Is capital-eff "FREEDOM" the highest ideological value?
Many on ATS and elsewhere act like it is. The preservation of "liberty" or "freedom" is a seeming argument-stopper for many, and related concepts
(personal freedom, civil liberties, being free of government meddling, and so forth) are frequently trotted out as sacred, shining goals, beyond any
With this thread I would like to make two points:
1) "Freedom" as an ideological value is usually very poorly defined in any given argument that pushes for it.
2) When it is defined, it is usually given excessive, almost mystical importance.
Now I can hear all the steam hissing out of libertarian ears as they read this...for "freedom" truly is the sacred cow of libertarianism. I do not
argue that "we need no freedom."
So save your strawmen. Individual freedom is an important value for almost every society. However, it is not the
value, or in many cases even the primary one. The is also the difference between "freedom from
" and "freedom to.
" Freedom as
usually conceived by libertarians and others on the right is usually "freedom to make this or that choice." However, less talked about, there is also
"freedom from hunger, freedom from want, freedom from fear." These are usually not considered by those who enshrine "liberty" as a sacred value.
The truth of the matter is that personal (or corporate) liberty is only one facet of what defines a society. It is wrong to attach a mystical or
inflated value to freedom at the expense of needs like social protection, cooperation, justice, defense against hostility, community, and the "freedom
from" instability, hunger. poverty, want, exploitation, and so on. A society that pushes sketchily-defined "liberty" at the expense of these other
goals is not a just or fully-functioning society.
edit on 5/30/2012 by Leftist because: (no reason given)