We are free. Most people can say and do what they like, when they like, where they like. There is no opinion so subversive that it cannot be expressed in public; no denigration of authority so scurrilous that the public will not tolerate it. Every sexual, social, religious and cultural taboo has been broken. Most have been broken on TV. You can google the rest. Breathe the air around you. This is what liberty tastes like. When was the Golden Age of liberty? It is now.
Rafael Behr says it, and it doesn't come amiss. For saying it he may well come in for criticism as being complacent. But he isn't. He explicitly acknowledges the erosions of valued freedoms caused by bad laws and the need for vigilance. Still, we do well, he advises, to see the big picture. Quite so. We no more live in a police state than we do in a yellow submarine. You don't even have to have lived in one to know this; you only need to have read, watched or listened a bit.