Wednesday, December 21, 2022

Two Concepts of Liberty

photo of Mike Tyson (Glenn Francis Toglenn)

Twitter originally banned Donald Trump for crying fire in a crowded theater. Literally it was for claiming the 2020 election was “stolen and rigged”—speech which was inflammatory and which was responsible for the January 6th insurrection. Recently Musk, a fervent libertarian, reinstated Trump while banning CNN’s Donie O’Sullivan, along with other reporters critical of his policies.  O’Sullivan was exercising his first amendment right, while Trump was inflaming an angry mob. Equating the two is a false equivalent. The only clear right is that of the owner of a social media site to to do whatever he or she likes. Liberty is not an absolute commodity. In his seminal essay, “Two Concepts of Liberty” where he deals with “negative” and “positive liberty,” Isaiah Berlin outlined this distinction. Libertarianism has become like one of those raging California fires which flare up in times of drought and literally burn the oxygen out of the air. Musk would benefit from the more nuanced notion of freedom than averred by Mike Tyson when he said, “everyone has a plan, until they get punched in the mouth.”

read "The Final Solution: Apres Coup" by Francis Levy, HuffPost

and listen to "Changes" by David Bowie

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