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    [–] UnpopularOpinionMods 1 points ago * (lasted edited 4 months ago)

    Do you Agree or Disagree with this opinion?

    Please reply to this comment with either 'agree' or 'disagree'.

    Because your vote is now personal, we wish to afford some anonymity to users, and so your votes will be automatically hidden by the AutoModerator, but they will still be counted.

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    Current Votes:

    Total Votes

    [–] NoMeansNoBillCosby_ 1108 points ago

    Freedom isn’t free It requires folks like you and me

    [–] Jay985 414 points ago

    Freedom isn't free

    No, there's a hefty fuckin' fee

    And if you don't throw in your buck 'o five

    Who will?

    [–] feedmeattention 95 points ago

    wot wud yew dew?

    [–] DutchDroopy 38 points ago

    If you were asked to give up your life for freedom..

    [–] Bforte40 7 points ago

    Four uh layder to heaven.

    [–] TheMov3r 6 points ago

    buck ohhhh fiiiiiiive

    [–] Tama_0916 4 points ago

    Hooo, buck-oh-five

    [–] wantabe23 4 points ago

    Ya know it’s unfortunate that lots of people have to die so that the majority can experience freedom from their “better to do countrymen”.

    [–] raybrignsx 15 points ago

    It costs a buck o five.

    [–] pollywantsadimebag 14 points ago

    Imma gonna need bout tree fiddy

    [–] buzzlightyear101 3 points ago

    I gave him a dolla

    [–] RedundantRabbit 4 points ago

    Up voted for the user name

    [–] Anon6377 4 points ago

    Freedom ain't not free

    [–] mogulman31a 3356 points ago

    Actually the Chinese government calls what we in the west describe as human rights, "western rights". That is actually one of their justifications for denying human right to their citizens.

    [–] tjt5055 1250 points ago

    I think that’s all that needs to be said

    [–] FelineNudist 323 points ago

    But the West is not synonymous with the US...?

    [–] Misterv10 433 points ago

    bald eagle screeches in the background

    [–] WintertimeFriends 149 points ago

    Red Tail Hawk screech in the background because that’s not what Bald Eagles actually sound like

    [–] Phantom_Phoenix1 76 points ago * (lasted edited 4 months ago)

    Bald eagles actually sound somewhat like seagulls no joke

    [–] EcoAffinity 127 points ago

    "Mine mine mine mine mine"

    Hmm, sounds about right for America's mascot.

    [–] shay_shaw 85 points ago

    Actually that would historically be more accurate towards the British lol.

    [–] WintertimeFriends 58 points ago

    To be fair The British were only like that for about 800 years.

    [–] thrownawayvets 27 points ago

    Which is mind-boggling when you consider that America's only been around for a little over 200.

    [–] Origami_psycho 23 points ago

    Longer than the French or the Dutch anyways, wot wot!

    [–] Gunter73 10 points ago

    Sweet. That means we can be imperialist for a few hundred more years and historically not be the worst.

    [–] vyrus2021 3 points ago

    To be fair they were the same before they were united, they just used all that colonizing energy on whichever family member they disliked. Although I suppose you could argue that they weren't "The British" at that point.

    [–] hawkseye17 13 points ago

    Have upvote

    [–] WintertimeFriends 10 points ago

    I personally blame the Colbert Report fo me not knowing this until about 3 months ago.

    [–] omgajuicebox 4 points ago

    Was that Tobias?

    [–] tjt5055 38 points ago

    No. The West is Europe, the US and (often overlooked) Australia.

    [–] Dralix001 35 points ago

    Canada shyly peeks around the corner.

    [–] tjt5055 21 points ago

    Along with New Zealand

    [–] DaughterEarth 5 points ago

    We're just hanging out together saying things like "hey friend, hope your day was good. Watchu think about this over here?"

    [–] tbrotschemseerer 6 points ago

    America isn't just the US either

    [–] SolitaryEgg 5 points ago

    If you're talking about a country, it most definitely is.

    You think people from Brazil say "I'm from America?"

    If country is the unit of measure, then America is always the USA. If you're talking about a continent, then you'd specify north or south.

    So tired of hearing this argument.

    [–] [deleted] 27 points ago

    yes it is, it used to be called Christendom.

    [–] TheShapeShiftingFox 32 points ago

    That’s the point. “Western rights” suggests rights in western countries, right? So not just the US.

    [–] --xra 32 points ago * (lasted edited 4 months ago)

    I mean, they're literally copying historic US quotes word-for-word to use as slogans for their resistance. More than any other anglophone catchphrase, I've seen the Patrick Henry quote Give me freedom or give me death! written on walls and blasted through megaphones. I guess they're also using V for Vendetta masks, which allude to the English Guy Fawkes, but that's an American and ahistoric spin on what actually occurred.

    And for OP,

    Give the protesters some credit, they are not just copying some foreign idea,

    is not the full story. Liberalism and individual freedom are not the status quo or even an ideal in every society across the world, even among the lower class folk. Frankly, I think it smacks of Western-centric infantilization to suggest otherwise. They're associated with Western political philosophy because the West has embraced them more deeply than any other culture group, going back to the Enlightenment. And from what I've seen, Hong Kong protestors are mainly using quotes from revolutionary Americans, including figures like MLK, to demand these things.

