Saturday, February 17, 2007

Overpopulation and human freedom

VERY good article over at Casaubon's book, well worth a read (and it's so good I've added the author to my blogroll). Extract:

"What the bathroom metaphor actually does is equate "freedom" with "no limits" - it says that freedom and dignity are constructs of privelege and lack of constraint. That is, you have the perfect freedom of the bathroom when you never have to wait, or accomodate anyone else, adapt to or respect anyone else's needs. But that is *not* what freedom is - and I think this is an important point, because our consumer culture tells us over and over again that freedom is the ability to have whatever you want, whenever you want it. Freedom is "freedom of choice" and that is the equivalent of 63 choices of soda on the grocery store aisle, rather than the freedom from want, or freedom from repression - freedoms that only work when other people are aware of and attentive to others. Freedom, according to Dick Cheney, is the American way of life being "non-negotiable" rather than an egalitarian, shared and just life that extends beyond the borders of America. The bathroom example perpetuates the "freedom is choice" notion - that being free means never having to say, "excuse me."

I think that's truly and deeply wrong, and if we think this way about the population issue, we are perpetuating our most foolish habits of thought."

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