Wednesday, July 26, 2006

"The Matrix": A Movie Review.

Paragraph spacing has been altered by a virus or other obstacle to posting this essay. It has been brought to my attention that several posts have also been "altered" recently, sections of essays are missing. Hackers? I cannot provide images any longer in this blog because some features of this site have been disabled by New Jersey persons who (I guess) do not like what I say. I regret that this limits readers' rights of access to information guaranteed under the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Do we still care about that Constitution? I know that I do.

Michael McKenna, "Neo's Freedom ... Whoa!," in Christopher Grau, ed., Philosophers Explore the Matrix (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005), pp. 218-238.
Steven Faller, Beyond the Matrix: Revolutions and Revelations (St. Louis: Chalice Press, 2004), pp. 67-82.
Theodore Schick, Jr., "Fate, Freedom and Foreknowledge," in William Irwin, ed., The Matrix and Philosophy (Chicago: Open Court, 2002) pp. 87-98.


One of the pleasant surprises in recent American cinema is the trilogy of films: The Matrix, The Matrix: Reloaded, The Matrix: Revolutions. All of the films are distributed by Warner Brothers Studios/AOL Time Warner, which is one of the dark powers running the world and my computer's connection to the net. I have to be really nice to them at all times. The Wachowski brothers have earned our gratitude for these fascinating movies. For me, that means loyalty to their future projects. I will see any new film made by those guys. I feel the same about Woody Allen and a few other film makers.

The Matrix movies are great works of art as well as successful commercial products, featuring stunning special effects, superb performances from lead actors (Keanu Reeves made all the right choices in an underappreciated performance), and a set of scripts that serve to dramatize profound and timely issues in philosophy, theology, politics, mythology and cultural theory, as well as other areas that I am not competent to discuss. The physics and biology of the "Matrix," for example, would make for a fun science course or two. No, "fun" and "science" are not contradictory concepts. (See "Minds, Brains and the Dalai Lama.")

There are many interpretations of these films. Also, a viewer may wish to concentrate on any number of different aspects of the films in thinking about the difficult issues that they raise. Best of all, they speak to people from all social strata and economic categories, in many parts of the world, so that one can develop philosophical discussions with young urban men and women, who may be unaware that they are doing philosophy by way of these "texts."

These movies are classic examples of Umberto Eco's "open works," succeeding on multiple levels of communication and meaning, altering -- like a jewel in the light -- depending on the concerns and interests of the viewer.

The puzzle of freedom is explored in a number of ways in these films: mythologically, in terms of a language of symbols and images; theologically, by way of several discussions between characters establishing an explicit relationship with religious narratives; philosophically, through situations and dialogue associated with several of the great metaphors in the history of Western thought, from Plato's "allegory of the cave," to Descartes's "Evil Demon," to Putnam's "brains in a vat" scenario; psychologically, by raising questions of sexual determinism (Schopenhauer, Freud) to self-deception and illusion, distortions of perception, petrifaction and self-division (Winnicott, Laing, Lacan); politically, by analogy to the illusion-generating mass-media in late or "advanced" capitalist society (Jameson, Baudrillard), and the possibility of revolution (Castro, Guevara, Davis), or non-violent resistance (Ghandi, King, West); scientifically, by contrasting causally determinate accounts of experience with chance and chaos theory, as represented, respectively, by maculine "logos" (Architect) and feminine "mythos" (Oracle).

There is much more in those films than you may suspect. Only a book-length treatment would do justice to these rich "texts." I will limit my focus in this essay to the various concepts of freedom in these films along with a suggested association between the idea of freedom -- which is understood differently by several characters and in several situations -- and love and evil, as dialectical partners, found at the point where the paradox of freedom may be resolved.

I. "Like a splinter in your mind."

I will assume that the reader is familiar with all three films in my analysis and discussion. One theme running through these movies, as I have indicated, is freedom's connection with the concept of a person.

At the beginning of the story, "Neo/Mr. Anderson" (Keanu Reeves) is an employee of the "Metacortex" corporation, whose building resembles a spinal cord, topped by a brain. He is imprisoned in a constricting social role, living in a "dream world" of "normality," conjured by machines and plugged in to the "Matrix" -- the computer brain as energy source -- and also plugged in within the dream world to his personal computer, on which he reads skewed news reports identifying "Morpheus" (played with Shakesperean zeal by Lawrence Fishburne) as "an international terrorist." "Mr. Anderson" ("A" or Alpha"? the beginning point?) is a slave in a system of exploitation.

