by user A Libertarian
Communism, Abortion, Negative Liberty, Positive Liberty, a story, and response to “THE GATHERING STORM OF SOCIALISM”
Let us begin with a story: there was once two individuals standing on a hill (maybe Greek, Assyrian, Roman, Hittite, etc...). The two people looked out to the trees, plants, animals, and other people. They both thought about the things that were coming into their eyes but had different interpretations of the reality they lived in. The ambiguity of life is the cloud that kept them from KNOWING what they were truly seeing. The first person looked out and saw the plants and animals and said “We, as humans, are like that which we live with. We have cities, technology, and understanding but are nothing more than smart rabbits or deer. We have abilities no other animal has.”
The second person looked out and thought “We, as humans, are something different. Everything but us lives on instinct and natural forces. The plants and animals seem to be nothing more than flesh and blood living in a truly scientific and understandable way. The only mystery for them is what made them come into existence. Ah, but we, as humans, are different. We lack the instinct and repetitiveness of these animals. We are driven by a mysterious force that defies the natural system (i.e. Consciousness) which gives us the power to do anything we want (free will).”
The two people walked of and told of their theories. The first got much support and the second got less support, much less. Over the years, the two theories bonded with other theories in order to create understanding. The first theory bonded with atheism, some religious movements, and communism. The very idea that humans are a non-sentient being, driven by instinct and emotion, led to the following of positive liberty. Positive liberty, for those of you who are living under a rock, is the liberty from problems. The idea, though sounding very wonderful in the minds of it's blind followers, was one with a dark side. You see, positive liberty, in order to be justified, has to have a problem to solve. The problem, as created in the mind of the first person, is the undynamic qualities of people; i.e. A free market free society won't survive and would be subject to the immense pain of unsolvable problems caused by repetition: a repetition caused by the following of unstoppable patterns caused by instinct. These patterns will be ones such as people's disregarding of the future (pollution and blatant greed), disregarding of fellow humans (poverty, starvation, genocide), and disregarding of ones self (smoking, drinking, huge risk taking, and suicide). The solutions to these patterns and the road to happiness would be through disruption of this natural phenomenon through the non-natural actions caused by those who examine their own state of being (i.e. The true communists , socialists, and collectivist anarchists). These people would see this patters and, through noticing it before they could fall into the circle, they would fight it and the roots causes of it. These are the hippies, commies, Che-shirt-wearers, feminists (modern, not real), and many other “non-conformists”.
These patters were very present in the world but the second person had a different idea about them. He/she thought about it but came to the conclusion that the were the result of the society being one of fewer ideas because of the lack of knowledge the people had, the social norms of the time, the lack of freedom to be original, the lack of competition in the world. This persons followers believed that all should be free and, even if for one's own benefit (through pay check), the acts of good will would be abundant and sincere. The second person believed that people should be free from the one thing that could damage their conscience creativity and well being: the coercive, and conscience, acts of those against them. This belief became the foundation of negative liberty. This belief had a following of many individuals but was one rooted in the shame of appealing to those that have less obsession with their own well being and more of an obsession with the well being of all mankind (it's not easy to support NOT being protected from starvation, bad luck, and poverty).
One of the big thinkers behind this form of thinking was Ayn Rand. She felt that the primary aim of this ideology was to keep people free, not make the standard of living, on a monetary basis, higher than any other system could do. She felt that that, if it occurred, would be a side effect, albeit positive, but not the objective. You see, one of the things that happened to this ideology is that it had two distinct, separate, groups forming in it: the atheist Randians and the religious. The Randians felt that we exist for some reason and we are special, but they denied the existence of any higher power. They felt that there is a mind-separate reality and that we interact with it through the use of completely natural means (i.e see, hear, feel, taste and touch). The religious, on the other had, felt that our consciencesness, and our existence, all come from a divine power that has this un-natural gift. The problem with the Randians is that they fight for the idea that they are special and unique but, at the same time, fight everything that tries to explain this phenomenon and, because of their extreme atheism, they fall down to the level of the first person (the positive liberty one) in their thinking that humans are nothing more than animals and have little or no value over them. This is why they support abortion, euthanasia, probably eugenics, and any act that denies the future value of a human that is in a current state of non-consciencesness (there is much more to this but I, your story teller, am tired). The way it goes is that they see humans as the same as the first person when they are not conscious, but see humans as the second person when they are and, at the same time, refuse to support any explanation of this the strange and unnatural human quality of consciousness.
