Liberty - Essay Example

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Liberty is a key political and moral principal in the discipline of history, which aims at identifying the ways in which human beings govern and control themselves, so as to behave in accordance to their own will by taking responsibility for their own actions. According to…
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Liberty Liberty is a key political and moral principal in the discipline of history, which aims at identifying theways in which human beings govern and control themselves, so as to behave in accordance to their own will by taking responsibility for their own actions. According to feudal societies, liberty is described as an area of allodial land where the rights of the monarchy or ruler are waved. Socialists in liberal sense and in progressive approach defined liberty as a connection to equal wealth distributon.The concept liberty has been conceptualized differently by different scholars, who articulate the individual relationship to society. Other academicians have related life to existence in state of nature under a social contract. Liberty is connoted into two major different kinds.
Classical liberalists and individualists have conceptualized liberty as consisting of individual freedom outside coercision and compulsion, this is the kind of liberty known as Negative liberty.Whereas, social liberalists conceptualize liberty with emphasis to the social structure and agency, this is the second kind of liberty known as Positive liberty .In summary we basically have two kinds of liberty which are: positive liberty and negative liberty.
Positive liberty explains that a person can find freedom in his ability to exercise agency, by having adequate power and resources to enable him to do his will without being misled by societal views such as sexism, structuralism and racism. Thomas Hobbes explains that``a free man is he that….is not hindered to do what he hath the will to do `` Hobbes (235).John Stuart Mill was the first to recognize that there is a difference between liberty as a freedom of action or to act and liberty as an absence of coercion.
According to Berlin (221), the difference between the two perspectives as opposite concepts of liberty; positive liberty and negative liberty where the latter manifested a negative condition of individual protection from tyranny as well as arbitrary exercise to authority. Whereas the former meant the ability to have means or opportunity other than to lack restraint of doing things or acting.
The term negative liberty has different noteworthy aspects.Firstly; it defines zones or realms of freedom in the aspect of science (science of law) Hobbes (197).The distinguishing idea between the two kinds of liberty is traced back to Kant who examined it in the year 1940s; he explained that the two kinds of liberty are not merely different but rivals.
Positive liberty requires not only to refrain from acting but to affirmatively act, Kant explained that the two can be distinguished in labor markets where one can fire some one and require him to leave ones work place, but its not possible for one to compel an employee to work even within contract time. He added that positive liberty is theoretically unlimited whereas negative liberty is bounded to imply that the rights of an individual are bounded.
According to John Stuart mill, the two kinds of liberty can be limited only by self preservation of society and individuals living in it. In a similar understanding, rightful liberty can be abridged or modified by law and hence laws abridging the natural rights of individual citizens should only be restrained through vigorous constructions within their narrow limits.
However, there have been critics of liberty; these opponenents to liberty argued that there should be political order in the society composed of two authorities which are the authority of the government, and the sovereignty of the state. These should enact laws dictates what individual person should do and what should not be done.
Work Cited
Thomas, Hobbes. The treatise on human nature and that on liberty and necessity ABook. New York: Harper Perennial Publishers, 1967. Print
John, Struart. A critique ABook London: Oxford University Publishers, 1970.Print
Isaiah,Berlin.Four essays on liberty ABook. London: Macmillan Publishers, 1969.Print
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