It’s funny – I wanted to write a blog post about creativity & freedom, and then the surveillance scandal leaked through. Rather than ranting about it, I want to show you the importance of (creative) freedom and how easily it can, and WILL be taken away from you.
Let me make this claim :
Freedom is essential for creativity.
In order to create anything innovative, you must have the opportunity to express yourself
freely in every way. You must be permitted to form unpopular views, be wrong, and swim against the stream.
If you don’t have that ability, you will never create something new.
And with freedom, it’s a black and white issue. You can’t have just a little bit of freedom.
You either have food or poison. A food with a little bit of poison is still poison, and it will sicken you, and eventually lead to your demise. Game over, baby.
As soon as your government limits your freedom of privacy, it’s turning against you.
The idea of spying on your people in the name of security is the first step to oppression,
paving the way to a society of dystopian state control.
I cringe at that thought because I know this path all too well – looking back at my parents who fled from East Germany because of government oppression.
Quick reminder :
When Germany lost WWII and the Allies split the country in territories, the shit hit the fan.
The Sowjet-controlled east part of Germany quickly turned into a police state with a government
enslaving its citizens, all in the name of security.
Spying on its people, monitoring every action, claiming :
“Everything we do is for your own good,”
Turns out it wasn’t.
What happened :
Establishing laws that limited your liberty, forcing you to follow their ideas.
And when people were fed up and escaped in masses ?
Build a wall, keep everyone imprisoned and shoot anyone who tries to flee.
It didn’t happen in one day, it took years.
And it started with surveillance :
“If you’re not doing anything wrong, you have nothing to worry about.”
That’s bullshit with capital B.
Why ? Because it’s vague wording open to endless contortion.
What exactly is ‘doing wrong’ in the government’s point of view ?
We think of grave actions like stealing, rape or murder. But any seemingly harmless
action can be deemed as crime by the officials.
Just a few examples :
Chewing bubble gum is illegal in Singapore, because of the way some people dispose of.
So, if you get caught chewing gum, you’ll get tagged as a criminal.
You either pay a fine or go to prison.
Selling traditional light bulbs in the European Union is considered a crime.
Why ? Because the officials in Brussel claim it’s not eco-friendly, and must therefore be taken care of.
They force countries to comply, whether they agree or not.
I can’t wait for the headlines : Criminal sentenced to prison for selling light bulbs !
What about freedom of speech ?
Is it considered a crime to criticize your government ? Expressing your critical views openly ?
In countries like China, it is a crime.
It’s considered an act against state security.
A potential “threat” that must be taken care of.
The result ? Prison or worse.
“If you aren’t doing anything wrong, you have nothing to fear!” therefore doesn’t apply.
When people can get imprisoned in Europe and Asia for selling light bulbs and chewing bubblegum, it’s fair to say that anything, literally ANYTHING can be considered a crime in the eyes of the government.
Hence, the minute you’re under government surveillance you’re guilty unless proven innocent.
Criticize the government in a mail ? Guilty. Supporting a country that your government dislikes ? Guilty.
Talking about chewing gum in Singapore and selling light bulbs in Europe ? Guilty, guilty, guilty.
It will happen step by step, one restriction at a time. Light bulbs, chewing gum come first. And then ?
Restrictions to buy this, restrictions to say that.
Before you know it, you get forced to walk down a path that leads to slavery.
And a world without freedom is a world without art.
It’s happening in Asia. It’s happening in the EU. It’s happening in the US.
And only by raising attention and doing your art without compromise will you fight for your freedom.
Like I said, with freedom it’s a black and white issue. It’s precious and it’s essential for creativity.
A nation without freedom like Russia or China doesn’t innovate, because you need
creativity to innovate, and creativity stems from freedom.
The freedom to do what you want, whenever and wherever you want to do it,
as long as you’re not harming someone else.
Share this message if you want it to spread.