Boilerplate and sounding brass

Carl Simpson wrote to me:

Even if one takes seriously the Sharansky/Gelertner/Bush ideal that universal democracy will solve all of the world’s problems, how do they account for the basic totalitarianism of various EU states (where you can be arrested for criticizing Islam, or homosexuality, and where political parties are simply outlawed by judges for “racism” and “intolerance”) or that of our esteemed trading partner China? What do these people really mean when they use terms like “freedom”, and “liberty”? I somehow don’t believe it’s the same thing that Washington, Adams, and the American founders meant.

I replied:

That is such an important point and I don’t make it often enough. Is today’s Britain FREE?

So Boilerplate’s rhetoric is false in two respects.

Number one, we are not really “spreading freedom.” We’re hunkered down in TWO countries and will be there for years.

Number two, the very countries that are supposedly the models of freedom are profoundly unfree in key respects and are rapidly becoming more so.

I can’t stand that tinny, empty, arrogant rhetoric.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at January 20, 2005 02:00 PM | Send

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