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Freedom is the Ultimate Political Value

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Wotan
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Democracy -- or rule by majority vote -- is a genuine political good. So is republicanism -- or rule by legitimate representatives. Both have considerable social and economic value to the individual and the nation.

Similarly, autonomy and self-rule are governmental goods and values which a given society finds very much worth having. And it's even worth while for that civilization to enjoy non-violation of their national soverignty and non-interference in their internal affairs by non-citizens.

But none of these political goods and values are anywhere near as important as freedom. In the life of the person and his nation, none are remotely as central and pivotal as liberty, justice, and individual rights.

Thus if some strange and hateful "foreign devils" decide to brutally smash another nation's democracy, republic, autonomy, and self-rule into the ground, while grossly violating their national soverignty, and interferring in their internal affairs, this shocking act may or may not be a true political and socio-economic evil. If the invaders -- no matter how distantly alien --do all this in a way which enhances the individual liberty of the given politiy -- and doesn't exact a large practical price in the process -- then this is a governmental good. The "bloody foreigners" have a right to do so, and the former local rulers and their supporters, in turn, have no right to complain. Certainly they have no right to militarily oppose them.

These external invaders can and should take their alien political values and "force them down their throats." If the foreigners' standards, ideas, and ideals are sufficiently superior to those they seek to replace -- and their imperialist behavior constitutes an act of overall liberation -- then they have the right to impose them upon the less civilized locals.

The fact that in the process these invaders trashed the democracy, crushed the republic, stomped upon their autonomy, and obliterated their self-rule is irrelevant. So too if the unwanted and even hated outsiders wantonly violated their national soverignty and relentlessly interfered in their internal affairs.

The simple fact is the locals have no right to violate the rights of their coevals. They enjoy no freedom to suppress the freedom of their brothers. No matter how properly and legitimately the local tyrants rule by some minor standards, they aren't allowed to set up or maintain a slave state. The supreme value of individual liberty forbids this. The absolute and untouchable right to freedom, justice, and individual rights forbids this.

Indeed, if a bunch of foreign devils and outside invaders decide to free some suffering nation, and they don't do appreciable damage in the process, the non-citizen aliens have every right to do so. The overwhelming reality is no political good is superior -- or even close to -- that of freedom. No social and economic value is superior -- or even close to -- that of liberty, justice, and individual rights.

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Democracy -- or rule by majority vote -- is a genuine political good. So is republicanism -- or rule by legitimate representatives. Both have considerable social and economic value to the individual and the nation.

Er, no. In a democracy, the mob has total power. A majority of people in a democracy can vote that a minority has no rights. I wouldn't say that that is necessarily a good thing. A democracy CAN be good, but only if all the citizens have proper knowledge of individual rights.

Thus if some strange and hateful "foreign devils" decide to brutally smash another nation's democracy, republic, autonomy, and self-rule into the ground, while grossly violating their national soverignty, and interferring in their internal affairs, this shocking act may or may not be a true political and socio-economic evil. If the invaders -- no matter how distantly alien --do all this in a way which enhances the individual liberty of the given politiy -- and doesn't exact a large practical price in the process -- then this is a governmental good. The "bloody foreigners" have a right to do so, and the former local rulers and their supporters, in turn, have no right to complain. Certainly they have no right to militarily oppose them.

So, according to this, the U.S. would have a right to invade the U.K. because the U.S. has a better idea about individual liberty? That's not right.

Nations that respect individual rights can only invade those that don't (Dictatorships).

Edited by The Lonely Rationalist
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Er, no. In a democracy, the mob has total power. A majority of people in a democracy can vote that a minority has no rights. Such a society inevitably regresses into tribalism and gang warfare.

Can you provide an example of a mature functioning democracy that has regressed into tribalism and gang warfare?

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If freedom were the ultimate political value then we wouldn't have laws, or the people advocating freedom as the "ultimate political value" would all move to the jungle and live however they want to without worrying about anyone else.

Anybody living in a civilized nation has sacrificed freedom for some other good.

The fact is, by living in a community you have already acknowledged that benefits come from having freedom limited.

The question is at what point further limitation of freedom does not come with a corresponding benefit.

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If freedom were the ultimate political value then we wouldn't have laws, or the people advocating freedom as the "ultimate political value" would all move to the jungle and live however they want to without worrying about anyone else.

Then, freedom as what? Productive, successful people or savages?

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  • 2 months later...
Thus if some strange and hateful "foreign devils" decide to brutally smash another nation's democracy, republic, autonomy, and self-rule into the ground, while grossly violating their national soverignty, and interferring in their internal affairs, this shocking act may or may not be a true political and socio-economic evil. If the invaders -- no matter how distantly alien --do all this in a way which enhances the individual liberty of the given politiy -- and doesn't exact a large practical price in the process -- then this is a governmental good

Self-rule and autonomy are critical components of political freedom. How is it even possible to imagine a system by which people are "free", but not free to choose the policies that will influence them? So long as they generally affirm the principle of individual rights, no other nation can invade by right. The entire developed world embraces socialism to greater or lesser extents, which is an infringement of people's rights. But at the same time, the majority of their citizens support their governments and accept (even advocate!) the governments' actions. If men choose to disregard their own rights, one could properly call them wrong or immoral, but that doesn't grant the right to force them to acknowledge their rights.

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Can you provide an example of a mature functioning democracy that has regressed into tribalism and gang warfare?

Ancient Athens? Rome? Tribalism and gang warfare is not the endpoint of that political evolution, the next stage is to invite a tyrant to establish order.

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Near as I can tell, rule of objective law (as opposed to rule by men regardless of structure) is the only way to achieve political freedom. Ayn Rand has said, "no mind is better than the precision of its concepts." For the same reason, no nation is better than the precision of its laws. As far as I'm concerned, as long as laws are objectively written and applied, the means of establishing figureheads is largely academic.

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