Two roads diverged

Patrick J. Deneen has a longish piece on the sharply contrasting understandings of liberty on either side of the political divide in the US, though presumably not only there. One side understands liberty as freedom from state coercion and interference and overbearing taxation to pursue self-government through mediating institutions of families, local government, and other voluntary organizations like churches and chambers of commerce and rotary clubs. The other sees liberty as liberation from all constraints, be they economic means, social mores, or obligations to family or community that would hinder the autonomous individual from pursuing their desires. For the latter, the state is the active instrument of liberation, not a threat to liberty as they would define it.

It’s an excellent piece and I can’t do it justice by describing it, so go read the whole thing yourself.

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