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The War on Negative Liberty
Transcript of The War on Negative Liberty
Presentation By: Jacob Anthony Portillo
There are differences between both negative and positive liberty.
In contrast, positive liberty is one's freedom to fulfill his/her own potential.
The War on Ice Cream
To explain the concepts of positive and negative liberty, Kathy talks about...
The Battle Over Cigarettes
In this example, Kathy explains how the New York laws on smoking are corrupting our liberty. The laws are banning smoking from bars and restaurants, sending the smokers into the cold and rainy streets. As the restrictions increase, the more smoking becomes less appealing. The lawmakers claim to be caring for the well-being of others.
The Divided Self
Restrictions are the simple solution to the problem that Berlin calls "the divided self." Everybody has good and bad impulses. Sometimes the bad impulses are stronger, to which people make laws to limit those bad choices.
Foie Gras in Chicago
Foie gras is a paste made from the livers of force-fed geese. It was briefly banned in Chicago from 2006-2008. Kathy explained that most consumers wouldn't be upset to find foie gras off the menu since there are other delicious dishes to choose from.
The Ascendance of Positive Liberty
We are slowly feeding the rise of positive liberty. We let inconveniences slide with ease, all we do is shrug and say "That's just how it is."
I am not very liberal about my opinions, so I'm not much of a protestor. But I believe that we should stop inviting positive liberty into our lives. What we have now is tolerable and I hope it doesn't get worse, but I'm sure the future will keep bringing in more laws and restrictions.
Negative liberty is defined as the freedom from external restaint.
Examples of negative liberty...
Poor John Doe...
What they don't see is the infringement of our liberty. They are inadvertently taking our liberty as they limit our choices.
So when someone wants to ban the sell of ice cream, or ban smoking, they simply see themselves as removing temptations/bad impulses.
Im just helping!
Three years after smoking ban...
She mentions the ban on the sale and importations of one-hundred-watt incandescent bulbs in Europe on September 1, 2009. She explains that compact fluorescents use much less energy and saves us money. We don't care much about the change since the bulb still lights up the room.
"Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants. It is the creed of slaves."- British Prime Minister William Pitt
But every now and then we get people who stand up for even the smallest things. The greatest of all uprisings was the Boston Tea Party. They fought against the taxation on tea.
I feel that modern Americans should be able to stand up for their freedom with as much fervor as the people of the Boston Tea Party.
Katherine Mangu-Ward is awesome