Freedom

From Critiques Of Libertarianism
Jump to: navigation, search

Freedom has many interpretations. Often it simply means Liberty. Libertarians want to enforce their idea of freedom, rather than engage in political negotiation for which freedoms we will enjoy.

Links

Four Freedoms (4 links)
Franklin Roosevelt's inspirational freedoms that we fought for in WWII. Freedom of speech. Freedom of religion. Freedom from want. Freedom from fear. Far superior to the libertarian idea of economic freedom that benefits corporations and the rich.
Freedom (propaganda) (2 links)
Libertarians prattle a great deal about freedom, but seldom define it well. Freedom is the practical ability to stop people from interfering with your activities. This is a positive, active, costly definition.
Libertarians Misunderstand Freedom (2 links)
Libertarians use freedom as a glittering generality of propaganda. A freedom consists of an ability to do something without a human or natural obstacle. Libertarians redefine freedom as being unobstructed by humans. Either definition of freedom prohibits obstructions by humans. If a freedom is enforced, it is a right (otherwise it is merely a claim) and the prohibition of human obstruction is an enforced involuntary duty. Every enforced freedom creates these unfreedoms. A capability is a freedom where the ability is also a right: there is an enforced involuntary duty to enable in addition to the duty not to obstruct.
Capability Approach (13 links)
Amartya Sen and Martha Nussbaum's successor to liberalism, liberty and rights. This approach to human well-being emphasizes the importance of freedom of choice, individual heterogeneity and the multi-dimensional nature of welfare. It is an excellent substitute for archaic interpretations of liberty or freedom. Most libertarians won't accept it because of (a) "muh property" or (b) the corporations and plutocrats that produce libertarian propaganda won't like its funding requirements.
Cyberlibertarianism: The Extremist Foundations of ‘Digital Freedom’ [More...]
An analysis of the ideology of cyberlibertarianism, placing it within the neoliberal thought collective along with classical liberalism, neoliberalism, and libertarianism. A must read!
Freedom is More Than Small Government [More...]
"My point simply is to suggest that there tends to be a myopia among conservatives and libertarians that is quick to condemn governmental curtailments of individual liberty, while failing to appreciate or even acknowledge expansions of personal freedom and many other things that have enormously improved our lives over those of our parents and grandparents, not to mention those in the distant past."
Globalization, Free Trade and Economic Freedom (33 links)
Code for "let business run the world: the heck with the populace." The anti-liberal dominance of plutocratic property and business over popular sovereignty. Historically, we could extend these concepts to include buying, owning, and selling slaves. The arguments made then were the same. Used by propagandists to trump other freedoms. Also known as economic liberty.
Libertarian Indexes Of Freedom (8 links)
Over the years, many libertarian think-tanks and other Koch-funded organizations have created indexes of freedom that invariably represent the interests of large multinational corporations and the rich while ignoring the interests of ordinary people. This is obviously opposed to democratic ideas of political freedom. The entries in this index are evidence, not criticism.
Liberty (35 links)
Liberty, or freedom, is a zero-sum game. For me to have a liberty, your liberty must be restricted by a duty not to interfere. The liberty of your nose depends on a coercive duty imposed on me to not swing my fist into it. Liberty can be redistributed, but not created or destroyed. Pretending otherwise is one of the great frauds of libertarianism.
Reclaiming the Politics of Freedom [More...]
"[The politics of freedom] views the state the way the abolitionist, the trade unionist, the civil rights activist and the feminist do: as an instrument for disrupting the private life of power. The state, in other words, is the right hand to the left hand of social movement."

Quotations

... the entire modern American libertarian movement -- in principle, advocating a broad range of freedoms, but in practice focusing almost entirely on freedom from taxation and regulation. This is a shame. There are many more kinds of freedom than the narrow set embraced by the modern libertarian movement.
Noah Smith, "Are libertarians ready to embrace a broader notion of freedom?"
Propertarians hate freedom. They like private tyrannies.
Robert Vienneau, comment at "Are libertarians ready to embrace a broader notion of freedom?"
Libertarians always insist that they are defending a philosophy of freedom, but what they are in fact defending is the freedom of a few to maintain their status privileges. The rest of us, without money or votes, always tend to remain distinctly unfree.
Nathan Robinson, "Democracy: Probably a Good Thing"
Libertarian idea of freedom: Be born with nothing. In order to survive, work in whatever way the property owners command. Die with nothing.
Corey Mohler, "Existential Comics on Twitter"
Freedom for the wolves has often meant death to the sheep.
Isaiah Berlin, "Four Essays on Liberty" p.xlv.
The key to understanding this, and to understanding Libertarianism itself, is to realize that their concept of individual freedom is the "whopper" of "right to have the State back up business". That's a wild definition of freedom.
Seth Finkelstein, "Libertarianism Makes You Stupid"
Paradoxically, people exercise their freedom not to be libertarians.
Robert Locke, "Marxism of the Right"
Freedom from trade unions and collective bargaining means the freedom to suppress wages. Freedom from regulation means the freedom to poison rivers, endanger workers, charge iniquitous rates of interest and design exotic financial instruments. Freedom from tax means freedom from the distribution of wealth that lifts people out of poverty.
George Monbiot, "Neoliberalism, the ideology at the root of all our problems"
Class conflict is essential if freedom is to be preserved, because it is the only barrier against class domination.
Arthur Schlesinger, "The Vital Center: The Politics of Freedom" p. 173.
Almost every moralist in human history has praised freedom. Like happiness and goodness, like nature and reality, it is a term whose meaning is so porous that there is little interpretation that it seems able to resist. I do not propose to discuss either the history or the more than two hundred senses of this protean word recorded by historians of ideas.
Isaiah Berlin, "Two Concepts of Liberty"
We should wonder about this impulse of economists like Friedman and Hayek to theorize and write about the meaning of freedom and liberty. Why should economists be taken as the moral authority on what freedom and liberty mean? Are they our new priests? Indeed, Friedman is tipping his hand to a secret about economics as a discipline: economic policies are not value-neutral science.
Howard I. Schwartz, "What Color Tie Do You Vote For?"
Now that we have dug beneath the rhetoric we know that Friedman is really saying that “You are against freedom if you disagree with my theory of government and markets.” Such a claim certainly sounds suspicious for someone who is supposedly defending a diversity of values in the market place. Surely freedom should involve precisely the question of debating what the boundaries between government and markets should be. And surely that very boundary between government and market should be subject to debate and discussion?
Howard I. Schwartz, "What Color Tie Do You Vote For?"
We would say in contrast to Friedman that “Underlying most arguments for a free market is a mistaken assumption that free markets and freedom are one and the same thing.” They are not. The degree of the market’s freedom is always a question within a free society. But there are many gradations of free markets and there can be multiple ways to draw the line between government and the market and all of them can comfortably sit under the rubric of a free society.
Howard I. Schwartz, "What Color Tie Do You Vote For?"
Libertarians think they own the word “freedom,” but it’s a word that often obfuscates more than enlightens. If you believe the Johann Wolfgang von Goethe quote “None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free,” then libertarians live in a prison of their own ideology.
Edwin Lyngar, "Why I fled libertarianism -- and became a liberal"