"Rules of Engagement" a piece written by Albert Camus in 1939 is featured in the July 2012 issue of Harper's Magazine. The words at the time of writing were censored by the French authorities and were published for the first time in Le Monde this March. It is uncanny how accurate the words still seem today.

The piece is about freedom of the press and how necessary it is to winning a war. It also addresses the limits of freedom, but the fact that these limits must be "freely acknowledged, not imposed." Camus writes about how we will continue to repeat all words that could possibly be written into the future, which seems to be truer than even he could have imagined, as it is a repeat of his own words now, 73 years later. He asks how a journalist, faced with the suppression of freedom can remain free. The way that Camus defines the conditions in which freedom in the midst of war and its enslavement can be preserved and demonstrated are by the following: clarity, refusal, irony, and obstinacy.

Currently in a state of perpetual war and imposing limits on freedom, Camus' conditions are still applicable. 

Clarity - With clarity we can see that everything can be avoided, that war and violence are not inevitable, and that resistance to hatred is possible. If we look clearly at things we can see where they come from and how we play a part in realizing our current state of being.

Refusal - Once we see that things are not inevitable we can refuse to be a part. This refusal has been active in U.S. politics. Just yesterday I saw a post on Facebook about boycotting the 2012 Presidential Election. Considering the usual turnout of voters, I would have to say there are many that are already refusing to participate in politics in this way.

Irony - Camus writes that irony is unparalleled in weapons to use against the all too powerful. He says "Nine times out of ten, a truth proclaimed in dogmatic tones gets censored. When presented in an amusing way, the same truth gets censored five out of ten times." So we use humor. We poke fun at. We make each other laugh at the absurdity of the circumstance. I never really understood the role of the class clown until recently in my adult life when considering the roles of power and freedom in the way that people act. Youth that have power used over them often use irony. They go through Camus' whole process - they can see clearly that they are being treated unfairly, refuse the powers that be and then poke fun. 

Obstinacy - Only in the service of objectivity and tolerance should obstinacy be utilized. It is necessary to persevere against not the angering obstacles to self expression, but against the stupidity, spinelessness, unintelligence and unawareness that form the greatest obstacle to overcome.

How are each of these realized in our individual spheres? Camus writes of journalists, but I think that these rules are applicable to a broader reach, to any and everyone that values freedom over enslavement, that does what he or she believes to be true and just, and that does their part to aid in the maintenance of freedom.