Subsidiarity and freedom are unrelated
August 3, 2014 § 71 Comments
Subsidiarity is messy hierarchical organic authority. A single efficient and monolithic authority micromanaging everything all the time is the opposite of subsidiarity, whether that monolithic authority is dictatorial, democratic, or carried out through some other formal structure like a patchwork.
Freedom is the capacity to actually choose what we wish to choose. It is maximized for the most people either when a wicked sovereign rules wicked people, or when a good sovereign rules good people.
It is self-contradictory to make freedom a political priority, because politics is essentially the art of resolving controverted cases. By definition all parties in controverted cases cannot be granted the actual capacity to choose what they wish to choose. Attempting to limit political freedom with some other principle doesn’t work: it just represents an attempt to confine the self-contradiction into a little box, from which, like a powerful acid, it will inevitably escape. And within whatever scope it is permitted to operate, it will insist upon equality of rights.
It is possible for a society under subsidiarity to exhibit a great deal of freedom or a tremendous lack of freedom; and as always, who is and is not “free” is relative to what they happen to wish that they could choose in that society. The same can be said for a monolithic arrangement.
Saying that a society is free, then, is simply to say that in your view that society puts the right people in prison for the right reasons.
Freedom is inherently relative, so it teaches modern people that morality is relative. Again citing the prophet Soul Asylum,
Trying to do the right thing
Play it straight
The right thing changes from state to state
So subsidiarity and political freedom are unrelated concepts. The latter must be rejected utterly in order to escape the mind trap of liberal modernity. In fact the more important freedom to choose the good is to you, the more important it is that you reject freedom as a political priority.