Not Free At Last

Around the world, freedom is on the ropes, as the number of ‘free’ countries continue to decline.

The impetus for change lies with the leaders and people of a country. The election of President Obama is a prime illustration. After the ballot boxes are put away, the real challenge of leading and governing begins. And in this unprecedented global economic crisis, the challenges are multi-fold in many countries around the world.

But as we press ahead for global economic recovery, we cannot merely measure our collective success by the wealth we may regain. As Aristotlean ethics suggests, “wealth is not the good we are seeking; for it is merely useful and for the sake of something else.” Ultimately, success will be judged by a real commitment to values of equality, justice and opportunity. The people and state of affairs that led to the upsurge in freedom at the end of the 20th century must be supported and encouraged as we move deeper into this century.

Sundaa Bridgett Jones is an International Affairs Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and a regular contributor to The Root.