Politics & Philosophy by Dr. Martin D. Hash, Esq.
“Liberty” is a famous word; the motto of the French Republic is “Liberty, Equality, Fraternity,” and therein lies the problem of why America's definition of liberty is not the same as the rest of the world, because just reading the motto, it's clear their “liberty” is a collectivist liberty, while the U.S. espouses individual liberty. Though America adopted its definition of liberty first, the idea of individual sovereignty, autonomy & agency, was too different from what Europeans were used to, which was having their lives controlled by aristocrats. The idea that the rabble could make decisions was considered irresponsible; Europeans were only willing to exchange dynastic elitism for democratically elected elitism; still accepting the idea that somebody else was better able to make decisions about what was best for everyone. All Western nations but America has this mindset, so democratic socialism is their idea of liberty.
Foreigners always conflate liberty with freedom, claiming they are just as free, or even more so, than Americans, but that's a specious argument since liberty is not freedom, though freedom is an important ingredient of liberty. Americans define liberty as making decisions for yourself and reaping the benefits or suffering the consequences of your own actions, bounded only by the liberty of others as specified in the U.S. Constitution. You are responsible for yourself and other people are responsible for themselves, which seems like selfishness to a socialist, so they can't understand America's preoccupation with liberty. People have to be immersed in liberty since childhood to think for themselves and make their own decisions; expecting an adult to suddenly understand how to act and what is expected of them when dumped into a liberty environment is unrealistic. Foreigners can be forgiven their ignorance of liberty, but native-born Americans can't.
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