I’ve been thinking about “freedom” in light of the recent “freedom convoy” trucker protests. There are a great many working class Americans who gravitate to the Republican Party at least in part because they like the emphasis on “freedom.” And I think part of that may come down to the fact that they’ve experienced very little genuine autonomy in their working lives. They’ve been subjected to dehumanizing working environments that have robbed them of their creativity and intrinsic motivation. In other words, efforts like the “freedom convoy” are, at least in part, an exercise in deficiency-need gratification (in the Maslow sense). The irony is of course the Republican Party, despite its mantra of “freedom,” is perhaps the most active defender of the dominator hierarchies that have left these workers feeling sapped of their autonomy in the first place.

Expand full comment