The Corner


Then Again, Maybe ‘Freedom!’ Really Is an Anti-Government Slogan

Demonstrators clash during protests in Havana, Cuba, July 11, 2021. (Stringer/Reuters)

Quite a few folks on the right side of the political spectrum are objecting to this tweet and characterization from the New York Times:

First, the rallying cry “Freedom!” is definitely an anti–current-Cuban-government slogan, although the term anti-regime slogan would probably be more accurate. The protesting Cubans aren’t anarchists, opposed to any government at all. They’re opposed to this particular government, because it is oppressive and abusive and cannot even deliver basic services anymore.

Second . . . just about every government on earth takes steps that restrict the freedom of its citizens. Sometimes those steps are minor, sometimes those steps are significant. Very few government officials wish to maximize the freedom of the citizens they govern. Most want to restrict those freedoms in one form of another through bans, regulations, taxation, asset seizures, or criminalization of previously normal behavior — in the name of the greater good, or combating problems in society, or public health, or some abstract notions of building a better society. The cry of “Freedom!” is a demand that the government stop telling the governed what to do — which can be reasonably characterized as an anti-government slogan.

Third, if the staff of the New York Times collectively sees freedom as an inherently anti-government concept . . . isn’t it good that they’re telling us directly?


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