December 20, 2007

[Power Grab] Real Freedom

For all their talk of the "freedoms" brought on by capitalist democracies, neocons sure don't have a lot to show for it! Thanks to the religious morality imposed by neocons on today's dominant societal structure, there is no freedom for homosexuals, no freedom for women who choose to get an abortion, no freedom for those who have decided their time is up and would prefer to end their lives. And there is certainly no freedom for prisoners who have not even been convicted or charged (what happened to presuming everyone's innocence until proven guilty?).

It doesn't take a rocket scientist [click on link below to expand to full post] (nor a feminist for that matter) to figure out that in a modern neoliberal capitalist "democracy" superimposed with neoconservative morality, freedom tends to belong to economically comfortable white heterosexual men. How fair does that sound!?

This is why (and I will show an example here) the resurgence of the left, the DEMOCRATIC left, the socialist-idealist-democracy-constrained-by-powerful-constitutional-laws -which-protect-the-minority left, is crucial. The left needs to assume power, in a fair way, in order to redistribute freedom more fairly. This should be easy to do once everyone has a clear and undistorted view of the wonderful fair and just world that could result. Only the left can distribute "freedom" more equitably, because right-wing economics and right-wing morality are just plain and simply unfair, unjust and elitist.

It takes time, will, and POWER to change the dominant structures of our society. For decades the right has been restructuring our domestic and global societies along neoliberal format of political economic organization complimented by the neoconservative morality I discussed above (what a toxic mix!). But it doesn't have to be so. If the dominant ideologies and structures are unjust, it is our responsibility to dismantle them.

And here is my example:
Two years ago, a leftist government led by Tabare Vasquez was voted into power in Uruguay. And today Uruguay made the world news: "Uruguay Approves Gay Civil Unions". It is the first country in Latin America (a region particularly hard hit by neoliberalism and catholicism) to give the right to its citizens to marry whomever they choose. If that's not freedom, I don't know what is. Way to go Vasquez! Way to go Uruguayans! Thank-you for providing the rest of us with an excellent example of how easy it can be to break free.

1 comment:

  1. My dear friend,
    I don't think it's as easy as you make it seem here. "The Left" is caught up in its own ideological debates, a complexity which I know is not lost on you, although certainly absent from this post. And identity politics is the perfect example. There are those who would argue that identity politics fragment the power of 'the Left', traditionally a power solidified by resistance to class oppression. Is it better to advance the agenda of class oppression by silencing the minority voices that point to inequalities within leftist movements? Or is it preferable to air these grievances in a public way, admitting that the Left itself is not immune to internal power structures that are oppressive?
    It's great that Uruguay has legislated equal marriage. But it's not simply because 'the Left' redistributes freedoms more fairly. It's because advocates fought long and hard for equal marriage.
    I'm just saying...maybe you should have spent a bit more time on this one.