The Future or How to Sell the Idea of Liberty

I believe that most people of good will (which is most people in liberal democratic countries) share an underlying value system. And that value system includes a commitment to the ideas of freedom. It also includes shared ideas of fairness, honesty, and benevolence.

In order to sell the idea of liberty, it is essential to show how these shared values intersect and how they can be integrated into society's rules (the laws of the land).

I am engaged in writing a book called Paradigms of Freedom, in which I examine a variety of different conceptions of liberty. It is my intention to show that these ideas of liberty overlap in significant ways. That there is a shared value of liberty underlying whatever your political stripe may be.

I believe this shared value can be integrated and unified with the non-aggression principle. I believe that, among other things, people of whatever political stripe in a liberal democracy, believe the following:

  • thou shalt not kill

  • thou shalt not steal

  • thou shalt not bear false witness (lie or commit fraud)

  • do unto others as you would have them do unto you

  • that people are ends in themselves and not means to the ends of others

  • that the initiation of force is wrong and that the proper use of force is in self-defense or in the pursuit of justice against those who have initiated force

  • that people have certain individual rights including (taken from the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms)

    • freedom of conscience and religion

    • freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication

    • freedom of peaceful assembly

    • the right to enter, remain in and leave your country

    • the right to pursue one's livelihood

    • the right to due process of law including security against unreasonable search and seizure

    • the right not to be arbitrarily detained or imprisoned

    • the right, if charge with an offence, to be informed of the alleged offence, to a speedy trial, to be presumed innocent and various other legal rights

    • equality before the law

  • that right is determined by the nature of an act, not by how many people support it (in other words, might does not make right)

Where people of different political stripes may disagree is:

  • the nature of aggression

  • whether the above principles also apply to governments or just to individuals

  • whether using economic power can be considered as using force

  • whether such rights are absolute or may have exceptions

  • whether the right to pursue one's livelihood includes the right to property and to what extent

These issues and others will be considered in my book, trying to accommodate various different perspectives. The book is in the blog pages and readers are encouraged to participate and offer comments and critiques.

So on to the blog!


The Break Out Report is copyrighted by Break Out Publishing 2013