digplanet beta 1: Athena
Share digplanet:

Agriculture

Applied sciences

Arts

Belief

Business

Chronology

Culture

Education

Environment

Geography

Health

History

Humanities

Language

Law

Life

Mathematics

Nature

People

Politics

Science

Society

Technology

"Freedoms" redirects here. For other uses, see Freedom.

Political freedom (also known as political autonomy or political agency) is a central concept in history and political thought and one of the most important (real or ideal) features of democratic societies.[1] It has been described as a relationship free of oppression[2] or coercion;[3] the absence of disabling conditions for an individual and the fulfillment of enabling conditions;[4] or the absence of lived conditions of compulsion, e.g. economic compulsion, in a society.[5] Although political freedom is often interpreted negatively as the freedom from unreasonable external constraints on action,[6] it can also refer to the positive exercise of rights, capacities and possibilities for action, and the exercise of social or group rights.[7] The concept can also include freedom from "internal" constraints on political action or speech (e.g. social conformity, consistency, or "inauthentic" behaviour.)[8] The concept of political freedom is closely connected with the concepts of civil liberties and human rights, which in democratic societies are usually afforded legal protection from the state.

Views[edit]

Various groups along the political spectrum naturally differ on what they believe constitutes "true" political freedom.

Left wing political philosophy generally couples the notion of freedom with that of positive liberty, or the enabling of a group or individual to determine their own life or realize their own potential. Freedom, in this sense, may include freedom from poverty, starvation, treatable disease, and oppression, as well as freedom from force and coercion, from whomever they may issue.

Friedrich Hayek, a well-known classical liberal, criticized this as a misconception of freedom:

[T]he use of "liberty" to describe the physical "ability to do what I want", the power to satisfy our wishes, or the extent of the choice of alternatives open to us ... has been deliberately fostered as part of the socialist argument ... the notion of collective power over circumstances has been substituted for that of individual liberty.[9]

Anarcho-socialists see negative and positive liberty as complementary concepts of freedom. Such a view of rights may require utilitarian trade-offs, such as sacrificing the right to the product of one's labor or freedom of association for less racial discrimination or more subsidies for housing. Social anarchists describe the negative liberty-centric view endorsed by capitalism as "selfish freedom".[10]

Anarcho-capitalists see negative rights as a consistent system. Ayn Rand described it as "a moral principle defining and sanctioning a man’s freedom of action in a social context. To such libertarians, positive liberty is contradictory, since so-called “rights” must be traded off against each other, debasing legitimate rights which, by definition, trump other moral considerations. Any alleged "right" which calls for an end result (e.g. housing, education, medical services) produced by people is, in effect, a purported "right" to enslave others.

Some notable philosophers, such as Alasdair MacIntyre, have theorized freedom in terms of our social interdependence with other people.[11]

According to political philosopher Nikolas Kompridis, the pursuit of freedom in the modern era can be broadly divided into two motivating ideals: freedom as autonomy or independence; and freedom as the ability to cooperatively initiate a new beginning.[12]

Political freedom has also been theorized in its opposition to (and a condition of) "power relations", or the power of "action upon actions," by Michel Foucault.[13] It has also been closely identified with certain kinds of artistic and cultural practice by Cornelius Castoriadis, Antonio Gramsci, Herbert Marcuse, Jacques Ranciere, and Theodor Adorno.

Environmentalists often argue that political freedoms should include some constraint on use of ecosystems. They maintain there is no such thing, for instance, as "freedom to pollute" or "freedom to deforest" given that such activities create negative externalities. The popularity of SUVs, golf, and urban sprawl has been used as evidence that some ideas of freedom and ecological conservation can clash. This leads at times to serious confrontations and clashes of values reflected in advertising campaigns, e.g. that of PETA regarding fur.

