I disagree that USA or capitalist societies are free.
All nations on this Earth run brutal dictatorships. Some are worse than others.
The problems Alex identifies with Western societies are because THEY ARE NOT FREE ENOUGH!
(Does anyone think there is really free trade yet? Or freedom of thought and speech?)
Many years ago James Burke presented a television series called "Connections" about major advances in technology. He also presented a series called "Reality", which directly made some major points that physicist Dick makes (such as the issue of matching different models of reality with reality; and who is to say which is correct?)
He proposed that there be a new society, tolerant of any view; but this maximum liberty be as it were, more strictly protected than ever.
Leaving that for now: from the day you are born you are subjected to gross errors, misunderstanding, ignorance, confusion, and coercion.
Humans are weak; and they compromise themselves in the face of all this. They become so good at acting, that they conceal from themselves that they are doing so. They even later misinterpret self-generated sabotage (of that act).
They are subjected to numerous coercions, forcing them to become more and more lost. They then justify to themselves the failure to recall their own past as they experienced it. Yet with any other subject; such a glaring gap in historical data would be considered evidence of a frame-up or scandal.
The whole education system is compulsory, coercive; it's an indoctrination system. Remember the rock song that has lines "Hey, teacher! Leave those kids alone. All in all, another brick in the wall".
Ivan Illich promotes the idea of skill centers that run less coercively. If schools are so badly designed that the law insists that parents/ kids be physically assaulted to force them to attend, there's something wrong. If they were well-thought-out kids would want to attend.
Human beings are not biorobots. They may 'act' as if they were. There is no evidence to support that they actually are. No one has disproved free will. On the contrary, physicists find that the quantum micro-world seems to be so non-specifically-predictable it seems more like everything is built from freedom. Random = unique = from freedom.
Osama Bin Laden was not born with any interest in terrorism. He, and every baby, in every culture, at every time (even 10,000 years ago) would have been full of the love of life, the exhilaration of BEING, with a gentle and loving disposition to all creation.
The rubbish, stealing, killing, deceiving etc. are passed on externally through error and bad example and coercion and confusion and ignorance and misunderstanding. True, man IS responsible for evil acts; his fundamental weakness seems to be his adopting un-natural behaviours rather than being matyred while refusing to compromise his natural gentleness. Under extreme duress gentle man becomes transformed to terrorist man. But he can reverse those thousands of self-compromising steps, voluntarily taken under duress.
A lot of energy is expended on breaking babies and children. The USA could start by looking at the terror within; and banning the killing of unborn infants.
Ancient man made the error of presuming that everything was willed: earthquakes and storms were blamed on the will of gods. Modern man makes a similar error in reverse: he over-extrapolates mechanical processes and math and blames everything (even free will) on natural processes.
Both extremes are wrong.
Freedom and responsibilty are two sides of one coin. There is extensive literature demolishing the claims of those who attack the concept of free will. See the book "Insanity: The Idea And Its Consequences" by Thomas Szasz. The worldwide rise of a 'psychiatric Taleban' or thought police is an example that the West is not free. Reality is that 'crazy' people ARE responsible for their anti-social actions, just as terrorists are.
The evasion of responsibility by Western societies involves the evasion of facing the real disputes in society. It's appalling that some support a society where people are drugged into false-contentment so they don't challenge their political masters.
Dictatorship leads to error; freedom is a higher value than safety. Liberty is the only real safeguard or protection; without it everything goes downhill into Nazi-like extremism.
Humans don't need to manipulate their genes; bad-genes is a myth, like belief in witches. Humans dodging responsibility is the pattern: if humans took more responsibility and unravelled their past; they would become more human (they started out very human as newborns).
Society could start by ensuring unlimited freedom of thought.
If humans can naturally access others thoughts directly; and can naturally teleport themselves; then once in such a state they would have a great deal of protection.
-my two cents