In this second part of a multi-part essay, Hellishly Good Intentions, Patrick Ross looks at positive and negative definitions of human freedom alongside theories of equality.
The greatest threat to liberty is wrapped up in the answer to this question: are liberty and equality incompatible?
Jan Narveson doesn’t actually share the opinion that liberty and equality are incompatible, but in Are Liberty and Equality Compatible?, co-authored with James Plsubo, she outlines an argument that they are not.
The argument posits that positive liberty – liberty employed to a particular end – is preferable to negative liberty – simple freedom from impediment.
The catch is that those who make this case insist that positive liberty is born of the obligation that is attached to the materially fortunate. At the argument’s conclusion is becomes clear that positive liberty is not actually liberty because it benefits the materially disadvantaged by placing an impediment on those more fortunate.
Because it does so with the most seemingly-laudable intentions, the encroachments of positive liberty upon actualliberty often go unnoticed, or are tolerated.
“One’s own liberty does not...More >>