The two kind of freedoms

When liberal talks about freedom, they often confuse two kinds of freedom. One kind of freedom is what usually guarantee by law: The freedom from fear, The freedom from deprivation, The freedom from torture, the freedom from religion. However, there is one kind of freedom which many of us ignore because of its nature: It is the freedom to become a better human, the freedom to self-actualize, the freedom to realize one’s potentialities. That is the freedom which Eric Fromm talked about in his books, and is a central tenet of Humanism.
One of disadvantage of Liberalism as compare to Humanism is that it lacks a goal of how to apply the freedom. Liberal only said what the state shouldn’t do, but it seldom said what the state should do to promote the physical and psychological health of its citizen, or at least how should the citizen use the freedom from state for a goal not just better themselves but also benefit the society as a whole. Those liberals have a strong case when conservative is imposing their ideal life into everyone else, but conservative has an upper hand in the sense which it give clear direction to its follower. Humanist could compete with conservative in the merit of the goal of freedom, which liberal can’t.
It appears to me that the major difference between political left and right is on the issue of freedom. For the political right, the left is imposing their positive freedoms onto the society, thus deprive the citizen a choice of not using the freedom positively. For the political left, the right is forcing their negative freedoms onto the society, thus deprive the citizen a choice of using the freedom positively.

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~ 由 newnewhkcc1976 於 五月 26, 2008.

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