There are laws governing the pirating of software, which "Neo" ("New" or "Omega," end-point of the journey?) clearly flaunts -- by selling bootleg data -- which he keeps in a hollowed-out book, bearing the title of Baudrillard's "Simulacra and Simulations." Just as Neo's world is an illusion, so we are seeing a movie (which is also a set of illusions, conjured with celluloid or digitally these days) for the benefit of an audience and its makers. One problem posed in the films is the challenge of subtle forms of intellectual enslavement ("a prison for your mind") against which we must now rebel.

At the outset, Neo is something less than human. His doubts about the dream world ("like a splinter in your mind") are analogous to the serpent's invitation to Adam and Eve to eat of the fruit of forbidden knowledge. Morpheus is both John the Baptist and serpent in this cybergarden. "Trinity" (Carrie-Anne Moss) is, simultaneously, feminine principle and Neo's other self. Neo and Trinity are aspects of a single representative human essence: the "One." They may be associated in Christian iconography with Jesus and both Marys (Trinity is "three").

The movie audiences are also "plugged in" to an illusion-generating "matrix" in a commodified, media-saturated environment. The films gesture at everything from "Alice in Wonderland" to the "Upanishads," as well as any number of movies and texts, like Cool Hand Luke and High Noon. Morpheus hopes to free Neo, through awakening him to his predicament. These film makers -- who are "bending the rules" of the "carnival culture" in the so-called "real" media world -- are gently prodding the viewer to consider his or her plight as passive consumer of entertainment products and political circuses, of "news," or a view of reality as entertainment for cynical and/or sinister purposes. The movies ask: How "real" is your world? Also, how "real" are you? ("'The Prisoner': A Review of the AMC Television Series" and "A Review of the T.V. Series, 'Alice.'")

If there are many levels of "control," then what if entertainment is only one of them? The audience members become "batteries" for the Hollywood factory or capitalist system.

A. Information and Knowledge.

You cannot free yourself if you are unaware of the prison built "for your mind." The computers have created a dream-world for sleeping persons. Power in the viewer's real world has also created a dream world -- including the movie seen in the darkened theater -- a dream world for the passive "consumers" of entertainment, as a way of keeping them (all of us) in harness.

B. Rules and Principles.

There are rules governing the workings of the Matrix, which is a program. Are persons programs? Are we merely executing the blueprint provided for us by DNA in an environment? How much improvisational freedom is provided to us? Can the rules be bent? Broken? Agent Smith's liberation from the machines arrives when he ignores the rules. Thus, by disobeying rules, evil arrives on the scene as an effect of freedom. The essential human act, assigned to the first woman in the Bible, is disobedience producing both freedom and evil. The choice to disobey is close to the source of our humanity.

Is freedom a principle limiting the scope of the rules, as one of the "dual aspects" of persons that seems to limit the extent to which determination applies in the Lebenswelt? Are the rules themselves a prison? How many levels of imprisonment are there in this social nightmare? Or in the so-called "real world"? Are they aspects of the same world? Foucault will come in handy at this point.

C. Politics and Religion.

The revolution is concerned to awaken the sleeping slaves of the machines, which can only be accomplished by first awakening the liberators, an advance guard, to lead the oppressed to their emancipation. There are echoes of Marx and all of the theorists of revolution in these themes: Jefferson/Madison/Paine or Marx/Lenin, Castro/Guevara -- all may be quoted at this point, depending on your politics. The analogies are both to spiritual awakening and political revolution. Freedom becomes a process symbolized by the Mithraic mysteries of antiquity, in a manner similar to what Neo experiences, as represented in the Christian mass and theology.

We are saved by being "born again" -- think of Neo's journey through a kind of birth canal to a vessel awaiting him in the real world -- also by coming to know ourselves and our true motivations, psychoanalytically and politically. Self-knowledge is freedom, for both Hegel and Freud, also for Marx.

