Greg and Ed get all deep by asking the question “Is Thailand really the Land of the Free?” And what does “freedom” even mean? Many people know that the word ‘Thailand’ is supposed to translate as the ‘Land of the Free.’ The guys first...
Greg and Ed get all deep by asking the question “Is Thailand really the Land of the Free?” And what does “freedom” even mean? Many people know that the word ‘Thailand’ is supposed to translate as the ‘Land of the Free.’ The guys first discuss the etymology of the word, with both Google and linguist friends revealing the actual provenance of that translation is unknown, and it’s possible that it is more of a folk belief than something linguistically legitimate.
So how about in real life? Walking down the streets of Bangkok, do Greg and Ed feel more free than they would if they were back in Canada or the U.S.? Greg notes that the word ‘free’ is difficult to define and means different things to different people. Ed argues that from a purely political standpoint, America is probably the most free country in the world, but here’s the rub: not everyone really cares about the freedom to criticize your government without fear of punishment.
The guys consider the possibility that on a practical level, due to Thailand’s chill culture and ‘hands-off’ approach by the police, Thailand might be more free than Western countries in the ways that most people care about. The issue is a tricky one of course: the rule of law is a pain when you get stopped for a traffic offense, but a godsend when you are the victim of a crime. Greg and Ed do their best to examine the issue, but both admit then in at least some ways, Thailand does live up to its famous moniker.
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