"Negative liberty is the freedom from interference by other people. FREEDOM FROM..."
"Positive liberty is the possession of the power and resources to fulfill one's own potential. FREEDOM TO..."
Wikipedia / Google
States do both of these things:
1. help secure my negative freedom, for example by deterring rapists, robbers, and assassins from attacking me
reduce my positive freedom, with laws, laws, laws. This is forbidden,
that is required, and the other is punishable by imprisonment.
This bargain I accept to some extent, realizing that nothing good comes free.
Not only states, but other authorities have dual impacts on my freedom.
Positive liberty postponed: School
would sometimes give you future power in the form of knowledge in
exchange for current boredom - restricted movement, restricted course
choices, restricted hobbies/activites.
Negative liberty sacrificed: As a public figure,
like a politician or a celebrity, strange people lay selfish claims to
your time and personal space. You have to care or pretend to care about
trivial things, pick up the phone, sign an autograph, endure gossip and
slander. In exchange, you gain power.
Positive freedom is the freedom to thrive, not merely to be! (Poetic, huh?)
(Because the instruction says feel free to be creative with this post,) here's one more example:
Marriage can increase freedom in many ways:
by providing food, home, peace, caring, and money, one feels "settled
down" and no longer buffeted by a harsh world. In fact, mapping out one's own home-territory is the ultimate in negative freedom
- by supporting each individual's activities towards achieving life's potential
by creating opportunities for collaboration between the married people,
including the making of children, but also other social, spiritual, economic, and
But marriage can take back what it gives:
- it is a possessive relationship in which people lay claim to each other - MY husband, MY wife , for LIFE !
it may feel like unpaid labour and slavery for one or more parties
(excessive cooking and housework, excessive scolding and abuse,
excessive financial or other demands),
- it may restrict activities
that can be carried on while married (cultural need to spend inordinate
amounts of time together, less interaction with other people, can't
learn new things and can't change freely without considering the effect
on spouse, can't move to a new country without carrying family along, in
some cultures you can't marry other people, in some others you can't
freely befriend or relate with other people)
- it may take away your
food (half if you share one income and are poor, more when you have
children), home (when you lose it in a divorce), peace (when you fight),
health (the stress of living with someone you can't stand, the sharing
of diseases ), caring (jealousy makes your closest partner your
deadliest foe) and/or money (costly marriage ceremony, large expenses in
marriage, costly divorce proceedings)
Conclusion: choose wisely, and good luck ;)
Note: I wrote this for a quick assignment in Alexander Guerrero's Coursera + U.Penn. Legal and Political Philosophy course. Coursera can be so much fun! (And loads of work.)
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###Three Sisters, novel #1 here###