Finally, there is the metaphysical question of ultimate reality itself as a "system under construction," subject to flexible rules, spiritually and materially. So that the journey is from an externally imposed dream world to the construction or dreaming of one's own world: "Try to remember that there is no spoon," Neo is told by a Buddha-like child, "but that it is only yourself that bends." At the point of bending, the self becomes all. In the aftermath of the revolution in quantum mechanics, it is clear that the universe itself is unfinished, a process of self-invention only made possible by an observer. I wonder who that observer might be? ("'Inception': A Movie Review.")

A common misunderstanding of metaphysical idealism is to suppose that, say, someone like F.H. Bradley is a relativist because he sees the partiality of all appearances, when he is actually the opposite of a relativist, in light of the ultimate trajectory of history -- or necessary integration of all "Appearances" -- in a total system of dependencies that includes and makes meaningful every particular, or what idealists call ultimate "Reality." This ultimate and totally inclusive entity is the Absolute. Wherever you are now, you're part of this Absolute. Hence, WE are always members of this community. We are one.

The quest for freedom takes place externally and internally, the flaw (or genius?) in the design of the system of rules is choice. It is choice which introduces the element of randomness into human reality, just as chaos and uncertainty introduce unpredictability into a determinate universe, making both freedom and evil possible, yet compatible with causality. This is to suggest a dialectical dance between Agent Smith's order and predictability, law ("it is purpose that guides us") against Neo's liberty or creativity, equity, which makes us human, by allowing for the possibility of agency and evil ("the problem is choice"). Agent Smith is necessity; Neo is freedom.

Recall the embrace between the two rival leads at the end of the final film. Notice that it is only at that moment of embrace and acceptance by Neo of his "brother" Agent Smith, that Smith refers to the One -- for the first time -- no longer as "Mr. Anderson," but now as "Neo." The dialectic is then complete.

Agent Smith represents order, rules, predictability, authority, power, control, causality, science, fascism, super-ego (there is an explicit invocation of Steven Biko's murder as Morpheus is tortured); Neo represents unpredictability, democracy, creativity, agency, self-creation, spirituality, philosophy, religion, art, eros, altruism, id (romance, revolution, justice).

Freedom is seen as a political, spiritual, psychological challenge that is always both external and internal, collective and individual, positive and negative. Multiple ideas of freedom are always interacting in this film, suggesting that full humanity is only possible with the achievement of individual freedom (psychological and spiritual liberation from an external/internal illusion system), while also requiring communal liberation, which is another word for social justice, which must be shared with others, who are recognized as part of a "system of dependencies" -- like the machines which both keep humans alive and threaten them with extermination.

Multiple layers of narrative in these films resolve themselves into a set of dialectical interactions and entaglements. Philosophically we begin with Aristotle and Plato, move on to Spinoza, then arrive at Kant, Hegel, Marx, Schopenhauer, Freud, ending with Foucault and Baudrillard.

The various notions of freedom should be more clearly specified at this point, along with some of the ontology/metaphysics of the films.

II. "You are a slave, Neo ..."

A. Positive and Negative Liberty.

Political theorist Isaiah Berlin in his 1959 essay Two Concepts of Liberty, developed a useful distinction between "positive" liberty (what one is free to do or achieve) and "negative" liberty (what one is free from in doing it). Neo's challenge is not only liberation from external constraints upon his actions and thoughts, extrication from the machine-generated illusory world, but more importantly, discovering "what he's supposed to do" or why he ought to struggle, internally, against the mechanisms of control. After all, Cypher finds these controls and illusions quite pleasant, as do many others, delighting in the abundance provided by consumer societies.

Negative liberty is concerned with the external obstacles to self-realization or freedom; positive liberty is concerned with the internal obstacles to achievement of control of the future, also control of the spiritual environment or inner space of the subject. It is for the subject to create the real "Matrix" in which he or she lives, internally, so as to redefine or interpret external reality, which is always shared.

Positive liberty is a spiritual and philosophical project; negative liberty is an ethical or political challenge necessarily involving us with others. Hence, to be the "One" is to inhabit a sacred space, internally and externally, of freedom. To be the "One" is to be fully human, it is "what we are ALL here to do." This is something which is only possible with love. This free space is necessarily communal, since it is integration or individuation, as symbolized by Neo and Trinity making love under "Masaccio's Arch."

