A blupete Essay

Freedom's Condition for Existence, Part 6 to blupete's Essay
"On Liberty"

One of the lessons which the Durants left us was that "the freedom of individuals in society requires some regulation of conduct, the first condition of freedom is its limitation; make it absolute and it dies in chaos."14 We cannot have the freedom of each, flounder on the unlimited freedom of all. Professor Friedrich A. Hayek:
"The question then is how to secure the greatest possible freedom for all. This can be secured by uniformly restricting the freedom of all by abstract rules that preclude arbitrary or discriminatory coercion by or of other people, that prevent any from invading the free sphere of any other. In short, common concrete ends are replaced by common abstract rules. Government is needed only to enforce these abstract rules, and thereby to protect the individual against coercion, or invasion of his free sphere, by others. Whereas enforced obedience to common concrete ends is tantamount to slavery, obedience to common abstract rules (however burdensome they may still feel) provides scope for the most extraordinary freedom and diversity. Although it is sometimes supposed that such diversity brings chaos threatening the relative order that we also associate with civilisation, it turns out that greater diversity brings greater order. ..."15
The grand goal is to maximize freedom. Freedom cannot exist by itself; it needs to be draped with the reins of constitutional and criminal laws. These laws, or "common abstract rules" as Hayek called them, will, in the nature of laws, take away freedom in their enforcement, but which are needed to "preclude arbitrary or discriminatory coercion by or of other people." Freedom should be such as to allow each person to pursue the objects of life, restrained only by the limits which the similar pursuits of their objects by other men impose.16 And, to the same point, I quote Canada's Stephen Leacock: "The further difficulty is added that everybody must act up to the rule or else nobody can. If all men are to be equal every man must know that the others will play their part towards him."17

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Peter Landry

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