- Capitalism and Alternatives -
Posted by: Mike on October 15, 1999 at 19:40:42:
In Reply to: Freedom to or freedom from? posted by Barry Stoller on October 15, 1999 at 13:27:30:
I enjoyed your thoughtful essay on freedom. Not much I can add over a time-delayed message board, when compared to an actual face to face discussion. I suppose freedom is useless without a sense of responsibility towards (and more importantly, for) others, which I agree with you is a notion missing from libertarian arguments.
Freedom does not exist in a vacuum; it works inside the moral framework of society. To achieve positive freedom, as you put it, we need to establish a truly moral, compassionate society. Of course, what's moral and compassionate is subjective. My own take on it is, avoid doing harm to others, which coincides with The Golden Rule and other ancient principles. But can human beings really follow this advice?
A very smart friend of mine believes that the human race is so successful, biologically speaking, because we are so vicious. It is because we are willing to crush and exploit animals, and other people, that our race as a whole succeeds. However, since we've reached the point where our "success" is threatening our very world, and hence us, perhaps being vicious isn't really a winning strategy. :)