PDA

View Full Version : Freedom? Yeah Right.


uncle ebeneezer
04-28-2010, 12:54 PM
Good post on freedom (http://yglesias.thinkprogress.org/archives/2010/04/freedoms-just-another-word-for-im-an-orthodox-conservative-with-orthodox-conservative-views.php).

This isn’t to say that talk about freedom is a mask for racism, but rather than talk about “freedom” is just talk about conservatism. Conservatives side with business over unions and environmentalists, with police and prosecutors over criminal defendants, with nationalists against cosmopolitans, with majoritarian ethnic and religious groups against annoying weirdos, and with the military against peaceniks. Ideas about freedom and small government are totally irrelevant to the actual political agenda and the Tea Party is no different from any other conservative movement in this regard.

Whatfur
04-28-2010, 03:07 PM
Good post on freedom (http://yglesias.thinkprogress.org/archives/2010/04/freedoms-just-another-word-for-im-an-orthodox-conservative-with-orthodox-conservative-views.php).

Blah blah blah.

AemJeff
04-28-2010, 03:19 PM
Blah blah blah.

Hey lookie here! Epistemic closure in the wild!

Ocean
04-28-2010, 03:47 PM
I love this book (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Fear_of_Freedom) if you care to add it to your pile. :)

bjkeefe
04-28-2010, 04:03 PM
Hey lookie here! Epistemic closure in the wild!

Heh. Also a perfect illustration of the principle The Truth Hurts.

Whatfur
04-28-2010, 09:41 PM
Hey lookie here! Epistemic closure in the wild!

Whatever, mush mouth.

Whatfur
04-28-2010, 09:42 PM
Heh. Also a perfect illustration of the principle The Truth Hurts.

Just like the video, you, the cowardly, loudmouth, punk continues to run away from in your own thread. Fraud.

Whatfur
04-28-2010, 09:50 PM
Y'all are delusional. You invent your own narrow, bullshit caricatures of who you think makes up the conservative side of the aisle and pat eachother on the back about it. Pathetic.

kezboard
04-28-2010, 11:08 PM
You invent your own narrow, bullshit caricatures of who you think makes up the conservative side of the aisle and pat eachother on the back about it. Pathetic.

We don't need to, Fur. We have you.

wreaver
04-29-2010, 05:05 AM
Good post on freedom (http://yglesias.thinkprogress.org/archives/2010/04/freedoms-just-another-word-for-im-an-orthodox-conservative-with-orthodox-conservative-views.php).This isn’t to say that talk about freedom is a mask for racism, but rather than talk about “freedom” is just talk about conservatism. Conservatives side with business over unions and environmentalists, with police and prosecutors over criminal defendants, with nationalists against cosmopolitans, with majoritarian ethnic and religious groups against annoying weirdos, and with the military against peaceniks. Ideas about freedom and small government are totally irrelevant to the actual political agenda and the Tea Party is no different from any other conservative movement in this regard.

While I agree that most self-identified "conservatives" who claim to be pro-freedom but who are not against the Arizona "Your Papers, Please" law, are at best not being logically consistent. I do not think this quote accurately describes the cognition of these self-identified "conservatives".

(Not to mention, I really don't see how "[c]onservatives sid with business over unions and environmentalists" has anything to do with freedom. AFAICT, union laws and environmental laws are incompatible with freedom.)

Some of the logically consistent self-identified "conservatives" that I'm familiar with will be pretty blunt about not having freedom as a goal. Well, not in the sense of libertarians anyways. For these "conservatives", my impression is that freedom is more of a [I]fail over goal, when other goals of theirs don't conflict with it.

For the self-identifying "conservative" masses, my impression is that they're simply not being logically consistent, quite likely for endogenous reasons. (Not to say that this is only a problem with self-identifying "conservatives".) My impression is that many of these self-identifying "conservative" masses are likely not reasoning out what the logical ramifications of being pro-freedom are. (If they did, they'd likely be libertarians instead of "conservatives".) These self-identifying "conservative" masses will only support certain limited forms of freedom, that don't conflict with other goals and "instincts" of theirs.

wreaver
04-29-2010, 05:10 AM
I love this book (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Fear_of_Freedom) if you care to add it to your pile. :)

The notion of the so-called "positive freedom" is more of a political agenda. It's in the same vein as "positive Christianity (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Positive_Christianity)".

I.e., lets redefine this term for whatever political ends; we'll call the original/real meaning of the term "negative" and the redefinition that we want to promote "positive". (Because to many people labeling something "positive" and something "negative" has connotations.)

Florian
04-29-2010, 05:47 AM
The notion of the so-called "positive freedom" is more of a political agenda. It's in the same vein as "positive Christianity (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Positive_Christianity)".

