Saturday, July 09, 2011


Freedom is not empowerment. Empowerment is what the Serbs have in Bosnia. Anybody can grab a gun and be empowered. It’s not entitlement. An entitlement is what people on welfare get, and how free are they? It’s not an endlessly expanding list of rights — the “right” to education, the “right” to health care, the “right” to food and housing. That’s not freedom, that’s dependency. Those aren’t rights, those are the rations of slavery — hay and a barn for human cattle.

There is only one basic human right, the right to do as you damn well please. And with it comes the only basic human duty, the duty to take the consequences

P.J. O’Rourke Remarks at a May 6, 1993 gala dinner celebrating the opening of the Cato Institute’s new headquarters in Washington. HT: Pragmatic Euphony

Wise comments but I have a quibble.

Freedom is the right, not, to do as you damn well please, (baring things like murder and theft that hurt others ) but the right to do what is right, and to speak the truth. In practice this may not make much difference. A government that does not have ability to keep one from doing as they damn well please, does not have the ability to keep one from doing right or speaking the truth. A government that has the ability to keep one from doing as they damn well please, has the ability to one from doing right or speaking the truth

Of course sometime people are mistaken and even dishonest when claim to do right or speak the truth, but if we limit there right then we have limited everyone else’s right. Every action has an equal and opposite reaction, there will be consequences, which can be heavy for the mistaken or dishonest,

Empowerment, lets one do wrong and say falsehoods without consequences.
Entitlements place one at the disposal of the entitler, one must do and say as directed to keep the entitlement right wrong or indifferent.
Dependency is slavery, not freedom.

But first and foremost - freedom means being able to do what is right. With the duty to accept the consequences for ones actions.

See also:
Storms - Stoplights - Equality
The Fourth of July

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