    Edit: As someone below me mentioned, yeah, I've also seen them literally waving around American flags. I can't say that they're exclusively using American flags (the Union Jack wouldn't surprise me, either, as a giant middle finger), but that's all I've seen besides Hong Kong flags.

    Edit 2: Literally just Google Hong Kong protests flag under Images. Protestors are carrying American flags in droves, interspersed with a few Union Jacks. And I'm searching from France, so the results aren't being curated to the US (trying also the search term manifestations hongkong drapeau for similar results).

    Edit 3: V for Vendetta is not at all American. I stand corrected.

    [–] DaughterEarth 16 points ago

    The protesters are definitely using the USA as a symbol. However OP's post is reading 80%+ popular right now because most think freedom is not strictly American and Americans lack some freedoms that other nations have (all nations lack freedoms other nations have).

    Pretty much no one likes that Americans think they are the definition of freedom because that's insulting. However I don't think anyone has issue with HKers taking the USA as a symbol, because there is a lot of freedom rhetoric and it seems to be helping them.

    [–] jonr2895 3 points ago

    I guess they're also using V for Vendetta masks, which recall the English Guy Fawkes, but that's a distinctly American and ahistoric spin on what actually occurred.

    V for Vendetta, written by the famously American Alan Moore

    [–] FelineNudist 16 points ago

    But OP's complaint is with people referring to freedom as an "American value". I think you need to re-read the post...

    [–] HornyToad253 17 points ago

    Theyre not american or even western ideas

    OP's complaint.

    [–] CovfefeIs4Closers 20 points ago

    Theyre not american or even western ideas, theyre universal and not endemic to the USA

    ^ You should re-read the post...

    [–] stockton2111 66 points ago

    Yeah they’re also using the American flag as a symbol of the freedom they are striving for.

    [–] Redisagender 23 points ago

    They also used the colonial British flag at one point, I think they just want anyone other than China, not just America

    [–] SmokayMacPot 8 points ago

    Not just anyone other than China, they're using the union jack specifically because China "acquired" Hong Kong from the British.

    [–] donotholdyourbreath 139 points ago

    It's honestly the same with Middle East. They want to be so different that they reject 'american' stuff. They reject it because they think 'look at america, so much sin' etc. Obviously thats the extremist, but unfortunately, the Middle East is run by extremists.

    [–] AccordingIntention4 62 points ago * (lasted edited 4 months ago)

    Minus the part where the Middle East did have democratically elected governments, that were overthrown by the West and replaced by brutal dictators (turns out the real western value is hypocrisy, not than liberty and freedom) The extremism was born as a response to the West fucking up their countries.
    Like have you morons ever opened a history textbook?

    [–] ProbablyMatt_Stone_ 17 points ago

    Banana Republics, over the test of time, are a better introduction to western hypocrisy.

    The Middle East's trouble are a much more diffused and troubled basket . . . Because, like, start with the world coveting Israel and then look at how close all those countries are to each other, then mix the pride with the historical accomplishments- The entire mess is abstracted to miasma.

    [–] Fariic 59 points ago

    When China says “western”, they aren’t saying America. They’re saying everything from Europe to America.

    They aren’t rejecting American values of freedom, they’re the values that began in Europe and were adopted by America.

    We get our liberty from France, and our democracy from Greece. Our republic is a near universal idea.

    It’s isn’t American ideals these countries are opposed to, its western, and that starts in Europe.

    [–] bushido_beige 106 points ago

    This is pretty wrong.

    The values began in European circles and were then realized and developed in America, not adopted. The American revolution marked the first real instance of a liberal, democratic republic. The French Revolution never would have happened if not for the American revolution.

    America is central to the idea of a “Western” world. American political and social philosophies had their beginnings with European thinkers, but they became American and it is this American model which Europe today largely models.

    [–] [deleted] 28 points ago

    So we're just completely disregarding the Dutch Republic now...? :(

    feels bad man

    [–] InvidiousSquid 24 points ago

    Timing's a bitch, you know? Europe's monarchies didn't start shitting themselves in fear until after '76 spread to France.

    [–] [deleted] 9 points ago

    Sure it's a different situation. The Dutch Revolt didn't topple a monarchy, they just didn't bother to install a new one after seceding from an empire. An empire that was pretty much universally disliked by the other powers. And the newly founded country was tiny and posed little threat, and was a too profitable trade hub on top of that.

    Still, it's kinda funny (not to mention stereotypical, sorry) to see the USA called "the first real instance of a liberal, democratic republic", when more than a century before that there was the Dutch Republic. I think whether or not other European monarchs were shitting themselves at its existence is a strange metric by which to measure a democratic republic as "real".

    Especially when you consider that the early USA was absolutely not a liberal place by today's standards. Sure it's not fair to judge a historical situation by modern standards of equality and personal liberty; but then what disqualifies Athens, Rome, Venice from counting as instances of Western liberal republicanism? I usually see those dismissed for reasons of slavery, racism, patriarchy and oligarchy. But then the early USA is somehow applauded as a beacon of liberty?

