'Freedom Matters' is the title of this blog and before Christmas, 2008, there were so many things that raised questions about freedom that I didn't write about any of them. I was overwhelmed.
My list of topics read:
How did America become a country where torture is debated instead of outlawed?
Is the right to commit suicide a necessary freedom?
Is Christianity the most prescriptive religion?
Are current advances in technology, changes in the law or people's attitudes the most frightening and most threatening developments?
What does the virtual collapse of Western capitalism mean for personal and societal freedom?
Each one of these questions could almost justify a short book. I doubt very much if I can deal with all of them adequately.
But the great advantage of blogging (as against writing a book) is that comments are temporary, of their time - some of them may have permanent or long term validity but they are very much of the moment.
I want to start by considering three of the topics together with another great historical question. My headline summary will be rather long and very daunting:
Torture, the technology of repression, the collapse of capitalism and the re-invention of America under Barack Obama
Before I write about these issues, I need to listen to a lecture by a British human rights lawyer called Gareth Peirce who is speaking at the Institute of Psychology in London on the coming Friday (Jan 30th.)
She has a lot of worthwhile things to say about these huge and threatening questions and especially about how what has happened in America relates to Britain and British law.
Watch this space, what else can I say?