Aren’t we all fortunate to be living in a free country, a country where you can say, (pretty well), anything you like; a country where everyone is, (more or less), equal; a country where our leaders are democratically elected and responsible to us all for their actions, and a country that indulges in free trade with the rest of the world, to our advantage, (we hope).
We don’t suffer from a tyrannical leader, who can make any decisions he or she likes without any thought regarding benefit to us. Our food is of very high quality, fresh, and produced for the main part right here in Australia. Virtually every home has at least one car parked outside, a large-screen TV inside and all services on tap, (unless you decide to live in outback communities, too far from the sources for them to be available to you. But you decide to live there because of your own wishes and decisions, not because some tyrant sent you there!).
Apparently, we have more mobile phones in this country than there are people, which seems strange but is a fact, and of course we have an excellent police force to protect us and make sure we are safe.
It all sounds fantastic doesn’t it? Almost too good, some would say. The phrase ‘Nanny State’ springs to mind, because we are so protected, even when we don’t want or need to be, but I guess its better that way than the alternative!
One thing worries me a little, though – that word, ‘freedom’. Are we really as free as we think we are, or is it all an illusion, with things not being quite as they appear?
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We tend to forget, or rather we are discouraged from remembering, that there is a vast army of ‘gurus’ behind our government, men and women about whom we know little or nothing, the real people who set the policies for Australia. They are not elected, once in their jobs they are there for life, hidden from view, but pulling the strings of power; they are known collectively as ‘senior civil servants’, though the words ‘civil servant’ are somewhat oxymoronic. They may be civil, but they are far from being servants, a word in this context more suited to the politicians who are the public face of most of the rules and regulations handed down to us, but maybe not the creators.
The senior civil servants may be the most powerful, (without us being aware), but there are all sorts of other organisations whose main reason for existing is to have a degree of control over us, though they may try to make us think otherwise! There is the church, the unions, the major companies, the police, the military and the education system, just for starters.
You only have to look at what the military has done in some other countries, less fortunate than us, to see what can be done by any group which is organised and disciplined. And this, of course, brings us to the main reason why it is so easy for them to do whatever they want to do — we the public are not organised or disciplined, we are a rag-bag of individuals, just wanting to get on with our own private little lives, while the power groups want to control us, to their advantage.
“To their advantage”! That perhaps is the one weak link which might save us all — we can’t get ourselves organised, but they too have a major problem of their own. It is just as difficult for them to agree amongst themselves which is the right path to take at an organisational level, as it is for we individuals, so they perhaps spend more time squabbling amongst themselves than they do in organising us.
I suppose that is the silver lining we must all look and hope for, though at the end of the day I fear none of us will ever enjoy true freedom. The powers-that-be have even given it a bad name, to discourage us — they call it ‘anarchy’, and perhaps they are right, who is to say?
Do you think we are ‘as free as we think’? What do you have to say on this topic?