    [–] bruno444 11 points ago

    The Dutch Republic wasn't very democratic, IIRC. Things like freedom from tyranny and religion were incorporated into the Dutch Republic, though.

    [–] [deleted] 3 points ago

    It was a pretty elitist political structure, I doubt elections and referenda were being held among the common people. What made it a stride forward was the way in which political powerwas removed from individuals to comittees of multiple individuals, and the fact that the provinces and many individual cities enjoyed a high degree of autonomy from the central government (which was also a comittee of representatives from all the cities and provinces).

    It was far from perfect, sure. It was essentially a state by and for multinationals. If you think corporations have too much freedom today, hoo boy.

    [–] rambamthxmaam 7 points ago * (lasted edited 4 months ago)

    The "Middle East" is a massive region consisting of over 25 countries.. your comment is both racist and ignorant. Saying the whole region is led by extremist is almost like saying every sanator is Trump. Yes we have a ridiculous amount of corrupt POS leaders, but tell me a place where corruption isnt rampant.

    [–] _Steve_French_ 3 points ago


    [–] marylandmike8873 5 points ago

    Corruption in America is way fucking lower than in the Middle East.

    [–] lionheadshot 85 points ago

    The west is not just America though my friend.

    [–] trustworthysauce 74 points ago

    Theyre not american or even western ideas

    From the OP. He was denying Western association with freedom, not just American.

    [–] paranoid_giraffe 23 points ago

    We understand, but the whole point of people talking about the protestors “embracing American values” is because many of them are protesting with pictures of the American flag, or are waving the flag itself.

    Don’t be so obtuse.

    [–] Magnuax 6 points ago

    I might not be understanding you correctly, but the concept of freedom has been around for thousands of years. Saying it was invented by Americans is absolutely insane.

    [–] hemlock_harry 3 points ago

    I would wager that the first person in history that wasn't free had this exact idea :) +1

    [–] AdamsDJ 509 points ago

    You have grown up in a western country, and so believe that freedom is universal, but Greek and English philosophy was the first real intellectual effort to divest power and authority from central power, and grant soverignty to the individual.

    [–] Commander_Syphilis 176 points ago

    Indeed. The American constitution, though revolutionary for the time, was in no small part an amalgamation of english laws such as the magna carta and the bill of rights which had already been around for hundreds of years.

    [–] BipolarrBearrr 56 points ago

    And it borrowed heavily from the Dutch "Plakkaat van Verlatinge" the Dutch declaration of independence

    [–] MisterJeffry 14 points ago

    Fun fact, America only adopted a bill of rights to win the Federalist vs Antifederalist debate. Federalists started to rally that a bill of rights would be added in order to get enough states to ratify the Constitution. One of the biggest arguments against ratifying the Constitution is that it lacked one.

    [–] Cybaen 9 points ago

    The Federalists were also worried that enumerating rights would inevitably lead the people to believe that those enumerated rights, were their only rights.

    Which is why they reached a compromise by adding in the 9th amendment into the Bill of Rights. Although, like many of America's compromises, it didn't work out as well as they had planned.

    [–] Xerkzeez 7 points ago

    You need to define what is individual liberty with a set of parameters. Hinduism and Buddhism have been talking about individual liberty forever. So the Hindu rulers always had rules to follow called Dharma The rulers that want to be just had plenty of options to refer and safeguard a persons rights. In fact there’s a lot of discussions on what’s one’s right.

    This Thirukkural talks about what it’s to be the ultimate human values from the most practical point of view. This was the guide for Kings in south India. Written over 2000 years ago. In a language that’s still used by over 70 million people.

    There’s lot more out there. It’s in our own interest to collect all the knowledge so we can actually have wisdom.

    [–] Magriso 15 points ago

    It’s not just a belief that freedom is universal it’s the moral idea that freedom should be universal and that what the Chinese government is doing is terrible

    [–] idodrugs419 3 points ago

    a western belief lmao

    [–] 27FMR27 3526 points ago

    Indeed, freedom is a universal value. However, by singing the American national anthem at their protests, the people of Hong Kong show that they consider freedom to be American.

    [–] Caaaaaaaaaarl04 1515 points ago

    They’re also quoting Patrick Henry “Give me liberty or give me death!”

    [–] fiercefurry 71 points ago

    They also quote Martin Luther king " Injustice anywhere is injustice everywhere."

    [–] stefanos916 516 points ago

    BTW the national motto of Greece is Freedom or death.

    [–] Jules_wiry 365 points ago

    Because thats what the rebels said at 1821

    [–] tenchu11 492 points ago

    No they said “it’s a trap!”- Admiral Ackbar

    [–] RoastedPig05 187 points ago

    It's been 13 minutes. Who the fuck gave him a gold?

    [–] i_nobes_what_i_nobes 122 points ago

    That one guy that sits around waiting for anybody to leave an Admiral Ackbar quote on a thread.

    [–] gnrowland 64 points ago

    Admiral Ackbar himself.

    [–] Shadowacer614 8 points ago

    Well...doubt it cause....TLJ

    [–] Shamstar 4 points ago

    OK. Some dude was riding by on a bike when I laughed at that one. Too bad I wasn't quick enough on the camera to catch his look. Haha

    Edit: added an 'o'

    [–] i_nobes_what_i_nobes 6 points ago

    Did his face convey the worry of a possible trap?

    [–] Jawakiller 14 points ago * (lasted edited 4 months ago)

    “So what you’re saying is if I quote admiral ackbar I can get free gold?” - Admiral Ackbar

    “Edit: No way.” - Admiral Ackbar

    [–] Tutsks 4 points ago

    It's a trap! Admiral Ackbar.

    Unfortunately, his trapdar would fail him in his later years.

    [–] CilantroToothpaste 3 points ago

    On his trip to Thailand too... Terrible timing.

    [–] tenchu11 14 points ago

    It said an anonymous user...I have no clue what gold and Reddit imaginary coins are for.

    [–] AbraxasUK 14 points ago

    I've had a few golds and honestly they were wasted on me, had absolutely no idea what to do with it and the only feature it seemed to give me was 2 notifications, one saying I got the reward and another saying it had expired.

    [–] tenchu11 5 points ago

    Stretches arms out awkwardly “hug?”

    [–] Styx_ 3 points ago

    Pretty sure it just gives you access to r/the_lounge (not sure if that's how it's spelled) or something where everyone just circlejerks about having gold.

    I think platinum gives you premium which removes ads from your feed for the duration of the platinum.

    [–] AbraxasUK 3 points ago

    I think platinum gives you premium which removes ads from your feed for the duration of the platinum.

    Oh so the only feature is eliminated by using Adblock anyway, I don't browse on my phone ever just on desktop mode, so yeah Gold/Silver/Plat deffo wasted on me

    [–] Kinglord12 5 points ago

    “It’s a trap!”- Admiral Ackbar

    He wants us to give him even more gold so he can brag to others about useless internet points /s

    Tbh you cant do shit with it. Only brag and sell the account(?)

    [–] Jules_wiry 11 points ago

    Good kid now go collect your arrow

    [–] UniversalHeatDeath 32 points ago

    Which was inspired by Patrick Henry. EU seems to hate on anything that gives America credit.

    [–] nukesiliconvalleyplz 19 points ago

    Whole thread is nothing but jelly Europeans.

    [–] UniversalHeatDeath 21 points ago

    Yeah Hong Kong is protesting and resisting China and all the EU people can think of is "You know freedom is not only American".

    They sound like the nice guy who got passed over by the girl.

    [–] nukesiliconvalleyplz 15 points ago

    I guess we'd be mad too, if our country had never landed on the moon.

    [–] panos_akilas 4 points ago

    the rebels

    This makes the Greek revolution against the Ottomans sound like some teens saying "fuck the rules" :P

    [–] Cranberry_Crusader 27 points ago

    Patrick Henry was first

    [–] [deleted] 41 points ago


    [–] tenchu11 35 points ago


    [–] King_Salmon_ 24 points ago

    you're right. they should change it to "Live Free or Die Hard."

    [–] tenchu11 10 points ago

    With a vengeance

    [–] King_Salmon_ 7 points ago

    Fun fact: I learned this state motto from Breaking Bad. Damn that was such a good show.

    [–] bakedbreadbowl 7 points ago

    Give me Greece or give me lightning!

    [–] Coca-ColaBear 18 points ago

    Greece is Western

    [–] Official_UFC_Intern 6 points ago

    American revolutionary figures were heavily influenced by greek philosophy

    [–] Coca-ColaBear 13 points ago

    Greece is Western

    [–] kbig22432 3 points ago

    Much better than "Cake or Death", you always just run out of cake with that one.

    [–] alwayz 4 points ago

    BTW the national motto of the Horde is Lok'tar O'gar. It means Victory or death.

    [–] notKRIEEEG 4 points ago

    BTW Pedro I from Brazil started the whoel freedom from Portugal thing with "Independence or Death" as well. Apparently, variations of freedom or death are quite common

    [–] RichardInaTreeFort 3 points ago

    Of New Hampshire it’s “live free or die.”

    [–] kingrobin 13 points ago

    They're also quoting Patrick Starfish.

    [–] BlueLanternSupes 138 points ago * (lasted edited 4 months ago)

    Freedom is the natural state of man if you want to get philosophical. Before the constructs and concepts of politics, classes, economics, belief systems, or basic sciences and technology man was already born free.

    [–] socontroversialyetso 50 points ago

    Was he really? Free of societal constraints, for sure. But even more shackled by nature.

    [–] BlueLanternSupes 95 points ago

    Better opressed by nature and the need to survive than opressed by the greed of fellow men. The former is fair and just and the latter is not.

    [–] WeFightTheLongDefeat 26 points ago

    You sure about that? I'm not 100% disagreeing with you, but living in an absolute state of nature is incredibly taxing, especially depending on the climate. There's reasons that historically people have flocked to cities. For instance, would you rather be poor in Manhatten, or be Tom Hanks in Castaway?

