Friday, July 10, 2009

Liberties

The gulf between any progressive modern liberal and any laissez faire capitalist is as wide as one single word. The word is liberty.

A laissez faire capitalist speaks of liberties which are prohibitions placed on the state and all other men for the benefit of the individual. The right to life, liberty and property, properly construed limit the civil authority and civil interactions in the favour of the individual.

A progressive modern liberal uses the word to describe liberties that are claims made against the freedoms of some or all of the individuals within a polity. Who makes these claims? Well, society does. Who is society? Well, comes the answer, we all are... collectively

But that answer is and must be a lie.

Societies are made up of individuals, that is the one and only non-divisible entity within them. A demand made by "society" is nothing more than the force and will of some applied against the individuals. Some of this force is applied by politicians to satisfy the nebulous and whim-driven "will of the people" (which amounts to some of the people, some of the time) and some is applied by, of and for the political class, the politicians, the influence peddlers and pressure groups.

Almost as damaging as this force is the philosophical attachment of these two concepts to polar opposite connotations. The branding of the classic (real) liberties as "negative" and the progressive (false) as "positive" has become, in my opinion, the most astounding piece of doublespeak ever accomplished.

The subliminal assurance is that with "positive liberties" we are gaining freedom, with "negative liberties" we are loosing them.

But when one realizes that you can not, by definition, use force against the will of some in order to claim you are granting a "liberty" to all, it becomes obvious that "society" as an entity is undefined and undefinable and declaring a liberty in its name is at best utterly senseless and in fact it is utterly impossible.

With this realization comes the revelation that the only true unit of measure in a "society" is the individual. As a corollary it is realized that anything done for "society" as a whole will necessarily violate the real liberties of the individual. The liberty to live life in the manner of your choosing. The Liberty to be free of compulsion, fraud and force. And finally the liberty of all men to own, in the purest sense of that word, all that they create and all that they earn.

These liberties make no demand on other men.

So the next time someone says that 'such and such is a right or ought to be a right' ask yourself what this right demands, who it demands payment, sacrifice or duty from, and judge accordingly.

1 comment:

Joshua said...

I fucking love this blog. Keep it up.