Is it a question of Liberty?

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  1. tsmog profile image78
    tsmogposted 14 months ago

    As we all know there is an obvious dispute between doing something and not doing something; i.e. masking and vaccinating. Simple enough, thus there is a question of Liberty with our own views what Liberty is.

    We formed that from life experience, education, social interaction, and, yes, imposing authority preventing it and as well as guaranteeing it. Those forces/dynamics of authority are social, religious, and governmental. Sociology explains it with four elements; mores, folkways, taboos, and laws. … ws-3026267

    Mr. Webster gives us definitions/meanings of Liberty with two parts; essential meaning and full definition. Following next is the first of four listed for full definition, which I think most would agree to.

    ** the quality or state of being free
    ** the power to do as one pleases
    ** freedom from physical restraint
    ** freedom from arbitrary or despotic control
    ** the positive enjoyment of various social, political, or economic rights and privileges
    ** the power of choice

    For all the facets of the essence of meaning and full definition see the following link:

    For the sake of discussion I think it should be pointed out that some scholars including those within the legal realm think there is a difference between freedom and liberty, yet with everyday life they are used interchangeably. For both Free Will and determinism come into the discussion with thought.

    One simple way to see it, though open for discussion, is liberty is individual and freedom is collective. Another consideration is freedom is used in the sense of independence and liberty in the sense of a right. For example two documents created by governments (Collective) the Magna Carta and Bill of Rights within our Constitution guarantee individual Liberties through laws. Perhaps one way to see it is I have the liberty to do something, yet don't have the freedom in some cases, e.g. it is illegal. Farther below are links to three views of the difference.

    Back to statement of “Is it a question of Liberty?” . . . One encounter in my life experience with the dilemma we see today was as a smoker being prevented from doing so as I pleased in any setting. Do you agree that is parallel to masking and even vaccinating regard liberty?

    Both have those same social forces seen above leading to laws/regulations instituted to enforce compliance to a desired behavior of the individual while imposing on their individual liberty.

    The logic for that principal in my view follows the same line of how beliefs are formed with life experience, education, and social/government forces/dynamics as well as science and the media. To some that evidence is overwhelming, e.g. smoking and cancer contrast masking/vaccinating against covid. The end result being Liberty is at question. No, this is not meant to be a pro-smoking discussion, it is only meant to offer food for thought with the dynamics of Liberty.

    Of course we see Liberty is root to many facets of our lives most definitely politically. 

    For references for insight with liberty/freedom offered are the following topics with links. There may be value seen with a cursory peek and skim.

    Locke on Freedom – Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (BTW he used liberty and freedom interchangeably, though he is seen as the Father of Liberalism)

    Positive and Negative Liberty – Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy … -negative/

    Opening paragraph is:
    Negative liberty is the absence of obstacles, barriers or constraints. One has negative liberty to the extent that actions are available to one in this negative sense. Positive liberty is the possibility of acting — or the fact of acting — in such a way as to take control of one’s life and realize one’s fundamental purposes. While negative liberty is usually attributed to individual agents, positive liberty is sometimes attributed to collectives, or to individuals considered primarily as members of given collectives.

    A quick view is:
    All of the rights in the Bill of Rights are designed as limits on government. They say what government cannot do, not what it must do. Such limits are known as negative rights, versus the positive rights of requiring government to provide jobs and healthcare.

    The Five Concepts of American Liberty – National (Very enlightening regard political dynamics with views of Liberty) … an-liberty

    Opening paragraph:
    When we carefully consider the idea of liberty through the lens of the American political tradition, we find that Americans have held, and continue to hold, five interlocking but distinct understandings of the term. First and foremost, liberty has been regarded as the protection of natural rights — a notion of liberty we might simply call “natural-rights liberty.” Second, we have taken liberty to refer to the self-governance of a local community or group, a conception we might call “classical-communitarian liberty.” Third, we have taken the term to refer to economic individualism, or what we might call “economic-autonomy liberty.” Fourth, we have understood it to refer to the social justice of the national community, or what might be called “progressive liberty.” And fifth, we have understood liberty to refer to moral individualism, which we can call “personal-autonomy liberty.”

