Au Rwanda, il est interdit de se balader pieds nus.

I recently encountered, in fact, it was a visitor in my own home, whose constant put down of our government, in particular of our President, revealed himself to be a conspiracy theorist. He was his theory that the government was conspiring to take away our freedoms. And when I said that I personally had never felt as free as I did today, right here, in the good old USA, and in my 82nd year, I don’t think he heard me because he went right on talking.

I admit, all too readily, the physical changes accompanying the aging process are making my body less able to fully function as it did in my youth, less “free” if you like, but my mind almost on a daily basis, from early morning to early evening, was flying as it spent more and more hours “online” with the wealth of knowledge and information that was to be had there for the taking.

For me and for millions of others throughout the world the “world wide web” has brought all of us into close contact with others elsewhere, often very different from ourselves. And this is good. In my own case the Web has enabled me to wander and discover for myself as never before the ideas of others, both from the past and the present, as the Web is more and more timeless, or jammed with things from all times.

More than anything else, certainly more than first school and then work, the Web has been for me a force for liberation. And only if that liberating force is ever threatened by government, and/or by wealthy individuals and corporations that do seem to run so much of our country, would we then have sufficient reason to fight. But at the moment we don’t. It’s only a theory, and a conspiracy theory at that.

So, I would say once again that today we are freer than ever before. But to those including my conspiracy theorist visitor who really think we are losing our freedoms I would suggest he and they visit one or more of the lands where freedoms have been taken away. (But there also, let me note there was no conspiracy to begin with.)

And if you are looking for such a land you might try present day Rwanda where the loss of freedom is a fact. Here is Rwanda as described in the text below taken from an article in the Courier International of 11 avril, 2014, RWANDA, La Main de Fer.

And if you did experience directly what is happening in Rwanda well then you might start doing something more useful to you and our country and stop talking about an imaginary loss of our freedoms in the USA.

Paul Kagamé [au pouvoir depuis vingt ans] a deux visages. Celui du président moderne, actif sur Twitter, Facebook et d’autres réseaux sociaux. Et celui du dictateur traditionnel, dont le portrait est accroché dans les moindres échoppes.

Le regard sévère derrière ses minces lunettes, il semble dicter aux Rwandais la marche à suivre dans les moindres aspects de leur vie. Ce n’est pas qu’une impression. 

Au Rwanda, il est interdit de se balader pieds nus, de porter des vêtements sales ou même de partager une paille, sous prétexte que ce n’est pas hygiénique. Un samedi par mois, les citoyens doivent obligatoirement participer au nettoyage de leur quartier. Le progrès, ici, se réalise à marche forcée. 

Au fil des ans, le régime est devenu de plus en plus autoritaire. Aujourd’hui, presque tous les rivaux de Kagamé sont morts, en prison ou en fuite. Même les exilés sont en danger. Plusieurs dissidents ont été abattus dans le monde.  Est-ce le prix à payer pour maintenir la paix sociale ?



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