, we shake our heads in disgust, but we forget that when we drive down the highway, we can be stopped by the police for just about any reason. When we are stopped, we are required to produce identification, proof of insurance and registration for our vehicle.

In a really free society, one that is without hindrance or restraint, we should not have to produce those things. It's pounded into our heads that driving is a “privilege” when in reality you have earned the “right” to drive by learning to drive, taking the tests and being able to afford a car. But, because of the way our society works, these things have to be paid for in order to pay for the road to drive on.

Six corporations own and control 90 percent of what you watch, read and hear. These corporations own television networks, cable channels, movie studios, newspapers, magazines, publishing houses, music labels and websites.

The corporations that control the media are Time Warner, Walt Disney, Viacom, Rupert Murdoch's News Corp., CBS Corporation and NBC Universal. And don't you techies think you can escape, the Internet is gradually being dominated by Google, Yahoo and Microsoft.

To quote one publication, “When you control what Americans watch, hear and read, you gain a great deal of control over what they think. They don't call it programming for nothing.” An example: there are CNN followers and there are FOX followers. Followers of both those stations are influenced by what the stations put out.

You can no longer say what's on your mind because it might offend someone. If it is considered offensive, even though you have the right to free speech, you must apologize and even when you apologize, you lose your job.

We now live more under fear than we do freedom. Freedom has become an illusion.

Thomas Jefferson said, “The price of freedom is eternal vigilance,” and Abraham Lincoln said, “America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms it will be because we destroyed ourselves.”

Sequoyah County Times

111 N. Oak
Sallisaw OK 74955
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