The illusion of these 'democratic' freedoms is very real today as Australians and West Australians come to grips with the horror and cruelty of 'austerity' budgets imposed on them by Federal and State Governments.
These are budgets that dispossesses the less well off, to fund more largess and wealth for the already well off, the rich, the super-rich and the corporations.
A detailed assessment of the Federal budget by Bill Mitchell, one of Australia's leading economists is here.
There has been no time in this country's history when an elected Government has so brazenly dispossessed the less well off, in order that the already well off, the rich, the super rich and big business prosper even more.
A Sad State of Freedom
He was outspoken, revolutionary and a dedicated political activist and communist who was first jailed in 1924 at the age of 22 for working on a leftist magazine. He spent 18 years in prison in Turkey as a political prisoner.
Many of Hikmet's poems were written in Sultanahmet Jail in Istanbul where he was imprisoned for many years for his political beliefs. Sultanahmet was the first jail built in Istanbul in 1918. It is now a luxury hotel.
Hikmet was awarded the World Peace Prize in 1950, the same year he gained his release from prison after 12 years, following an international campaign for his release led by Picasso, Paul Robeson, Bertrand Russell, Pablo Neruda and Jean Paul Sartre.
Within a short time of being released he was again forced into exile from Turkey in 1951. He spent the last 13 years of his life in exile from Turkey. He died in Moscow in 1963, where he is still buried, although there are moves to return his remains to Turkey.
His poetry was suppressed in Turkey for over 50 years. It is only recently that Hikmet's citizenship was restored by the Turkish Government.
Hikmet's poetry is characterized by a wonderful generosity of spirit and a powerful sense of human solidarity.