What is this Big Deal About Freedom?

One thing that makes it a big deal is that the degree of freedom each individual should be allowed to have under the American system of government is what determines whether one is a liberal, conservative or libertarian. Supposedly the United States is a "free" country but we all know that this is no longer true because the federal and state laws fill several bookcases and the case law books based on these laws fill a whole library. These do not hold a candle to the rules and regulations implementing these laws since that is another whole library right there. Each one of these laws, rules and regulations diminishes our freedom by dictating what we cannot do and what we must do.

If government diminishes our freedom that much then why have a government at all? The original idea was that government is necessary because without societal order everything falls apart and the strong run roughshod over the weak. The ideal behavior is encoded in the so-called Golden Rule. Of course, the Golden Rule is not a rule at all but rather is a principle. The Ten Commandments are rules saying do this or do not do that. The problem with rules are that they do not provide for reasonable exceptions. Thou shall not kill is a good idea but what about in case of war or self defense? Doing unto others what we would want done unto us provides that necessary flexibility. Ideally ever law, rule or regulation should be tested to see if it needs to be enforced because not everybody follows the Golden Rule.

As governments grow more centralized and more powerful, it always departs from this test and starts promoting what is good for you as opposed to the minimum necessary to enforce Golden Rule behavior. The extent to which government is allowed to do this determines one's political philosophy. Those who insist that government should only do those things necessary to enforce Golden Rule behavior are called libertarians (Goldwater Republicans). They are not interested in what is good for them or even what seems to be fair but only what is necessary to maintain societal order. Liberals on the other hand are more interested in equality than they are in freedom. They are quite willing to harness the power of government to make everyone as equal as possible even if it requires more laws, rules and regulations to produce the desired result.

Perhaps you thought that conservatives were the ones most resistant to governmental control over their lives. That depends upon the issue. Where conservatives depart from libertarians is where religious views come into play. Most conservatives are pro-life and oppose abortion and euthanasia. To them life is more sacred than freedom whereas libertarians feel that freedom is more important than life. They say that if the government has the right to force a woman to have a baby she does not want and feels she cannot properly care for than we have given the government far too much power already. The same goes about "pulling the plug" for a person who is vegetative. Strangely enough, this argument between conservatives and libertarians really comes down to different religious views. A libertarian feels that God's greatest gift to us is free will and we should treat it as such and only give up the bare minimum of freedom to government required to maintain civil order. The conservative view is that God's greatest gift is life itself and that is what should be guarded "religiously" even before freedom.

The average liberal is not much for organized religion because he or she is well aware that organized religion has been competing with government for several millennia over who is in control of the people. Liberals have decided that since democracy has become the prevalent form of government that it should have the control as opposed to the narrow secretarian views of organized religion. Strangely enough liberals if they belong to any church at all tend towards Unitarian churches that have a minimum of rules. Liberals do want freedom from religious dictation but are more willing to give up freedom to a democratic government. Conservatives tend towards hierarchical churches such as Roman Catholic or Baptist churches because they are more willing to give up some freedom to a church than a government. Libertarians say a pox an both your houses and are not willing to give up much freedom to either of them. Liberals want to harness the power of government to provide the greatest good for the greatest number. If this requires giving up more of their freedom to government it is all in a good cause. After all you cannot make an omelet without breaking some eggs.

Thus the big deal about freedom is how much of a big deal it is to you. If it is a very big deal to you then you are a libertarian. If it is not that big a deal to you, you are a liberal. If your view is somewhere in between, then you are a conservative. Strangely enough few people seem to really understand these differing views on the role of government and freedom. What say you?

Comments :

3 comments to “What is this Big Deal About Freedom?”
Casey said...

Two comments. First, "Thou shalt not kill" is a mistranslation. It is more accurately "Thou shalt not murder." Killing in self-defense and in times of war was expressly permitted in the Old Testament (and, I would argue, in the New Testament).

Second, I'd argue that life is more important than freedom, because life is a prerequisite to have freedom. You cannot live in freedom if you are dead. There have to be laws in place to protect life, or all the liberty in the world has no meaning.

gemimail said...

Of course, one can also argue that if one has no freedom, life has no meaning. Obviously there must be laws against murdering a human being. Where the argument comes in is exactly what is a human being? Is that not really what the abortion debate is all about? I have a whole article on that problem called at: http://www.marstonchronicles.info/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=100&Itemid=208

Leah said...

Many of our elected representatives within the Democratic Party are no longer following in the time-honored footsteps laid down by the founding fathers of our great Nation. More importantly, we as democrats see our elected representatives within the Democratic Party abandoning the values and principles as set forth within the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States.

Nonetheless, this is only the beginning of our problems as Democrats, for the current Democratic Party leadership is tainted by corruption and being taken over by Socialists. These Socialists are clearly a threat to everything we hold sacred in America, and they are gaining evermore control over our Democratic Party, our Nation, and the American people.

Despite this, we as Democrats can restore control of the Democratic Party back to the party members. All we need to do is cut off donations to the local, state, and national headquarters of the Democratic Party, and to make sure the donations are made directly to patriotic and honorable Democratic Party candidates that are not corrupt and/or Socialist.

So please help spread the message to everyone of our fellow Democrats. Also, don't forget to contact and request the Unions and other outside contributors to follow our lead as patriotic Americans.

Thank you, and God Bless America.

Web site: http://www.democraticreformparty.com
Blog site: http://blog.democraticreformparty.com