March 30, 2006 by AK
Freiheit, schöner Götterfunken?
President Bush has said this:
I believe liberty is a universal thought. It’s not an American thought, it is a universal thought. And if you believe that, then you ought to take great comfort and joy in helping others realize the benefits of liberty. The way I put it is, there is an Almighty God. One of the greatest gifts of that Almighty God is the desire for people to be free, is freedom. And therefore — (applause) — and therefore, this country and the world ought to say, how can we help you remain free? What can we do to help you realize the blessings of liberty?
Liberty can mean one of a few things: it can be the state of dispassion and freedom from attachment that a virtuous man realises; it can be deliverance from the rule of the passions and demons through the grace of God; it can be a legal guarantee that you will not be arbitrarily detained, your property seized or your home searched without just cause, and that you will be left unmolested by the authorities in the way prescribed by law. It is fundamentally a state, not a “thought.” In the first two senses of moral or spiritual freedom, it is potentially available to all, but in the third sense it is limited to those societies that have developed the habits, institutions and laws that must exist for this state to exist. Many people can imagine or think of an idea of liberty, and many have, which does not mean that the experience of liberty is or will ever be available to all. There is every reason to believe that the idea of liberty on offer from Mr. Bush, which seems to differ scarcely from self-will and indulgence, directly contradicts the moral and spiritual kinds of liberty that should take precedence in any event, and which often directly undermine the restraint and discipline required for the practise of ordered liberty. The desire to be free in the sense that Mr. Bush means likely does not come from God, but from the other alternative source. For a more elaborate explanation, see The Possessed.
There is little I can add or subtract from this, so much am I in agreement, except for the last two sentences perhaps.
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