    That view as all is a take or leave it one. Yet, I think it holds true today with perspectives of the two main political parties. There is the on going struggle of the dynamics of Liberty as a whole seeking hopefully compromise to come upon a resolution.

    1 Natural Rights Liberty
    2 Classical-communitarian liberty. Self-governance of a community or group
    3 Economic Individualism / economic-autonomy liberty
    4 Progressive Liberty - Social justice of a national community
    5 Personal-autonomy liberty

    Conservative - #1 & #3
    Liberal - #4 & #5
    Libertarian - #3 #5

    The Philosophy of Liberty by Ron Paul – YouTube Video (8:15 min) This is not a lecture it is graphics with musical enhancement. Worth a peek.

    Explanations of difference between Liberty and Freedom … s-liberty/ … d-freedom/ … nd-liberty

    1. CHRIS57 profile image60
      CHRIS57posted 14 months agoin reply to this

      I am very impressed. A very interesting topic.

      I aggree with what you collected and concluded and also what Arthur (Nathanville) contributed.

      Please allow me to keep things simple with this question:
      How do we measure freedom?

      Imho we can only measure and value freedom, if there are boundaries, restrictions that allow comparison.

      If it was not prooven that smoking causes cancer, there would be no restrictions on smoking in public places. And without restrictions this would not even be any source for discussion. Same for current mask mandates or other restrictions along the pandemic.

      We only realise what freedom is, if we face restrictions. Only then.

      For this topic the old German song comes to my mind:
      "Die Gedanken sind frei"

      1. Nathanville profile image92
        Nathanvilleposted 14 months agoin reply to this

        Thanks for sharing, I love the lyrics, very emotive.

        1. CHRIS57 profile image60
          CHRIS57posted 14 months agoin reply to this

          and a beautiful melody. Though not easy to sing. More than 1 octave is already task for a casual singer...

      2. tsmog profile image78
        tsmogposted 14 months agoin reply to this

        A good question . . . how do we measure Freedom? From my point of view sticking to my point there is a difference between Freedom and Liberty. Freedom is measured by sociological forces - folkways, mores, taboos, and finally while probably most importantly laws telling us specifically where the line is. With business there are contracts and nations treaties.

        So, yes, I am agreeing with you boundaries are needed to give measurement to Freedom.  That could be as simple as a definition that is accepted by a group of some kind. Yet, I say that knowing that Freedom as well as Liberty are abstract nouns. In other words are conceptual and intangible. 

        With liberty my dad taught us that ours ended where your nose began. He would say if I did hit your nose I took liberty to do so. One of the articles about the difference between freedom and liberty said you fight for liberty and you defend freedom. I don't know if that helps or not.

  2. Nathanville profile image92
    Nathanvilleposted 14 months ago

    Wow, very comprehensive.  I like your analogy between smoking and masks/vaccines.

    From a European perspective, there’s a strong inherent view that “With Freedom Comes Responsibility”, for examples:

    •    The ‘freedom of speech’ should not extend to ‘hate speech’ e.g. speech that hurts others (vulnerable individuals/minority groups etc.) and or speech that incites others to violence.

    •    Masks and vaccines of course isn’t just to protect oneself against covid, it’s also seen by most (at least across Europe) as sacrificing individual freedom of choice for the greater benefit of the whole (society).

    Also, in watching the Doomsday Preppers series on TV, the American Doomsday Preppers prime goal is always to isolate themselves (and their family) and arm themselves to the teeth so that in a Doomsday scenario they would shoot anyone who encroached on their plot of land?

    While in contrast, the British Doomsday Preppers in a similar TV series prime goad was always to plan to seek out others and build a community, so as to share their skill sets and resources – Safety in Numbers.

    To sum up, in many respects, Europeans tend to think more of ‘the collective’ (society) first, and the individual second; so I’m trying to get an understanding on how ‘liberty’ and ‘freedom’ fits in with the European ethos?

