Tuesday, February 01, 2005

We don't need no... freedom?

Can someone American please tell me why the rebellious teenage youth in the land of freedom and opportunity don't actually want their freedom? This article has left me thoroughly gob-smacked (and I usually have an answer to most things). Has the culture of fear now entirely replaced the culture of freedom?


Cruella said...

Well this gets me on to a whole 'nother topic: democracy itself. Personally while I accept there's not much likelihood of it going out of fashion, I also fear that low educational standards and dumbed-down media could lead to a system where Rupert Murdock/random media tycoon chooses the government.

We know full well that people do not always vote in their own interestd. In fact in the US in general the poor vote for less welfare and the rich for more! In history there have been women who voted against equal rights and black people who voted for segregation.

Seems to me that what's happening in the US is a culture of fear being built up by the media, leaving the public at a disadvantage when it comes to deciding what is best for themselves.

Personally I don't believe they did elect GWB this time around either. But anyhow some people must have voted for him. Voting against your own interest could be construed as stupid, true, but equally its a common symptom of oppression. The victims of oppression merit our support, even if they may not realise that they need it.

Cruella said...

this could be arranged... [maniacal laughter]

Lesley Plum said...

Fortunately the high school students polled cannot freely amend our Constitution via the democratic process. Actually, even we adults cannot do so as individuals. Amending the Constitution is a rather tricky process which requires 2/3 of state legislatures voting in favor of the amendment. It is, therefore, unlikely, that 33% of high school students could have such a profound effect on our Constitution.

I should also like to point out, in our defense, that said high school students aren't even old enough to vote at all. It's rather unsurprising that high school students are more likely than adults to believe that unpopular opinions should be banned from expression, as high school students place a far greater value on conformity than adults. As we get older, being just like everyone else loses some of its appeal. Although these students will be old enough to vote in a couple of years, I would expect that as they mature, their views will mature as well. I shudder now at some of the things I believed when I was 18.