We often think of liberty as something associated with self-reliance and preparedness. It seems to be an easy concept. We are free. Right? What really is the definition of freedom? What is the difference between liberty and captivity? Is there anywhere in between?
Liberty is a natural state for human beings. We want to be free. This does not mean we live in a free society. We often think of freedom as being associated with democracy. Nothing could be further from the truth. There is a saying, it goes something like this,
Democracy is like two wolf and a sheep deciding what’s for dinner.
You see democracy is ruled by majority. There is not consent for the minority. The minority’s rights are not protected in this instance. By definition this is way a democracy works. Majority rule does not account for the minority. This is why we have a republic. It insures the rights of the minority. The majority can not make a law which infringe on the rights of the minority.
Liberty is a personal thing. Your definition of liberty is different from mine. I believe as long as your definition of liberty does not infringe on my definition then all will be well. I think that is where we get into trouble. You make think different from me. As long as we have an honest debate then we can resolve most issues. Where I think we get into trouble is I think you ought to not be doing what you are doing. Remember, as long as what you do does not infringe on my rights then I am fine.
We often hear about rights and how they were violated, but we as a general rule forget where they come from. I think the big issue are those to look to government to grant right or grant freedom. They can not. Government is only there to retroactively give retribution to those whose rights have been violated. They can not create them. We have to understand that we are given rights by our human nature. I think most would agree that you have a right to live. Government can not grant you life. It can not give you life. It is only there to protect your life or pay retribution to one who took your life. If government could grant you life, by default it could decide whose life not to grant and take away life. The purpose of government is to defend rights when they have been violated.
We next have to look at liberty and the results it has upon us, the individual. With liberty and rights comes opportunity. If everyone has the same playing field available it allows all to compete. This does not mean everyone gets to hit a home run. Can you hit? Do you want to play? Can you see the ball? Many factors go into hitting a home run. In this scenario everyone gets to play on the same field but what happens is up to the individual. Just as in life, if the playing field is level, the outcomes will be different. This is a basic understanding of liberty. Each individual gets to choose how they want to play the game of life, you can hit a home run or not even get up to bat the ball. But you do get to live with the consequences.
With that each person must be the one to defend liberty. It is up to us to preach its virtue. Since liberty is a personal issue for everyone, everyone must be the one to defend it. By its definition we can not allow government to defend them. Government enacts retribution when they are violated but they are not the defender of the rights. We are the defender of the right.
Stay tuned for part 2 where I will discuss
- Rights and responsibilities
- Getting everything you want
- “pretty” liberty
- Victimless liberty
- The Liberty you hate
- You are not born free
Making Life’s Road a Little Smoother