Why does the rest of the world hate America? One answer I frequently hear is that they hate us because of our freedom. I don’t buy it. That’s our own delusional thinking at work. Many nations who dislike us to one degree or another actually enjoy more freedom than we do. The world hates us for our hypocrisy and our belief that we’re superior to everyone else. To put it bluntly, they hate America because we’re imperialistic, rude, uncultured, generally ignorant about the world, and painfully obnoxious. To put it more succinctly, they hate us because we’re assholes.
How can we boast about our freedom when the government has its nose in every aspect of our lives and the current administration has done everything it can to undermine the Constitution, curtail civil liberties, deny due process of law, and spy on its own citizens without warrants? Among nations in the so-called “free” world, we don’t even rank in the top 20 when it comes to personal freedoms. Our nation was founded on the concepts of individual rights and liberties but we have gone 180 degrees from what our founding fathers envisioned. We have become the very nation they warned us about.
I believe that most Americans actually fear real freedom. Think about it for a moment. As a nation, we have subjugated, repressed, or marginalized every society or movement with which we have come in contact that either practiced or advocated greater freedom than we had or exercised their freedom in ways that went against the grain. Throughout our history it has been “be like us or suffer the consequences.”
Why do Americans fear real freedom? Real freedom means deciding for yourself about what constitutes right and wrong, taking responsibility for your actions, and accepting the consequences for poor decisions and wrongful actions. Freedom often involves standing apart from the group and not conforming to society’s desires and expectations.
People generally don’t want to do those things because living free isn’t easy. But it is easy to let the government or some other authority make decisions on our behalf and either take the fall for them or find a convenient scapegoat should things go wrong. That isn’t freedom. It’s a recipe for tyranny and subjugation.
We have a plethora of options when it comes to trivial matters but very few real choices when the stakes are higher. I’d much rather have freedom of choice than freedom from choice.