I.e., lets redefine this term for whatever political ends; we'll call the original/real meaning of the term "negative" and the redefinition that we want to promote "positive". (Because to many people labeling something "positive" and something "negative" has connotations.)

If you want to be a strict etymological purist, "freedom" (like the ancient Greek and Latin equivalents) would refer only to "free men" i.e. free citizens as opposed to slaves, women and children. Or you could restrict it to mean, as Hobbes did, to freedom from physical coercition: I am free to the extent that no one inhibits or constrains my actions by force.

The idea of "positive freedom" evolved out of the idea, of Christian origin, of "freedom of the will" and "autonomy." Perhaps it is a meaningless idea, but many philosophers have thought otherwise.

The most famous discussion of negative vs. positive freedom is that of Sir Isaiah Berlin.

Whatfur
04-29-2010, 09:04 AM
We don't need to, Fur. We have you.


Similarly, I have a narrow view of people from Chicago ...most are assholes. Thanks for validating.

Whatfur
04-29-2010, 09:05 AM
More freedom talk from conservatives. (http://www.americanthinker.com/2010/04/subsistence_as_freedom.html)

wreaver
04-29-2010, 11:02 AM
If you want to be a strict etymological purist, "freedom" (like the ancient Greek and Latin equivalents) would refer only to "free men" i.e. free citizens as opposed to slaves, women and children. Or you could restrict it to mean, as Hobbes did, to freedom from physical coercition: I am free to the extent that no one inhibits or constrains my actions by force.

For most self-identified "conservatives" and libertarians, (when the individual is being cogent) this is what they mean when they speak of "freedom" and "liberty".

wreaver
04-29-2010, 11:41 AM
More freedom talk from conservatives. (http://www.americanthinker.com/2010/04/subsistence_as_freedom.html)

Even for the self-identified progressive "liberals" who are capable of logical and rational thinking (as opposed to the progressive "liberal" masses), this won't resonate with them. The thing is, progressive "liberals" have different goals; and have different ways of doing moral "calculations".

It's the same reason a lot of arguments many progressive "liberals" make don't resonate with self-identified "conservatives" and libertarians.

Just consider something like taxation. To a libertarian, it's extortion and theft! Libertarians who (naively) think everyone's cognition is similar to theirs, tend to think progressive "liberals" are sociopaths, because they are willing to harm anyone with money or success and don't have an empathetic response towards for them for the harm that is being done to them.

The thing is, I suspect many of the progressive "liberal" masses are having a purity/sanctity response towards anyone with money and success. I.e., they see them as being "dirty" in a moral sense. And thus this overrides any other possible moral "calculation" for them.

Either way though, progressive "liberals" don't value freedom. And making argument that something violates a person's freedom won't matter to them.

Starwatcher162536
04-29-2010, 12:32 PM
The thing is, I suspect many of the progressive "liberal" masses are having a purity/sanctity response towards anyone with money and success. I.e., they see them as being "dirty" in a moral sense. And thus this overrides any other possible moral "calculation" for them.

For most (Myself included) it is not a "purity/sanctity" response, it is either a fairness or utilitarian response.

The fairness people think that high taxation on the relative successful is acceptable because the aforementioned didn't really earn it anyways. It's merely an outcome of being born privileged. Most data on inter-generational economic mobility support this view.

The utilitarian response is equally straightforward. The utilitarian starts with the a prior value judgment that human happiness should be maximized, and that the utility of wealth has a diminishing returns. Given those two beliefs, a highly redistributive tax schema makes sense.

Back to this threads main issue;Both parties are, in a limited sense, for freedom. The main difference between conservatives and liberals is that liberals do not share with conservatives the belief that the primary curtailment of freedom comes from the Gov't.

As said in the comments section of Ebeneezer's article, I agree that the idea that freedom is roughly inversely proportional to the size of Gov't is nonsense.

wreaver
04-29-2010, 01:48 PM
The thing is, I suspect many of the progressive "liberal" masses are having a purity/sanctity response towards anyone with money and success. I.e., they see them as being "dirty" in a moral sense. And thus this overrides any other possible moral "calculation" for them.For most (Myself included) it is not a "purity/sanctity" response, it is either a fairness or utilitarian response.

Note that in the above statement I made, I was talking of "progressive "liberal" masses". I suspect you're not part of the masses :-) (I.e., you are capable of logical and rational thinking.)

I do agree that the progressive "liberals" who are capable of logical and rational thinking (like yourself) do seem to tend to be more utilitarian. This characteristic is shared by the "conservatives" who are capable of logical and rational thinking as well. (For example, see sites like Secular Right (http://secularright.org/). Or the works of David Hume (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Hume).) Progressive "liberals" and "conservatives" do have different ways of doing moral "calculations" though, and different goals.

