Positive liberty and legal guarantees

posted by
March 7, 2011
Bleeding Heart Libertarians
by Jason Brennan  
Posted in Commentary

"We often equate freedom with an absence of constraints, impediments, or interference. For instance, you have free speech when no one stops you from speaking your mind. Philosophers call this idea of liberty negative liberty. Marxists have complained that negative liberties, by themselves, are worth little. Negative liberty, Marxists say, is the freedom to be poor, to be unemployed, and to sleep under bridges. Liberty is valuable only if people have the financial and social means to exercise it. Alternatively, some Marxists see liberty as the effective power, capacity, or ability to do what one wills. We can call this conception of liberty positive liberty." (03/07/11)


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