The Republican Party’s Idea of Freedom

Stephen Gaskin once said something along the lines of, “When the Republicans talk about freedom, what they’re talking about is the freedom to loot the ship.” He said that shortly after Reagan became president, and it stayed in my mind. I return to it over and over as I see, after nearly thirty years of damage, just how accurate his description was.

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4 Responses to “The Republican Party’s Idea of Freedom”

  1. JDM Says:

    “Looting the ship” is clearly not a talent limited to the Republican party. The Democrats are, in many ways, one-upping the Republicans in this regard.

    And the Democrats are no angels with regards to personal freedoms, either. Like forcing people to purchase health insurance.

    • markbittner Says:

      The ship being looted is the planet. The Republican Party is openly devoted to the concept of an individual exploiting the world in any way he sees fit under the guise of “private property rights.” The Democrats aren’t even in the ballpark when it comes to that game. And while I don’t like the idea of being forced to buy health insurance, the situation has become completely convoluted by the American fear of socialism. I want socialized medicine. If we had it, there would be no issue of being forced to buy anything. Medical care is a right for everybody; it’s not a privilege reserved for those who spend their lives looting the ship.

  2. JDM Says:

    Thanks for your reply, Mark. I’m not sure, however, that the Republicans are all that devoted in practice on the subject of individual private property rights. Regardless, the world has seen (and continues to witness) numerous examples of other political systems (which have little or no regard for private property rights) that have a worse record of looting (and polluting) the planet. The former Soviet Union, the former Eastern Bloc, communist China, etc. have done significant damage to the ecology. Looting the planet may be more a general human trait than the result of one particular political ideology.

    • markbittner Says:

      Marxism collapsed for the same reason Capitalism is heading for collapse: It was a materialist system. Materialist systems, whether they stress collectivism or individual freedom, always fail because they encourage (or do nothing to discourage) egotism, which is the real problem. The only way we’re going to be able to save our hides is by moving beyond the name-brand religions—all of them—and looking within to find the true spirit, which doesn’t have a name. At the moment, it doesn’t look like we’re going to do that. But events sometimes transpire in such a way that we’re forced into making sudden, radical changes. It’s about the only hope we have left.

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