- the mantra of modern power

In a society where it sometimes seems that we are offered nearly unlimited freedom, it often puzzles people when they discover that their freedom has suddenly been restricted in illogical and brutal ways.

Thus, mild mannered folk singers discover that their excruciatingly boring songs have been banned, people who make cogent legal arguments about the manner in which a protester was arrested get a quick squirt of pepper spray in the eyes, and people are surprised to discover that despite laws to the contrary, nearly every phone call and e-mail they have ever made has been monitored by unaccountable secret agencies.

Invariably, there is a hue and cry about the injustice and unconstitutionality of this latest atrocity, and a demand that natural human rights be respected. And invariably, a big fat silent raspberry is blown in the demander's direction.

Meanwhile, every conveivable variety of disgusting porn is freely available online, including variations that involve children and animals. People chit-chat openly about smoking and growing marijuana (an ostensibly illegal act). Grey bearded professors discuss the relative merits of classical Marxism and Bakuninian anarchism as tactics of revolutionary struggle. Swingers clubs, cocaine dealers, sadomasochist dungeons, NAMBLA, communists and anarchists go about meeting and doing their business quite freely.

The truth is, the people who really run society would quite happily use the Constitution to light their cigar. They only care about two things: profits and enough stability to ensure more of the same. They saw the way places like Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union went. Total disrespect for authority. Armed guerillas. Rampant theft and corruption. Renegade poet dissident intellectuals. And eventually, total collapse of the system followed.

The people who own the world today are determined to see that this sort of shit doesn't happen to them. You will have lots of freedom. You will write whatever goddamn silly ass poetry you want to, and nobody will listen. You can assure yourself as much as you want to that your constitutional freedom is protected by law. You can also break certain laws with near impunity to convince yourself you're a rebel. And most importantly, you can fuck anyone and anything in any damn way that pleases you. People get real hung up on that one.

You also have a freedom that has become a social duty. It is to buy as much stuff as you can possibly afford. No hoarding now kids, this is for the good of your country. Get a credit card and buy for Christmas! Anal dildos! DVD players with a complimentary selection of multiple camera angle Max Hardcore discs! Crack pipes and handblown glass bongs! The collected works of Karl Marx and Kropotkin! Buy revolution, buy sex, buy drugs, but don't forget to buy.

The reality is, freedom exists only so far as it shuts you up and convinces you to buy things. The moment your actions go beyond that, you are shut down, technically legal or not. Don't waste your breath talking about how America is a free country or how unconstitutional the DMCA is or whatever. If your desires fall within the invisible wall allotted you, they live and die happy. If not, then act silently. But don't expect your whining to be taken seriously in a society where you can do anything you want, as long as it's not important.