Saturday, November 22, 2008

Fear of Freedom

In my internet travels I encountered these headlines...

Journalist group honors Cuban political prisoner


Castroism is bad for the stomach



Two stories about journalists living (and dying) in Cuban prisons.

Naively I question why any government feels the need to imprison journalists. I came up with one answer: Fear.

Cuba's Castro and his brother Raúl are the perfect example of fear. They know personally that if the people are incited to make a change in the government then a revolution is possible. Quite possibly a violent revolution. The oppressed rising up to overthrow the oppressors. The very means that allowed Fidel and Raúl to enter into Cuba's government is the foundation of their fear. Fidel and Raúl are now the oppressors and fear for their lives. No matter how benevolent a dictatorship is still a dictatorship.

Despots and dictators have a profound fear of freedom.

We effectively let the 'revolution' happen every four years. Our is a government based on representation. We have established rules for the orderly transfer of leadership. Part of the overall process which insures the representation of an individual's views and opinions is freedom of speech. This extends to journalism and the freedom to report on any aspect of our society.

In our Democracy there is a bell-curve of opinion on every topic of discussion and concern. Depending on the topic the curve can be skewed to the left or the right. By allowing individual opinions we franchise every member of our society. By employing the democratic process of choosing our leaders we allow our social orderety to moderate itself. This usually means that extreme ideologies and positions are shunned in favor of the more moderate choices.

Revolutionaries are allowed to express themselves - the will of the people determines the direction of our government.

When we as a nation empower every individual to be a fully qualified participant in self-rule then we operate from a position of strength. Founded on the strength of our democratic process we then have nothing to fear.



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