But with the progressive "liberal" masses, I have observed the word "capitalist" being used in a very derogatory manner. And have observed what seems to me to be a degree of hostility towards anyone with money and success, which I (perhaps wrongly) interpreted as a purity/sanctity response. Perhaps my experience is not representative. But that does seem like a purity/sanctity response.

The fairness people think that high taxation on the relative successful is acceptable because the aforementioned didn't really earn it anyways. It's merely an outcome of being born privileged. Most data on inter-generational economic mobility support this view.

Yeah, I have observed this cognition among both masses an non-masses progressive "liberals".

For "conservatives" and libertarians, fairness is more about actions. (As opposed to "starting points" or "ending points".)

The utilitarian response is equally straightforward. The utilitarian starts with the a prior value judgment that human happiness should be maximized, and that the utility of wealth has a diminishing returns. Given those two beliefs, a highly redistributive tax schema makes sense.

Yup, still in agreement. You could (at least partially) understand the differences in "conservatism" to progressive "liberalism" in noting that what "conservatives" are trying to maximize is different. I.e., they have different goals.

Back to this threads main issue;Both parties are, in a limited sense, for freedom. The main difference between conservatives and liberals is that liberals do not share with conservatives the belief that the primary curtailment of freedom comes from the Gov't.

As said in the comments section of Ebeneezer's article, I agree that the idea that freedom is roughly inversely proportional to the size of Gov't is nonsense.

I think you are missing an important point here. When "conservatives" say "freedom", they tend to mean something different than when progressive "liberals" say "freedom". When "conservatives" say "freedom", they tend to mean it in the sense that freedom is the absence of (physical) coercion. With respect to this, "conservatives" seem to be quite correct in that "freedom is roughly inversely proportional to the size of Gov't".

Florian
04-29-2010, 02:03 PM
I think you are missing an important point here. When "conservatives" say "freedom", they tend to mean something different than when progressive "liberals" say "freedom". When "conservatives" say "freedom", they tend to mean it in the sense that freedom is the absence of (physical) coercion. With respect to this, "conservatives" seem to be quite correct in that "freedom is roughly inversely proportional to the size of Gov't".

Your last statement is interesting, but utterly absurd. If it were true, even "roughly" true, that freedom is inversely proportional to the size of government, freedom would be at its maximum where there is no government. Maybe you should read the classics of modern political philosophy---Hobbes, Locke, and Rousseau---before spouting such nonsense. Freedom is only possible because governments exist to restrain the unbridled freedom of freedom-loving people like you from degenerating into the war of all against all.

wreaver
04-29-2010, 02:31 PM
I think you are missing an important point here. When "conservatives" say "freedom", they tend to mean something different than when progressive "liberals" say "freedom". When "conservatives" say "freedom", they tend to mean it in the sense that freedom is the absence of (physical) coercion. With respect to this, "conservatives" seem to be quite correct in that "freedom is roughly inversely proportional to the size of Gov't".Your last statement is interesting, but utterly absurd. If it were true, even "roughly" true, that freedom is inversely proportional to the size of government, freedom would be at its maximum where there is no government.

And that's exactly why libertarians want no government!

Many "conservatives" see government as a necessary evil. And despite wanting no government, believe that they must accept a small government to do a small limited set of things that they believe cannot be done without a government. (They have a list of these things.) This is the basis for what they are talking about when they say "limited government".

Maybe you should read the classics of modern political philosophy---Hobbes, Locke, and Rousseau---before spouting such nonsense.

Please refrain from Ad Hominem, and keep things civil. If you have a cogent argument, present it.

Freedom is only possible because governments exist to restrain the unbridled freedom of freedom-loving people like you from degenerating into the war of all against all.

I am really not interested in having a discussion about politics. I am interesting in understanding how people think. I.e., I am not trying to tell you to value "freedom", in the sense of freedom is the absence of (physical) coercion. I am pointing out what the "conservative" concept of "freedom" actually is. (And pointing out that if you want to understand what "conservatives" are saying, then you need to understand this point.)

In that, "conservatives" and libertarians mean something different when they say the word "freedom" than when progressive "liberals" say the word "freedom".

Florian
04-29-2010, 02:46 PM
I am really not interested in having a discussion about politics. I am interesting in understanding how people think. I.e., I am not trying to tell you to value "freedom", in the sense of freedom is the absence of (physical) coercion. I am pointing out what the "conservative" concept of "freedom" actually is. (And pointing out that if you want to understand what "conservatives" are saying, then you need to understand this point.)".

I understand what American conservatives and libertarians are talking about. They are talking nonsense, like you.

