Wednesday, 4 June 2008

Varieties of freedom

In Taxation No Tyranny (1775) Johnson asked ‘how is it that we hear the loudest yelps for liberty among the drivers of negroes?’ It’s a more profound question than is usually given credit for, because it pinpoints that the major fault-line in debates of liberty is not between ‘freedom to and freedom from’ but freedom for the individual at the expense of others, and freedom of the individual in consonance with the freedom of others.

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