Dr. Martin Hash Podcast

Politics & Philosophy by Dr. Martin D. Hash, Esq.

216 Socialism vs. Liberty


There's a simple choice that best summarizes the difference between socialism and liberty: ask vs. tell. With liberty, individuals expect to be convinced to do something rather than being simply told to do so, while socialists blindly accept whatever obligations are thrust upon them. The difference is a subtle one because it determines who defines the priorities: you define what is important if someone must ask your permission, but someone else’s priorities prevail if they can make you adhere to their wishes. This distinction also shows up in American jurisprudence: the person with the Burden-of-Proof has the onus to make and support their argument. With liberty, individuals expect the person asking to shoulder the burden of proof, while socialists assume that whatever is determined to be for the public good is reason enough.

Given the Ask-vs-Tell distinction, the concept that liberty leads to individual Rights seems clear enough, but socialists often argue that they also have individual Rights because individuals have a Right to democratically vote to decide what everyone should do. This only makes sense when compared to the European legacy of aristocracies casting down commandments from on-high, then democracy is an obvious improvement, but also the greatest threat to individual Rights because they could be voted away. Since Americans make democracy ancillary to liberty; people can't democratically override The Constitution's individual liberty guarantees, therefore Americans can always expect to be convinced why they should sacrifice some of their individual liberty for the greater social good.

Categories | PRay TeLL, Dr. Hash


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