Originally Posted by Warfish
Agreed, and well said (I'm saying that alot of late).
Any attempt to redefine liberty as some form of inherant social debt of the individual to serve or surrender to the interests of the group is offensive to me.
Liberty is not "how best can we serve the State and the Collective". Thats better described as Tyrany.
Liberty is the penultimate core human right of the individual to be as free as possible from the State interfering with, controlling or simply taking his rights and freedoms and life.
Liberty must of course be balanced with Society, no doubt. But that balence best rests with the ideal that "my rights end where yours begin". Of course, that concept too has been warped and manipulated by the supporters of collectivism to suit their interests as well, to the point where rights that do not exist were created specificly to limit the individuals freedom based on some percieved infringement on the rights of others (being offended the best example, given there is no right to not be offended).
Here's where we always part ways. If that were the ideals of the founders, they would not have drafted the Constitution at all and we would have something even less than the miserable Articles of Confederation. There are many many elements in our Constitution that bind us to a collective purpose, including self-defense of our nation, the general welfare, a judicial system, requirements to participate in citizenship as well as to serve in the branches of government, etc. Our nation was not founded solely on a principle of negative liberty (freedom from state intrusion) but on positive liberty that accounts for our actions in the community/state. Nor was it created on a model of Friedman economic priniciples, where selfishness somehow transmutes into social good. The founders rejected and dispised the model of greed that had corrupted the states during the Articles of Confederation and identified a need for something more orderly and regulated, as well as something that actually served the nation as a nation. Now I would be the first to acknowledge that we've come a long way from that model to the current super-state in which the federal vastly outweighs the states and the states poorly represent their citizens and in which corporations and media are heavyweight players of the fifth and sixth estates. Whether that balance can shift remains to be seen. Technology is creating new counterweights... the internet being one of them.