1950 - Super-Freedom - A Rant in need of pruning
By Blaise Bohrs, in prison
It might as well have been a blundering giant, its metal head moving well above the top of old growth trees as it blundered and crushed them, a post-war superpower that had inoculated itself against the risk inherent in its own liberating convictions to make the world free.
Free? What did it mean to be free? Free from want? Free from fear? Free to be Safe? What did it mean to be safe? Safe from what? From Communism? From Godlessness? From space-age cossacks with nuclear weapons?.
It did not know what it was blundering towards, but the vision was bright and right in an increasingly relativistic world and it thrashed to push back the shadows in the Nazi-liberated world like an elephant stumbling in a collapsing tent.
Freedom was not enough in a perilous world – it wanted Super-Freedom. Omni-Freedom. Not just a Declaration of Independence but an alliance of global freedoms, because you can't just define freedom as freedom from someone else anymore. It had to be a universal state of Nature. A formica-topped chrome-cornered world consuming hygenic products and controlling its populations. An enormous huge white cargo ship pulling into the harbor with a gunboat with 24” cannons at its side to chase off reactionaries.
The country's own people did not know what to make of the giant, because they did not understand Super-Freedom. They had not asked for it. They only wanted to be the USA. They only wanted to be liked, and maybe admired, but the people of the world shook fists at them, so they subtly shifted to NGOs. Skippy peanut butter in Somalia.
Why the confusion? They were a nation mostly removed by a generation or two from the farm or from Staten Island, mostly polite and hard-working and God-fearing. They had gone to war to save the world and then come back to their homes only to look out at a world that was mostly ungrateful. Why?
Was it the omnipresent Soviet propaganda? Was it because the touch of the Super-Free Super-Power deposed a democracy here, installed a dictator there, all to make the world safe? Safe for compelled markets and conglomerates?
You had to trust the unseen machinations of the grand design. The intelligentsia elided it but don’t worry about them. The intelligentsia are as tiresome as a sermon without God and twice as long. They do not care about the little people they defend, the starving faces.If they end up on the cover of National Geographic they’ll throw in a dime and run off $1000 worth of copy.
Any egghead at the library lectures “We are the clumsy giant. We homogenize to protect, we colonize to liberate, we subvert to enlighten, we lecture to discuss, we commodify to feed, we feed to indoctrinate, we lecture to learn. God how we lecture. Look to God's anointed West. But the rest of the world sees the haves living large at the expense of the have-nots, the haves acting like God blesses them because they are the new chosen people tasked with bringing light into the world.
Why don't they like us? Who gives a damn if we are liked. Why are we in Iraq or Kosovo or the Ukraine with rising prices at home and the one world power (?) blundering like a blind elephant in the jungle, smashing trees? What is Super-Freedom if it comes with paranoia and the world hating us? Why can't the touch of the superpower heal like Jesus did? Where is Jesus? Are we just a different kind of godlessness, a blind machine of market forces assimilating more and more people to produce and consume?
It blunders and it smashes trees. Someone told it “Go hunt for the holy grail” just to keep the naïve giant busy for a while. But now the giant can scour the globe. It wants to shine a light in every shadow that isn't Super-Free. Who needs a super-freedom and a super-Jesus when plain old freedom and Jesus were good enough? Go find them instead.