Adonis Diaries

Liberty! Where are you?

Posted on: June 16, 2016

Liberty! Where are you?  (November 10, 2004) 

I left the USA for good in December 2000.

Since then, people would ask me whether I‘ll go back.

No, not in the foreseeable future.

Don’t you have any nostalgia to return after living on and off for 20 years there?

Yes, I have nostalgia for a specific attitude that I don’t feel will be re-captured again

For an indeterminate period of time.

My first visit to the USA was in 1975.

All you had to do was to be there in person to circumvent many requirements.

People in position of authority were not squeamish in making a decision here and there.

Their decisions were heavily weighted toward compassion.

They gave a chance to your dreams.

You have taken the pain to be there and they would help you the most they can.

I went back in 1985 for no specific dreams and with no preparation, as usual.

The old timers in position of authority still wielded

The courage and confidence to make decisions.

But the landscape of authority had shifted to newly naturalized citizen.

In their wisdom, the old timers relegated positions of day to day decision to others.

These others, with obviously high credentials,

Understood authority as the strict application of rules and regulations.

It was their way to earn more credibility by exercising intransigence in form.

The chairman of the department, from India by origin, denied me an assistantship.

All my savings evaporated within two semesters.

My PhD study dragged on trying to meet expenses.

For years, I worked, legally, several minimum pay jobs within campus, by regulations.

Before I leave in 2000, even the old timers were weary to exercise their authority.

The system was programmed in the minute details.

Loopholes for compassioned decision were banished.

Decisions were preferably transferred to others to make.

Liberality in authority was scrutinized and sanctioned.

The robotic system was well entrenched for administering people’s life.

Just before the September upheaval in 2001.

The Liberty to make compassioned decisions was dead.

Well before September 11th 2001.

The American style of confident authority was dead

And September 11th 2001 provided plenty of justifications to burry liberty

For the American people first and the Third World people later.

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