Monthly Archives: June 2014

Making Arguments for Liberty


I’ve been thinking a lot lately how best to appeal to people regarding the ideas of liberty. For liberty flourish, I believe it’s best for as many people as possible to embrace its ideals. At the very least, I don’t want my conduct or arguments or behavior to turn people off to these ideas; it would probably be better for a millstone to be tied around my neck and I be thrown into the sea.

I find myself coming to the conclusion that there is no one definitive argument for liberty that will be appealing to all people. This should be expected; people are individuals with their own tastes and desires. Thus, the wonderful book that led the scales to drop from our eyes might not have the same effect for others. This is why it’s so important that we have a conversation when we communicate with others about ideas we might like them to consider. We need to empathize with them and understand what appeals to them.

The video below made me think about this, and I would like to get some feedback on the following thought. Regarding the third absurd reason to ban drugs, Professor Davies says the assumption behind it is that the government owns you and ought to have the ability to make you be productive. Almost instinctively, I reject such ideas. But I wonder how many people also might instinctively reject the idea of the government owning them and being able to tell them what to do.

Do people not usually think of these things? Or is it just the case that when they support government coercion they don’t see it as such because they obviously wouldn’t advocate the government prohibiting something they themselves would otherwise do, but only others who are morally infirm or intolerant or whatever? What keeps them from seeing the coercive nature of government? And if they do see it, do they care enough to change it?