Wednesday, July 12, 2017

CURMUDGUCATION: Collective Freedom

CURMUDGUCATION: Collective Freedom:

Collective Freedom

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 The tension between individual freedom and collective action, between what the individual wants and what the community wants, between the needs of the many and the needs of the few-- that tension has been with us since Day One. Puritans came here to declare,"This will be a place where people are free to worship as they please-- as long as it's a form of worship we agree with." Southern colonists arrived declaring, "This will be a land in which every man's efforts can enrich him-- unless you're an indentured servant or a slave, in which case, your efforts are going to enrich me."

We have a Bill of Rights enumerating the rights possessed by every individual-- and a long and robust history of debate and case law determining where those rights actual stop in the name of the greater good (First Amendment does not cover yelling "fire" or even "elephant stampede" in a crowded theater, et al).

This, it should be noted, is not a tension limited to governance. To get married and become a part of a tiny family collective, you give up some of your personal freedom. That's how it works-- if you insist on acting as if you live in the land of Do As You Please, your little collective will fall apart (trust me on this). Membership in a group requires sacrifice of personal freedom. 

As a nation we tend to lean toward individual freedom and away from collectivism. Even when we 
CURMUDGUCATION: Collective Freedom:

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