    1. Castlepaloma profile image75
      Castlepalomaposted 14 months agoin reply to this

      Was from classic Liberal, yet a bit more anarchist now. This new Liberty political breaks all the freedom and choice rules. Tooled  much by restrictions and mandates and their masses depressing tool box. Best one yet, around the world is over Covid world order.

      Individualism and family independent first, the Government is secondary to take care of the small stuff.  Basically people are a lot nicer and decent than centralism.

      1. tsmog profile image78
        tsmogposted 14 months agoin reply to this

        Thanks! I think I understand you saying our Liberty is in essence violated by this Covid world order?

    2. tsmog profile image78
      tsmogposted 14 months agoin reply to this

      Thanks! I agree and think most do too with your perspective that "With Freedom Comes Responsibility". Yet, also at times the force of individual Liberty ignores the force of collective Freedom. I may have that mixed? I am still working at wrapping my head it.

      A footnote for that is the rather lengthy last article goes into Liberty from five views of it related to American politics that interact regarding liberal contrast conservative, which for me switched on a light. There is the emphasis of collective vs. individual liberty.

      Regarding masking/vaccination contrast smoking I see that as historical evidence of the social forces (Mores, folkway, taboos, ultimately leading to laws/regulations) to enforce a behavior. I feel it is taken for granted by smokers and nonsmokers when and where one may smoke, thus appropriate behavior will evolve. Of course how covid evolves will play into the mix with masking/vaccination.

      I like the example of the two differing Doomsday Preppers as an example of American and as you said European mindsets. Stark.

      1. Castlepaloma profile image75
        Castlepalomaposted 14 months agoin reply to this

        I don't trust Governments, one time doctors were saying smoking was healthy. Still smoking today is worst than Covid deaths . Or sexual disease, yet  shut-in down the world more is harmful
        for everyone. Prohibitsion and mandate have not ever worked
        Wareness and education does. Forcing wills and Wars sovles nothing.

      2. Nathanville profile image92
        Nathanvilleposted 14 months agoin reply to this

        Yes, always a fine balance between ‘individual Liberty’ and ‘collective Freedom’; which sometimes has to be reinforced with Legislation e.g. anti-smoking laws, mandatory masks etc.

        Going off at a tangent slightly, these sort of discussions often remind me of articles I’ve read in the past in New Scientist about bacterial communities, and how even bacteria communicates with each other within a community and how it’s common for individual bacteria to sacrifice themselves for the good of the community. 

        I can’t find those articles now, but I did find this one, which I found, and interesting read, and touches on some of the points: -

        The point I derive from this is that survival of the individual is conditional on the survival of the colony (society) seems to be inherent in nature, therefore self-sacrifice for the benefit of the colony seems inherent in nature, even at the bacterial level….. And even though such self-sacrifice conflict with the individual’s evolutionary drive to survive and reproduce!

        So again it seems to come back to a fine balance ‘individual Liberty’ and ‘collective Freedom’.

        Just found this New Scientist article:-

        “Bacteria sacrifice themselves when under attack to save their colonies”, although without subscribing you can only read the first paragraph, it’s not dissimilar to other articles I’ve read in the past: - … -colonies/

        Although this short article also makes for some interesting reading “Altruism in bacteria: colonies divide the work”: … e-the-work

        1. Castlepaloma profile image75
          Castlepalomaposted 13 months agoin reply to this

          I get to choose my sacrifice, not by the over obedience of the most evil groups of people in the world. They don't have a say on how I live my life. If dear car accident and masquito combined kill me more than Covid deaths in a year. I'm not going let it harm my freedom and financial. Or by anyone claiming to be my God. Who was their slave last year?

  3. Nathanville profile image92
    Nathanvilleposted 13 months ago

    As you suggested Tim, on the grounds that they are about ‘Freedom and Liberty’ I’ve included below the various Celtic Nations National Anthems in the UK, Scotland, Wales and Cornwall, and that for Ireland (who gained independence from British Rule in the Irish civil war in the 1920s.

