Monday, February 28, 2005

Freedom

MelbournePhilosopher

Mostly I just ignore the fact that nobody is really free, especially in the U.S. But sometimes I find myself reading an article on freedom of expression, and my blood starts boiling. It's usually a mistake, and sometimes I feel like I am making a mountain out of a molehill. However, I have decided to post some links to well-written sites, which concisely express the anger and irritation which drives people to spend significant time and effort campaigning against invasions of privacy. Today, our case study is John Gilmore, someone who got quite rich during the .com boom, and unlike most, stayed rich. He has been able to fund his irration with authority, by suing people who were bullying him without being able to really say why they should be allowed to. For anyone who still labours under the delusion that we live in an enlightened society, please enjoy the following links, and I will leave you with a quote.

http://www.postgazette.com/pg/05058/462446.stm
http://www.toad.com/gnu/

"Did you really think that we want those laws to be observed?"
said Dr. Ferris.

"We want them broken....There's no way to rule innocent men. The only
power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well,
when there aren't enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many
things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without
breaking laws. Who wants a nation of law-abiding citizens? What's there
in that for anyone? But just pass the kind of laws that can neither be
observed nor enforced nor objectively interpreted -- and you create a
nation of law-breakers -- and then you cash in on guilt. Now that's
the system, Mr. Rearden, that's the game, and once you understand it,
you'll be much easier to deal with."

Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged, Ch. III, "White Blackmail"

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