Notes for an Oration in Braintree Massachusetts (Spring 1772), via John Adams Web
A maxim is "a saying that is widely accepted on its own merits." (Princeton's WordNet) I'm inclined to think that John Adams was right, when it came to trusting any one person "with power to endanger the public liberty."
I'd extend it to include smallish groups of like-minded people. Even if they mean well.
It's Not Always the Other GuyWhat John Adams said could be applied to 'those people over there' easily enough.
For folks who are convinced that America can do no wrong and the United Nations can do no right, freedom "obviously" must be protected from those people over on the left.
For folks who are equally convinced that America can do no right and the United Nations can do no wrong, freedom "obviously" must be protected from those people over on the right.
An over-simplification of contemporary America's two major political philosophies? Certainly. The point is that threats to freedom are easier to see, when someone else is doing the threatening.
When it's someone you agree with, or who wants to "save the children," not so much.
A Mercifully Brief Retrospective: Five Decades of Freedom in AmericaWhile I was growing up, some folks passionately declared that 'those traitors' should be locked up. The 'traitors' in question didn't agree with America's policies of the day, and said so. In public.
That didn't sit well with some of the more intensely red-white-and-blue-blooded all-American folks of the day. They were convinced that people who didn't agree with them should be locked up, or at least 'go back where they came from.'
That was then.
Today, folks with another set of assumptions hold a significant number of positions in American government, media, and educational institutions. Just as their right-wing counterparts did, they're very concerned about freedom of expression.
As long as they agree with the ideas expressed.
Different words, same tune.
The Lemming will now step down off his soapbox, and get back to looking online for something of interest.
- "FCC, Internet, Rules, Technology, and Business"
(June 21, 2010)
- "Internet Freedom: 'What are the rules? Who decides?' "
(March 23, 2010)
- "Criticism is Terrorism: Chavez and Twitter Terrorists"
(February 1, 2010)
- "Net Neutrality, Comcast, the FCC, Censorship and Freedom"
(January 9, 2010)
- "It Can Happen Here: 'Hate Speech' and Censorship"
(January 12, 2008)
- "Censorware in Australia: It's not a Good Idea, It's the Law"
(January 9, 2008)
- "The Internet: USA Rules, UAE Rules"
(August 14, 2007)
- "Transparency: For the Right People, Apparently"
Another War-on-Terror Blog (July 22, 2010)
- "Cultural Chaos, Divisiveness, and CNN"
A Catholic Citizen in America (April 1, 2010)
- "Pro-Life Americans Declared Terrorists: It Can't Happen Here?"
A Catholic Citizen in America (July 6, 2009)