Wednesday, May 25, 2005

The Difference between Freedom and Liberty

I've noticed a large rehtorical emphasis, lately, on the words "freedom" and "liberty." Usually in the same praragraph sprinkeled with words referencing the Patriot Act or the fact that "those liberals" don't support either. I looked up the words, but there has to be a better differentiation than the one offered at dictionary dot com.

Here's a couple of questions:
  1. Can anyone clearly differentiate the two words?
  2. Is there more or less freedom and liberty as there was 6 years ago?

In 1928, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis wrote in his dissenting opinion in the wiretapping case Olmstead v. United States (1928): “Experience should teach us to be most on our guard to protect liberty when the government's purposes are beneficent. Men born to freedom are naturally alert to repel invasion of their liberty by evil-minded rulers. The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well-meaning but without understanding.”


Pliny said...

In 1795, Benjamin Franklin said that "democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Freedom is a well-armed lamb contesting the election results."

I'll paraphrase, and say liberty is two wolves, etc. Freedom is as Ben stated in 1795.

AtRandom said...

Freedom has been “endowed by our creator.” Liberty is what individuals and governments do with that freedom.

Today's zealots drive to shut down free speech through political correctness, demand that race be considered in hiring or admissions through affirmative action, force private property owners to capitulate to governmental "taking" either through eminent domain or environmental regulation or rule, and the disregarding of the second amendment's obvious meaning to allow citizens the right to keep and bear arms all illustrate that the control-freaks of the left are certainly the most amazing purveyors of insidious encroachment of liberty in American history. The danger in the zeal of these "well-meaning” (an oxymoron if every there was one) but without understanding authoritarian practitioners, has been the perpetual destruction of our personal liberty.

Unfortunately, the "eternal vigilance" demanded was thwarted when a tiny group of 14 senators decided to piss on the constitution and make senate rules more important than the constitution's own words.

Despite the fact that 69 percent of Americans (Gallup poll) believe that filibusters are wrong, this cabal of self-indulgent, power hungry, anti-constitutionalists took the law into their own hands. That is a perfect example of insidious encroachment. The tradition of filibustering federal judges has now been institutionalized despite more than 200 years of the opposite tradition and the very next time a Democrat president attempts to appoint a judge...there is no question it will not be forgotten. It is pure and simple a devious subversion of the personal liberty of every man, woman, and child in America.