Friday, November 23, 2007

Four Freedoms

by Capt. Fogg

Thanksgiving - another festival of myth and self-delusion; a day when we overeat and tell ourselves we're thankful to some supernatural entity who has favored us with liberty. I'm often less thankful for friends and family on such days than I otherwise would be and certainly on those times when I reflect on Franklin Roosevelt's Four Freedoms rendered forever into kitsch by Norman Rockwell, I'm more fearful than thankful for how they are being taken away and given to the unaccountable and powerful.

Freedom of speech isn't something something I feel grateful for as much as something I demand and am guaranteed as my birthright. We still have it, but the ability of the ruling corporations to bury our words under an ocean of propaganda increases.

Freedom of every person to worship in his own way, has always been conditional although guaranteed and every person who adheres to an unpopular religion or no religion at all knows it. It isn't the government, even this government, leading the crusade for Christian supremacy, but the private agents of that government: corporate religion. Year after year, it seems that our ability to resist acknowledging a god we don't believe in declines and the fight to incorporate religious taboos into our laws continues.

Freedom from want isn't something guaranteed us, it's something we may or may not have and it's something our government has fought to excuse itself of providing for, whether it's want of food and shelter, medical care or enough income to support us if we're too old or sick to work.

Freedom from fear in a culture of fear is a personal thing. One can choose to ignore the panic pushers and fear mongers in the government. One can choose not to be afraid of the bottomless corruption, incompetence and dishonesty of our government; of the swashbuckling information gatherers who tap your phones, read your mail and track your movements and your finances and your purchases electronically almost at will. It gets harder every day. Many of us live in dread of injury or sickness, knowing they can't pay the increasingly huge costs of treatment and medicine; knowing that they may not even have the benefit of bankruptcy protection in a land where the laws are written by the credit card companies and the corporate hospitals and drug producers. Many of us fear that the wanton borrowing, reckless warfare and corporate welfare and shifting of the tax burden will erase any freedom from want our grandchildren might have.

We don't have the freedom of being able to elect a government that considers itself answerable or accountable, we don't have the freedom to be left alone in our homes or in our pursuit of life, liberty and happiness in the expectation that we're not constant suspects for crimes yet to be committed. We have an increasingly disdainful government of which we are increasingly afraid.

We don't have the freedom of information we used to. We don't have a government that feels obligated to allow us to know their mistakes, failures or crimes. We have a government that will ignore us and the courts and refuse to tell us who is making policy. We have a growing possibility that the government can declare us outlaw without telling anyone why; to make us disappear without a trace, to be tortured and imprisoned indefinitely. We don't have the freedom from reckless and extravagant government expenditures or hand-overs of our property. We don't have the benefit of knowing that the people who are supposed to watch over us are accountable to us and our courts and not to private and perhaps secret organizations, whether those people be police, jailers, soldiers or intelligence agents. The more cynical of use have begun to doubt that we even have the freedom to elect people to at least pretend to be public employees and not representatives of vast corporate interests. The more paranoid fear that next November we will be told to be thankful that George will remain in office to protect us from fear and want and terrorists.

Cross posted from Human Voices

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6 Comments:

Anonymous lester said...

After Lincoln I would say FDR was the worst, most fascistic president we've ever had. and that's saying something. thanks alot for extending the depression with the new Deal mr president. and for sending my grandfather to drop bombs on innocent german peoples heads. he drank himself to death because of the horror of what he had done.

freedom from fear? North Korea is the place for you.

3:07:00 PM  
Blogger Capt. Fogg said...

Thanks for the garbled reasoning.

4:23:00 PM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

Lester, that's about the most ridiculous comment you've ever made here.

Fogg, another brilliant post. Probably the best and most honest Thanksgiving takedown I've ever seen. And I surely hope our paranoia is not realized in 09.

5:20:00 PM  
Anonymous lester said...

okay I'll try to be a little more straightforward this time. FDR was not god or present at the constitutional convention, therefore he is not in any way able to give america four or any other amount of freedoms. any way. the first two are covered in the bill of rights, the second two are collectivist propaganda, nou doubt eminating from his admiration of Hitler, Stalin and other fellow fascists of the era.

FDR's grabbing of exeutive power and "extra constitutional" endevours put Bush to shame. as does his war, which was just as avoidable as iraq and far far more deadly.

but it's apparent he was at least a better propgandist

9:54:00 AM  
Blogger Capt. Fogg said...

Perhaps a good laxative would help clear your mind.

Roosevelt's four freedoms speech was an attempt to give meaning to a war that conservatives like your sad, stupid self opposed by telling the public what we were fighting for.

It was not a re-iteration of the Bill of Rights and if you read my post before regurgitating your septic propaganda you'd see that's what I said.

In case you don't remember, Hitler and the Fascists had considerable support here - and coincidently, from the Bush family. It seems you are of a similar leaning, or perhaps it's just ignorance - it all comes to the same thing.

Yes it's propaganda and oversimplification, but not so much so as your "interpretations" of history. If you think WW II wasn't worth fighting, you don't deserve your citizenship. If you think that after an attack on our Navy and our soil and a declaration of war against us and our allies inaction was justified -- well who gives a shit what you think anyway.

Innocent Germans did die along with poles and hungarians and Russians and Gypsies and Jews - all by the tens of millions and apparently you're too stupid or too deranged to care about anyone but "innocent" Germans.

Lots of people don't think much of Lincoln either. You see them wearing sheets late at night. . .

11:07:00 PM  
Anonymous lester said...

I see. So criticizing the policies of the BEARER of the four freedoms is not itself one of the freedoms. got it. I guess if messianic chickenhawks are democrats grabbing state power and killing thousands of Americans is ok. Sorry, the new deal was bad for the economy and world war 2 took away our freedoms rather than saving them.

the people who wanted to not have war and wanted to not have a president with dictatorial war time powers were fascists? By your logic Mussolini was Howard Dean.

the japanese had very little chioce and FDR knew it. as for the european theater. I think rather than intervening at Operation Barbossa to save Euopre for STALIN we would have been wise to let he and hitler, the two evilest people ever, battle it out.

as for lincoln i doubt I could say it more eloquently than Democratic Senator Jim Webb

http://www.jameswebb.com/speeches/confedmemorial.htm


does here. Sufficet to say I don't see how 600,000 people can logically die "for humanity". You have to admit it's a bit of a contradiction at least on the face of it. particularly when slavery was ended peacefeully every where else in the western world and the south ahd every right to sucede under the constitution.

9:30:00 AM  

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