Friday, July 11, 2008

WTF: "Freedom isn't free"

Some jackass I was behind yesterday had a bumpersticker that had the above saying on it, one that I am sure anyone living in the United States has heard more than too much. Clearly, it is a retarded catch-phrase used by facists, nationalists, and FOX News lovers. Of course, I am not really certain what "freedom" is, as it should be quite obvious to any slightly intelligent being that "freedom" is a difficult concept to understand, and extremely vacuous (conceptually, that is, but not rhetorically with regard to propaganda) when placed within the context of contemporary culture and propogated by mass media outlets. But, I really enjoy the below discuss of "freedom" with regards to Spinoza. It makes more sense than the imbeciles on FOX News.

From a conversation between Antonio Negri and Cesare Casarino, entitled "It's a Powerful Life: A Conversation on Contemporary Philosophy":

AN: The point is that, inasmuch as it is death, the limit is not creative. The limit is creative to the extent to which you have been able to overcome it qua death: the limit is creative because you have overcome death.

CC: Yes, and the creativity--indeed, the productivity--that derives from having overcome this limit is the creativity of absolute freedom in the Spinozian sense. This is, in fact, one way of understanding what Spinoza means when he says that one must free oneself from the fear of death and that nobody is more free, more powerful, and more dangerous than somebody who no longer fears death: in Spinoza, absence of the fear of death is at once absolute freedom and untrammeled productivity, namely, the expression of the most creative potentials, the zenith of creativity.

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