Perhaps I am far more libertarian than I realise, or perhaps the past ten years under a State government that has seen the erosion of individual liberties fallen far more than anyone could have imagined, or perhaps it is the destructive elements being promulgated by our Australian Federal government over the past few years that is raising concerns about our rapid diminishment of personal freedom…
…in any case, it’s wonderful to to able to read views that reflect similar concerns and are intelligently presented on the Daily Bell. Here is the opening of one of today’s contributions:
‘The Greatest 21st Century Privilege‘
Saturday, December 18, 2010 – by Anthony Wile
Despite its growing horrors, the 21st century has proven a profound blessing in the sense that we can see, step by step how tyranny is being implemented around the world and especially in the West. In doing so, we can chart its pathways and intricacies. Some may not consider this in any sense a blessing but we do. To watch the descent of tyranny on the Western world is a startling sight, which plumbs the depths of the human spirit and provides us with spectacles of evil and good, cowardice and courage. It is a great (if sad) time to run a free-market website that reports on libertarian social and economic trends.
I used to wonder how a financial depression took hold and what it would look like. I used to wonder how a society would lose its moral and social underpinnings and lurch toward authoritarianism. I wondered, even, what it would be like in pre-war Germany when the Nazis were coming to power. But the past decade has offered an education in all these concepts. Anyone paying close attention does not need to wonder anymore.
The first decade of the 21st century has been a time of resonant, historical themes, broadly observed. It is a truly historical struggle between those who wish to control and manipulate human societies and those who wish to make human societies, especially Western ones, freer. In the 20th century, one might anticipate going to a ball game or an elaborate black-tie social event, but nothing is more fascinating than watching this great game unfold early in the 21st.
It is not a comfortable experience of course. The forces seeking to shut down civil discourse and stifle dissent seem to come from all sides, and their power is discouraging. Increasingly, they seem to pervert the basic institutions of civil society: schools, media, government and even religion. Each element of perverted society now has an elaborate rationale for why freedom needs to be pruned. The children need to be made safe. Society needs to be made safe. The workplace needs to be secured.
It again calls to mind that which J.G. Bennett wrote in the opening of the first volume of his Dramatic Universe: ‘Freedom can only ever be achieved at the cost of security’, to which I would further add that true security can only ever be achieved with freedom.