John Dalberg-Acton stated that "The most certain test by which we judge whether a country is really free is the amount of security enjoyed by minorities."[14]

History[edit]

Hannah Arendt traces the origins of the concept of freedom to the practice of politics in ancient Greece. According to her study, the concept of freedom was historically inseparable from political action. Politics could only be practiced by those who had freed themselves from the necessities of life, so that they could attend to the realm of political affairs. According to Arendt, the concept of freedom became associated with the Christian notion of freedom of the will, or inner freedom, around the 5th century C.E. and since then, freedom as a form of political action has been neglected, even though, as she says, freedom is "the raison d'être of politics."[15]

Arendt says that political freedom is historically opposed to sovereignty or will-power, since in ancient Greece and Rome, the concept of freedom was inseparable from performance, and did not arise as a conflict between the "will" and the "self." Similarly, the idea of freedom as freedom from politics is a notion that developed in modern times. This is opposed to the idea of freedom as the capacity to "begin anew," which Arendt sees as a corollary to the innate human condition of natality, or our nature as "new beginnings and hence beginners."

In Arendt's view, political action is an interruption of automatic process, either natural or historical. The freedom to begin anew is thus an extension of "the freedom to call something into being which did not exist before, which was not given, not even as an object of cognition or imagination, and which therefore, strictly speaking, could not be known."

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Hannah Arendt, "What is Freedom?", Between Past and Future: Eight Exercises in Political Thought, (New York: Penguin, 1993).
  2. ^ Iris Marion Young, "Five Faces of Oppression", Justice and the Politics of Difference" (Princeton University press, 1990), 39-65.
  3. ^ Michael Sandel, Justice: What's the Right Thing to Do? (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2010).
  4. ^ Amartya Sen, Development as Freedom (Anchor Books, 2000).
  5. ^ Karl Marx, "Alienated Labour" in Early Writings.
  6. ^ Isaiah Berlin, Liberty (Oxford 2004).
  7. ^ Charles Taylor, "What's Wrong With Negative Liberty?", Philosophy and the Human Sciences: Philosophical Papers (Cambridge, 1985), 211-29.
  8. ^ Ralph Waldo Emerson, "Self-Reliance"; Nikolas Kompridis, "Struggling Over the Meaning of Recognition: A Matter of Identity, Justice or Freedom?" in European Journal of Political Theory July 2007 vol. 6 no. 3 277-289.
  9. ^ Friedrich August von Hayek, ‘Freedom and Coercion’ in David Miller (ed), Liberty (1991) pp. 80, 85-86
  10. ^ Anarchism FAQ
  11. ^ Alasdair MacIntyre, "The Virtues of Acknowledged Dependence", Rational Dependent Animals: Why Humans Need the Virtues (Open Court, 2001).
  12. ^ Nikolas Kompridis, "The Idea of a New Beginning: A Romantic Source of Normativity and Freedom" in Philosophical Romanticism (New York: Routledge, 2007), 32-59.
  13. ^ Michel Foucault, "The Subject and Power" in Paul Rabinow and Nikolas S. Rose, eds., The Essential Foucault.
  14. ^ Acton, John D. (1907). The History of Freedom and Other Essays. London: Macmillan. p. 4. 
  15. ^ Hannah Arendt, "What is Freedom?", Between Past and Future: Eight exercises in political thought (New York: Penguin, 1993).

External links[edit]


Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Political_freedom — Please support Wikipedia.
This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia. A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia.
1000000 videos foundNext > 

Defining Political Freedom Richard Lichtman Thursdays, 9:3011:30 am Oct 1-Nov 5, 2009

Defining Political Freedom Richard Lichtman Thursdays, 9:3011:30 am Oct 1-Nov 5, 2009 While the term freedom is constantly evoked in political discussions, i...

An Atheist's Guide to Political Freedom!

Stefan Molyneux, host of Freedomain Radio, discusses libertarianism, anarchism and voluntarism on Skeptically Yours (Where Thinking Is Free!) with Dean Camer...

POLITICAL PEAK "FREEDOM'S A MUST" "NET VID" One Of A Kind Out Now

Political Peak - One Of A Kind Available On Itunes Now http://itun.es/iLF9hv For Bookings PoliticalPeak@Gmail.com Filmed & Edited By Rap City Directed By Pol...

