Tag: Are We Free?

Hey! We’re Not That Free!


shutterstock_212683828In a post below, member Mike Rapkoch writes:

Both the criminal and the civil law are ultimately controlled by private citizens who sit on juries and adjudicate cases without coercion.

I take issue with this. It’s a nice fairy tale, but it is not the way our system works, at least not any more. It may be the design, but it is no longer the reality. Very few cases actually get to a jury, and that is by design of the government. According to Conrad Black:

Hey! We’re Still Free!


shutterstock_204614026Writing for National Review, Jonah Goldberg asks “who’s running the country?” His conclusion: nobody. And that’s a very good thing.

As I read the article, the thought occurred to me that not only is nobody running the country but that — to a very large extent — we are running ourselves. That is reassuring. In a world where many governments do run their countries and the private lives of their citizens, Americans still have overwhelming control over our personal affairs. That is: we are still very free.

A quick look around the world shows how little freedom is afforded the majority of human beings. In Iran, for example, anyone who dances to a silly little song risks a whipping. In Russia, homosexuals live in fear. As for China, res ipsa loquitor. Even Canada has criminalized vaguely-defined hate speech and — although one of the more opprobrious of those laws has been repealed — an amorphous criminal code provision still imposes the risk of prosecution and jail time on those who dare speak their minds in public.