The Cumberland Post

The Cumberland Post
My Backyard, Six Miles from the Cumberland River

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

The Two Kinds of Freedom

Sometimes you read an essay or an article that so sharply delineates an issue that it's like seeing it clearly for the first time. That's exactly the kind of epiphany I experienced as I read Frank J. Fleming's "The Freedom to Be an Adult" at Pajamas Media.

By describing childhood freedom and adult freedom, Fleming identifies the key difference between liberals and conservatives.

Fleming notes that children have an enviable kind of freedom. He says, "There are few real worries when the necessities of survival are guaranteed by your parents, who allow you to be content and carefree."

Adults, however, have another kind of freedom. "As an adult, you always have other options. You can make your own decisions, and if something doesn’t work out, you can try something else. Your options are unlimited, and no other person can hold you down and tell you what to do." 

Fleming says that's the big difference between liberal and conservative conceptions of freedom.  Certainly most liberals don't

see themselves as children in need of the government’s guidance. Instead they see themselves as the parents who know how to properly guide everyone else. People don’t pass laws against trans fats because they’re afraid they themselves will eat unhealthily otherwise; those types of laws are for everyone else the liberals feel they need to forcefully parent for their own good. While the adult freedoms are freedoms we want for ourselves, the child freedoms are mainly inflicted on others we imagine need our control for their own betterment.
I strongly urge you to click on the link above and read this essay in its entirety now. It is a significant argument, one that I believe can even possibly change a liberal's mindset.

1 comment:

  1. Dano, it was good to see you reference pjtv. I thought I was the only one on the planet to know about them. I'm a member. It's a bit expensive at $15/mo but oh so rich in political satire and commentary. My favorite is Vodkapundit (Steve Green). Boy-oh-boy, we've got lots to confabulate on when I'm back in mid. TN.