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Freedom is indivisible

December 17, 2010

It is impossible to splinter social freedom from economic freedom; the loss of economic freedom limits the individual’s choices in social freedom, while the limitation of social freedom curbs and renders useless the individual’s economic freedom.

Freedom is living within one’s means as he or she sees fit without harming another. No division exists between the freedom to earn and the freedom to spend; every economic and social freedom is impenetrably interwoven. As Isabel Paterson said, “the alleged distinction between ‘human rights’ and ‘property rights’ is verbal muddle; property rights are human rights. The true issue is between the individual and the collective.”

Unintended consequences trail good intentions. The curtailment of freedom is supposedly justified on the basis of national security, “the children,” morality, or anything else threatened by the bogeyman of decentralized individual action. Unfortunately, the expansion of government is the solitary alteration while the sphere of individual will becomes a permanent restriction. The triumph of the collectivist mindset is the absurd assumption of government as a universal panacea to societal ills, conveniently only caused by faceless greed and selfishness. The past half-century illustrates that the only more ridiculous government action than a military war is a war on societal ills. Perhaps is a re-adjustment to individual responsibility, accountability and improvement occurs, individuals will be close to authentic freedom and further from harmful collectivism.

One Comment leave one →
  1. John Nero permalink
    December 25, 2010 8:05 am

    I don’t think social and economic freedom are so interconnected. An economy is a machination of society used in order to regulate the exchange of goods and services. One can have social freedom without an economy. To say they’re interdependent is somewhat ridiculous. The idea of appropriate compensation for services provided comes from our maturation in an economy-driven society. If we worked and developed for the greater good — for each other, for the advancement of society as a whole — there would be no need for an economy, and therefore no need for economic freedom.

    Also, I don’t think property is an inalienable right. Property is a concept that derives from the desire to possess only for oneself. It is a materialist trait gained from one’s environment. If I were raised having no concept of property but rather that of collective ownership, I would reject property and see it for what it is: selfishness. There is a difference between the right to shelter and the right to property. Animals mark their territory to show that a place is their habitat, their shelter, not because they own it. Everyone has the right to mark their territory for their shelter. Property expands beyond the basic need for shelter, though. It is a want, not a need. Just because someone wants something does not mean he or she has the right to have it. Property is a luxury, not a natural-born right.

    It does, however, boil down to a conflict between the individual and the collective. You state, “Freedom is living within one’s means as he or she sees fit without harming another.” But yet you say nothing about how some use their freedom to earn and spend to benefit only themselves, without considering the potential for harming another’s such freedom. One’s choice to receive an extraneous bonus rather than let that money be distributed to more productive ends thereby harms others somewhat. The problem is not the individual. The problem is the individual’s preference for personal rather than universal gain. We see this problem in Congress. Rather than compromise and promote the most benefit, Congressmen prefer to vote along their constituents’ sentiments in order to win re-election.

    In a later post, you disparage utilitarianism. Therefore, you will most likely write off these views as just utilitarian idealistic prose. But they are more than that. They are to challenge you to open your mind to the fact that you are subscribing to a theory concerning an object that is representative, a fabrication . We believe money has meaning. If we did not, then it would not. You are subscribing to something that is unstable. Wouldn’t it be safer to promote a theory that is not based on something unstable? 🙂

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