Friday, 7 March 2014

FREEDOM by Gordon Johnston for our Issue 13

We live in the heart of Western democracy and sit in judgement of failed communist states throughout the world, corrupt dictatorships, oppressive regimes and religious fundamentalists. We lament the lack of freedom enjoyed by their citizens, proud of the freedom enjoyed here, but how free are we really in Northern Ireland?


We can visit a local supermarket and buy a range of products from all over the world. We can buy fruit and vegetables out of season and if we can afford it the very best electronic goods that our hearts desire.


In terms of freedom, some of us face extreme personal debt amassed through credit cards, some may have bought items such as cars and furniture on credit and many of us have large mortgage debts. These financial pressures, all impact upon our freedom. We are not free to do or spend as we want with these debts hanging over us or there will be consequences. This restriction though has been brought about through our freedom to choose and as such is the consequence of our freedom.


In a similar vein some of us may have children or care for sick relatives. We are not free to do as we may wish in these circumstances but again we have actively chosen to pursue such a life and these are the responsibilities attached with such a life.


These are all distractions though from the true threat to our freedom.


None of us are truly free in Northern Ireland. We are oppressed and are treated to the illusion of freedom but the reality is that we are free-range slaves.


Who provides education in Northern Ireland? Who provides healthcare in Northern Ireland? Who resolves criminal action in Northern Ireland? Who provides pensions? Who provides payments to those looking for work or are too sick to work? The state provides all of this.


Who decides where or when we can build property? Who decides what employers can pay their staff? Who decides where the roads will go? Who decides where we can park our cars? Who decides that we need a license for a dog or television? The state in her oppressive wisdom robs us of all these freedoms.


We have no choice in paying for the privilege of this service and if we refuse to pay the taxation to fund this we will be imprisoned.


We don’t have any meaningful choice in provider of education. The uniform may be different but it is the same system. With all that I have mentioned it is the same story. The state apparatus does not tolerate competition. We can take what the state provides or we can do without.


How long would a private enterprise last with such an attitude? The only reason the state gets away with this is down to our compliance. We have forgotten that we do not need the state. We can exist in happiness without it. We can resist and defiantly reject intrusions of the state upon our lives. It is long past time we retook our freedom.

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