Sir Winston Churchill once said that democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others that were tried in the past. Democracy has its definite flaws, but it may be better than the other governmental systems that exist. Though the perspective that democracy is a panacea that cures all political ills is false and critics accuse it of being overrated, it remains viable. It meets the aspirations of the people and provides an effective means of managing the state.
Concepts of Freedom By Ronald Meinardus Manila - Probably, no other philosophical or political idea is as contentious as the concept of freedom.
Freedom defines the relationships among individuals and between individuals and the state. For as long as we possess records of human discourses, these relationships have been controversial. Today we may basically differentiate between two main areas, one that refers to political freedom and the other to economic freedom.
Both are interlinked in manifold ways. Empirical evidence shows that economic freedom has a positive impact on political freedom.
It is also evident that politically free societies tend to opt for a high degree of economic freedom. Anthropologists argue that freedom is a good every human being desires and wishes to have more of.
This human desire for freedom has been and continues to be the main driving force behind democratization. Historically, modern liberal ideas emerged in Western Europe in the 17th and 18th centuries as an intellectual response to absolutism.
Progressive writers advocated the freedom of religion and religious tolerance, and promoted the freedom of expression, private property, as well as free markets for labour and trade, to mention only some of the main concerns of those early times. Classical liberal literature prepared the ground for the revolutions that transformed the political and social landscapes in North America and Western Europe.
While in those days the promotion of freedom was an exclusive trademark of the liberals, today the concept of freedom is supported by all major political mainstreams. Still, unlike socialist and conservative ideologies, the concept of freedom takes absolute priority in liberal thinking.
In short, for liberals, the idea of freedom is not negotiable. Socialists, on the other hand, may also cherish the notion of a free society; but confronted with the option to choose between freedom and equality, they will pick the egalitarian path and opt against liberty. This said, I could actually stop my argument and leave you with the notion that the ideological controversy regarding the concept of freedom is settled and the liberals are the true and only reliable advocates of liberty.
Unfortunately, it is not that simple as the controversy also takes place within the ranks of what I term the wider liberal family.
Liberals from different backgrounds, be it geographical, political, cultural or sociological, tend to have different ideas when it comes to the concept of freedom. Basically, and allow me once more to simplify a complex reality, there exist two schools of thought.
One group of liberal advocates defines freedom in a more narrow fashion focusing on the promotion of liberty against state power.
Therefore, they argue, freeing the citizen from government regulation should top any liberal agenda. Probably the most prominent exponent of libertarianism is Nobel Prize laureate Milton Friedman.
This disillusionment is evident in Western Europe where many citizens have realized that the inflated welfare-state is virtually suffocating economic initiative and freedom leading to economic stagnation and increasing unemployment.
While the libertarians call for privatization and the reduction of government other liberals tend to take a slightly different view.
They argue that it is not sufficient that the state protects the economic freedom of its citizens but should also help provide the opportunities for the people to enjoy their freedom.Feb 07, · It turns out that the freedom Franzen is concerned with is the freedom of the middle class--or more accurately, the upper middle class, the demographic Franzen is most comfortable with--to.
I don't think the concept of freedom of speech is overrated I think that what you say and how you say it is important and knowing why and where that freedom of speech came from.
I see that 30 years of age and younger have no concept of where freedom of speech came from and why it is so important. Apr 14, · Freedom is nobodies' highest value. Most people value morals, health, money, society or whatever much more than liberty.
The most responsible, moral and respected members of society enjoy the least freedom of any whatsoever, yet they are the most rationally valuable to mankind. Modern societies have enjoyed great prosperity . For these authors the freedom of a person to do a specific thing is the only kind of freedom that exists, or the only kind that we can know about, or the only kind that matters.
What is bothersome, though, is that nearly a quarter of us would feel comfortable telling a complete stranger that our own “freedom,” in the broadest sense, is an overrated concept. Freedom of speech isn't overrated. What people need to realize about freedom of speech is that it's a two way street.
People are allowed to criticize and debate issues back and forth.