I listened this week to lots of rehetoric about what freedom means. People throw out the "founding fathers" as shining examples of how freedom is supposed to work.
But our founding fathers were white men who owned slaves, and wished not to be unfairly taxed by the british. It was an economic freedom they sought.
Our constitution itselfs protects the business of 1776 as well as any two hundred year old document could. You still have the right to bear arms!
The declaration of independence is another cool example of the freedoms sought. Loosely we are told tha tall men have an inalienable right to pursue life and liberty. it doesn’t say all land owning men, although I suspect many in 1776 would have liked that addition.
It says all men. It says inalienable.
The thing we forget is that the doucment promises the pursuit, not the acquisition.
Which brings me in a round about fashion to the rant portion of the blog. In the pursuit of happiness etc many people have contributed to a consumer society in America (and Europe/Asia to a lesser degree). We want things to make our lives easier (which by the way is the pursuit of liberty etc)…which is the basis of the declaration of indepence – the document that ultimately built the US Constituion (and many other such documents world wide).
Is someone wrong to consume, in their pursuit of happiness?
I think not. Consumption at the expense of another is bad. Consumption becuase you can (waste) is bad. But Consumption is not bad in and of itself.
THe problem is the sepation within the world today – the Haves and the Have Nots. It’s too great a gap today. However given the world, would the have nots consume less? or rather do they seek to consume the same as the Haves?
It was an imperfect union 230 years ago. We’ve had a bloody history fighting for the values that we don’t talk about – but that we hold daer.
That imperfect union remains imperfect. We are a shining light. Sometimes however, what the light shows is the underbelly of the wrold.
Or worwe our own underbelly.
So what does freedom mean? That you have a chance to do the things you want to do. Not that you can do them, or afford them or that they are readily avialble.
Freedom means being able to do the things you want to do.