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Monday, February 27, 2012

Why Freedom?

Freedom Revived

Few can deny that human beings care about liberty. There are, of course, different senses in which the term "liberty" is used. One sense of it means being without obstacles in life; another, to be able to develop fully with as little hindrance as can be achieved through collective action; or, again, to have the chance to obtain from others their surplus wealth and labor-power.

The sense of the term employed in classical liberal political theory, usually interchangeable with "freedom," has meant the condition that obtains when one is not intruded upon by other human beings who can choose how they will treat other people.

My main focus here will be on this last sense of the concept "liberty," the sort of liberty that can obtain among human beings. The sort of liberty at issue concerns what we can do something about by an act of mere will or self-discipline, namely, not intruding on each others' lives, not encroaching upon one another's sovereignty. I will also touch on another topic that is related to this sort of liberty, namely, free will or the human capacity to act on one's own initiative, without being driven to behave by forces apart from oneself. These two notions of liberty or freedom are both vital to human living as well as closely related.

The basic motivation for addressing these topics is to explore why human beings have cared about liberty. The issue hardly ever goes away—every new generation seems to need to consider its significance and ramifications.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wow, that's a long read! Let me make this a lot simpler. Republicans and conservatives spend most of their time running their own lives and the rest helping their family members and close friends with advice and friendship in running theirs.
Democrats and liberals spend their time deciding how everyone else is to live and act. They take it upon themselves to try to run your life. Their obsession with making sure that you are doing something they feel is "right" leads their agenda on a daily basis.

I, personally am so busy running my own life and looking out for my kids, family, and friends that I physically and mentally DON'T HAVE THE TIME OR WILLINGNESS to run yours. This makes me a republican conservative.

Nuff said, except for, VOTE Ron Paul 2012