When I started this blog I said that I would not write about politics. I was just going to stay out of it and let others debate those issues. But then I read Giuliani’s comments in on freedom. Here is what he said as transcribed by the NY Times:
“We look upon authority too often and focus over and over again, for 30 or 40 or 50 years, as if there is something wrong with authority. We see only the oppressive side of authority. Maybe it comes out of our history and our background. What we don’t see is that freedom is not a concept in which people can do anything they want, be anything they can be. Freedom is about authority. Freedom is about the willingness of every single human being to cede to lawful authority a great deal of discretion about what you do.”
[ Interruption by someone in the audience. ]
“You have free speech so I can be heard.”
– Giuliani (March 20, 1994)
What kind of crap is this? I’m sorry, I did not realize that America is now a police state where opposing views are crushed and Bill of Rights has no relevance. I could have sworn I was still in the America that knows the true meaning of freedom. I am not saying that he does not have the freedom to say ignorant stuff like this; just that I don’t think this was the best way to get elected.
But I wonder what other people have said about freedom. Let’s look at some more quotes.
Here is another view on freedom:
“No amount of political freedom will satisfy the hungry masses.”
Oh wait, do I mean Lenin, one of the founding fathers of communism? Yup, that’s the one. I admit that this is a bit of a low blow on my part. But that is the thing about freedom of speech. I get to say this.
But that was a long time ago. What about recently? Who else talks about freedom = government authority in the modern world? How about the happy-go-lucky Chinese Communist Party (A.K.A. the leaders of the world’s largest authoritarian regime, oppressors of the Falun Gong and a real pain in the ass to demonstrators in Tiananmen Square.)
Lets look at how the Chinese Communist Parties view “freedom”:
Article 9 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states, “No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile.” – Okay, that doesn’t sound bad.
Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights states “(1) Everyone shall have the right to hold opinions without interference. (2) Everyone shall have the right to freedom of expression; this right shall include freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers, either orally, in writing or in print, in the form of art, or through any other media of his choice. (3) The exercise of the rights provided for in paragraph 2 of this article carries with it special duties and responsibilities. It may therefore be subject to certain restrictions, but these shall only be such as are provided by law and are necessary: (a) For respect of the rights or reputations of others; (b) For the protection of national security or of public order, or of public health or morals.” Uh oh, this is sounding more like the ‘authority’ speech.
Hey Giuliani, here is what American’s say about freedom…
Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed.
– Martin Luther King Jr
No man is entitled to the blessings of freedom unless he be vigilant in its preservation.
– Douglas Macarthur
What is freedom of expression? Without the freedom to offend, it ceases to exist
– Salman Rushdie
I am curious how Giuliani will respond to all this negative press. I would like ot offer a reponse that he can use (and I think will fit his ideology):
Freedom is never having to admit you were wrong.