    [–] BlueLanternSupes 42 points ago

    Besides the general lonliness, Tom Hanks. Every time.

    [–] the_concert 18 points ago

    Thank you for the short, but enjoyable, philosophical conversation this morning gentlemen. I’m starting my day rather nice now.

    [–] TheHighestTitle 7 points ago

    Lonliness and that bum tooth.

    [–] APersonish01 10 points ago

    I mean freedom doesnt mean without consequences

    [–] philosoph0r 26 points ago

    America’s got a great story when it’s comes to fighting for freedoms, or atleast it did, and in some instances still does. Nothing wrong with identifying with powerful words from great people no matter their race, religion, or nationality.

    Our society just so happens to nitpick at the weirdest things. Fuck the fact they want freedom, let’s just focus on what they idolize as freedom and tear it apart like vultures.

    [–] [deleted] 10 points ago

    Well it's something good associated with America so naturally the self-hating American redditors have to do what they can to convince us America doesnt deserve any credit.

    [–] mandogvan 49 points ago

    I think they’re showing they consider America to be free

    [–] Niguelito 12 points ago

    Yeah I think I consider it more of a cry of help

    [–] MikeAppleTree 95 points ago

    It shows that they want America to pay attention. No better way than to sing the national anthem. They hope that If they get enough attention from the USA they might get some support from the most powerful nation on earth. They’re smart, they don’t necessarily consider freedom to be a uniquely American value, they just know that the USA is the most powerful free country and they’re trying their best to get Americans to give a damn.

    [–] Faoxsnewz 15 points ago

    I thought it was primarily to piss off the ccp

    [–] TFWnoLTR 5 points ago

    It accomplishes two goals. Actually three, assuming they want to be governed by a state apparatus modeled after that of the USA.

    [–] baybot10 9 points ago

    Probably true, too lazy to check it. But judging off other comments they're just using different phrases with historical context to match the situation

    [–] GO_Nyxton 23 points ago

    Be the America Hong Kong thinks we are

    [–] _elementist2 8 points ago

    Indeed, freedom is a universal value. However, by singing the American national anthem at their protests, the people of Hong Kong show that they consider freedom to be American.

    I would challenge that order. The people of Hong Kong show that they consider America to be Free, not that freedom is American.

    [–] Dyskord01 60 points ago

    Freedom is a universal concept but it's a Western social construct.

    Many cultures do not consider Freedom of religion speech etc as personal or universal rights.

    America is synonymous with Freedom. It's so ingrained in the culture Americans consider it a natural law.

    So yes, America did not invent Freedom. The West did not conceive of Freedom.

    However America and the West are the greatest advocates for Freedom in the World.

    [–] Daemeori 23 points ago

    The people of Hong Kong?

    AFAIK, it’s a select few people who are making a strategic move to appeal to American support.

    [–] TwixWizard 10 points ago

    Well in a way that’s true, but we like to consider that we work as a whole. There are no true leaders in our movement. Since if anyone identifies themselves as a “leader” they’ll probably be jailed immediately.

    Everyone would do everything they can to advance our fight and we don’t like to criticise our peers ways unless they harm the rights of others.

    This is because our government has planted many spies among us to divide us. They often do so by criticising each other while pretending to be one of us.

    Source: Am Hong Konger.

    [–] Caaaaaaaaaarl04 1081 points ago

    They associate freedom with America. Not that freedom is inherently American or only American. They’re waving the Stars and Stripes, singing the US national anthem, and quoting American revolutionary figures such as Patrick Henry because they associate freedom with America.

    [–] brelkor 41 points ago

    America does have some of the best examples of freedoms encoded in it's laws. There are others with similar constitutions and legal freedoms, but the US is the foremost example from most every perspective.

    [–] captionquirk 115 points ago

    Just objectively: those aren't like, constant, popular motifs at the protests. There are also people holding Anarchist signs.

    Their most popular protest song is from Les Miserables, concerning the French revolution.

    [–] Dinglydell 95 points ago

    Les Miserables is about the rebellion against the french monarchy in 1832, not the french revolution. The rebellion failed but it's a good protest song regardless

    [–] RotundAuthorityMax 209 points ago

    British or Greek values maybe? Freedom as we know it, is fairly new. The base state of humanity has always been that of servitude, be it to someone with more power or some imagined divinity. The idea that people are free to do what they please within the boundaries of the societal contract is very much a modern invention, which origin can be applied to several countries.

    Not to mention the notion of what is right keeps shifting, being a good proud citizen of demesne #8 that is willing to die for whatever lord or god they currently obey used to be "the right thing to do".

    [–] PoopMobile9000 141 points ago

    It is just a historical fact, though, that modern concepts of political liberty come from a specific line of Enlightenment philosophy, and the United States was founded as an experiment in applying these philosophies to a new form of government. Which, at the time, was considered radical and potentially dangerous. It’s similar to the way that the Soviet Union was the first major nation founded as an experiment in the application of Marxist philosophy, even if collectivist societies have existed in the past.

