The superior freedom of the capitalist system, its superior justice, and its superior productivity are not three superiorities, but one. The justice follows from the freedom, and the productivity follows from the freedom and the justice.
- Henry Hazlitt, 1962
The concept of freedom, in its socially relevant sense, means the condition of individuals being free from aggression by others… It rests on the recognition of every individual’s equal moral nature as a self-determined and self-responsible agent, regardless of admittedly enormous circumstantial difference.
- Tibor Machan, 1998
As some of my blog readers will be aware, I have been engaged in a debate with Richard Chapple from the Philosophy et cetera blog who’s been enjoying bashing what he thinks to be libertarianism. In his view, libertarians advocate ‘thin freedom’ because we advocate only that human beings should be free from the initiation of force; he maintains that we should instead advocate a ‘thicker’ form of ‘freedom’ – namely the forcible appropriation of wealth and the enslavement of other human beings for our own ends. He calls this ‘substantive freedom,’ but perhaps ‘thick’ might be the correct term.
"If you tie me up," says Richard, "that's bad because it stops me from doing the things I want. If untying me wouldn't change any of that, then it wouldn't do me any good. And if I could continue to do all the things I wanted despite being tied up, then it wouldn't really be much of a harm. What matters, in either case, is what opportunities are open to me. Whether I've been "interfered" with is of secondary (and derivative) importance." Not only should we untie Richard, he claims, but we should clothe and feed him as well ... or at least provide him with an income to do so.
Naturally, I view this as sophistic nonsense (ie., bullshit) and said as much in the comments thread.
I do not surrender my treasures, nor do I share them. The fortune of my spirit is not to be blown into coins of brass and flung to the winds as alms for the poor of the spirit. I guard my treasures: my thought, my will, my freedom. And the greatest of these is freedom.
Read on here.