Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Rights and freedom


For me rights simply mean limits on state power - for most English people nowadays they mean extensions of it. 

They mean entitlements.

This is partly a sign of the corrupting influence of the EU but mostly the fault of our own busybody class, beginning with Harold Wilson.

Freedom and inequality are of course inextricable.


  1. “Wherever I see liberty, there is no socialism.”

    Alexis de Tocqueville

    ...a little context:

    In the midst of all this political maneuvering, there was one segment
    of opinion with whom Tocqueville refused to have any dealings. Some
    first-time readers of the Recollections may be surprised, if not
    shocked, to discover just how much Tocqueville loathed Jacobins,
    socialists, and the radical left in general. Throughout the
    Recollections, he refers to them derisively—but, as it turned out,
    accurately—as “Reds.” These groups are portrayed as inimical not only
    to liberty and order but to civilization itself. Their goal,
    Tocqueville comments, was “not to change the form of government but to
    alter the order of society.” Another way he expressed this hostility
    was to say: “Wherever I see liberty, there is no socialism.”


    1. Socialism and liberty are antithetical obviously. So are equality, in both the socialist and modern liberal senses but not in the sense of liberty before the law, and liberty. This is less obvious to people now because liberty is no longer fashionable. Positive liberties which are extensions of state power are fashionable. The right to clean water, for example.

  2. And even equality itself, that powerful appeal and great promise of socialists throughout the ages, turns out to signify not equality of rights, of opportunities, and of external conditions, but equality qua identity, equality seen as the movement of variety toward uniformity.
    Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn

    Igor Shafarevich
    The Socialist Phenomenon

    Foreword by Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn


  3. Voltaire much preferred England to France, for its freedoms. He admired the English approach. How times have changed! I understand that even the revered freedom of thought has been rolled back in the UK, surviving only in a former colony, the United States (as enshrined in its First Amendment to the Constitution).