In today’s intellectual chaos, these two terms are regarded as equivalents; in fact, however, they are antithetical. Freedom is fundamentally incompatible with democracy. Political freedom means the absence of physical coercion. Freedom is premised on the idea of individualism: the principle that every man is an independent, sovereign being; that he is not an interchangeable fragment of the tribe; that his life, liberty, and possessions are his by moral right, not by the permission of any group. It is a profound value, because in order to produce food, cultivate land, earn a living, build cars, perform surgery—in order to live—man must think and act on the judgment of his own rational mind. To do that, man must be left alone, left free from the initiation of physical force by the government and by other men.
Since freedom is necessary for man to live, a proper government is one that protects the freedom of individuals. It does that by recognizing and protecting their rights to life, liberty, property, and the pursuit of happiness. It must seek out and punish those—whether domestic criminals or foreign aggressors—who violate the rights of its citizens. Above all, the government’s own power must be strictly and precisely delimited, so that neither the government nor any mob seeking to wield the state’s power can abrogate the freedom of citizens. This kind of government renders the individual’s freedom untouchable, by putting it off-limits to the mob or would-be power lusters. A man’s life remains his own, and he is left free to pursue it (while reciprocally respecting the freedom of others to do the same).
Quinta-feira, Setembro 27, 2012
A Liberdade é incompatível com a Democracia
The “Forward Strategy” for Failure: