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Freedom Isn’t Free

I often think about the actions of how we treat one another. From the simple laughs on TMZ.com to the killings of innocent people in war, the human being is constantly joyed by another persons sorrow.

Adam Curtis’ “The Trap” is a realistic documentary that makes you think about how we as human beings betray one other on a day to day basis. And while we embed trust in each other through friends, family or common acquaintances we in fact learn from “The Trap” that there are preconceived motives in almost everything we do.

The saying “Freedom Isn’t Free” kept coming to mind as I was watching this film. The reason I chose to compare and contrast this saying is because ones freedom is always reliant on laws and individuals that merit what we do and don’t do. I believe what we are told though government and theory often manipulate to underlying meanings that are out of our control. Thus, after we are told one thing, most likely something else always happens. This brings a sensible argument to how we have fallen into this false sense of freedom or “trap”. A sense that has led to the rise of social inequality, the endless attempts to establish democracy in the middle east, and the war on terror in Britain, Europe and America.

I was intrigued by  Nash’s, “Fuck You Buddy” approach and how it easily relates in any situation. Though this film focus primarily on the betrayal of government and politics this approach is seen in everyday activity. After I watched this film, I realized much how much of savages we really are.  While some may disagree, it is evident that someone is always out to get you whether it be your government, your best friend or your credit card company. And in many instances, you are left without a choice. Consequently, a choice that limits your state of freedom i.e. Freedom Isn’t Free.

It goes on to how the rhetoric of freedom has been used by revolutionaries to justify violence, by the neo-cons to justify “shock therapy” in Eastern Europe and more recently in Iraq, with horrific consequences. To easily relate this film to today, we can look at the most recent red alert in Britain and how this affects the world hence the term, “global fear”. Global fear being how we as individuals create scarcity in one isolated region and it’s effect on the world. I am currently in Los Angeles for the weekend and just yesterday did I notice that upon leaving JFK I was put through a second security check at the gate right before boarding my flight. I would go in depth further on ones persons control over another however I have a feeling I can bring this up in a posting another time.

Finally this is one of the most thought-provoking and intelligent films of recent times. How the world would be so different if only we thought through things before acting upon what we “actually do”.

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  1. agmichaels 01:30, Jan 25th, 10


    Freedom costs $1.05?

    Sorry, Jeremy, couldn’t help myself. In the phrase “freedom isn’t free,” I can’t help but hear the way it’s been deployed since 9/11 as justification for all sorts of misdeeds, as both you and The Trap have mentioned. If we break down the phrase, is it just effective rhetoric, or is there some truth to it? Do you think there is–or does The Trap suggest–a way to achieve and sustain freedom without cost? Or is ‘freedom’ impossible if you want to live in society, since there has to be some sort of check on humanity’s cruel side?

  2. jeremywineberg 15:32, Jan 25th, 10

    In context to Freedom Isn’t Free, I am analyzing the word free. How one defines free differs from one another. But no, one can’t sustain or achieve freedom without a cost.

  3. ElzbthMllr 15:57, Jan 25th, 10

    I agree with the first part of your post about the inherent nature of human beings as selfish, and think that this film clearly makes the case for why this is true. The part about this that concerns me, is the extent to which decisions that reflect this kind of selfishness are rational. This, as you suggest, inherently limits the freedoms of individuals. But the issue that I’d be interested in exploring more is the extent to which this kind of freedom on limitations plays out in the real world. For example, do people choose careers for financial gain or do people who get married do so for reasons that may not be romantically motivated? Is there something specific to American culture as it is being created today that is perhaps different from other cultures that makes this a uniquely American phenomenon? I also think it would be helpful for a bit more of an in-depth conversation about what the definition of freedom is. Is it merely freedom of choice?