The act of love takes place on holy ground because it is an act of unification in affirmation of humanity. The acceptance of humanity is a return to our species home in Africa, as indicated in the "rave scene." This celebration of communal identity is also the Spinozistic theme in the films:

[Spinoza argues] ... for the view that there is one and only one substance, [which includes both real world and Matrix in the films] and that this one substance is God, and therefore infinite and eternal. Everything exists in God -- that is, it is a mode of God, and as such is dependent upon God. The proof of this remarkable claim follows a pattern familiar from medieval philosophy -- the pattern of the "ontological argument" for God's existence, as Kant was later to call it.

Roger Scruton, Spinoza (London: Routledge, 1999), at p. 13. ("Is it rational to believe in God?")

Evil is another aspect of all that is within God, reflective of a system of dependencies making goodness possible, so that evil is accepted and forgiven only with love. Loving is what we are here to learn "to do" and "to be," since it is identical with the only substance that can contain all of us -- Matrix and real world, good and evil, justice and oppression. Loving is God. ("Is this atheism's moment?")

There are references to "cycles of creation" borrowed from Hindu mythology. Neo's Christ-like figure confronts Vishnu (his Asian-Indian mirror-image) in "Limbo," the subway station, which seems so familiar to New Yorkers. "Love is a word ..." Neo is told, so that the "connection" between himself and his love cannot be broken.

What does love require of the One? Exactly what it asks of you: "self-giving," both in love-making and in generosity and compassion towards others, even in the ultimate sacrifice of self for community. Hegel insists, as do the Evangelists, "Die in order to live."

For Hegel, ... all things are members of a living whole, the life that animates that whole must have a wider definition, -- it must be a life which comprehends even death itself. Pain, disharmony, even evil, must be seen to be incapable of breaking through the all-embracing unity, and even to be themselves the means of realizing it. Unreason itself must find a place, were it only a place to annihilate itself, under the universal rule of reason, which impartially rains its fertilizing showers upon the evil and the good, and stimulates each in turn to show what is in it; since just in this impartiality lies the security for the triumph of good. ... The goal is fate reconciled by love.

Edward Caird, Hegel (London: William Blackwood & Sons., 1883), p. 29, p. 39.

"I know what I have to do." Neo speaks these words when he understands that he must return to the source, the essence within ("Substance" for Spinoza, "Spirit" for Hegel, by way of getting beyond Kant's "noumenal"), which is at the center of both what is self and not-self. Human joins with machine, goodness embraces evil, masculine accepts feminine, power accepts weakness, strength becomes gentleness. The One becomes all.

Think of Joseph Campbell's discussion of the point of the hero's journey being integration, moving beyond opposites and all relative values to achieve "transcendent unity" with the universe or God. Spinoza would describe this as the "intellectual love of God." For Catholics, there is the "unity of the Holy Spirit."

The crucifixion at the conclusion of the final film is Jung's Mandala. It is what Leonardo's drawing of "The Vitruvian Man" really depicts: the unity of self with other in the supreme self-sacrifice of love, which can be seen in child-birth, military sacrifice, or in any number of other situations in human life. It is humanity at the center of creation, as the measure of all that is. (See my short story: "The Soldier and the Ballerina.")

The opposite of this unified humanity through love, is fragmentation or division in hatred, struggle, opposition against one another and within the self. The opposite of unity (goodness, freedom) is fragmentation (evil, hatred, enslavement in the mind). With the loss of freedom comes enslavement and -- as the twentieth century taught us -- the possibility of evil on a mass scale. We will be one.

III. "Welcome to the desert of the real ..."

The danger warned against in these films is the tempting surrender of humanity in the abandonment of freedom and reality. It is the loss of moral reality or truth at Auswchitz. Many of us prefer the comforts and safety of apathy or comformity, so that the pressures to adjust to an externally imposed vision of "reality" that is convenient for power in advanced capitalist or totalitarian societies is overwhelming for many people. There are therapists and others whose mission is to induce just such lethargy and passiveness. A torturer once said: "Most people want to be told what to believe." ("Terry Tuchin, Diana Riccioli, and New Jersey's Agency of Torture." )

The cost of independence may be very high -- still higher for women than men -- so that loss of humanity and a slide into a state of sub-humanity, is understandable. Control can now be imposed on people entirely through ideological means, by way of entertainment media and creative uses of behaviorist or other psychological techniques of "manipulation."

