Bac sy Nguyen Le Hieu
Equality in the Land of Freedom
         Immigrants and especially refugees admitted to the U.S. enthusiastically enjoy their freedom in the new country, the land of freedom. With time, they realize that there is no absolute freedom. Freedom comes with restrictions. If there were no restrictions-and without considering the ethical factor- an individual who has more power than his neighbor, would, at one time or other, take advantage of the latter. Power comes in all forms and shapes: it can be physical or simply "muscles"; it can also be weapons, or money, or "social influence" or "moral and religious authority." Having bullied his "less powerful" neighbor, this individual may meet another neighbor who has more power than him; he would be bullied in his turn. The new neighbor then would meet another man of the block who has more power. The game would go on until the last one, the most powerful of all, becomes the Chief, the King, the Kaiser, the Great leader, in a word, the despot who destroys all freedoms; therefore, freedom must come with some restrictions.

         While the restriction cannot be nil, it can be total. This is the case in Greek democracies that were founded on slavery and sexism. It is said that if children, women, foreigners-called by Greeks, barbarians- and slaves were excluded, only one-sixth of the people living in the city-state participated in political affairs and made decisions for the whole population of the city-state. For women and slaves, restriction of freedom was then total.

        Please read the rest of the story in THE LANDS OF FREEDOM.
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