Free dumb fixation
Today’s so-called ‘freedom’ rallies are the go-to manoeuvre of the angry white man’s manual.
Whether being shouted from truck convoys or at another version of today’s recurrent rage fests, it’s a dog whistle for convening bigots, hypocrites, misogynists and white supremacists.
The strategy of vainglorious freedom fighters is all too transparent. Celebrate denial. Trot out the conspiracies du jour. and conveniently overlook that restrictions on behaviour in the interest of public health and human rights are nothing new (ban on tobacco advertising, seat belt requirements, environmental protection standards, child trafficking, rape, slavery).
In their world, freedom equates to the right to opt out of the social contract: Freedom from vaccinations that save lives. Freedom from books whose narratives diverge from the white man’s truth. Freedom from acknowledging alternative gender or sexual orientation realities. Freedom to end reproductive choice for women. Freedom to brand affirmative action as discrimination. Freedom to disbelieve climate change science
Today’s warped and confused definition of freedom – the right to do whatever, whenever – leaves scant hope that we will ever be able to make the compromises and sacrifices needed to avoid climate disaster. Without a basic shared belief in the role of government to protect our common interests, we are doomed. Every regulation or new policy aimed at curbing greenhouse gases, becomes an assault on ‘freedom.’
We can not save the planet without changing the way we live. We will need to give up some behaviours to gain the ultimate freedom to exists. And we need to do it fast.