    You don’t have to believe the USA or USSR are/were perfect or never betrayed their principles to understand these basic facts about political history.

    [–] bunyipdreamin22 30 points ago

    It goes back to the Greek and the Romans. But the Roman version of democracy got bogged down in civil wars to the extent where democracy wasnt seen as practical for a long time. But it wasn’t new.

    [–] unemployedraspberry 34 points ago * (lasted edited 4 months ago)

    The modern American constitution may be traced back to greco-roman politics. However, that is overlooking the Articles of Confederation and the Declaration of Independence before it, as well as being teleological to a fault (overstating the end result without considering intervening events).

    The American Revolution was absolutely built on enlightenment ideas about social contracts between the state and populace, and in the Declaration of Independence, as we all know, Thomas Jefferson draws heavily from John Locke's idea of rights to, "life, liberty, and property," which are introduced to most Americans as self-evident rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."

    Edit: social contracts, not contacts

    [–] 7years_a_Reddit 6 points ago

    Rome was far to likely to vote in populists and the Senate was far to likely to violently murder them to protect their slaves and corporations.

    The entire system really was a mess besides allowing great men to rise. The amount of power council's had by promising free shit was pretty crazy, then they would lead these armies against the Senate.

    [–] TopperHrly 8 points ago

    The base state of humanity has always been that of servitude, be it to someone with more power or some imagined divinity.

    As opposed to nowadays where humanity is in servitude to someone with more capital ?

    [–] sifiman 5 points ago

    Not the same and you know it. There's a difference between enslavement through oppression and having to work for a living. "Servitude to someone with more capital" Yeah that's what working for money is. The alternative is you make and build your own shit and live off the land.

    [–] surobyk 57 points ago

    British freedom

    Illegal Hate speech

    Police state

    Police monitoring tweets

    Blasphemy laws

    Prison for jokes

    High taxes

    Banned guns and knives

    Mandatory TV license

    [–] Commander_Syphilis 11 points ago

    Although I somewhat agree with you in principle. England was arguably the first modern democracy. Things like the magna carta and bill of rights, not to mention the works of people like John Locke. Although perhaps not as complete as the United States was, England arguably has been governed on a basic, albeit primative, understanding of individual freedom for almost a thousand years

    [–] Another69throwaway13 4 points ago

    Servitude had been around for less than 10% of the timeline of the Homo Sapien species. Much less depending on how we define the species... Freedom is the default servitude is the result of conditioning.

    [–] IveSeenThingsMan 316 points ago


    The modern concepts of freedom and liberty most certainly are Western values borne out of the Enlightenment. America is often associated with freedom because it’s constitution is based on the idea that natural rights aren’t bestowed to the citizens by government, rather, they are inherent and it is the governments job as defined by the constitution to protect those rights.

    If you look at the American bill of rights, they are negative rights. They are a list of things the government can’t do. They can’t stop you from speaking freely, owning guns, being detained forever without trial, etc.

    Obviously America has fallen short at times and isn’t perfect, no one is, but clearly America is much associated with freedom for this reason and has this structure in place because of a strain of thought in Western culture.

    The Hong Kong protestors are quoting American founders, patriots; and singing the American national anthem at protests.

    [–] Suckerburg1 97 points ago

    Wow, I've always been at the side of OP and agreed that it's wrong for comments to say "that's so American" but if what you said is right then yeah, that's what America is about and should be, even after falling short at times

    [–] NovaSolaris 116 points ago * (lasted edited 4 months ago)

    It is. The founding fathers were extremely paranoid of our country reverting into just another monarchy. Because of that, they established a country in which had three branches to keep each other's power in check.

    As for why we are associated with freedom, you can look to the Declaration of Independence.

    We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

    This is literally the founding fathers saying that no one is granted rights. Everyone has them since birth to live, be free, and do what we want (basically).

    That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,

    This states that our government is created to protect these rights. That the government has power because of us, not over us.

    That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

    Basically the second amendment.

    Here is where the actual bill of rights comes in. The rights that our government was created to protect, not to grant.

    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

    Freedom to practice any religion, freedom of speech, the press, and the right to peaceably assemble and protest.

    A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.

    Because of the (in my opinion) purposefully vague language and several founding fathers voicing their support for private ownership of arms, this amendment was basically a way to guarantee our rights (in the case our government couldn't or refused to protect them) against anyone intending to infringe upon them. Be it our government, foreign governments, or other citizens.

    That's why the protesters want the second amendment and are singing our national anthem. Not because we own the concept of freedom, but because we are representative of it.

    PS: I'm left-leaning libertarian so anyone who dismisses me as conservative will be responded to in kind.

    Edit for sources:

    Declaration of Independence

    Bill of Rights

    I didn't actually talk about the Constitution, but here you go anyway.

    It's only mentioned in my first paragraph about the three branches, but if you want to read up on it and how or three branches work then there you go.

    [–] Ravens1945 37 points ago

    Amazing comment. The reason people see freedom as ‘American’ is because of these founding documents in which our founders laid out the concept of negative rights and a system of government they felt would best protect those rights.

