USA: More Repressive Than North Korea (was Re: RES: a trip to

Dace edace at
Wed Apr 26 11:12:41 PDT 2000

Michael Perelman wrote:

>I think that the measure of freedom should be the extent that people have
>the opportunity to develop their abilities and capacities to the greatest
>possible extent.

The measure of freedom is *also* the extent to which people have the opportunity to collectively shape the political and economic policies of their society. Capitalism means sacrificing our capacity for collective self-determination in favor of maximizing personal self-determination. Freedom becomes a function of wealth. The more money you have, the more freedom you can afford. If you have enough money, you can even buy influence over the government and the economy. To the extent that the rich operate as a cohesive ruling class, they engage in collective self-determination. But it's the collective of the oligarchy, not the people. We are taught that plutocracy is democracy. To the extent that we go along with this, we act as our own jailers. The reason we don't experience the overt repression characteristic of communist societies is that we are already repressed inside. Giant murals of our great leader are not nearly as creepy as the ones imprinted on our own minds.

Ultimately, personal freedom without collective freedom is an illusion. Of course, the reverse is also true.


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