The Four Freedoms

(2 pm. – promoted by ek hornbeck)

The United States of America, the greatest country the world has ever known.

I heard that alot growing up.

Accolades for American greatness came from politicians, foreign statesmen, artists and writers, journalists, Hollywood, my teachers. It could be heard in the crashing of generational waves of immigrants onto our shores, all wanting to become Americans. Hell, even my own kin folk broke down in sentiment on a 4th of July or two.

America’s secret to greatness was no secret: we were the land of the free. We were free and we celebrated and touted it, exported it and, we told ourselves and the rest of the world: this freedom is enduring.

Freedom defined who we were and it justified how we lived… the big ideas, the free markets, the hippies and Hollywood, helping our neighbors worldwide in times of crisis… we were great, rich, and generous.

In remembrance of our freedom and its stamp on the the American character, I give you two great Americans,  Franklin Roosevelt and Norman Rockwell …


excerpt from Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s speech to Congress, 6 January 1941

… and illustrated by the great Norman Rockwell

Freedom of SpeechIn the future days which we seek to make secure,

we look forward to a world founded upon

four essential human freedoms.

The first is freedom of speech and expression

everywhere in the world.

Freedom to WorshipThe second is freedom of every person to worship God in his own way — everywhere in the world.

Freedom from WantThe third is freedom from want, which, translated into world terms, means economic understandings which will secure to every nation a healthy peacetime life for its inhabitants — everywhere in the world.

Freedom from FearThe fourth is freedom from fear, which, translated into world terms, means a world-wide reduction of armaments to such a point and in such a thorough fashion that no nation will be in a position to commit an act of physical aggression against any neighbor — anywhere in the world.

That is no vision of a distant millennium. It is a definite basis for a kind of world attainable in our own time and generation. That kind of world is the very antithesis of the so-called “new order” of tyranny which the dictators seek to create with the crash of a bomb.

cross posted at Daily Kos

As it turns out, freedom from fear may be the most compelling of the four. It is a mature idea, well beyond a doctrine of safety. In my analysis, it is the courage to put ones self in harms way, whether on a battlefield or in a protest march. It is a freedom from fear that enables us to stand against systems threatening our freedom, culture, home, and country.

Strikingly ironic then that our politicians are bloody brilliant in usurping our freedom with fear. Despite the fact that most of our political hacks haven’t a clue about economics, they tend to be expert at portraying hallmarks of our free society, like due process or privacy, as stumbling blocks to safety and convincing us, instead, that  FISA, the Military Commissions Act, and expansion of executive power will inDEED keep us free safe.

Yep. Promising to keep us safe somehow softens the slaughter of our freedom.

Okay, now we have all these dead uber terrorist bad guys bin Laden, Gaddafi, Kim Jong, and Saddam Hussein, which begs at least one LARGE question: do I still have to take my shoes off in order to board an airplane? With so many bad guys and regimes falling, is it really necessary to glorify a decade-long string of bad policy with the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA)?

But hey: We have free markets and free trade and bigger houses and tons of technology. So what if we’ve imprisoned our social nature and made ideals, like truth, seem irrelevant and useless.

Is it that we humans are not equipped biologically to manage the level of complexity we’ve designed in our lives? Surely, we’re all drowning in ill conceived layers of tangled and completely mangled global networks.

Not to mention: most of us just don’t do consequences.

Yet… as Carl Sagan said… we are the stuff of which stars are made… so perhaps the violence and beauty in the ever-moving universe is what we mimic.

Yes. We are violent, horrible, random, brilliant, beautiful and, I believe, unaware of ourselves as a continuum of a chaotic cosmic process.

We have tumbled out of the universe onto this little itty bitty planet, creating ourselves as we go. The question to unravel, I suppose is who are “we” now and what the fuck are “we” going to do… now…

Economic power seems fundamental to mediating and moderating forces… thus it would seem logical to revive regional economies and small business as first steps to help restore equilibrium.

Downsize our ideas about what an economy should do: like ever-expanding growth on in a finite environment just won’t work.

School boards, town boards, zoning boards… that’s where I think the real work and rewards are. Establishing local and regional platforms of power and influence to push back against the insanity of the few who have lost touch with, well, the bigger picture.

You are in your jet-you don’t have a grip on reality. We can lose touch with reality quite easily.

Karl Lagerfield

We’ve got people in charge of this tiny globe who’ve lost touch with reality. Writing to them, e-mailing them, calling them in Washington or elsewhere isn’t gonna suddenly wake them up.

Changing our lifestyles, buying habits, living leaner & smaller won’t wake up those out-of-touch either… but maybe we’ll wake up to something more sustainable, sane, and stable that we ordinary folk can negotiate around the globe.


Skip to comment form

    • pfiore8 on December 20, 2011 at 18:12

    hope everyone is doing well.

    • pfiore8 on December 21, 2011 at 00:07

    how are you?

    • BobbyK on December 21, 2011 at 20:21

    for work. I had a couple hours to kill so I took a walk around the 1982 Worlds Fair park in town.  

    Somewhere on an SD chip buried on my desk are pictures of a monument there.  Each of the 4 sides had 1 of those 4 freedoms engraved in them.  If I can find the photos later I’ll add them to the thread.

  1. I was born here, raised here, lived 55 years here save for one in Germany and now find myself occupying space here rather than “being” an american.

    There is no freedom only the myth of it.  No real intelligence, creative thought, business metric systems save those the controlling sociopaths give you via 2 corporations that control, no socially engineer the cheap plastic non-culture.

    I loathe lamestream media.  I have dismissed many of America’s “great” moments by entertaining the possibilities/profit margins of private bankers doing both world wars and 911 on top of destroying rational enviornmental reform.  

    I find myself saying Seig Heil often these days in reference to the neuvo american Fourth Reich.

  2. away in reverse order from how they were conceived.

    The fourth, freedom from fear, is pretty-much gone already. The ‘government’s’ 21st century message is “Be afraid, be very afraid” (especially since the ‘war on terror’ schtick was hatched).

    Next will be the third, the freedom from want. They are already diverting Social Security tax-revenue away from the program with the ‘payroll-tax holiday’. When SS bites the dust, the charitable organizations (especially religious) will take over the safety-net responsibility (yea right). Which leads us to the next freedom-theft.

    The second, the freedom of every person to worship God in his own way. Since religious/charitable organization will assume the responsibility of the deceased safety-net (yea right), you won’t get shit from them until you convert to their religion (just like the Dark Age soup lines). Then any liberal they haven’t starved (or converted)-out will be snuffed-out when they take the next freedom.

    The first, freedom of speech. Any thorn-in-the-side of the imperial establishment won’t be able to say shit out loud or their political views will be considered sorcery, evil and of-the devil, which will give the establishment the political cover to burn them at the stake (or whatever would be the ‘in’ form of execution in the future).

    Yep, that’s what it looks like to me, the four freedoms being took down in reverse order from how FDR (who they hate more than anybody) conceived them.  

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