    1:  The Scottish National Anthem “Flower of Scotland” lyrics are about Scotland’s victory over England in the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314 when Robert the Bruce (Scotland) won against the army of King Edward II of England.

    Scottish National Anthem (with lyrics):

    Fhlùir na h-Alba (Flower of Scotland) verse sung in Gaelic:

    2:  The Irish National Anthem “Amhrán na bhFiann” (English translation – "The Soldier's Song") was written and composed shortly before the Irish Civil war in the 1920’s when southern Ireland won independence from British rule, to become the Republic of Ireland:-  the chorus of their National Anthem is:-

    Soldiers are we,
    whose lives are pledged to Ireland,
    Some have come
    from a land beyond the wave,
    Sworn to be free,
    no more our ancient sireland,
    Shall shelter the despot or the slave.
    Tonight we man the "bearna bhaoil",
    In Erin's cause, come woe or weal,
    'Mid cannons' roar and rifles' peal,
    We'll chant a soldier's song.

    Irish National Anthem, sung in Irish but with English lyrics in the sub-titles.

    3:  The Welsh National Anthem “Hen Wlad Fy Nhadauis” ("Land of My Fathers") is a patriotic anthem promoting Wales; one translation of the first part of the anthem reads:-

    The old land of my fathers is dear to me,
    Land of bards and singers, famous men of renown;
    Her brave warriors, very splendid patriots,
    For freedom shed their blood.

    Welsh National Anthem, sung in Welsh, with English sub-titles:

    4:  The Cornish National Anthem is based on Sir Jonathan Trelawny, 3rd Baronet (1650-1721) who was the Bishop of Bristol, Exeter and Winchester; he was instrumental in events leading up to what’s known as the ‘Glorious Revolution’ e.g. the deposition of King James II in 1688; and therefore a hero in the eyes of Cornwall.

    National Anthem of Cornwall, sung in Cornish, but with English sub-titles:-

    And this video below, made 7 years before 2014 when England granted Cornwall its ‘protected status as a minority nation’ reflects some of the anti-English feeling in Cornwall at the time:

    Historically, when the Romans invaded Britain 2,000 years ago the Celts were either pushed to extremities, Scotland, Ireland, Wales and Cornwall, or they were Romanised.  And likewise, with the subsequent invasion and occupation of England by the Anglo-Saxons in the 5th century, followed by the Normans in 1066, the Celtic nations of Ireland, Scotland, Wales and Cornwall largely maintained their independent identity.

    Since 1997 and prior to 2014 the people of Scotland and Wales have the legal right for ‘self-determination’ e.g. referendums for their own Parliaments and ultimately Independence (the ‘will’ of the people); and Northern Ireland has similar rights embedded in the Peace Treaty (Good Friday Agreement) of 1998.

    However, Cornwall did not have similar rights until (following an extensive campaign by the Cornish people) the UK Government gave Cornwall legal protection as a ‘minority nation’, bestowing on Cornwall the same legal rights for ‘self-determination’ and Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

    Cornwall granted national minority status by UK Government:

    1. tsmog profile image78
      tsmogposted 13 months agoin reply to this

      Thanks for the info. Sharing I really at this time do not understand how it works with the UK. I know there are four countries each with their own history, tradition, to some extent language, and importantly government with laws. I imagine it is a delicate dance to balance the UK with each individual country. I am glad you understand it smile

      1. Castlepaloma profile image75
        Castlepalomaposted 13 months agoin reply to this

        Yes, each country has their own thing, if one doesn't like it, move.

        1. tsmog profile image78
          tsmogposted 13 months agoin reply to this

          At times easier said than done, don't you think. You are still where you are aren't you?

          1. Castlepaloma profile image75
            Castlepalomaposted 13 months agoin reply to this

            Not so hard me before, except now we have gone communist like and being unvaccinated it's impossible. Until we can beat off the Government and Pharmaceutical from trying own our body's mind and souls.

