There are no free societies
April 29, 2014 § 97 Comments
Politics is the art of resolving conflicts which arise in communities when different people have different views on what ought to be done. Politics is therefore essentially about discriminating between different notions of what ought to be done, exercising authority in favor of some choices while restricting others, and enforcing that authority with whatever formal or informal political apparatus is in place.
So in any given political state of affairs, many choices will be available and many will not. Those who would prefer to make choices which are permitted, and have those choices supported politically (through courts, police, social convention and approval, etc), will see the situation as free. Those who would prefer to make choices which are forbidden, however, will inherently see the situation as unfree.
Ultimately, then, there is no such thing as a “free society” in some general sense. There are only societies where what is permitted and forbidden is aligned with the good, and societies where what is permitted and forbidden is not aligned with the good.
There are good and bad societies, but there is no such thing as free or unfree societies.