The Corner

Bush Press Conference

Just a subversive thought: The President repeated his belief that the desire for freedom “is inscribed on every human heart.” (Or some such–I haven’t found a complete transcript yet.)

I don’t believe this myself. I have lived in an unfree country, and most of the people around me didn’t particularly mind the unfreedom in itself. A lot of them minded being poor, which was a pretty direct consequence of their particular style of unfreedom (Marxist-Leninist-Maoist). If ever someone comes up with an unfree social system that delivers material goods in abundance, though, we shall see a real, unambiguous test of the President’s proposition. Such systems have been imagined — by Aldous Huxley, for example . In the meantime, the administration is committed to its own test, in Iraq. Be interesting to see how it comes out.

John Derbyshire — Mr. Derbyshire is a former contributing editor of National Review.

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