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View Diary: Defining "Freedom" - Who Would YOU Believe? : The Koch Reich or Winston Churchill? (22 comments)

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  •  It's remarkable that a man so devoted to empire... (0+ / 0-)

    ... and oligarchy would hold such "republican" (the French kind) views of personal liberty. But the English have long believed that, while aristocracy is part of the natural order, it is not without limits.

    This almost gives their form of democracy an advantage over America's.

    We reject aristocracy entirely, but our  "frontier" conservatism preaches that their are no limits to what a man can achieve through hard work and determination. The very concept of limits is anathema to American conservatives.

    "Liberty" is the concept that defines us as Americans... and it is the concept that divides liberals and conservative.

    Liberals value "personal" liberty... freedom of thought, speech and behavior; choice of occupation and the right to fair treatment by employers as well as the law.

    Conservatives value "material" liberty:  the right to own property, to defend property and to use their property to seek a livelihood - without interference.

    This explains their aversion to taxes & regulation (and their attachment to firearms). One corollary to conservative-liberty is the right to employ labor in any way they see fit to extract value from their property.

    You don't have to be a Koch Brother to feel this way. A small tradesman with a pickup truck and $4,000 worth of tools is a "property owner".  The retired couple who own a small apartment building are "property owners" too.

    The tradesman gets nervous when liberals start talking about policies that might raise the price of gasoline. He's inclined to believe that "this global warming thing" might just be a hoax... just like the guy on radio says.

    The small landlord gets nervous when liberals talk about "fairness". The don't want to be told who they can or cannot rent their apartments to. The right of a gay couple to be treated like anyone else doesn't appear on the conservative's radar as an issue of "liberty"... but the autonomy of the property owner does.

    I think that "liberty" is a good topic for discussion between liberals and conservatives. It's abstract enough to be safe from rancor, but it gets right to the heart of many points of conflict.

    Churchills word are a good opener.

    “It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing
    he was never reasoned into” - Jonathan Swift

    by jjohnjj on Tue Apr 22, 2014 at 10:05:13 AM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  Are you making the presumption that "Freedom" (0+ / 0-)

      and "Liberty" are interchangeable? Because they're not: "Freedom" is unqualified; "Liberty" is granted by edict or law and is therefore limited in scope and access. Freedom is natural, whereas Liberty is man-made.

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