Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News
Sunday, October 18, 2020

Michael Tomasky: Freedom emphatically does not include the freedom to get someone else sick. It does not include the freedom to refuse to wear a mask in the grocery store, sneeze on someone in the produce section and give him the virus. That's not freedom for the person who is sneezed upon. For that person, the first person's "freedom" means chains - potential illness and even perhaps a death sentence. No society can function on that definition of freedom.



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One of the key authors of the Western concept of freedom is John Stuart Mill. In "On Liberty," he wrote that liberty (or freedom) means "doing as we like, subject to such consequences as may follow, without impediment from our fellow creatures, as long as what we do does not harm them even though they should think our conduct foolish, perverse or wrong."

Note the clause "as long as what we do does not harm them." He tossed that in there almost as a given - indeed, it is a given. This is a standard definition of freedom, more colloquially expressed in the adage "Your freedom to do as you please with your fist ends where my jaw begins."

Now, conservatives revere Mill. But today, in the age of the pandemic, Mill and other conservative heroes like John Locke would be aghast at the way the American right wing bandies about the word "freedom."

Say this: Freedom means the freedom not to get infected by the idiot who refuses to mask up. Even John Stuart Mill would have agreed.

Tomasky is dead-on in this treatise. Your freedom in public spaces (or privately-owned ones that command compliance) ends where my freedom to not have my life impacted negatively by your exercise of freedom begins.

And that certainly includes defending my own health and well being.

#1 | Posted by tonyroma at 2020-10-17 08:04 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

The word I prefer is Team. We are all on a team to defeat COVID-19.

Another word I prefer is Unity Against a Common Enemy. (OK, that's a phrase, but cut be a little slack here...)

#2 | Posted by LampLighter at 2020-10-17 08:29 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

We the people, not me the person

#3 | Posted by hamburglar at 2020-10-18 10:40 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 4

Freedom isn't free, it comes with responsibilities towards others or it ceases to be a freedom and instead becomes a potential death sentence that can be enacted by others with impunity.

Any one individual's freedom cannot encroach upon someone else's equal right to express their own freedom especially in matters of both public and personal safety and health.

#4 | Posted by tonyroma at 2020-10-18 10:56 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 4

"Any one individual's freedom cannot encroach upon someone else's equal right to express their own freedom "

In the 1st stage of life we are dependent.
Then we mature into the 2nd stage and we become independent.
In the 3rd stage of our growth we become Interdependent.


Some of us never grow up.

#5 | Posted by donnerboy at 2020-10-18 01:32 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 2

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