Another plot or scheme which needs to be foiled and yet another logical fallacy which needs to be dispelled is the conflation of democracy with freedom. In many cases, and in reality, democracy and freedom end up being two different things in terms of both action and practice. As the American professor Marvin Simkin said: “Democracy is not freedom. Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to eat for lunch. Freedom comes from the recognition of certain rights which may not be taken, not even by a 99% vote.”
How one interprets the part about “two wolves and a lamb voting on what to eat for lunch” is up to anyone to decide. However, the part about freedom being tied to the protection and recognition of certain economic, political, and social rights cannot be ignored or overlooked. Freedom is not an imagined utopia that can never be realized. As Theodor Adorno said: “If people want to persuade us that the conditional nature of man sets limits to utopia, that is simply untrue. The possibility of a completely unshackled reality remains valid.”
In a sense, freedom means not having to work slavishly and then blindly pay taxes so that David Petraeus and others can go overseas and foster the horrific environment by which wolves and predators can loot ancient artwork and artifacts from Iraq and other places. Freedom can also be realized once there is a realization that rather than being just a consumer or producer, a human being is simply a human being. As Max Horkheimer said: “Freedom is not the freedom to accumulate, but the fact that I have no need to accumulate.” With technology, the time is ripe to ensure freedom from both “work and war.” But as Horkheimer wrote, the obstacle to freedom is the supposed proponent of freedom itself:
“Nowadays we have enough by way of productive forces; it is obvious that we could supply the entire world with goods and could then attempt to abolish work as a necessity for human beings. In this situation it is mankind’s dream that we should do away with both work and war. The only drawback is that the Americans will say that if we do so, we shall arm our enemies.”
Moreover, the United States’ Supreme Court is demonstrating to the world in recent days that there can be “democracy” without economic, political, and social freedoms and rights. In light of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision regarding abortion rights, it is worth noting that sexual taboos and control over a woman’s body are actually bourgeoisie and elitist mores and norms carried over from feudal times and into modern times, and these feudal mores and norms regarding sexuality and the approach towards a woman’s body is now manifesting in a decision rendered by America’s Supreme Court.
One of the main definitions of the word “marriage” is “control and possession of another’s sexual attributes.” Thus, sexual freedom and control over one’s own body is a non-bourgeoisie and non-elitist condition and is thus opposed to the bourgeoisie and elitist condition that has carried over from feudal times through culture and religion. It just so happens that the preservation of freedom and reform are contingent upon being “ruthlessly critical” of both civilization and the state. And for one’s criticism to be effective and persuasive, one must take on an anthropological and interdisciplinary approach towards criticism and persuasion lest the criticism appears nefarious or even subversive.