19
Dec
11

Freedom from cognitive dissonance?

Eric Tragar points out a particular pattern of passive-aggressiveness that manifests whenever people try to latch onto “freedom” as a generic expression of wholesomeness rather than something rather more specific:

“There is no ultimate freedom, because your freedom ends at the freedom of other people,” [Essam Mukhtar, who was recently elected in northern Cairo] told me.  “And if I humiliate things that you respect, I violate your freedom.”  When I told Mukhtar about a video that a friend had sent me depicting Salafists calling for holy war against the Jews, he laughed and suddenly transformed into a civil libertarian.  “People are free to say what they want,” he said.  He proceeded to rant against Israel.

(Emphasis added.  Hat tip: Andrew Sullivan, who reads TNR so I don’t have to.)

Of course, this is nothing new.  Here’s Rudy Giuliani saying the same thing:

Freedom is about authority. Freedom is about the willingness of every single human being to cede to lawful authority a great deal of discretion about what you do.

[ Interruption by someone in the audience. ]

You have free speech so I can be heard.

And Sheriff Joe Arpaio:

“We don’t go after anybody. Actually, they go after me. They’re demonstrating in front of my building, calling me every kind of name. If you want to talk about civil-rights violations, what about that?”

Name-calling is a civil rights violation?  Okay then.

Freedom is not the absence of things you don’t like, guys.

(Previously.)

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