Friday, December 21, 2007

#48 - Isaiah Berlin and Positive/Negative Liberty

In my continuing coverage of the great minds of Liberty we've already done pieces or mentioned several great names such a Frederich Hayek, Robert Nozwick, Edward G Griffin, Ron Paul, and many more we'll cover as time goes on. Today we will talk about Isaiah Berlin and his concepts of Positive and Negative Liberty, and the reason why Government should practice Negative liberty.

In Negative Liberty, the belief that there should be no constraints or actions on an individuals agency by the state. So basically the government has no role manipulate the control over your life and opportunities whether the intention is good or bad. The more negative freedom an individual has the more possibility of actions one has which gives the individual the autonomy to shape their own lives for better or worse. This can be characterized by Ron Pauls small government views and position against the drug war enabling individuals to make decisions about their own life whether they are bad or good decisions.

In Positive Liberty the priority is the idea that an individual should have the means to perform to the best of their potential. The states role in this vision is to manipulate opportunity in order to promote individuals performing at their best, and the ability to achieve this is freedom. Positive Liberty promote government action and individual involvement, so the drug war would fall into this ideology since it's "positive" manipulation to help the individual perform at their best. This can be characterized by Left wing view on healthcare which implies it's the governments role to assure people perform at their best health potential. This type of thinking would lead to even stricter life Doctrines against smoking and unhealthy foods, as Mike Huckabee has occasionally alluded to. Another example is "moral" legislation against homosexuality with the intention of encouraging an "ideal" lifestyle.

Positive Liberty sounds nice, but leads to Fascism

The dilemma here is what is definition of a individuals best potential? Who decides this? The positive liberty ideology would say those who participate in their government make this decision. Negative Liberty on the other hand prevents government from making these decisions for you so you can pursue your own Individual vision of what is your "best potential".

Negative = Without Restraints Positive = Without "Obstacles"

Promote Liberty, Join the FREEDOM MOVEMENT

No comments: