When certainty becomes uncertain…
If there is one word which needs to be taken down a notch in today’s political discourse it is the word “free”. When a word begins to mean too many different things it becomes useless and a pretext for hiding intent. Under the banner of “freedom” we have everything from the noble struggle for freedom of slaves in America to the modern neo-liberal agenda of free trade – the latter less than noble and arguably a movement in the opposite direction, enslaving millions.
“Free” means different things to different people, it’s actually a relative word. There is no absolute freedom: we all have to eat and sleep and stay warm and dry and cannot escape these basic limitations and needs. Most of us feel we have duties to others, our families, our society which we choose not to escape. The idea that this or that political system will make us “truly free” is very dubious: what free trade really delivers to many people is freedom from basic human dignity, freedom from food, freedom from good things which they need. Read more of this post
Exciting times we live in! When I was interested in theology it was really difficult, even in Church, to find anyone else to discuss it with. I had to hunt out atheists or other weirdos in obscure newsgroups and pique them with my ideas. But now that my gaze has shifted to things that actually matter and are real – power (money/politics), people (care/social justice) and planet (ecology/sustainability) – it’s heartening to find that that these topics really are things (some) people like to discuss.
It’s a pleasure to be able to listen to and read about these issues in most newspapers and news podcasts. It’s as if the whole Zeitgeist has changed from self-fulfillment and consumerism to the Bigger Issues. A different wind is blowing where many people are no longer looking up to the rich as “successful” but rather critiquing their greed and demanding they pay their share. Read more of this post