Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Negative vs Positive Freedom

No more running down the wrong road
Dancing to a different drum
Can't you see what's going on
Deep inside your heart?
--Michael McDonald

Proponents of the State have argued that there are actually two types of freedom: negative and positive. Prof Williams discusses the difference.

Negative freedom refers to absence of interference or coercion when people pursue their interests. This type of freedom is consistent with natural law and was the basis for the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. A right is a freedom the exists simultaneously among people while imposing no obligation on another. My right to free speech imposes no obligation on you except that of noninterference.

Positive freedom refers to possessing enough resources to act as one wishes. Under this view, people have a 'right' to things like housing, food, and healthcare. However, such things cannot be rights in the historical sense. Providing people with things that they did not earn though production imposes obligations on other people who do produce.

In negative freedom designs, the only legitimate use of force is for defensive purposes. People have the right to defend themselves against aggression and can apply counterforce to do so. Government's role is to help people defend their life, liberty, and property from attack.

In positive freedom designs, offensive force is legitimized to take resources from some to give to others. Government becomes a strong arm for aggression.

Upon examination, then, positive freedom is not freedom at all. Instead, the words are consistent with the bait-and-switch language strategy practiced by Statists. Use a term that people have affinity for and define it in opposite terms. Say 'freedom' but mean 'force.'

Positive freedom requires offensive force. Forcibly using some people to serve the purposes of another is the essence of slavery.

1 comment:

dgeorge12358 said...

Internal freedom is when we abide in the present moment in a state of continual joy, peace of mind and gratitude that are not contingent upon the circumstances of life, and we have shed the chains of negative thoughts and emotions such as fear, worry, lust, anger, guilt, jealousy, envy, pride, greed, gluttony, etc. 

Emotions are always a choice. Why not choose the emotion from your emotional toolbox that best serves others as well as yourself, win-win? The pinnacle of internal freedom exists when it feels better to give, to help someone else, to bring joy to someone else, than it does to get, to receive. And throw in a good dose of compassion, forgiveness and mercy. 

External freedom is when we have the ability, resources, energy, time, health and money to do what we love, what we want, where we want, when we want, with whom we want, how we want, consistent with not violating any other person’s person or property, consistent with keeping our covenants and contracts. External freedom is evidenced by living among people who are self-governing with a balance between individuality and community, void of external coercion by civil government.
~R.E. McMaster