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Negative Liberty's War on Nature


Luther and His Progeny: 500 Years of Protestantism and Its Consequences for Church, State, and Society, edited by John C. Rao.

What I would like to demonstrate in this study is the unnatural "nature" of what has been labeled "negative liberty."

So writes Msgr. Ignacio Barreiro-Carámbula (to save myself much trouble, from here on I will refer to him as IBC).  In this post, I will not examine the background of why the author lays blame on the Reformation for the war on nature brought on by the spread of the idea of negative liberty; I will merely examine the ramifications of this idea – ramifications that are manifest in the west today.

The non-aggression principle offers precisely this negative liberty; it offers a "do not."  Do not initiate aggression.  It does not offer a "do."  It is in this void that I have been exploring the value and import of culture in the context of achieving and maintaining a libertarian order.

[Negative liberty] is an empty concept, a "freedom" from the restraints imposed by fundamental realities.

Freedom from the restraints imposed by fundamental realities.  This is libertinism gone wild.  Take the chapter titles from Walter Block's Defending the Undefendable, add to this the cornucopia of newly invented sexual / gender / animal preferences, and you will have a pretty good starting point of the "fundamental realities" that need no longer restrain man – well, at least until nature (and the inevitable conflict between and amongst men) fights back.

What are some of these fundamental realities (well, besides gender and stuff)?

…man is not created to live in isolation… From his very birth, the Lord places a man in a natural social context…

IBC offers family, community, and political society as this "social context."

Through the concomitant action of family, other natural communities, and the Church, the individual receives language, culture, a sense of belonging to a structured society, and a spiritual community of which he is a legitimate member.

If you don't like the theological source for this, I offer Rothbard:

Contemporary libertarians often assume, mistakenly, that individuals are bound to each other only by the nexus of market exchange. They forget that everyone is necessarily born into a family, a language, and a culture.

…usually including an ethnic group, with specific values, cultures, religious beliefs, and traditions.

Yes.  Many contemporary libertarians ignore the fact that humans are human…with some fundamental realities.

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