Down with Freedom!

Down with Liberty

Francisco Goya’s The Third of May, 1808: The Execution of the Defenders of Madrid

Today’s defenders of enslavement

The enlightened monarchy of Charles IV came to an end when Napoleon’s armies invaded Spain in 1808. The brutal incursion included mass executions of 5000 Madrid civilians revolting against the invading Napoleonic French army. The Spanish declined their liberation. Luis Bunuel includes this scene in The Phantom of Liberty, where the dying Spanish utter, “Vivan las caenas,” an idiomatic pronunciation of “Vivan las cadenas,”—Long live chains. Today, some in the Middle East want to pay with their blood and to shed blood in order to defend Mohammed’s legacy from what they see as the the lie of freedom. Bunuel might have said (only half seriously) that what the Muslims are asking us to give up is EVERYTHING and NOTHING at all—that freedom of speech and thought are only phantoms. After all, in the West, we have become robots of our desires a la Brave New World, our freedoms making us perhaps as enslaved in our own way as the Muslims. Still, I’d take a government ruled by the debauched Howard Stern over Sharia law any day.


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