The first Amendment of the United States says that we have freedom of speech. But I feel like the freedom of press abuses this power because it gives different views to people towards how to view the government, the world, their lives. Which is why there’s mixed feelings with the press. The press lies and tries to influence you to think that the government is doing the right thing. Free all have free will, and we all have different perspectives in different things. The media should give their viewers information that is true, and something that doesn’t tell them to do something or not. Is the government telling the media to say lies to the public?
Kant’s philosophy of treating people as an ends in themselves instead of as a means to an end resonates powerfully with my idea of how politicians and governments should ideally treat people in a democratic country, or any country for that matter. This is a very important idea because it strongly emphasizes on the value of human life. I find this philosophy very interesting because Kant doesn’t just state the maxim out of a personal whim or opinion; he actually provides a logical explanation to back this categorical imperative. He reasons that since morality is determined by reason, moral law is universal because reason is universal. Hence moral law applies equally to everyone. Therefore, acting morally means to treat every person as a moral agent and therefore as an end in itself, not as a means to an end.
The reality, however, is far from Kant’s ideal. Some governments and politicians around the world regularly abuse human rights. For example, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea is one of the most repressive and undemocratic states in the world. Kim Jong-un exercises absolute political power over the country. The authoritarian government restricts all forms of human liberty and freedom in the country, including freedom of speech, assembly, religion, and the freedom to form political parties. The government systematically forces citizens (including women, children and prisoners) to provide unpaid labor , who are forced to build the country’s infrastructure and participate in events extolling the Kim family’s ruling and the Workers’ Party of Korea. The government uses arbitrary arrests, punishments, torture and execution to incite fear in people’s minds and gain control over them. The government partners with Chinese authorities to capture North Korean refugees and punishes the refugees for making international contact. The government does not care to protect and promote the rights of marginalized and weaker communities like women, children and crippled people. Kant would be devastated and horrified by the of abuse people, and most importantly valuable human lives, in countries like North Korea.
As I have mentioned earlier, “it ought not to be thought surprising that the rulers of a civil society should have the welfare and glory of their communities at heart” (165). Then why does the United States government fund, support, and enforce the separation of undocumented families via ICE? This is stripping a specific community of their basic liberties. These people, who statistically contribute to the nation’s well-being and economy, are being marginalized and treated inhumanely by being separated from their parents. The compassion and empathy in our hearts are being overridden by the improper qualities our government encourages in our society. A proper society has no place for blame, criticism, judgment, comparison with others, and the distinction of worth among men, and with the dingy and purposefully crowded situation these children are being exposed to, we are distinguishing between equals. All children are innocent under jury, but these detained are being treated as if they are guilty of crimes.
I was having dinner with my parents a few days ago, and we began to discuss how San Diego schools were trying to give special times for prayer and teaching different religions to those who are not that specific religion, which they must have heard from this. My parents discussed how they did not feel it was fair for any religion to get special treatment over the other in the United States. However, I brought up a point on how they are biased, which is that the US is very centered on Christianity as well. I pointed out how many towns in the US still close on Sundays, and many different perspectives and such are influenced by Christian values, and how people judge things morally and such. The US is entirely centered on Christianity from holidays, to saying merry Christmas. These values are so imbued in the US culture and ideals and how the US is governed that some people completely miss them. However, these biases toward Christianity, despite some not being the same religion, is the fact that these values had set up a framework for the morals and expectations of the country today, or in also my own words “…politics and religion have a common object among us, but that in the beginning stages of nations the one serves as an instrument of the other.” as I discussed in pg 183 in my The Basic Political Writings. As this country had Christian and similar religious laws before we had a government, and as such these religious values co-align with today’s government.