Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Political Freedom vs Economic Freedom

The notion that economic freedom precedes political freedom is a popular myth amongst academic leftists. Perhaps you have heard "Well who cares about ideology when there is starvation" or the bearded close fisted revolutionary yell of "bread precedes liberty" Ironically ivory tower socialists claim philosophy or ideology "is a middle class term throw away" term without any practical implications because men’s needs are primarily economic and not political or said differently physical instead of intellectual. Declaring man’s needs as material and that the mind is of no importance is not original; it’s an essential tenet of Communism and is rehashed in many alternate forms by contemporary leftists. Believing man’s needs may not move beyond the material until his physical needs are met is naïve at best as it is easily seen to be evidentially false in both historical and logical contexts.

Historically the idea is radically false. Never in history has an increase in economic wealth existed prior to political freedom. Liberty preceded wealth in ancient Greece. Rule of law (rule of law awards liberty because it frees people from being ruled by the unpredictable arbitrary whims of a tyrant. Instead there is an open code of laws which all men, regardless of birth, must adhere to) lead to the prosperity in ancient Rome. Free trade—the Corn laws— led to the industrial revolution in Great Britain, The bill of Right led to America being the most prosperous county in the modern world and freedom preceded wealth in 20’th century South Korea, Hong Kong, And Japan. And in contrast evaluate the economic freedom produced in historically politically un-free countries—China, North Korea, Palestine, Cuba, Iran, Iraq, Sudan and East Germany. This is not a coincidence because individual freedom and limited government are absolutely necessary for obtaining man’s most basic needs and material wealth.

Logically the notion that man can be a slave ruled by force and still be economically prosperous—on any general level— is false and ultimately arbitrary because the assertion refuses to attach itself to any context. It fails to take into account how material wealth is created or how physical requirements are most efficiently met. To claim they both exist separately and independent from one and another is absurd. They are not corollaries but rather they are related causally. Man needs to be free for the very reason of meeting his most basic goals. A moral code that says man has no right to his own life, or to the rewards he produces is antithetical to in every way to economic freedom. To deny man freedom is to condemn him to death for the very reason that on a grand scale he will not be able to meet his physical needs.

Marxists claim that philosophy is a bourgeois pastime of no relevance to the real world yet this philosophical misunderstanding has lead to over 100 million deaths. "Philosophy" and "Freedom" are not unimportant middle class leisure words but rather they are some of the most important concepts man has ever created and without their understanding we doomed to endless misery, slavery, famine and warmongering.


At 2:51 PM, Blogger Brian Lemon said...

B. Franklin said that "he who gives up liberty for freedom, deserves neither."

At 9:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

A little vague on the terminology here, so it's hard to know what the point is or even whether it's true.

'Rule of law' doesnt 'award liberty', it of course restricts it, that's basic. The more rules there are, the less liberty you have. In a dictatorship the rule of law is absolute, there is only one arbiter, the tyrant. That certainly isn't the opposite of rule of law, a dictatorship is the very definition of 'rule of law'. The more free a society, the fewer laws there would be.

The idea seems to be that somehow some magical 'rule of law' is taking the place of a dictator, so the 'rule of law' isn't really restricting your freedom, but ...what? Rewarding it by protecting you against tyrants? How is that even possible?

It seems that the overriding definition is that 'they' have tyrants, while 'we' have 'rule of law'. That simply doesn't make sense.

The ancient greeks were far from being 'free', the state had considerable rules on the populace. Making a juxtaposition between economic wealth and political freedom forgets several things, particularly in ancient greece. Greece was a democracy, then it was ruled by the twelve tyrants for a time, then reverted back to democracy. During those years there is no real evidence that economic wealth changed, but then we simply don't have the material of the day to day goings on in ancient greece.

There are all kinds of different measures of economic wealth, and there are all kinds of measures of political 'freedom'. Actually, most reactionaries USE the cause of liberty, they certainly don't decry it.

You seem a little confused about several items. That 'individual freedom and limited government' forgets the point that other interests can limit your freedom just as easily as government. If a corporation owns all the land in my town, and I want to start a land based business, then my freedom to do that is severely limited.

Also, in showing the country correlaries, the United States has by far the largest and most intrusive government in the world. It has more departments and units than the USSR ever had. At any given time in the states you can be arrested by any of two dozen government bodies, compared to one in Canada, and one in most countries, including Iran.

At 2:23 AM, Blogger eugene plawiuk said...

Marrx did not say philosophy is of no use or relevance, since he was a philosopher. He said philosophy to be practical had to change the world not just contemplate it. And his philosophy was that man was not free if all his freedom could be summed up in two words Free Trade. There is more to life than trade, labour and profit. And his point was that with capitalism abundance is available for all to live free. Maybe if you read him instead of just relying on second hand interpretations which caraciturize his work you would see he discussed freedom more deeply than anyother thinkers on the right that you so obviously admire.

At 11:18 AM, Blogger angryroughneck said...

I am familiar with Marx since my waste of a degree was spent studying Nilhism from Marx to Kant and Marx primary mistke-- a mistake which invalidates his conclusions-- production was a material process instead of an intellectual one. For Marx the role for the entrepeneur wa securing Captital. This naive. The role of the entrepeneur was to direct capital. How much should be produced? How should it be produced? Should we direct resourses from production A to increase production B?

"He said philosophy to be practical had to change the world not just contemplate it"

Philosophy has no ability to "change" the world. Reality exists independently of thought. Metaphysically A is A. Good philosophy only explains reality.


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