The Land of the Free…

Americans pride ourselves as living in “The land of the free and the home of the brave.” But are we really free?

Many of us are slaves to our jobs and can’t really make end meet. Others are slaves to alcohol, drugs and food. But we all want peace and security.

Meanwhile, the rich are getting richer and they expect to receive tremendous tax breaks from the current administration. The divide between the rich and the poor is growing faster than the national debt.

So if we are so-called “free,” what is the next step now that we have obtained our freedom?

The Road Not Taken

The Road Not Taken, Photo © by Jerome Freedman

I have been contemplating this question for several weeks now – ever since I began studying the rise and fall of the Roman Empire. I found the position of slaves in Rome to be a vital part of their economy – just like the factory and farm workers in our Western economy. When a large group of slaves revolted against their masters, they experienced a taste of freedom for a period of time and then they were massacred by the Roman army.

The answer I came up with last week was that we now seek equality – social equality, racial equality, financial equality – equality in every sense of the word. This kind of equality could be provided by a resource based economy as designed and discussed by Jacques Fresco – now over 100 years old – and the Venus Project

Then, I read this by Matthieu Ricard:

You start with freedom from thirst, hunger, disease, the basic freedoms that the state has to help its citizens achieve. Then you go beyond that to social freedom, from discrimination, inequality, from crime, and lawlessness, and insecurity, which the state also has to provide. Then ultimately you find further up the ladder political freedom, the freedom from authority and tyranny. And then Buddhism brings you even past that, to seek freedom from internal bondage.
Matthieu Ricard, “Bhutan on the Brink

So Matthieu has taken my contemplation to the next step: “freedom from internal bondage.” Instead of campaigning for social justice, economic justice, climate justice, political justice and the like, shouldn’t we be envisioning equality and a resource based economy? I believe this is all possible.

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