Hong Kong "Occupy Central" Protests Call for Political Freedom after China Rejects Open Elections

http://www.democracynow.org - Nineteen people were arrested in Hong Kong on Monday, one day after thousands protested calling for greater political freedom. ...

Political Correctness vs. Freedom of Thought - The Keith John Sampson Story

One of FIRE's most shocking cases in 2008 was that of Keith John Sampson, a student-employee at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) who...

Imaginative Freedom & Political Freedom Edmundson.flv

Author Mark Edmundson appears courtesy of the Monterey Peninsula College Great Books Program Colloquium with an articulate discussion on Freedom. A must see ...

Milton Friedman on Political and Economic Freedom

Nobel Laureate Dr. Milton Friedman explains the relationship between political and economic freedom during his remarks to Young America's Foundation's 25th a...

20 Years After Genocide, Rwanda Prospers but Political Freedom Remains Elusive

Rwanda is a country on the move, having rebuilt from the 1994 genocide that divided the nation and left an estimated 800000 people dead. But as VOA's Gabe J...

Umbrella Revolution: Hong Kong Protest Seeks Political Freedom

Igor Volsky of Think Progress talks with Bill Press about the Umbrella Revolution taking place in Hong Kong in which demonstrators are fighting for political...

Umbrella Revolution: Hong Kong's Biggest Protests in Decades Challenge China on Political Freedom

http://democracynow.org - Hong Kong is facing its biggest political unrest in decades as tens of thousands of protesters defy a police crackdown to demand gr...

1000000 videos foundNext > 

7523 news items

 
Quad City Times
Fri, 27 Feb 2015 15:15:00 -0800

A Washington, D.C.-based think tank is continuing its efforts to push for Deere & Co. to adopt a new policy that it says would protect employees' freedoms to engage in civic and political activities without the fear of being fired or disciplined. Since ...
 
Quad-Cities Online
Wed, 25 Feb 2015 19:57:29 -0800

Deere CEO Sam Allen on Wednesday again rejected a request for a nonbinding shareholder resolution allowing employees the freedom to be involved in political campaigns without fear of reprisal. Justin Danhof, general counsel of the Washington, ...

teleSUR English

teleSUR English
Thu, 29 Jan 2015 11:09:54 -0800

“In order to have economic freedom you must have political freedom,” he added. In efforts to achieve its political sovereignty, Morales stressed the importance of decreasing Bolivia's dependency on the United States stating that previously the country ...

Indiainfoline

Indiainfoline
Fri, 20 Feb 2015 22:22:30 -0800

First, free enterprise and the political freedom emanating from democratic accountability and rule of law can be mutually reinforcing so a free enterprise system should be thought of as the fourth pillar underpinning liberal market democracies. Second ...
 
Moneynews
Fri, 13 Feb 2015 05:23:53 -0800

... the coming generation to anticipate changes to the business and political landscape and make career choices accordingly. First and foremost, term limits are essential to our economic prosperity and political freedom. © 2015 Moneynews. All rights ...
 
Northwest Arkansas News
Sat, 28 Feb 2015 00:03:45 -0800

... necessarily are in debates about blasphemy," he said, "then without religious debate there can be no political debate, without religious disagreement there can be no political disagreement and without religious freedom there can be no political ...

Amy Ridenour's National Center Blog (blog)

Amy Ridenour's National Center Blog (blog)
Wed, 18 Feb 2015 19:01:32 -0800

... that effort on the 2/17/15 edition of “The Rick Amato Show” when he interviewed Justin again to talk about the Costco problem and ask his viewers to get involved by calling a Costco executive to complain about this threat to employee political freedom.
 
Morris Daily Herald
Thu, 26 Feb 2015 19:11:15 -0800

... necessarily are in debates about blasphemy,” he said, “then without religious debate, there can be no political debate. Without religious disagreement, there can be no political disagreement, and without religious freedom, there can be no political ...
Loading

Oops, we seem to be having trouble contacting Twitter

Support Wikipedia

A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia. Please add your support for Wikipedia!

Searchlight Group

Digplanet also receives support from Searchlight Group. Visit Searchlight