14 Days of Freedom: Day 9

Well, as you are all aware, it is Buyshitmas Jesus-wasn't-born-todaymas Christmas. Seeing as it's pretty much the most commercialised holiday of the year, maybe you weren't expecting a post at all, or you were expecting one about greed is good, or something like that.

Good for me that I'm not a particularly predictable person, then! You see, the message I take away from Christmas isn't the one about our Lord and Saviour being born today (atheist, so no chance of that one), or about how presents are everything (I'm an anti-capitalist, you seriously think I'd be cheering for such consumerism?), but about how we really should be spreading peace and goodwill to everyone, even though we never do because it's too much effort and because peace and goodwill are intangible things that you can't actually buy so therefore few are going to bother with them...

...And how am I going to link peace and goodwill to freedom? Peace is more than just the absence of war; goodwill is more than just being amicable. To me, peace and goodwill are about learning to put differences aside and working together for the same goal.

This is something I go on about a lot, and I still think it's relevant to a discussion of freedom - or achieving freedom - because none of us live in truly free societies. We have differing degrees of freedom, yes, but even in the West we're not as free as some would like to think. It's worth trying to change that.

And, of course, a lot of people do want to change that, hence the existence of protesters. The thing is, there's a ridiculous amount of infighting, and it makes us all weaker. You cannot fight effectively when you're divided. It's one of the oldest ones in the book.

Ideological purity is not as important as sitting down and talking things out. Whether others are so-called enemies or not is not as important as sitting down and talking things out. Pretty much nothing is more important than sitting down, talking things out, and working together, because that's how things get done, not by trying to prove the superiority of one branch of a political philosophy over that of another branch of a political philosophy. That never does work, incidentally.

If you want a free society, work together for it. Sit down and talk. Put your differences aside for a bit. That goes for everyone. No, it's not easy, yes, having one's teeth pulled without anaesthetic is quite possibly less painful than trying to hammer out a solution. All the same, it's bloody important and bloody worthy of doing.