America isn’t ‘Free’
by Donald K. Sanders
“Freedom” is not your run of the mill word. It implies independence with a lack of restrictions. We, the American community, toss the word around flippantly like we have a monopoly on it. I hear the word all the time. It comes from every direction. It ricochets from one document to another without restraint.
People keep telling me that our great nation is founded on freedom. The U S Constitution declares that we as citizens are free but the truth of the matter is that we have never seen freedom in our lifetime. Your father, your grandfather, even his grandfather has never been free.
True, freedom ended when the first farmer, the first toolmaker and the first baker joined together to form the first village. From that moment, eons ago, we have been at the mercy of our fellows and it is impossible to become emancipated from the tyranny of the group.
So good is this community thingy that our labors have an unbounded energy to produce. We enjoy a collective self-control, and we enjoy a collective power to exert our influence over other weaker communities that do not conform to our needs.
From the beginning, the farmer, the toolmaker and the baker conspired to maintain and increase wealth and power; thus the birth of the class system. The passage of time has given us better tools, better seeds, better methods, but only slightly better shelters. Life is easier, safer and more abundant in every way, so we now accept the conditions of the group without question.
Freedom was traded for shelter, safety and nourishment. As the community grew, so too did an unperceivable process of enslavement. The farmer now has to pay the community the majority of the fruits of his labor. The toolmaker and the baker endure similar situations in their efforts to conform to the community.
The common man has been unable to keep up with those in control of the community and has slowly fallen into a tradition of dependence and subordination. So far have we fallen that we can no longer even see those with the true power. They hide themselves like cockroaches behind corporations and stooges they call lawyers.
Society is now designed to influence power. We see it in the distribution of wealth, religion and public institutions with the severity of its legal codes. The old adage, “divide and conquer” seems to apply to every segment of our society and it is most apparent in our family units.
Parents now must open a Facebook account to find out what their children need and want. To most adults, children are a mystery because technology has given our youth a second family that is controlled by fashion and peer pressure. They are oblivious to the evil that lurks nearby.
For generations we have traded our defensive assets for offensive ones at the whim of those in power for the reason that if the community does not prosper and expand, it will, indeed, collapse upon itself. Fathers send their sons to war without question where they will be wasted without restriction along with other sons of other fathers in other communities.
I like the reasoning of Robinson Jeffers: we cannot have all the luxuries and freedom too. Freedom is poor and laborious, that torch is not safe but hungry, and often requires blood for its fuel.”
It is my personal observation that the fathers of this community are fair in nature. The community that we call the United States is not the only community, but I believe it to be a good one, the best of the best. We are now the “haves” and most of the rest of the communities on this Earth are “have-nots.” They want what we have and they will try to take it. They will not succeed, but the price will be high to all.
As one community joins with another it will not necessarily be for the greater good. For a community that has neither safety or nourishment will always be a threat to the community that has everything. Communities that limit the rights of women, make war on the poor and disrespect the religion of others will find us hard and unforgiving.
I wish I could fix everything that is wrong but I don’t have the knowhow or the energy. I can only lament as did W. C. Williams; “Sorrow is in my own yard where the new grass flames as it has flamed often before but not with the cold fire that closes around me this year.”