Sunday, June 26, 2011
Freedom From and Freedom To: We're giving away our privacy and liberty, and for what?
Comedian Lee Camp riffs on the worrisome state of American privacy in one of his great Moments of Clarity.
I have long maintained that the concepts of Freedom From and Freedom To are both vital components of human liberty (and I thank Margaret Atwood for introducing this concept to my young feminist's brain via her masterpiece The Handmaid's Tale).
Indeed, without Freedom From, Freedom To--the necessary foundation upon which any bona fide pursuit of happiness gets built--becomes, itself, an untenable concept.
As our Freedom From is curtailed, so goes our Freedom To. When law-abiding citizens are increasingly prevented from traveling freely about their own country by air, and now by train, bus, and car--as they are searched, x-rayed, groped, and humiliated, absent probable cause, mind you, and even assaulted, and by agents of the We-the-People government that is supposed to be by, for, and of US--these selfsame citizens are also realizing a parallel curtailment of their human potential.
Think of all the opportunities missed, the creativity hampered, the activism delayed, the commerce sacrificed, and the education denied due to the vast reduction of our Freedom From unconstitutional searches and privacy invasions. Every former gypsy and rambling man I know--even people who'd consider themselves apolitical and TSA-agnostic--has drastically reduced his or her travel to a bare minimum these days, if they even leave home at all. And when you ask why, the answer will never be fear of terrorism, but rather, will almost invariably center around an extreme distaste for the overbearing and omnipresent Security State and its concomitant time-sucking nature. It's just not worth it, they say.
It's just not worth it. That sad sentence would break the hearts of our forebears, don't you think? And yet, it perfectly encapsulates the American mindset right now.
Whither Liberty, ca. 2011? Whither Justice For All?
Perhaps we should ask a Constitutional scholar and professor. He might know.
Posted by Deborah Newell at 1:18 PM