( – promoted by buhdydharma )
(Editors Note: This essay contains strong opinions that might not be suitable for those under the mental age of 13)
Unless you were one of the thousands tortured or killed, unless you were one of those who has teh gay and were denied your civil rights, unless you were jailed under the Patriot Act, unless you were one of those….ok, it’s a long list…I’ll start again…
ONE of the greatest damages done under the iron fist of The Bush Reign Of Terror….was the repression of thought. Specifically the repression of Right of Free Thought. The Right to be Rebellious. Not just to express rebellion, but through the insidious forces of social pressure, to even, within the confines of your own head, THINK freely, let alone rebelliously.
The Right of Free Speech barely survived, even as an endangered and protected species. The blogs did much to keep that alive. On life support. With only a few visitors during supervised visits and only during visiting hours. It was much curtailed and assaulted, but you could, if you were willing to suffer the slings, arrows, and shocked gasps accompanied by raised and disapproving eyebrows still…sorta….SAY what you thought.
But you had to think about what you thought first. And therein lies the problem.
We were….and still are, forced to self-censor. Which is far, far worse than some Authority censoring you. Self-censorship kills the human spirit. Self-censorship is a form of suicide.
“What are you rebelling against Johnny?”
Self-censorship is a function of social pressure, the desire not to be shunned In the Bush years…..we were “at war.” According to Obama’s speech yesterday, apparently we still are. In wartime, we are encouraged to all make sacrifices to ensure that we win the war and that we prevent damage to our troops. One of those sacrifices is self-censorship. Self-censorship as part of the war effort, a temporary sacrifice, for the ‘duration.’
But this “war” has no duration.
So how long are we supposed to self-censor for?
For what duration are we supposed to commit the mental and spiritual suicide that come with policing our own thoughts? And having them policed under the social strictures that were, like so many other conditions, imposed during the Bush Years, the Years of Darkness.
There is no law on the books, no stated policy, no overt or specific penalty. But the condition persists.
America was founded by rebels. It is the Mutant Strain of rebellion that has always advanced humanity. It is the dreamers that allow us to reach the stars.
When will it be safe to think again?
Well, come to think of it, it never has been…and it probably never will be. Perhaps the best we can hope for, us rebels, is to merely not be punished quite so severely, and shunned quite so assiduously when we dare to think. And when we dare to speak those thoughts aloud, and when we dare to accept the consequences for speaking those thoughts however harsh the consequences may be….and perhaps that is the only way to make it just a little bit safer.
One thought at a time. One act of intellectual bravery at a time. One expansion of the dominant paradigm at a time, through daring to think.
Come to think of it, it has always been thus. And there have always been cycles of repression and the explosions that follow as those repressions have been thrown off.
Perhaps….that pendulum has reversed direction again?