Destroying written work, insults, threats, distracting phone calls from anonymous callers -- all are part of the behaviorist arsenal, so is secrecy.

It is not simply crude old models of propaganda that we must guard against now, but a subtle, amazingly powerful reality-creating "Matrix," that provides the comfortable cages where "consumers" happily reside in their own minds. Ironically, the films amount to an argumentum ad demonstrandum -- argument by example or demonstration -- since the world of the "Matrix" films itself becomes an all-encompassing illusion, with products marketed to exploit the success of the movies and a new vocabulary derived from this fictional universe ("whoa ...") entering the collective consciousness of audiences.

Within a week of the premiere of The Matrix: Reloaded, t-shirts appeared in Los Angeles that said: "Comprehension is not a requisite of cooperation." (See my essay on "Josiah Royce and The Spirit of Modern Philosophy.")

The anthropology of the films is hopeful, locating the human essence in a craving for liberation from all forms of enslavement or control. Thus, in a very American language of associations there is a tacit universal human nature postulated that is essentially free and rational. Thomas Jefferson expressed this optimistic view of humanity at the birth of the nation:

The doctrines of Europe were that men in numerous associations cannot be restrained within the limits of order and justice, except by forces physical and moral wielded over them by authorities independent of their will. ... We (the founders of the new American democracy) believed that man was a rational animal, endowed by nature with rights, and with an innate sense of justice, and that he could be restrained from wrong, and protected in right, by moderate powers, confided to persons of his own choice and held to their duties by dependence on his own will.

After Freud and the dismal discoveries of psychoanalysis, which many believe were confirmed by the horrors of the Holocaust, any optimistic view of human nature must bear the burden of proof before a skeptical intellectual community.

"How can one write poetry," Theodor Adorno asks, "after Auschwitz?"

Neo's answer might be ... "because it is our choice."

Morpheus (god of sleep and awakening) "believes" in the One because he believes in humanity against the machines. The machine-like concentration camp guards and the men who tortured Steven Biko to death seem to refute that belief, but then so do the psychologists of the former Soviet Union, who sent dissidents to asylums for their failures to adjust, only to torture them into madness or suicide. ("Psychological Torture in the American Legal System" and "Freedom for Mumia Abu-Jamal.")

On the other hand, thousands of men and women (like Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Edith Stein), sacrificed their lives for others in concentration camps, revealing a basis for the continuing plausibility of this Jeffersonian optimism about human nature, which is also found at the heart of the U.S. Constitution. The United States of America is a wager on human goodness. ("What is it like to be tortured?" and "Drawing Room Comedy: A Philosophical Essay in the Form of a Film Script.")

Jefferson never imagined that psychoanalysis and behaviorism would be invented and used to deprive persons of that precious human nature -- of their very freedom -- through subtle manipulations and alterations, designed to render persons into something sub-human, slaves, Foucault's "docile subjects," for the contemporary totalitarian society which the U.S. is becoming, especially if it abandons the optimism underlying our Constitution, out of fear or a yearning for absolute security.

To be free is to accept the possibility of evil or some degree of insecurity:

We possess detailed descriptions of the methods used by Communist police [and now by Americans at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo, also in New Jersey,] for dealing with political prisoners. From the moment he is taken into custody, the victim is subjected systematically to many kinds of physical and psychological stress. He is badly fed, he is made extremely uncomfortable, he is not allowed to sleep for more than a few hours each night. And all the time he is kept in a state of suspense, uncertainty and acute apprehension. Day after day -- or rather, night after night, for these Pavlovian policemen understand the value of fatigue as an intensifier of suggestibility [hypnosis is now the preferred method of inducing suggestibility] -- he is questioned, often for many hours at a stretch, by interrogators who do their best to frighten, confuse and bewilder him. After a few weeks or months of such treatment, his brain goes on strike, and he confesses whatever it is that captors want him to confess. Then, if he is to be converted rather than shot, he is offered the comfort of hope. If he will but accept the true faith, ["cooperate"] he can yet be saved ...

