"If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, it expects what never was and never will be."
Very true. Glenn Greenwald makes a similar point about MSM news programs: they do things like "report" that the Hunter Biden laptop was fake, then never issue a retraction after it's conclusively proven to be authentic, because their viewers value the fake narrative more than the unpleasant truth. It's irritating to have to take the high road in response, and (in most cases) not try to criminalize their constant lying, especially when they don't return the favor if they think we're spreading "disinformation", but in the end we have to trust that truth will win over falsehood when the two stand side by side.
Thx Barry for pulling all this together. It makes it easier for me to share with loved ones. I have been doing extensive research on my “high cholesterol” for a few years now. After cutting much out of my life, including losing weight, exercising, diet, etc; my cholesterol remains slightly high (as it has for the last 25+ years). Mercola’s work has helped me understand how genetics can play a role in this, and the dangers of statins. So very cool for me to be able to feast on this information and so much more in my favorite reading chair.
The most recent MN legislature has passed a law to “… track hate” in our lovely state (https://www.kare11.com/article/news/politics/minn-lawmakers-want-to-track-racial-incidents/89-546d6382-1695-4ef2-8355-5e01887c2d99). This means that somehow, someway, some board or somebody must judge what hate is. Then a database shall be maintained that logs the perpetrator. I can’t even begin to imagine what this could and would lead to. Know that other articles have indicated that somebody will be looking at social media posts and judging whether those are considered a “hate post“ or similar. I’ll stop right there and let your mind wrestle with this a bit.
Peace and blessings my friend!
I think The Powers That Be realised some time ago that technology has reached a point where a soft totalitarianism backed by global governance is finally possible. Information flow can be controlled, money and people tracked, and massive profits raised from a serf population all with very little effort. Now they just need to get the last tricky 20% to comply. They will not succeed.
Thank you, Barry.
My dilemma is this.
On the one hand, without a right to free speech, we ultimately become slaves to the beliefs, opinions, judgements and knowledge of the most powerful.
Conversely, speech that is crude, racist, homophobic and contains deliberate lies fosters hate and takes us down the slippery slope to barbarism.
And a world of ‘political correctness’ is not what I advocate.
My dilemma is how we sustain freedom of speech without the cruelty that the liberty of expressed hatred cultivates.
Living a life of kindness, understanding, wisdom, and common sense seems out of reach at this point in our evolution as a species.
Warmly … John
Thank you, Barry.
A very thoughtful and insightful couple of essays.
A reader made a comment that asserts "freedom is the cost we must pay and the effort we must expend to be part of a living, breathing democracy." I respectfully take a very different view on the subjects of freedom and our inspired system of government.
First, our political system is not a democracy, even though, many have falsely believed it to be so. America was established as a representative or constitutional republic. Democracies always implode, and they are a step along the path to governmental tyranny. Our founders knew that, and they purposefully avoided giving us a democracy.
Secondly, being part of any political system, be it democracy, a republic or any other, should not be the end goal that drives our thoughts, actions and institutions. Sacred freedom should be among our end goals in life. Our political system is a means to that end, not the other way around.
Third, freedom is not a cost and, in and of itself, it is not an effort. Freedom is the reward that flows from our energies being devoted to its prevalence and preservation. As we use the freedoms we already have wisely by gaining knowledge and exercising wisdom therewith, we gain more and more freedom. Neither do we have to sacrifice freedom in order to be happy. Rather, to be truly free, we only need to learn what provides us more freedom and wisely pursue those activities while abstaining from the activities that quash it.
Finally, it is the duty of every free person to help perpetuate and multiply freedom by imparting the principles and actions that enable it to neighbors and the next generation. And that is why I appreciate your essays, Barry. You're doing just that. Please continue humbly imparting your knowledge and wisdom. Surely your efforts are making a positive difference in the world.
Our freedom of thought is one thing. Its expression is tricky - a real-life conundrum.
Without it, we voluntarily enslave ourselves. With it, we must face all that we don't like or agree with - even hate.
And some things said are untrue, deliberately deceitful and dangerous.
What a dilemma!
Our freedom is the cost we must pay and the effort we must expend to be a part of a living, breathing democracy.
Warmly ... John
Yes it did. Along with up to birth abortion (3rd to China and North Korea), children sheltered from parents for alleged “sex changes,” tampon machines in K-12 boys bathrooms, and so very much more…
You wrote: "liberty lovers extend the warm hands of their common humanity to all."
I, as a liberty lover do not....nuke 'em all, let the adversary sort 'em out.....
Thank you for this essay.