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« Nigel Warburton at Blackwell's Bookshop, Oxford 7pm Wed. Dec. 5th | Main | Twitter Competition: Who's Your Favourite Philosopher? »

December 08, 2012


Jim Vaughan

Interesting how the meaning of "freedom" has changed, which makes it a very contemporary debate.

I think today this might be reflected in liberal, conservative and libertarian versions; freedom from oppression vs. freedom from "Big" Government vs. individual autonomy. I have liberal friends in the US for whom the latter 2 are anathema - the withdrawal of welfare etc. Here I think here the "Big Society" is pro freedom from big government, but is trying to shift us out of our libertarian-autonomy.

Freedom for me is to pay high taxes for a well managed welfare state, and then be left alone. Politics is such a dirty game, unless certain core values become threatened, and I must act to defend them, I want to focus on anything else. I always vote, but feel it would be a denial of freedom to make it compulsory (as in France). Yes, I want the pilot to be competent, for which I want to choose the airline, but only so I can watch the in-flight movie.

I am struck how fiercely I want to defend that freedom NOT to get involved.

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