Yesterday, I wondered if the problem we’re now facing as far as our laws online are concerned relates to US cultural imperialism. I remember tweeting the following two tweets. First, this one:
I’m seriously falling in love with my perception of the advantages of the US Constitution. We have a lot to learn, I think.
Then, this one:
Problem with the US is that they export their freedoms, but not their rights. No wonder we get so darned confused.
And I think it’s true. As it slowly dawns on me that we in England – and when I say England all these times I do of course refer to English and Welsh legislation – really do not have too many cast-iron freedoms to speak freely, so I become more enamoured by the American way of enshrining such freedoms in a testable constitutional arrangement.
The truth of the matter, however, is that whilst we have become so very used to the US wanting to export us its mindset of liberty, it has been manifestly incapable of embedding elsewhere the rights I mention above – at least with any permanence, at least here in England. So we as citizens of foreign countries learn to yearn for the opportunities to participate more vociferously in our democracies – even as our own politicians and political institutions prefer far more for us to dutifully listen than engagedly participate in significant debate and public oversight.
Yes. This is one example where I would welcome – and I think so would you – the complete and utter consummation of a US cultural imperialism. If only they could send us, whole and complete, not only their goals but also the tools to achieve them – that is to say, not only the desire for liberty itself but also the rights which accompany its implementation – life would become so much less confusing than it currently is.
As it is, we’re really not sure if we’re in an American frame of fair comment and free speech or in an English (and Welsh) context where we must not only step on linguistic eggshells but must also self-censor ourselves with ever greater care.
A Liberty Conundrum if there ever was one.