Attila the Pun
Monday, May 30, 2005
Freedom isn't free

Hilary Burden has penned a fluff piece on Tom Cruise's recent embarassing performance on Oprah. So of course this is the opening paragraph:

IN THE mouths of Condoleezza Rice and George Bush, the word freedom has taken on a bad taste. Using it as justification to invade countries and lecture undemocratic regimes, they have succeeded in turning freedom into a threat, as if to say, "You will be free only if you live by our rules and follow our example."

Is there some sort of style guide at the SMH that requires you to slip a George Bush reference in? But the best part is that she is actually criticising Bush and Rice for using freedom as a justification for lecturing "undemocratic regimes". What other justification should we use to lecture North Korea etc? Bad architecture and inability to design a decent motor car are universal traits among dictatorships, but I would have thought the lack of essential freedoms allowed their populace would be a much better place to start.

This standardised, centrally controlled, big brother version of freedom seems to advance that only an American sense of freedom is the right one, that US freedom is good, and anything that threatens it is bad.

"Standardised freedom" Is she referring to a relativist notion of freedom now? So we shouldn't lecture Cuba's government, because they are "free" to vote for Fidel only, and they might be happy like that?

The rest of the piece isn't worth reading.

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