The existential conflict in all societies stems from the natural urge of individuals to be free, as the
ruling factions seek to limit citizen choices and their inborn drive. The rationale that governments have a legitimate
function and role to regulate and enforce civic conduct, so that public order can be maintained, is the universal axiom used
for justifying the State. If there is an organic purpose to maintain a civil order, does it automatically follow that
the desired formula for compliance rests within the mechanisms established by government? The posing of this question
and familiar popular reaction reflects the intense discomfort most individuals have dealing with innate essentials.
The mere fact that people ignore and resist answering this question is a choice. It is impossible
to avoid the consequences of denial, since the forces of order are all based upon the goal of curtailing freedom. Peace
and security are desirable instinctive aspirations; however, they are not normal. When government leaders promise peace
they base their pledge upon the need for the population to surrender and acquiesce to official policy. The security
these officials propose is the safety of their regime. The absence of benefit for the individual is the result of the
faulty supposition that the government and the citizen share in the same security.
Is it possible for both the ruling powers and ordinary citizens to attain simultaneous peace and security?
In theory maybe, but in concrete transactions almost never. Recently George W. Bush paraphrased Camus. The president stated: "Albert Camus said that 'Freedom is a long-distance race,
we're in that race for the duration and there is reason for optimism."
The idea that freedom is generated by government action denies that free will is an exclusive attribute
of individual humans. All governments are in the business of curtailing the degree and the range of areas where people
are allowed to exert choice. If the pretense that public policy can create political freedom, why is the entire world
enslaved in a culture of elitism that prescribes a global sequence of acceptable conduct? Peace in this environment
is indistinguishable with obedience. How can effective political freedom coexist when the presumption requires that
expected conflict must be purged.
The entire Camus thought was: "I didn't know that freedom is not a reward or a decoration that is celebrated
with Champagne. Nor yet a gift, a box of dainties designed to make you lick your chops. Oh, no! It's a choice, on
the contrary and a long-distance race, quite solitary and very exhausting. No Champagne. No friends raising their
glasses as they look at you affectionately. Alone in a forbidding room, alone in the prisoner's box before the judges, and
alone to decide in face of oneself or in the face of others' judgment. At the end of all freedom is a court sentence; that's
why freedom is too heavy to bear, especially when you're down with a fever, or are distressed, or love nobody."
A careful reading of Camus certainly illustrates that the two men could not be Champagne further apart.
Bush wants you to believe that the mission for democratization of the world is a quest for freedom. Bush's preventive
society has all the bipartisan judges resolve to subdue each threat to the order, while sentencing every rebel as a terrorist.
The quiet solitary of the opposition is rewarded with a term of incarceration. This and every other administration fervently
defines "FREEDOM" as an entitlement of the State. Note that little is ever said about preserving domestic civil liberties.
Orwellian newspeak is the rhetoric of choice because suppressing personal freedom is the only long distance race that government
The existential dilemma is evident. Yet, the apologists for supporting despotic government policies
rush to pledge their allegiance as a duty. Those enablers committed to acceptance, compensation and subsidy wear the
symbolic badge on their dress. They want and reckon they will be secure by abiding by the rules. Furthermore,
they envision their self-esteem as an obedient servant and fear the smallest notion of internal dissent. Allowing such
thinking to cross their minds would be unpatriotic. The meaning of such jingoism escapes the consciousness of the dependent
crowd, all in the pursuit of marching in the Bush marathon for his favorite freedom charity.
Camus understood the absurdity of such artificial operations. Extending faux pas global commitments
while destroying the substance of our national heritage is the end result of running in this race into oblivion. Peace
for the global community means the freedom to manage the villains within a humanity of serfs. Conferring the legal status
of freeman upon the villain is akin to recruiting a naïve youth into the mercenary military of empire. At what cost
does our own land need to pay to export freeing the rest of the world?
Only the disillusioned would deduce that our society has achieved political freedom when the ranks of discontent
swell as the plight of our country sinks into the pit of despair. The facts demonstrate that the national condition
deteriorates year after year. But Bush and company, their loyal opposition and all the rest of the masters of political
propaganda, moralize on their rightful position to decree freedom upon their staunch servants. Loyalty to the government
earns crumbs. This must be the meaning of - reason for optimism - that Bush cites as Camus lite!
Exercising your intuitive self-determination to establish your own political freedom is a curse indeed,
in the era of benevolent altruism. Bearing the responsibility to defy the freedom pretenders would surely be an offense
against the state. But would it be a crime against humanity? As it was written so will you be punished, that's
the promise of state security for a world at peace.
That final analysis, which was so popular over forty years ago, taught that errors in political
policies have momentous consequences. Today the public has even less acumen but far greater absolution for their government.
Skepticism is in short supply and constructive cynicism virtually absent. The freedom to resist the dishonesty is essential,
while the freedom to accept the treachery is the popular viewpoint. All freedom is not equal, especially when false
loyalties leads to and requires the destruction of civic wisdom. Peace is too high a price to pay for the absence of
responsible individual freedom. And security of the state is a blight against all civilization. Camus stood for
quiet solitary of the individual, while the clones for world democracy demand controlled compliance of the masses.
Tolerance does not include submission to despotic government. Since you have the freedom, use it or
lose it! Your rights are not defined by the whims of a living civil law. The race for the duration means
continuous conflict between the ruled and the rulers. Your personal security requires no peace, your freedom necessitates
your opposition to the State. Read and study the entire record before you choose, then you can pop the cork and drink
SARTRE - May 24, 2005