What Can We Do Once We Lose Our Freedom?

We started gmail and we surrendered the final shred of privacy. We used the net and opened ourselves to every hacker, most of them those we elected. We read of the twin towers and were alarmed; we saw the beheadings and were rattled. Those we elected rattle us often and hard and by reflex and in all sincerity and – as in the case of asylum seekers – in the sincere anxiety that we might unelect them. Once thoroughly rattled we allowed our governments to suspend habeas corpus. We are each of us now, all citizens, all merely Mohammad Hanifs, awaiting the knock on the door of our terror police.

Terror has triumphed. As it usually does. Terror wins when we pay heed – as we need to; it wins when we panic – as we need not.

So what can we do once we lose our freedoms?

I saw an odd movie a score or more years ago in which an Orwellian change had occurred and citizens were forbidden to own books. Books were collected and burned. Publishers were taken away for re-education. The Good Book says: ‘Of making books there is no end.’ But this was an end.

A few resisted, silently abandoning the cities, coming together to meet in the forest. Here each escapee became a talking book. One became ‘War and Peace’, another recited ‘Animal Farm’. Those whose mental muscles were less hypertrophied recited ‘Ozymandias’, or ‘Waiting for the Barbarians’, or the Twenty-third Psalm. All these texts threatened the regime that murdered thought. All reciters risked death but inherited life.

Back here in my real life. I resolve to read poetry every day. I’ll rescue myself and succour others.

7 thoughts on “What Can We Do Once We Lose Our Freedom?

  1. My favourite scene from any movie ever seen! Fahrenheit 451. Inspiring book too. The image of those people walking in the forest in pairs – one reciting a book to the other so they too can learn it. Yep, we need to be the story tellers so that no-one will forget.

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  2. Actually, Friends of mine are quite capable speakers, and story tellers! they were here before writing instruments were discovered!! they are Aboriginal ! xxx

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    • Hilary

      I wrote hyperbolically, in frustration at the quiet and supine way in which our free countries surrender our freedoms in some brainless attempt to protect ourselves

      I do believe the threats are real- at least some are

      I am also certain we are being rattled by our elected rulers and our spoes and our police

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  3. Wanna see my pics from Himalayas? Back home and all¹s well Love Lionel

    From: howardgoldenberg Reply-To: howardgoldenberg Date: Friday, 17 October 2014 8:40 am To: Lionel Lubitz Subject: [New post] What Can We Do Once We Lose Our Freedom?

    WordPress.com howardgoldenberg posted: “We started gmail and we surrendered the final shred of privacy. We used the net and opened ourselves to every hacker, most of them those we elected. We read of the twin towers and were alarmed; we saw the beheadings and were rattled. Those we elected ratt”

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