Letters to the Editor

Freedom questionable, wrong reasons mentioned
Re: “Are we as free as we think?” Feb. 12

When I started reading Adam Fowler’s article on freedom, I thought he was going to write a radical critique of the State. Instead, he turned to be another rightwinger looking for a limited government based on conservative Christian values. Where is the freedom in that?

I do agree with him that the government — the organization of the State — destroys freedom. It is a coercive and oppressive force founded and maintained on violence. The government invades our lives and tells us what to do.

Failure to comply with commands which may be contradictory to one’s beliefs and desires may result in severe punishment. Our hard-earned tax money is made under a corrupt system of monopolized production and consumption called capitalism. It is then spent on weapons and death in order to keep the interests of the state in tact.

Leaders are elected (selected) who protect only those interests: Self replication via expansion and the assurance that people remain cogs in the machine, workers and consumers pitted against each other. How can an elected “official” know what is best for you and your family anyway? Even a small portion of the population is set aside to police the rest of us. They look at us as potential criminals, and treat us as such. Peaceful protesters and kids who feed the homeless have all been arrested because they threaten the status quo.

Freedom is being able to live your life without oppressive forces: Government, hierarchy, patriarchy or religion. Freedom is not to slave away at some factory or business, working to live instead of living to work. Our system of production and consumption does not have to exist, and neither does the State. The State is but one form of society, not all societies’ inevitable zenith. There are literally tons of examples of stateless societies across space and time.

For 99.9 percent of our human history we lived without government. Living without government is not chaos — it is the beautiful, natural form of human society.

Mutual aid, voluntary cooperation and equal economic distribution is freedom. To cooperate, not compete, is freedom. To live in egalitarian, autonomous communities that cooperate with others is freedom.

Government, religion, hierarchy — these things bring war and oppression. Peace and freedom are inherent in their (nonviolent) destruction.

Anthony Schmidt is a junior majoring in anthropology.

Vote, if you want your voice to be heard

To any woman who feels that her opinions are never acknowledged or that men are overshadowing her contributions — think twice.

There are always ways to be heard in our country. One commonly overlooked method is voting. “My single vote does not count for anything” is just not an acceptable excuse in today’s feminized culture.

Women have the chance to express their opinions, and when doing so their political voice should not be ignored. There is nothing masculine about being familiar with what is happening in our ever-changing politically infused society. It would be ignorant not to inform yourself about the potential leader of the country you live in.

Ignorance does not equal bliss — it equals unnecessary war and economic overspending. The decisions made in the upcoming election are ones that could have potentially enormous effects not only for our generation of college students, but on our population of women.

Just how men fought for democracy and slaves fought for freedom, women fought for voting. Don’t pass up your opportunity to be heard!

Don’t forget: March 9 is the Democratic primary and Nov. 3 is Election Day.

Jessica Burns is a junior majoring in psychology.