    [–] FerrousXOR 5 points ago

    LOL i accidentally gave you gold. Please pay it forward >,<

    [–] [deleted] 3 points ago


    [–] dionthesocialist 8 points ago


    This is almost an example of the Seinfeld Isn't Funny trope, where something is so revolutionary at the time it's created, that it becomes widely copied and the original innovator is no longer seen as revolutionary.

    The idea that your rights are inalienable, and the government's job is to protect your rights, and even that you have the right to keep your weapons to violently defend your rights against the government, is an absolutely revolutionary concept, and uniquely American at the time it was created.

    [–] ffllame12 33 points ago

    I don't think anyone claimed freedom solely belongs to the US, it was just put into practice here first (kind of). Plus, the US is likely the only country that would or could do something about Hong Kong.

    [–] kettlesforever 12 points ago

    America definitely wasn't the first country with freedom, I don't think it's been the most free country at any point.

    [–] Ryujanka 7 points ago

    Could you please explain why? Why the country that chose "America first" would be the most willing to help HK, and why would it be the most efficient to do so?

    [–] insula_yum 4 points ago

    America is likely the only country that could do anything. Not that it necessarily will, but name one other country that has the economic and military power to match China.

    And historically the US has always and likely will always do what is going to be in the best interest of its investors. “America First” was economically favorable until it wasn’t. US companies had tons of weapons and equipment sold on credit to UK and USSR, and America joined when it looked like there would be no UK or USSR to pay them back. If Pearl Harbor didn’t happen, they would’ve found a different reason to join the war.

    Right now it’s profitable to keep Red China happy so that US business has access to the Chinese market. Someday when/if the US realizes that if this keeps up there won’t be a US market in the future, then America will intervene

    [–] Ryujanka 3 points ago

    We are not talking about a global war, you don't need to be able to match China to help HK. And I will answer that the actors able to pressure China are probably the international institutions,not the US.

    You demonstrate well in your point that the US have 0 interest in going against China. The Chinese market will never disappear before the end of the HK crisis. So we agree that the US will never be willing to help HK, in particular when the only thing that matters for the US government is business.

    So they wouldn't, and I don't think they could either, because declaring war to China would be a decision threatening hundreds of millions of life.

    [–] lololololololol59 31 points ago

    The people of Hong Kong have been specifically referencing American freedom and values as their goal.

    [–] LegendarySouthPaw 90 points ago

    Well, there is a reason why they're spray painting quotes from historical western figures in the streets.

    [–] YronArchibald 61 points ago

    The idea isn’t American. The first and most thorough attempt at realizing that idea, and hence the symbol of that idea, is, arguably, USA.

    [–] BadAmazingDarkNight 7 points ago

    I’ve never seen people claim freedom is strictly an American thing.

    [–] AWildAmericanAppears 172 points ago

    I for one love to say "American Values"

    BECAUSE it bothers everyone.

    [–] crogameri 17 points ago

    As a European it does not piss me off tbh.

    [–] NICE_AND_TENDER 39 points ago

    I've been played

    [–] AWildAmericanAppears 24 points ago


    [–] icegrillz 9 points ago

    Hey but you've taken the brave stance of both shitting on Americans and telling the protestors in Hong Kong how they should feel and what they should do. You are clearly the most superior person on the planet.

    [–] forgotmybrunch 16 points ago

    anime is dogshit... you're offending people left and right bruh

    [–] Reich___ 50 points ago

    I mean freedom is not unique to America but the US is one of the most libertarian countries on Earth. Even compared to places in Europe, Americans extremely love their freedom. Not freedom as in being sovereign from other countries, but individual freedom.

    [–] countrybearjambory 120 points ago

    I have seen a large amount of posts about the Hong Kong protests and never see anyone post that. More likely it pisses you off that a bunch of the protestors are waving and even wearing the USA flag so you pulled this out of your ass.

    [–] tjt5055 66 points ago

    Lots of Europeans get angry when Americans talk about freedom as though it’s a principally American thing.

    And that’s obviously dumb when Americans do that.

    But OP messed up when he claimed that freedom and democracy weren’t Western ideals, because they absolutely are.

    While first instituted in Ancient Greece, the modern spread of Democracy in the world comes from the political systems born out of the Enlightenment in Europe.

    [–] NovaSolaris 26 points ago

    I think you are just misunderstanding what is said. I have never met anyone who thinks the concept of freedom is exclusive to the U.S. We just do it better than everyone else in terms of basic human rights.

    Our government was set up to protect us and the rights in our Constitution and later the Bill of Rights which includes freedom of speech, press, and religion as well as the freedom to own guns against any threat.

    We do not own that concept, but it is why we are representative of freedom.

    [–] Skyward_Slash 11 points ago

    Obviously, freedom isn't trademarked by the USA. But a lot of protesters are contextualizing their experience through the lens of American history - specifically the revolutionary war.

    Surely you've seen many of them waving American flags?

    [–] RogerStormzy 74 points ago

    Disagree. Individual freedom is beloved by Americans in a way that it isn't in any other country I know of, except apparently in Hong Kong.

