Monday, April 14, 2014

Liberty Preference

"So, here's to the men who did what was considered wrong, in order to do what they knew was right...what they KNEW was right."
--Benjamin Franklin Gates (National Treasure)

As Jefferson elequently wrote, each of us has been endowed with the inalienable right to liberty. Liberty is defined as the freedom to pursue one's interests absent forcible intrusion by government.

Although each of us is equally endowed with the right to liberty, we are unequal in preference for liberty. Stated differently, some people value liberty more than others.

Those who value freedom highly will protest whenever liberty is impaired. They will naturally be unwilling to surrender or compromise, as they are sensitive to the slippery slope that carves this path. As suggested by Patrick Henry, those who value liberty highly are willing to die for it.

Those with lower liberty preference cannot understand the protestations of those with high liberty preference--at least in the early stages of escalation of state power. People with low liberty preference may be willing to cede liberty in favor of security--however temporary that concession might be. This group is likely to label those with high liberty preference as radicals, and publicly ridicule their dissident behavior.

Perhaps there is some merit to this situation. Without some degree of social restraint, liberty-minded people would likely be in a constant state of revolution in order to regain even small amounts of liberty lost.

As despotic government grows, however, the liberty preference of more people is engaged. When Jefferson' (Locke's) train of abuses gets long enough, then liberty preference reaches critical mass and revolution is put in motion to throw off the tyranny.

Once again, it seems, our Creator demonstrates the wisdom of axiomatic diversity. By endowing individuals with different preferences for liberty, God creates a balance between stability and change. Those with lower liberty preference keep the system from flying out of kilter every time government takes liberty from individuals.

Those with high liberty preference are the canaries in the coal mine of sorts, as they are the first to recognize tyranny and voice early warnings of growing despotism that others cannot sense. The louder this group chirps, the closer the system is to revolutionary change.


Gerry said...

Somewhat related to your post, I found Arnold Kling's The Threee Languages of Politics to be an interesting take on the subject.

dgeorge12358 said...

The reason why men enter into society is the preservation of their property.
~John Locke