      2. Nathanville profile image92
        Nathanvilleposted 13 months agoin reply to this

        Don’t worry, I find it confusing at times as I try to get my head around all the intricacies of it all!

        But perhaps this short video below will help to clarify?

        The Difference between the United Kingdom, Great Britain and England Explained

        Britain does seem to be good at making things unnecessarily complex and confusing; it not just countries (the four nations) within a country (the UK), but also most people don’t realise that’s there’s two London’s (a city within a city); as explained in these two short videos below:

        The 2nd video in particular might perhaps be considered to raise some interesting points in respect to ‘Liberty & Freedom’?

        The (Secret) City of London: History Edition:

        The (Secret) City of London: Government Edition:

        1. tsmog profile image78
          tsmogposted 13 months agoin reply to this

          Thanks bunches!! All three videos were very informative opening many doors for me where one is appreciating differences. In that I mean I am familiar mostly with here where I reside and take that as a given or for granted in the sense it is the same elsewhere.

  4. Nathanville profile image92
    Nathanvilleposted 13 months ago

    While Liberty and Freedom is imbedded in the American Constitution of 1788 ‘Freedom’ and ‘Liberty’ in Britain is something that has been fought for since before the Magna Carta of 1215, and a fight that continues to this day.

    One key moment in English history, that’s still celebrated to this day, is the ‘failed attempt by Guy Fawkes (Catholic) on 5th November 1605 to assassinate King James I (Protestant) by blowing up Parliament (Gunpowder Plot) with the intention of then putting the 9 year old daughter of King James (Elizabeth) on the throne as a Catholic Queen. … owder_Plot

    Ever since the failed assassination attempt by Guy Fawkes the event has been celebrated each November 5th as ‘Guy Fawkes Night’ (Bonfire night) when people across England burn effigies of Guy Fawkes on bonfires, and eat and drink around the bonfire while setting off loads of fireworks.

    Disturbing Origin of Bonfire Night & Guy Fawkes Day:

    Lewes Bonfire: Britain's most dangerous Guy Fawkes celebration:

    1. tsmog profile image78
      tsmogposted 13 months agoin reply to this

      Again, thanks bunches. In the first video the point of it is celebratory of Liberty was his associating to the 4th of July celebration here in the U.S. as well as with Cinco de Mayo for Mexico at the beginning of the video. The latter impacts me here where I live in San Diego county of California as it borders Mexico. So, we have a very large population of Hispanics (40%) mostly Mexican that celebrate Cinco de Mayo. A passing thought I had while watching was the question of Liberty with the Reformation. hmmmm . . . Thanks for sparking that thought for my ongoing project of looking into Liberty/Freedom and Liberalism.

      1. Nathanville profile image92
        Nathanvilleposted 13 months agoin reply to this

        Wow, I wasn't familiar with the Cinco de Mayo, so I looked it up on Wikipedia and found this video (below) on YouTube; which seems enlightening. 

        What is Cinco de Mayo? A Brief History & Facts About Cinco De Mayo:

        Is there anything of significance that the video misses, or does the video sum it up?

        1. tsmog profile image78
          tsmogposted 13 months agoin reply to this

          The video does a great job of highlighting the history while I learned from it. So, thanks for posting. What is significant for me as shared with your earlier post is the celebration of a victory of Liberty. I am sure many countries have them.

          Cinco de Mayo here where I live is celebrated with as much enthusiasm as the 4th of July. It is a Mexican holiday and here socially, though not recognized by any state/federal government. It is an economic boon for Hispanic businesses during that week. And, on that day naturally the restaurant businesses draw is significant as well as street vendors and food trucks at organized events.

          As a side note you will see pick-up trucks driving the streets in my city with the Mexican flag flying from them. And, of course they are displayed at events and homes. I am sure that happens throughout southern California.

          1. Nathanville profile image92
            Nathanvilleposted 13 months agoin reply to this

            Wow - sounds cool.

            1. tsmog profile image78
              tsmogposted 13 months agoin reply to this



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