Monday, July 4, 2011

Jack Nicholson on "Individual Freedom"

Well, it is fast becoming a July 4th tradition over here at Dojo Rat to play this short scene with Jack Nicholson and Dennis Hopper in "Easy Rider"

I get so frustrated with "conservatives" that have no idea how much people have struggled to have the basic freedoms we experience today.
Sure, they wave the flag and cling to a U.S. Constitution that most of them do not understand and that is in direct conflict with contemporary "conservative" beliefs.

Progressives, or "liberals" if you will, fought against powerful financial institutions with private armies like The Pinkerton's to establish workplace safety regulations.
They ended child labor.
Gave us civil rights.
Women's rights.
The 40-hour work week.
Environmental protection.
Food safety inspection.
--The list goes on and on.

In the folklore of "conservative" mythology, they would do away with all this. They embrace the magical thinking of a non-existent "Free Market".

And as Nicholson says; they'll talk and talk about "individual freedom", but when they see a "free individual", it makes them Dangerous.


Sean C. Ledig said...

Testify Brother Rat!

I always gotta laugh when Repubs and most other conservatives talk about individual freedom.

They're the ones who hypocritically condemned President Clinton for evading the draft. I can't think of a greater intrusion on personal freedom, or a more illegal one under the Constitution's ban on involuntary servitude and protections of due process.

They're the ones who spy on anti-war groups, labor, environmental or civil rights groups in an attempt to chill free speech.

There's just as many anti-gun Repubs as Democrats despite the way the NRA tries to frame that debate. Look at George Will, Rudy Giuliani, George Pataki, Mitt Romney, Pete Wilson and then-governor Ronald Reagan! None of them were friends of RKBA.

And lastly, try to have a calm, sensible discussion about the futility of our drug war. It can't be done! No matter what facts you bring up, all they'll do is scream that you're a druggie.

Once again, thanks for a great post DR.

joeg said...

I am a conservative. I never condemned Clinton regarding the draft. Don't want to suppress anyone’s free speech. Believe in gun rights. Agree the "war on drugs" is a stupid counterproductive waste. Don't think the state should have any part in marriage gay or straight etc. I agree that progressives have had a very positive influence on the country for all the reasons you state. What I don't love and see on both sides is the tendency to group everyone together as some monolithic "other" / enemy. Do I agree with many of the current Presidents ideas / programs? No. Do I think he is evil and a closet socialist etc? No. All conservatives are not evil corporate shills. Some of them come from an honest place where they are concerned about the power of the state. They don't want to force anything on anyone... that's the point. They think that many of the progressive/ liberal programs of today give the state too much power and reduce freedom. The thing that bugs me is the assumption that the other side is evil or has some dark purpose. Can't they just be wrong or misinformed?

So most conservatives and republicans I know would never "do away with all this." They would agree with almost all the values you hold (maybe not approach). The majority would probably agree that the "Free Market" is not truly free (disagree on where to draw the lines of where the state interferes with the market but not that lines need to and do exist).

From my perspective the political spectrum is not so much a left to right straight line. It’s more of a circle. Both extreme right represented by anarchism (considers the state undesirable, unnecessary, and harmful, and instead promotes a stateless society) and extreme left represented by communism / communalism look pretty similar. In the same way most of the way left State run communism (Soviet Russian) and most of the way right Fascism (Nazi Germany) are both horrible abominations. So I guess my over-arching point is we are all just people looking for the right way to live in and run a society. I think your perspective on who conservatives and republicans are might be off. Agreed 20% of them are racist sexists etc. cold soulless capitalist evil mongers as 20% of progressives are secret communist statist and evil. You would probably find another 20% of each group would be great to have a beer with. 80% of the other side you are never going to agree on much as far as approach. But the majority of either side are just people who came to their beliefs honestly. Sorry for the way too long comment. Ultimately I think it’s more useful to take people and issues on a one by one basis. Thanks love the blog. (P.S. for my perspective Lao-tzu was a’s all perspective and how you define it I think)

Sean C. Ledig said...


You are that very, very rare exception of a conservative/libertarian who is consistent in his views. I'm well-aware people like you exist.

But it is my contention that you are the exception and very, very, far from the rule and I stand by my statement.

Dojo Rat said...


I can appreciate all your statements and point of view. As Sean said, you are becoming a rare breed.
How far have Michelle Bachman and Glen Beck come from the last great Republican, President Dwight Eisenhower?
I would say a very long, long way.

My hope is that the rage of the so called "Tea Party" will turn towards the true culprits of the crime of the century: Wall Street.