Without a Doubt
October 23, 2004
By Bridget Gibson
The corporate revolution will collapse if we refuse to
buy what they are selling — their ideas, their version of history,
their wars, their weapons, their notion of inevitability. Remember
this: We be many and they be few. They need us more than we need
them. Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On
a quiet day, I can hear her breathing. Arundhati Roy
is the most precious gift we are given. Without life, we have no
opportunities to love, to learn, to explore, to share, to give,
to bring new life into this wondrous world, to begin and be and
end all of creation and it is within us all.
Every decision we make has ripples of effects upon everyone and
everything that we touch. When we choose to spend money, it makes
ripples within or without our communities. Every product we use
has to be made or bought or sold somewhere.
I question myself and my decisions all the time. I wonder if I
am leaving the world in better shape than I found it. I wonder if
I am putting another American citizen out of work and a family without
food or housing if I buy something that is not made in this country.
I try to find alternative products whenever possible – sometimes
it is not possible. There are so many things that we just don’t
make and sell here in America anymore.
Things that I cannot find become more numerous every year; shoes,
clothes, televisions, radios, toys. Even simple things, like tarps
to cover wood from the rain come from someplace else.. What I can
find are unemployed American workers. The latest count is eight
While we have been distracted by cheap and easy, we have forgotten
what it means to be free.
Free. What a bad word this has become. We know better. There is
nothing in this world that is free. Everything has a price and a
cost. We are being played like cheap fiddles by the nameless faceless
The worst part of this is that we all long to be free. But at the
same time, we truly don’t understand what “free” would really feel
like. Would it be “free” to never worry about how much money was
in our accounts? Would it be “free” to never have to work for someone
else? Would it be “free” to roam without worry of borders or boundaries?
Because we have come to associate “free” with cheap, our freedoms
are only a shiny bauble to be given away for some phantom baseless
“security” coded in yellow, orange and red. To watch our liberties
being willingly traded away for shiny baubles makes me angry.
We have been taught that America is the land of the free and the
home of the brave. What is this bravery? Is it facing our personal
demons without turning away? Is it answering to no one? Is it looking
death in the face and laughing? Is it donning a uniform and following
orders? The definitions are endless, but we try to live up to the
word, whoever we are.
Some wield “freedom” like a sword. They tell us that shadowy others
hate us for our freedoms, while under guise and guile they begin
removing them. Recently, an acquaintance told me that she had no
problem trading freedom and rights for security. By turning freedom
into a cheap and tawdry bauble, it becomes just something else to
throw away. When so many feel that freedom is cheap and easily surrendered,
we all become enslaved. Slaves to the rulers, whoever they may be.
Right now we still have an opportunity. We still can choose to
understand freedom and bravery. This may be our last chance to cast
our votes to claim our freedoms. This is our one voice for one person,
piece of paper, or computerized button-pushing moment. If there
is not a huge cry for true freedom and not for shiny baubles, then
the dominating autocratic unilateral rulership will remove the last
vestige of democracy. This is our opportunity to pass democracy
to our children and our children’s children.
We, the people, can make certain that our government is not taken
over and run in an authoritarian way by zealots and fanatics.
We need a change in Washington. With all our votes, hope is on