Make Mine Freedom

Darwin’s Progaganda Post has inspired me to post Make Mine Freedom, a cautionary tale from 1948 of what can happen when people exchange freedom for promises of endless government largesse.  Interesting now as a cultural artifact from the forties, I think it also makes fairly shrewd observations of how different segments of society can be quite willing to make a faustian bargain with government if the promises made by snakeoil salesmen running for office are grandiose enough.  Obviously anti-Communist and pro-capitalist propaganda it does tell one glaring truth:  the bigger the government the smaller the freedom over the long run.

15 Responses to Make Mine Freedom

  • It’s amusing that you believe in less government in the name of “freedom” (so do I) but that you also believe capitalism is the way to “freedom.”

  • Yep, Catholic Anarchist, I believe that without economic freedom all other freedoms are eventually endangered. I am continually amused by those on the Left who see no problem when the government controls the economy. The power of government combined with control of the economy is completely inimical to freedom as I think history amply demonstrates. Since you are an anarchist I am uncertain just what you believe in regard to economic control and government since I believe there is a broad spectrum of beliefs on that subject among the different schools of anarchists. Since you mix anarchy and Catholicism no doubt your beliefs on the subject are largely sui generis.

  • Michael I.,

    How are you enjoying the People’s Republic of Canada?

  • Who said “capitalism” is the way to freedom? I don’t recall ever seeing such an opinion.

  • Matt – Donald just expressed such an opinion.

    Donald – As an anarchist, I too am in favor of economic freedom. But in our tradition, capitalism is seen as the direct opposite of economic freedom, despite the claims of capitalists, the mythology that you fall for. Capitalism is not about economic freedom, but economic totalitarianism.

    Tito – Better watch it. Donald is all about deleting “off topic” comments. Although, of course, the rules do not apply to all commenters so I figure you’ll be allowed to get away with whatever your tiny little heart desires.

  • Michael,

    I approved the comment, but wish you’d lay off the snark. Donald may un-approve it as he wishes (and delete this comment if he does so).

    I’m interested in the idea that capitalism is the exact opposite of economic freedom. Is the idea that the absolute protection of individual rights tends to result in a high concentration of wealth in few hands, thus resulting in some sort of net loss of freedom?

  • Off topic?

    So Canada’s “Human Rights Commission” doesn’t limit freedom?

    Are under a gag order?

  • Tito,

    unquestionably.

  • Actually Catholic Anarchist I do not delete comments made by fellow contributors to this blog. Unlike you who is a guest here purely by my sufferance, they have as much right to the blog as I do.

    I would appreciate specific historical examples of the type of economic system you would replace capitalism with. I would also appreciate evidence as to the economic performance of the examples you cite. I hope your examples do not include some of what occurred in the Spanish Civil War as I know enough about that savage period in human history to be completely unconvinced by anything done by the anarchists during that blood-stained interlude. However, make your case as you wish.

    As to capitalism being in your phrase “economic totalitarianism” I would ask that you give specific examples as to how capitalism in this country is “economic totalitarianism”.

    This is your big chance Catholic Anarchist to make your point on one of my threads. Please don’t blow it by personal insults or off-topic wanderings.

  • Is the idea that the absolute protection of individual rights tends to result in a high concentration of wealth in few hands, thus resulting in some sort of net loss of freedom?

    Not “tends to,” but rather capitalism requires such concentrations of wealth. Absolute protection of “individual rights” is pure liberalism. I am interested in wholeness of community, which is a more Catholic approach to economic life, not economic totalitarianism under the ideological guise of “individual rights.”

    I would appreciate specific historical examples of the type of economic system you would replace capitalism with. I would also appreciate evidence as to the economic performance of the examples you cite.

    Why the hell would anyone be interested in using historical examples as models for economic life if one is serious about Christianity?

    As to capitalism being in your phrase “economic totalitarianism” I would ask that give specific examples as to how capitalism in this country is economic totalitarianism.

    Appalachian coal fields are a perfect example.

  • “Why the hell would anyone be interested in using historical examples as models for economic life if one is serious about Christianity?”

