Liberty FAQLast updated:
Small collection of liberty-related questions and answers I've compiled. I'm not sure whether they are really "frequently asked" or "rarely asked" but I would bet on the former. These will get updated with time.
- what is freedom?
Well, freedom is the acknowledgement that people have wildly different opinions which they think are the right ones. The only way to be able to live peacefully together as a country/state/society is if people don't use force to make others act or think in the way they think is right or desirable.
What that means in practice is that you have to let people have their opinion so that you can have your opinion. It means that, if you want to be able to express your opinion, others must also be able to express theirs, even if you completely disagree with it. This is because what you think is perfectly normal and acceptable might be, for someone else, deeply unsettling and offensive. And what someone else thinks is right may be completely unacceptable to you.
If I had to define it in one sentence, I'd say that freedom means not being forced to act or think in a specific way by other people. Yeah, I think that it is a good definition.
- why do you criticize socialism?
Socialism is the idea every person 'belongs' to the underlying social group (society), rather than to themselves. In other words, men should act for the common good rather than for their individual interests. It just so happens that the "the common good" is a very subjective concept and everyone has a different opinion about what it is. In the cases where socialism was attempted, the leader at the time dictated what the "common good" was supposed to be and the people were forced to act and think in accordance to that "common good". We know that different people have different opinions each opinion is equally "right" to those who espouse it.
Socialism is an attempt to force people into accepting a set of moral concepts and does not tolerate worldviews that are different from it and therefore it is not compatible with individual freedom.
- if people are just left to themselves with little government, won't everyone just kill each other?
I don't really think that no government would work; a small one, however, might.
As regards the question: I wouldn't. Would you? In any case, if there weren't a large government presence to enforce gun control, everyone would be able to own a gun. This would mean that I would be very careful not to step on your toes because there would be a small chance of you having a gun on you and feel the need to express yourself via the gun (threaten me or shoot me even). On the other hand, you would also be very respectful towards me and respect my individuality because I may also have a gun. I think that overall ownership of guns would create a very respectful atmosphere; even though most wouldn't be carrying their guns on them (it's just not practical and it's also dangerous), it just might be there. On the same vein, it would keep people from messing with each other and trying to impose their will on them. It would give everyone an equal footing.
- who should I vote for if I agree with liberty principles?
Well, I think there are liberty-leaning politicians all over the world. I think you should look for candidates who want to reduce the size of the government, reduce the number of public servants, reduce regulations and reduce, in general, the power governments exert over people under threat of prison and/or death.
- If all ideas are just opinions, then Liberty is also just an opinion.
You're correct. These (and everything you may find on this blog) are all just opinions. You have the right to express your own opinion, even it is very different from mine. What you cannot do is try to force your opinion upon me or else prevent me from expressing mine. I will not allow that.
- who would build the roads?
I don't know. Somebody would. It's a great opportunity to show off your work. Money is not the only incentive to make things. Everything that is of value to someone can be monetized if need be. This is the rule rather than the exception in the world of Open Source Software.
Everything that's needed (programming languages, operating systems, all sorts of frameworks and tools) gets done and a great deal of it is free. And it is equal to (in many cases, better than ) paid-for solutions. Self promotion is one reward for doing stuff for free. I can easily imagine a concrete or engineering company building a stretch of road for free and putting billboards and signs on the side saying "built for free by company XPTO. Call us at 1234567 for all your road building needs".
My point is that things tend to just work when left to themselves. This is just a suggestion, maybe all sorts of new and exciting business models would emerge from all the brains in the world collectively trying to reach a solution.
- what is the difference between freedom and liberty?
I don't know. Go ask an english-language specialist. English is not even my native language.
P.S.: this is a work in progress