The Four (Anti-) Freedoms

For Friday, outsourced to Jamelle Bouie:

There are, I think, four freedoms we can glean from the Republican program.

There is the freedom to control — to restrict the bodily autonomy of women and repress the existence of anyone who does not conform to traditional gender roles.

There is the freedom to exploit — to allow the owners of business and capital to weaken labor and take advantage of workers as they see fit.

There is the freedom to censor — to suppress ideas that challenge and threaten the ideologies of the ruling class.

And there is the freedom to menace — to carry weapons wherever you please, to brandish them in public, to turn the right of self-defense into a right to threaten other people.

Roosevelt’s four freedoms were the building blocks of a humane society — a social democratic aspiration for egalitarians then and now. These Republican freedoms are also building blocks not of a humane society but of a rigid and hierarchical one, in which you can either dominate or be dominated.

The last one is far more important to the other three than many people probably want to admit.

Bouie notes, and I’ve been making this argument for years, if you want to see what Republicans actually want, look to the states and municipalities. At those levels, they don’t bother hiding this agenda at all.

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1 Response to The Four (Anti-) Freedoms

  1. Mike says:

    I would change the fourth to “freedom to terrorize” as it fits well with the first three. The word terror is well known and worn so people know exactly what we think of guys who bring AR-15s to school bus stops.

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