Freedom, n. Exemption from the stress of authority in a beggarly half dozen of restraint's infinite multitude of methods. A political condition that every nation supposes itself to enjoy in virtual monopoly. Liberty. The distinction between freedom and liberty is not accurately known; naturalists have never been able to find a living specimen of either.
Freedom, as every schoolboy knows,
Once shrieked as Kosciusko fell; [*]
On every wind, indeed, that blows
I hear her yell.
She screams whenever monarchs meet,
And parliaments as well,
To bind the chains about her feet
And toll her knell.
And when the sovereign people cast
The votes they cannot spell,
Upon the pestilential blast
Her clamors swell.
For all to whom the power's given
To sway or to compel,
Among themselves apportion Heaven
And give her Hell.
* [Ed. note: Kosciuszko, Thaddeus [1746-1817]: American revolutionary.]
Ambrose Bierce [1842-1914] was an American newspaper columnist, satirist, essayist, short-story writer, and novelist. A friend of Mark Twain and H.L. Mencken, Bierce vanished mysteriously during the Mexican Civil War.
Ambrose Bierce, The Cynic's Word Book (New York: Doubleday, 1906), p. 45. Republished as The Devil's Dictionary (New York: Dover, 1958). The Devil's Dictionary is in the public domain and can be read in its entirety on the Web at The Berkeley Digital Library SunSITE.
This Week's Internal Links
Un-American, Fly-Shit Melody - by Gilles d'Aymery
Le Déserteur (The Deserter) - by Boris Vian
This War Is a Fraud - by Stephen Gowans
Decentralized Intelligence - by Michael W. Stowell
Depleted Uranium or Depleted Conscience? - by Jeff Lindemyer
When Did The Lies Begin? - by Milo Clark
We May Have Waited Too Long - by Deck Deckert
A Power Game Made in Serbia - by Mile N. Tankosic
Support Christ and Your Local Library - by Matthew J. Barry