We value our freedom in the West. In many ways this so-called freedom is what makes the West – the West. We’ve gotten comfortable being passive about the strings that control us, the rules that run our lives, the armies that keep us contained within our borders, the stigma and trauma that makes us obedient to our masters. We know we are not totally free, but we say to ourselves over and over that we are OK with these stipulations if it means we can have some choice in our daily lives. Some choices. But so many choices and selections are off limits to so many people and yet available to others. Education, careers, healthcare, housing, movement. We tolerate it, sort of. It creates a division amongst us.
The people who live in the West don’t like to think of themselves as weak, especially those who live with a selected amount of choice and the wheedling of freedom to have it. These people like to think they’re wise and worldly and empowered by an image of human emancipation they have been led to believe the world owes unto itself. An image they owe themselves to foster. Through all the famines, wars and illnesses that have devastated entire nations and civilisations, we in the West believe this image is the best course for human survival. One world united. A free world – without fear of persecution, where everyone is tolerant and kind, where we take care of each other from every angle, where being different is allowed and OK. This hope keeps us subdued. It keeps us under control. It keeps us working. It keeps us looking towards those who manage our strings, boundaries and armies for our next moves – lest we destroy the image. Lest we realise the human race shouldn’t survive and all is lost.
So we agree with the physical, emotional and mental boundaries. We think it’s for the greater good. But the greater good, we know, or think, is the ideal of the people who live in the confines of the West. It is not, however, the ideal of those who run the West. We think the powers that be will get over their addiction to power one day. We think one day they will wake up and do what is good for all of humankind rather than for themselves. And we don’t want to believe that it may never happen. We are giving up some choices so that all of us may one day live in freedom and unity, right? That’s the promise, right?
We know we are not truly free, but we fear what true freedom may mean. It terrifies us because we fear ourselves because we know absolute power corrupts. We’ve seen it throughout history. We see it today. We know without putting limits on ourselves we are liable to forget our conscience. We’ll forget our neighbour. We’ll forget what has happened in the past. We’ll forget compassion. Or is this what we’ve been led to believe? Have we been so systematically manipulated that we think being controlled is a matter of safety for humanity, rather than what it really is – a continuation of division amongst us? If the world of civilisation were to revert to the age before such levels of organisation, will we become savages once again? Or will be discover we are truly the savages now?
Every age of man has seen difficult and contemptuous times because we can think for ourselves and repudiate control. We have love and goodness inside us, despite what foul conceptions emerge. Where once our leaders sat in the seat of power and made decisions based on what was best for everyone, no matter what would be better for themselves alone, we now have leaders who make decision based on how to keep the divisions, keep us working and keep us believing we are free.
There is a lot of good in the world, far more good, joy and love than darkness, threats and malevolence. Because people are more often good if they are given the choice. They are more often violent when they don’t feel free.