So we all want solutions—solutions that will free us. Solutions come in easy words. Give us easy words, Gerry, words that do not anger or frighten or hurt. We want words we can pass quickly by and then pop a Bud. We do not want words that cause us to pry open the thick door to the inner self—to the deep places where our status as a slave will be revealed.
We do not want our friends to say we are slaves. That word is too damning, too frightening, too unkind. Friends like you, Gerry would not say this word. No. Not a friend.
But if we seek change we must be prepared to abandon easy words. When we have searched the width and breadth of our slavery, when we struggle against the psychic chains and wince at the invisible lash at our backs then the pain will lead us to solutions.
I believe that you were speaking to psychical bonds. The only way to break those bonds is through individual action, and only the individual can find the correct action.
My question any more is why do people, when presented with a problem, show wonderment that the person who points out the problem does not post an answer to the problem? Maybe there isn’t an answer at present. Maybe, as in this case (imho), the answer is in the hands of the individual.
Such a gargantuan system, so many forces in our society and the need to get by – what does this utopia you envision look like? The citizens have done the hard work of seeing their bondage and working through it – but where have you put the forces of expediency that push us back into “requirements” of the day – whether we call them slavery or something else? I think I recall something pretty darkly pessimistic in Darrow’s autobiography about the malleability of our societal systems / institutions in a positive direction. How do we accomodate the press of making a living and still shake off our shackles? Can this be more than just a thought exercise available to those who have been able to free themselves from those daily strictures – and in a way that is impossible for most. . . ???
And are you moved by the rich possibilities seeping into our sense of what can be – by peaking at the formation of a possible Obama presidency??
Many people, I believe, perhaps even a majority, don’t think like you or I. They don’t naturally reflect upon their own life or conscience or state of being or corruption of the state in an abstract or idealized way. I’ve often been criticized, even censured throughout my life for thinking and speaking as you are now. I’ve become quite cynical about the classical idealistic disposition, if there’s any left, of Americans. There are many foul forces in this world and many, many more unwitting people.
The greatest challenge, always, is convincing people that freedom is worth the pain and effort it brings. After all, no one can enslave a person who is free within themselves. Slavery is always self-inflicted.
People have always been slaves to the demands of survival. Freedom comes in one’s choices in the face of those demands. When I can choose how I approach my survival, and what I do with the time afforded to me by that survival; if I can choose what I do to make my imprint on this world, then I am free.
As the popular saying goes, “freedom isn’t free”, though. And neither is survival. Whether paying the cost of freedom and of survival is itself slavery, or not, depends a great deal on one’s attitude and on what choices one has available for the time that is not spent paying that cost.