Liberal as in Liberty and Freedom. Iranian as in Cyrus and Ferdowsi.
Freedom and Power
It is common, especially in leftist literature, to confuse the meaning of freedom
. If the words freedom
are to have a separate meaning of their own at all, at most only one of the following two statements can be correct:
1. Not being free implies not having power;
2. Not having power implies not being free.
This is just a matter of logic; otherwise, freedom
would be identical concepts. The confusion is caused by assuming that the second statement is correct where it is not. The first statement, however, is correct by any reasonable definition of power: to have the power to do something, one first needs to be free to do it.
Consider a case where one is in principle free to do something but does not have the physical, mental, or economic power to do it. This situation does not violate the existence of the original freedom. In fact, so far as the basic freedoms of doing things are not violated, one can, over time, acquire the necessary power. This is the manifestation of the accumulative nature of power, whether in the life of one individual or the history of the generations in a society.
Now consider the converse situation where one has the power to do something, but is prohibited by law or other people from doing it. This could mean that one has only the physical, mental or economic power, but not the
power in its full sense. Power is a compound quality because tasks to which power applies are compound entities. If I am able to talk, but not able to listen, I am not able to converse. If I am able to lift, but not able to walk, I do not have the power to move objects. And so on. In this regard, the most basic ability to do anything is, not to be prohibited; that is, to be free.
In short, freedom
is the necessary condition for power
, not vice versa: it is not sufficient.
This discussion rejects at once the notion, put forward frequently and vocally, that "a person who does not have enough money, has already lost his freedom of choice."