The Random Comic Strip

The Random Comic Strip

Words to live by...

"How beautiful it is to do nothing, and to rest afterward."

[Spanish Proverb]

Ius luxuriae publice datum est

(The right to looseness has been officially given)

"Everyone carries a part of society on his shoulders," wrote Ludwig von Mises, "no one is relieved of his share of responsibility by others. And no one can find a safe way for himself if society is sweeping towards destruction. Therefore everyone, in his own interest, must thrust himself vigorously into the intellectual battle."

Apparently, the crossword puzzle that disappeared from the blog, came back.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Liberty or License?

I have been wondering of late about the difference between liberty and license. I thought I understood the meaning of liberty but I find that I seem to be in the minority with my definition. This is what says:

[lib-er-tee] noun, plural: lib·er·ties.
1. freedom from arbitrary or despotic government or control.
2. freedom from external or foreign rule; independence.
3. freedom from control, interference, obligation, restriction, hampering conditions, etc.; power or right of doing, thinking, speaking, etc., according to choice.
4. freedom from captivity, confinement, or physical restraint: The prisoner soon regained his liberty.
5. permission granted to a sailor, especially in the navy, to go ashore.

I would say that liberty also entails responsibility for one's actions and respect for others. After all, what's the point of liberty if it only applies to oneself? And personal responsibility is something I was taught went along with liberty.

We do not have full liberty, no society does. That would be anarchy. With full liberty, there would be no laws, no courts, no trials, no government at all; people would be free to do and say whatever they please. Neighbor annoying you? Just kill him or her. So, I would say we have a limited liberty. Or, as I was told as a child: "the freedom to swing your fist ends just short of another's nose."

The question is always just how limited should liberty be?


T.C. said...

Question of the decade. Striking the balance. I know one thing, politicians aren't gonna solve it. A lot of it is common sense as libertarians argue - if something is coerced, liberty is compromised for example.

Bloomberg in NYC over steps his boundaries. His take on the government's role in the lives of private citizens is wrong.

T.C. said...

As an aside, coming back to the site, I noticed someone from Fontenay-aux-Roses in France visited your site. My cousins live in that well-to-do suburb of Paris. Never thought I'd see that. I doubt it's them though.

Douglas said...

Have you heard Bloomberg's latest? He wants cigarettes hidden from view in stores that sell them.