Aldous Huxley, Brave New World Revisited (New York: harper & Row, 1958), p. 75. As Huxley makes clear, the effects of the Matrix are already achievable:

Conditioned from earliest infancy (and perhaps also biologically predestined), the average ... individual will never require conversion or even a refresher course in the true faith. The members of the highest caste [behaviorist psychologists and psychoanalysts, or other social scientists and lawyers?] will have to be able to think new thoughts in response to new situations; consequently their training will be much less rigid than the training imposed on those whose business is not to reason why, but merely to do and die, with the minimum fuss. ... these upper caste individuals will be ... the trainers and guardians, themselves only slightly conditioned, of a breed of completely domesticated animals. [You and me.]


"A prison for your mind" has already been built and many of us find ourselves in it. The struggle suggested by these films is external, but even more, internal in postmodernist cultures of consumption and media manipulation, where the power to create and define reality is turned over to governments or corporations. I began this essay by genuflecting to Time Warner Corporation. Now you may understand why I did so. Resist the power -- even by appearing not to resist -- and fight for your freedom.

To borrow Lenin's question, "What is to be done?"


William Barrett writes:

The dreamers of the computer insist that we shall someday be able to build a machine that can take over all the operations of the human mind, and so in effect replace the human person. After all, why not? There should be no mystic obstacle that should impede the progress of our technology. But in the course of these visions they forget the very plain fact of the human body and its presence in and through consciousness. If that eventual machine were to be realized, it would be a curiously disembodied kind of consciousness, for it would be without the sensitivity, intuitions, and pathos of our human flesh and blood, and without those qualities we are less than wise, certainly less than human.

The Death of the Soul: From Descartes to the Computer (New York: Anchor, 1986), pp. 160-161. (See "Ex Machina: A Movie Review" and "The 'Galatea Scenario' and the Mind/Body Problem.")

The answer to the threatened loss of humanity is reaffirmation of that humanity. Just as Neo found his meaning and purpose in self-sacrifice and love so each of us "may live by dying for others." In other words, by giving ourselves away to others -- children, lovers, family -- we are (paradoxically) enriched. (See again: "The 'Galatea Scenario' and the Mind/Body Problem" then "'The Reader': A Movie Review' and "'The English Patient':A Movie Review.")

Evil was only defeated by Neo's embrace and absorption, with love, into that One (the Absolute) that contains all that is -- even evil and death -- because it was Neo's "choice." Neo could not be conditioned by machines. His humanity was not negotiable.

The response to behaviorists who deny the reality of consciousness is to point out all of the ways in which the scientist's own actions reveal the workings of consciousness, together with the existence of an inner life.

Science itself is the product of creative effort and free will, of human intentionality and social cooperation, existing for the moral purpose of understanding nature.

Why is this understanding or knowledge acquisition a moral purpose?

By pursuing knowledge you have tacitly postulated the worthiness of this endeavor, of knowing and knowledge, which are forms of valuing. All valuing is moral action.

There is an old parable of the the torch that goes in search of darkness. Whenever the torch arrives on the scene the darkness is dissipated, so that darkness can never be known by the torch (light).

Well, love is like that torch bringing light and warmth while evil is the darkness. Whenever the torch burns evil is dispersed.

The "light" of public exposure and discussion is desperately needed in democracies, for example, so that freedom and legality may be preserved. In the darkness -- exceptions are made and persons may secretly profit from denials of freedom and justice to others -- while daylight has a way of frustrating the best made plans of mice, men and politicians, regardless of gender. Are these overlapping categories?

Sunlight is lethal to vampires and corrupt politicians from New Jersey. ("Does Senator Menendez Have Mafia Friends?" and "Senator Bob, the Babe, and the Big Bucks.")

Neo is the light in these films, whose mission is to disperse the darkness.

The lesson to be learned is that each of us is the "One." Every one of us can reduce the darkness in our lives by bringing the light of love and concern to all that hides from us or seeks to remain obscure, whether psychoanalytically (in our subconscious motivations), or politically (in the actions taking place in smoke-filled rooms), that is, all that is denied publicly, happening secretly, at the behest of power, seeking to control or condition us "for our own good."

The most important lesson of the Matrix is that freedom -- the indestructible human capacity to create as we perceive reality, through our choices, even against all forms of totalitarian conditioning and control -- is the essence of what it means to be a person.

To close not with Thomas Jefferson this time, but with the fiery words of another American revolutionary (who would have been attacking the machines along with Morpheus and Trinity), Patrick Henry:

Is life so dear or peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take, but as for me, give me liberty, or give me death!



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