23 June 2009

On being fortunate

Watching events unfold in Iran, I feel very fortunate to live in a country where this fight was already fought and won generations ago. Those very basic freedoms which Iranians are still denied, and are now fighting and dying for, were won for us here in the US in 1776 and in 1861-1865.

Yes, there have been further battles for freedom to be fought, and there still are. There was the struggle to give women the vote, the struggle to win black Americans the same rights and freedoms as other Americans, the struggle to abolish military conscription, the struggle to win and keep the fundamental right to abortion, the struggle to keep our right to own guns, the struggle to end the persecution of homosexuals, and the seemingly-endless fight to stop our herds of religious crackpots from rolling back progress and imposing their medieval taboos by force of law. Over time these contests have been moving in the right direction, and I feel more confident about the future given the way the internet has decentralized control over the flow of information.

But the important point is, I live in a country where I can take a stand on any of those things without worrying about getting shot or tortured. The basic framework of an open society exists here. That basic framework is what the Iranians are fighting to get for themselves.

Iran holds another lesson as well. What would our society look like if the Christian Right ever did succeed in rolling back all our gains in personal and political freedom, and America's essential character as a secular and pluralistic society, and imposed its own totalitarian vision? It's hard to imagine -- but the regime which has ruled Iran for the last thirty years gives us a pretty good idea.

2 Comments:

Blogger vamp said...

You said: What would our society look like if the Christian Right ever did succeed in rolling back all our gains in personal and political freedom, and America's essential character as a secular and pluralistic society, and imposed its own totalitarian vision?

I literally got a shiver down my spine at that thought. Please almighty finworm, save us from this plight.

23 June, 2009 23:06  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Luckily the likelihood is, I think, pretty remote -- but we must be eternally vigilant. As Iran shows, getting back freedom after you've lost it is far more costly than keeping it in the first place.

24 June, 2009 08:19  

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