is freedom real

Discussion in 'Politics' started by midcan5, Oct 11, 2007.

  1. midcan5
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    midcan5 liberal / progressive

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    Another item for debate.

    What does freedom mean

    Four woman live in two different countries, one country is a democracy and the second totalitarian. All the woman believe that they live in complete individual freedom. That value is written into the governing documents of each country. One day the two woman from the democracy decide to go on vacation. One woman buys her ticket and gets on a plane to Bermuda. The other woman has limited resources and when she gets to the airport is told she cannot board the plane without a ticket. Finally after much dispute she is arrested and thrown into a state jail.

    One day the two woman in the totalitarian state decide to travel abroad. One works in government and gains permission to go to Bermuda. The other woman checks with her local commissar and is told she cannot travel to Bermuda. Travel to Bermuda is not allowed. She disputes the decision and is soon thrown into a state jail. Two woman exercised their freedom two couldn't, yet each held the same value.

    If our original premise is they all have equal freedom, why are the results within these two distinct states similar? While the answer is obvious can we then say a person with limited resources is free?

    with apologies to Adam Swift


    "Where freedom is real, equality is the passion of the masses. Where equality is real, freedom is the passion of a small minority." Eric Hoffer

    "The basic test of freedom is perhaps less in what we are free to do than in what we are free not to do." Eric Hoffer
     
  2. Doug
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    Doug Active Member

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    If it were the case that in free countries the ordinary people were extremely poor and had no prospect of changing their condition, while in totalitarian countries the ordinary people had a high and rising standard of living, then this would be an interesting question. Freedom vs prosperity, which is best?

    But since in reality we find that the masses in the totalitarian countries are poor, and that the masses in the free countries are not, it is not an interesting question.

    It simply shows that the single word "free" is not adequate to encompass everything that we find desirable, and that life is complex and multi-dimensional.
     
  3. midcan5
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    midcan5 liberal / progressive

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    Doug, you are assigning values that are not part of the question. But some would argue your first paragraph is correct while your second is incorrect. I assume then it is an interesting question.
     
  4. Annie
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    Annie Diamond Member

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    You say his second paragraph is incorrect. So, which non-democratic countries are wealthy? Which democratic countries have the majority in poverty?
     
  5. midcan5
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    midcan5 liberal / progressive

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    Kathianne, this isn't a question about levels of poverty. We can always use a scale and say this is better this is worse. We could say a peasant in a communist country is better off then the homeless person in a democracy, or a person in socialist state with healthcare has it better than a person living in a communist country who wasn't a member of the party. We could even find examples or exceptions if we looked. This is whether freedom exists if you cannot exercise that freedom. It is word used so often I wonder at its meaning.
     
  6. Annie
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    Annie Diamond Member

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    My response wasn't about poverty, rather your contention that the previous poster's second paragraph was wrong. I was asking, how? You know, backing up your point?
     
  7. Diuretic
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    Diuretic Permanently confused

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    As long as there is something called "government" then freedom is always limited.
     
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  8. Annie
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    Annie Diamond Member

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    The only thing worse than government, is no government. On that I'll plead being Hobbesian.
     
  9. midcan5
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    midcan5 liberal / progressive

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    Kathianne, I said "some" would disagree - It's not the point I want to discuss. For instance, who are the masses? and where? Sure there are South American and Africa countries were the masses are poor and their form of government is considered democratic.

    Diuretic,
    Our first pres said it best, it is a point I argue often - We are the government.

    "The unity of Government, which constitutes you one people, is also now dear to you. It is justly so; for it is a main pillar in the edifice of your real independence, the support of your tranquillity at home, your peace abroad; of your safety; of your prosperity; of that very Liberty, which you so highly prize. But as it is easy to foresee, that, from different causes and from different quarters, much pains will be taken, many artifices employed, to weaken in your minds the conviction of this truth; as this is the point in your political fortress against which the batteries of internal and external enemies will be most constantly and actively (though often covertly and insidiously) directed, it is of infinite moment, that you should properly estimate the immense value of your national Union to your collective and individual happiness; that you should cherish a cordial, habitual, and immovable attachment to it; accustoming yourselves to think and speak of it as of the Palladium of your political safety and prosperity; watching for its preservation with jealous anxiety; discountenancing whatever may suggest even a suspicion, that it can in any event be abandoned; and indignantly frowning upon the first dawning of every attempt to alienate any portion of our country from the rest, or to enfeeble the sacred ties which now link together the various parts."

    http://www.quotedb.com/speeches/washington-farewell-address
     
  10. AllieBaba
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    AllieBaba BANNED

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    The woman with limited resources is free to marry a rich man, take a rich lover, apply for a better job, write a book which will make her money, or build her own plane or boat or whatever.

    Limited resources does not mean a person is not free. If a person with limited resources is not allowed to better themselves and advance in life, THEN they aren't free.

    And totalitarian societies are renowned for allowing an elite few every freedom (including ones considered illegal by most civilized societies) in the world. While oppressing the majority of the population. So that individual woman may have freedom because she is elite.

    It's not the same, nor is it the kind of freedom I would wish, because it could vanish in a moment due to the fact her rights can be taken at any moment.
     

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