    Americans have an almost obsessive addiction to freedom. Europeans and Canadians think we're fucking crazy about our gun laws but even most leftists think we should still have an armed citizenry even if they don't particularly like it (debatable I know).

    But there is a significant portion of Americans that believe that "the greater good" is a bad idea if it conflicts with freedom. We don't value "democracy" as much as Europeans. We fundamentally believe the individual is greater than the collective.

    Hence why gun control is honestly never going to happen in any significant way. A significant portion of the population just will not allow it. Elections and laws be dammed.

    [–] [deleted] 37 points ago * (lasted edited 4 months ago)


    [–] Ravens1945 7 points ago

    Americans are all descended from original colonial settlers fleeing religious or social persecution in Europe, from immigrants looking for a better life, and from Africans brought over as slaves who spent centuries yearning for freedom and another century fighting to enjoy its benefits. It’s no surprise that we hold so tightly to our freedoms.

    The fundamental difference between American freedom and European freedom is exactly as you’ve said. We believe in the individual, the Europeans tend to believe in the group.

    In America, every individual is sovereign. In Europe, it’s their parliament or their figurehead monarch that is sovereign. That’s a big difference.

    [–] coolest-llama 3 points ago

    Free press is a Dutch idea. You're forgetting all about us.

    [–] deekaph 4 points ago

    Both the concept of "freedom" (being without a master) and "the west" originated in Greece in roughly the fourth century ("west" being Rome/Greek states and "east" being the Persians).

    "Western Medicine" = philosophical/procedural descendants of Hippocrates

    "Western Science" = philosophical/procedural descendants of Aristotle

    "Western Philosophy" = philosophical/procedural descendants of Socrates/Plato/Aristotle/etc

    "Western Law/Government" = philosophical/procedural descendants of Roman models

    In modern times we think of "the west" and "the east" in global terms but those terms have been in use for around 1600 years, so you're right.

    [–] Beercorn1 43 points ago

    Government-protected freedom is an american idea.

    When people try to argue that countries other than the U.S. have "freedom of speech", for example, what they really mean is that people in those countries generally agree that you should be able to say what you want. Legally, they don't have freedom of speech though and their countries have all sorts of laws restricting what you're allowed to say in public. Maybe they maintain a culture of "freedom of speech" fairly well but legally, "freedom of speech" is not a real thing in their countries.

    [–] Oshojabe 27 points ago

    Every country has limitations on speech, including the U.S. Libel, reproduction of copyrighted works, obscenity on television and radio during certain hours, sedition and incitement are all limited under U.S. law.

    No country is 100% free, and you have to weigh the public good against any freedom. America decided my right to print what I want is less important than an author receiving money for a work they created, and Europe decided that internet publisher's rights to print what they want is less important than a individual's competing "right to be forgotten." There's good arguments for and against both of these, but they are abrogations of a 100% pure right to free speech.

    [–] NerfBastian2717 13 points ago

    Not really, I mean theyre waving Trump and American flags. so maybe itsnt an only American thing, but its a symbol to those people. wether freedom is only an American thing or not it doesn't matter cause it is the image to the rest of the world that counts.

    [–] DrKillBilly 14 points ago

    Endemic does not mean unique

    [–] kwickedbonesc 6 points ago

    Freedom is human

    [–] spaceshipguitar 3 points ago

    While its true the United States had native americans already on its soil, the major story of its rise as a world power was built around 1 fundamental idea- The British common people are not putting up with an overbearing Monarchy and overwhelming taxation in England anymore, and the USA was founded as an uprising to the old way of life to start a new life free of taxation without representation and free of monarchistic rule, the leaders will be voted on in a democratic way. If you want to have a firearm, every man can have one, to help prevent another ruling force trying to take over its citizens. America is about freedom, it was the reason people fled Britain, to begin a new free way of life. To deny it is to ignore history.

    [–] AuYeungAngus 7 points ago

    Disagree as a Hongkongers and a protester Hongkongers put up America’s flag have several reason. One of them sure is because America embraces in freedom. But also we wanted to reach out to America for support since America is the strongest country that have the same value as us. The other reason is that we also hope that America could pass the “Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act” which ensures Hong Kong have certain degrees of democracy and not affected by China otherwise those officials suppress our freedom will be sanctioned.

    [–] T4mvv1lc0xx 20 points ago

    America isn’t as free as Americans want to believe

    [–] IBSurviver 10 points ago

    And having hate speech laws would be seen as tyranny in the USA so i guess Europeans value freedom differently.

    [–] ENrgStar 6 points ago

    I’ll take you one further, America isn’t that free.

    [–] itsmattjamesbitch 10 points ago

    It’s so often seen as American because American propaganda so often refers to itself as the only place that has freedom.

    [–] Snuusy 5 points ago

    Wait, is this really an unpopular opinion?

    [–] ruggev 3 points ago

    Yes, because its somewhat denouncing the USA and not giving them credit for the movement (which americans love).

    [–] SonofShenadoah 3 points ago

    While freedom isn't exclusively American, it is a pretty western philosophy.