Ocean
04-29-2010, 04:08 PM
The notion of the so-called "positive freedom" is more of a political agenda. It's in the same vein as "positive Christianity (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Positive_Christianity)".

I.e., lets redefine this term for whatever political ends; we'll call the original/real meaning of the term "negative" and the redefinition that we want to promote "positive". (Because to many people labeling something "positive" and something "negative" has connotations.)

I read the wiki article you cited about Positive Christianity, but I couldn't find much in common with the idea that Fromm put forward. Indeed Positive Christianity comes across as a political maneuver to pass an antisemitic agenda. It's loaded with that negative sentiment. I frankly, find the comparison rather distasteful considering its clear Nazi content.

Fromm's ideas about positive freedom come from a psychological perspective. His argument is that in the struggle for freedom, people tend to conceptualize freedom from something. This something represents all the coercive, limiting factors to one's freedom against which people fight. This is what he calls negative freedom. However, the problem is that the act of being freed brings uncertainty and fear. This anxiety may impair one's ability to continue to pursue freedom. He proposes that people should aim for positive freedom. Positive freedom refers to the concrete gains once freedom is reached.

These ideas make sense in a psychological and sociological perspective. The political applications are secondary.

kezboard
04-29-2010, 10:31 PM
The thing is, I suspect many of the progressive "liberal" masses are having a purity/sanctity response towards anyone with money and success. I.e., they see them as being "dirty" in a moral sense.

That's nonsense, unless your entire idea of the "progressive liberal masses" are based on some people you met in college. We just don't necessarily think that riches are a gift granted to you from God as a reward for diligence and better morals.

wreaver
04-29-2010, 11:27 PM
That's nonsense, unless your entire idea of the "progressive liberal masses" are based on some people you met in college. We just don't necessarily think that riches are a gift granted to you from God as a reward for diligence and better morals.

@kezboard, please refer to my response to @Starwatcher162536 for clarification...

http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/showthread.php?p=160745#post160745

(Especially note that I'm making a comment about "progressive liberal masses. As opposed to progressive "liberals" who are capable of logical and rational thinking.)

Starwatcher162536
04-30-2010, 01:16 AM
The curtailing of states rights has largely been because of then need to reign in unacceptable behavior and outright stupididty by individual states.

Unacceptable behavior like this: Link1 (http://www.smh.com.au/world/antiabortion-bill-to-block-foetal-test-results-20100421-szqu.html) Link2 (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/28/us/28abortion.html?src=mv)


A second measure passed into law on Tuesday prevents women who have had a disabled baby from suing a doctor for withholding information about birth defects while the child was in the womb.

Those of you that are genuinely for small government should really be speaking up against stupidity like this. This is exactly the kind of dumb shit that results in a stronger federal government.

wreaver
04-30-2010, 01:29 AM
The curtailing of states rights has largely been because of then need to reign in unacceptable behavior and outright stupididty by individual states.

Unacceptable behavior like this: Link1 (http://www.smh.com.au/world/antiabortion-bill-to-block-foetal-test-results-20100421-szqu.html) Link2 (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/28/us/28abortion.html?src=mv)

A second measure passed into law on Tuesday prevents women who have had a disabled baby from suing a doctor for withholding information about birth defects while the child was in the womb.

Those of you that are genuinely for small government should really be speaking up against stupidity like this. This is exactly the kind of dumb shit that results in a stronger federal government.

Small government types and libertarians ARE speaking up against this kind of stuff.

An easy place to see it is to go read libertarian blogs and websites. In fact, if you want to see something recent and are on Twitter, you can see libertarians raging, right now, about some people who self-identify as "conservatives" being hypocritical about claiming to be being pro-freedom but not being against the Arizona "Your Papers, Please" law.

TwinSwords
04-30-2010, 11:31 AM
Small government types and libertarians ARE speaking up against this kind of stuff.

Well, you say so, but perhaps Starwatcher was referring to the libertarian masses, as opposed to those libertarians who are capable of logical and rational thinking.

nikkibong
04-30-2010, 12:13 PM
Well, you say so, but perhaps Starwatcher was referring to the libertarian masses, as opposed to those libertarians who are capable of logical and rational thinking.

the libertarian masses? you mean the 27 people who subscribe to reason magazine?

kezboard
04-30-2010, 12:33 PM
If he's going to generalize about liberals from liberal college students, he might as well generalize about libertarians from libertarian college students too.

uncle ebeneezer
04-30-2010, 12:53 PM
the libertarian masses? you mean the 27 people who subscribe to reason magazine?

Oh man, that just almost made me spit up my coffee! Nice.

Whatfur
04-30-2010, 01:05 PM
Oh man, that just almost made me spit up my coffee! Nice.

Certainly not the same 27 who read Bong's articles.