From the Berlin Wall to Tiananmin Square, from Tunisia to Egypt, Bahrain to Yemen, Somalia to Saudi Arabia, freedom is on the march! Or is it? From Libya to Zimbabwe, Iraq to Afghanistan, Tibet to North Korea, freedom is being crushed. What lessons should we take from this mixed-bag of results in the growing worldwide struggle for freedom? The first lesson is that violence is not the most effective way to advance the cause of freedom. The second is that success in forcing a change in political leaders does not necessarily lead to political freedom. And the third is that political liberation must be followed by economic freedom.
The political changes in Egypt and Tunisia are being brought about primarily by peaceful means, with relatively little bloodshed. Changes in Iraq and Afghanistan, and now Libya, are being pursued violently. But whether accomplished peacefully or violently there is no guarantee that political changes will represent an improvement. And even when it can be said that tyranny has been replaced by some form of government that can reasonably be described as democratic, there will still be no real freedom without the replacement of the tyrannical economic system called capitalism. The most lastingly successful social transformation can best be accomplished by a strategy of peaceful resistance rather than violent confrontation and by the development of an alternative economy rather than the sabotaging of the existing system. These are themes we intend to pursue in the weeks and months ahead.
In today’s selection of (r)evolutionary music, Garth Brooks spreads optimism with “We Shall Be Free”