Day 7 of my Boycott of TSA and the Airlines

The struggle for individual rights is as universal and global as they come.  The issues and the impact are enormous in scope, but the conversations remain mostly small and divided:  blue-red, corporatist-activist, local-global, Christian-Muslim.  Freedom is a driving force in our natures; we intrinsically have, many of us, learned that one person is not “more equal” than another and therefore more deserving of being free.

The cost of freedom is vigilance.  We’ve been distracted in this country and now they’re stealing our freedom.  And why wouldn’t they?  Power is very seductive, another driving force inside us.  Plus, they have new toys and they want to use them.  All the new toys we pay for while they tell us sad stories of budget cuts, crisis and new taxes.

We are in Resource Wars all over the world.  We are for the most part comfortable and educated and we’re fighting for the resources of other countries.  “In our interest” is somehow an acceptable reason to kill other people.  This means we consider ourselves “more equal”.  I don’t think we do and I’m seeing potential all around that I’m not alone.

We all know deep down that freedom and safety are not mutually exclusive.  We know that given the choice most people would choose freedom and safety over just about anything else.  The two Rands had at the very bottom line a similar way this might be achieved:  appeal to one’s rational self-interest.  Only for Ayn, as a person, ethics were an obvious part of the conversation, and for the Rand corporation, as a corporation, it did not need to consider ethics at all before advising our government.

The Randies, how I call the Libertarians and followers of Ayn Rand’s theories, have a mini-victory in that Atlas Shrugged has experienced an astounding revival, especially among young smart people.  Her “predictions” are coming true, they say!

But as all theories her ideas and experiences are easily distorted by subjective speculation.  That’s ok.  If you understand nothing else about Ayn Rand, understand this:  She would have said, That’s ok!  It’s good if you dissent, get engaged, debate.  For society to thrive the individual must be more important than the state and so it’s very important to have informed citizens who feel free to debate, to criticize the government, especially publicly, and to be able to hold them accountable for criminal activity.  She was not about “greed is good” as her critics espouse -she was highly intelligent, she did realize that a society of greedy people would not function for long.

No theory is perfect, no individual is perfect and we’ll never have a perfect society.  What’s the bare minimum needed to bring us together to have safe discussions about civics and government’s role in our lives?  The knowing that we will not be persecuted for that.  The knowing that our beliefs will not single us out for different treatment, lesser treatment, than other individuals or groups.

There’s hope out there in new Civics education classes, in scores of NGOs working toward thousands of worthy causes and citizens supporting those, giving them money and time.  Many adults do self-development work, and continuing education, and yoga and such and they seem inclined to muse a little bit longer about what is Right Action.  With so much dissent coming at us these days it would be nice if someone could just turn it off, right?

In this case imperfect action is more appropriate.  We need numbers.  We need loud, famous, infamous, unknown whiners of every shape and size to take action.  Some action.  Any non-violent action to start a public discussion about the Patriot Act.  I million revolutions from OUR bed.

Woody Harrelson hosts a remarkable discussion in the documentary Ethos.

We don’t need to agree on everything to agree on ONE thing:  something is rotting in our house!  If we all start really sniffing around we’re bound to find it.

Another bitchy-chick:

And sarcastic dude:

Great works getting attention:

National Interest:  People’s Campaign for the Constitution

Global Interest:  The Power to Create a Better World!

Follow this blog for the next 17 days and really consider if all this Terrorist Watching is making you feel any safer.

If you think there might be something rotting in OUR House that needs our attention, simply in the comments section write:

Not in my House!