    I can therfore assume that you have none?

    “Appalachian coal fields are a perfect example.”

    Miners are today rounded up at gun point and forced into the mines? Measures are taken to prevent businesses from being formed on whatever basis of organization the creators wish to implement?

    Catholic Anarchist, all snarkiness on my part aside, I am giving you an opportunity here. Give me concrete examples from history of how your type of economic system would perform in the real world. How it would make people in general wealthier, and meet their material needs in a fashion superior to capitalism. It is not enough to critique a system Catholic Anarchist. Convince me and the people reading this thread that your way has been tried and been successful.

  • I can therfore (sic) assume that you have none?

    There are all kinds of examples, but I know that what you are looking for is some kind of alternative “system” that has succeeded. I cannot provide an example of the kind of “system” that would satisfy your requirements. Anything example that I would cite would not get you hot and bothered, so it’s useless to cite anything.

    Miners are today rounded up at gun point and forced into the mines?

    Not that I am aware of. But violence is routine, not only in the coal fields, but all over the world whenever anyone questions the capitalist order. Have you not been paying attention?

    Measures are taken to prevent businesses from being formed on whatever basis of organization the creators wish to implement?

    What does this even mean?

    Give me concrete examples from history of how your type of economic system would perform in the real world.

    I don’t have one “type” of economic system. I have the Gospel of the Kingdom which critiques any existing system. If only you would be willing to critique the status quo in light of the Gospel. But yours is a disembodied, “spiritualist” Gospel with no teeth. It’s an irrelevant “gospel,” and that is no Good News at all.

    It is not enough to critique a system Catholic Anarchist.

    Indeed!

    Convince me and the people reading this thread that your way has been tried and been successful.

    My “way” is an economy based on sharing, solidarity, true charity, egalitarianism, etc. as in the spirit and vision of the Catholic Worker. It has not been sufficiently tried. I doubt that it would be any less “successful” (whatever that even means to you) than any other system you might have in mind. In fact, I know that human beings will fall short of the Kingdom no matter what. But nevertheless, we must try to make a system in which it is easier for people to be good, as Day and Maurin taught us.

    What does a “successful” economic system look like in YOUR mind, anyway, Donnie?

  • “But violence is routine, not only in the coal fields, but all over the world whenever anyone questions the capitalist order. Have you not been paying attention?”

    I am well aware Catholic Anarchist of violence between labor and management on both sides in this country. I am also aware of courts where both labor and management can, and do, pursue various legal remedies after such violence. Not to mention the political arena where both sides can attempt to pass laws. We are not back in the days of Joe Hill.

    “Measures are taken to prevent businesses from being formed on whatever basis of organization the creators wish to implement?

    What does this even mean?”

    One of the glories of our system Catholic Anarchist. You want to start a business along anarchist lines? Go right ahead. I have known businesses operating along every form of management devised by man. Unless your form of economics depends upon government coercion, you can put your money down with others and show us how anarchy can work in an enterprise. You are free to do so.

    “It’s an irrelevant “gospel,” and that is no Good News at all.”

    Your key problem Catholic Anarchist is that you confuse your politics with the Gospels. Christianity does not fit into any neat political or economic box. Many Jews sought a militant Messiah at the time of Christ to lead them against Rome. Jesus resolutely refused to oblige them. Jesus condemned greed but he refused to act as Judge between individuals squabbling over an estate. 2000 years of Christian history refute your notion that true Christianity is limited to your ideological predilections.

  • “Donnie”? I didn’t know we are kin Catholic Anarchist! At my office my secretaries know when a relative of mine is calling from my hometown since they are the only people that call me Donnie! Call me what you will “cousin” Catholic Anarchist!

    A successful economic system is one which produces the greatest prosperity for the greatest number of people. Hands down that is capitalism under a system of law that can enforce contracts. I do not rely on theory for this statement. I rely simply on the historical record. If someone can demonstrate to me a system that performs better, I will alter my opinion. I make no claim that capitalism is a perfect system, merely the least imperfect of all the economic systems that have been attempted on this globe.

  • Make mine freedom, too Donnie! [kiss]

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