Sunday, April 26, 2009
People Gotta Be Free
A Romanian amateur radio operator named Francisc Grunberg (YO4PX) posted a fascinating article on the eHam.net website about how dictatorships around the world have prevented any amateur activity in their countries. Even if you have no interest in ham radio, I would highly recommend you read Francisc's words. They come from a man who was once denied not only the freedom to mess up TV sets with his radio set, but denied most other basic freedom we take for granted.
I hope everyone is aware that we are in the midst of a global revolution, fueled by technology and the ready availability of information. It will become more and more difficult for dictators to keep the people of their countries ignorant, in the dark, exposed to only their way of thinking, numbed by a constant barrage of propaganda.
China will be an interesting one to watch. Now, with the Internet, cellular technology, international travel and trade, and more...yes, including amateur radio...it will be impossible for that country's government to continue to deny its people knowledge and exposure to free, diverse opinion. And a knowledgeable populace will not remain oppressed for long. Even the people of North Korea and other Dark Ages countries will soon be informed to the point that they will no longer accept totalitarian rule.
Can there be too much information available? Is much of the information today biased or incorrect? Is there a danger when anyone can anonymously post complete blather and instantly have a worldwide audience? Certainly, but the freer the flow of opinion and knowledge, the more accurate and diverse it will become. Even wrong-headed opinions serve a good purpose if they encourage open and reasoned debate. The real danger is when only the government is allowed to have an opinion or decide what is and what isn't "accurate" news.
Though we fuss about the opinions posted in various forums like this forum, we should salute their willingness and ability to express them, just as we enjoy the freedom to try to convince them otherwise.
Thank you, Francisc, for the wonderful article. We are thrilled that you now have freedom to write it and post it...and talk about it on the airwaves...just the way every free man and woman should be able to.
And every man and woman should be free.
Don Keith N4KC