The Randians were an example of a group that tried to support two conflicting ideologies but destroyed itself from the inside by disregarding human value (uniqueness and abilities unmatched by all that is natural) but trying to support them at the same time.
Well, anyway, back to the story. The people that ended up supporting the first person were those that felt humans were on a chaotic and predictable loop that caused un-imaginable suffering and, to add insult to injury, a never ending loop where problems would never be solved and life would be as much of a chance as the role of a dice. Because of their views that humas were not special and lacked anything that made them truly different from other animals, they started to support things that would make their competition just livid. They killed babies in the name of rights, supported eugenics in the same of stopping suffering (except in the case of the abortion and infanticide and even mass killing that would be needed to purify the civilization). Their disregarding of human uniqueness led them to believe that there is noting wrong with trying to stop suffering, even if it causes the brutal suffering (i.e. Death) of the few. Suffering became a scale, a “one to ten” with a value attached. The suffering was more important than the life lost to end it since suffering to them is the only thing that can be felt (death is painless if there is no afterlife).
One of the important things that the ideology of the first person brought into existence was abortion (I am bringing this up because it is one of the two things that the moron author talked about). The philosophical underpinning of this act were not entirely the question of weather a “right” was good but instead the true implications of the action which, in turned, decided the opportunity cost and benefit of the action thus deciding weather it should be allowed. What I mean is that the act could be considered justified if you believe that humans of that age have less value than the mother's convenience. The reason why it is this and not just an issue of a right is that it goes against all other rights if you see human life from the point of view of the second person. The first person, essentially viewing humans as a form of an animal and completely natural, will believe that the act could be justified since, if humans lack any true higher state than the natural one, then an undeveloped and un-unique person would be viewed as valuable as the constituent parts that make it up (like the parts of an engine that make up the car). If this is the case then it is logical to see that the opportunity cost for destroying a common animal would be justified if it relieved problems experienced by an animal that is contributing to the survival of its species through labor.
The whole “my body, my choice” argument is nothing more than a blind affiliation with positive liberty ethics by assuming that the life of a unborn is irrelevant since it has no unnatural complexities in the present and won't in the future but will be more valuable in the future (probably because it will give back to the community). A problem with the argument is its hypocrisy in all other events. It is my body so why can't I press MY foot down on the accelerator of a car and use MY hands to turn the wheel into a crowd of protesters? The assumption that you can do anything with your body is an anarchistic nihilist view which has no place in modern collectivist society. Essentially, the argument over the body is only justified if you feel that human life, being of little value anyway, is less valuable if it is not in its optimal state (also why people support eugenics!) and therefore can have tangible value attached.
One of the most waterproof things I have heard is that humans don't care about that which they don't understand. It is a part of human nature. This is why we mourn the loss of some kidnapped and murdered kid or even the victims of an American plane crash but we change the channel and don't care when we hear that some big natural disaster in some poor country that killed many people. If you don't suffer from this then ask yourself “Do I give all I have to those that are truly in need?”. It is this physiological issue of humans that allow them to support abortion from the positive liberty point of view. They see value, even if they see it as fake, between communicating people and value those people but they don't value that which can not talk or communicate. It is why people only seem to care when they mentally put themselves in the position of the persons in need. With the lack of value for humans that positive liberty pushes, the lack of value in this instance is the one thing that makes abortion justified in the eyes of many people. Isn't it interesting that all who support abortion were lucky enough to have their parents choose life?
The negative liberty side (the second person) is interesting and often misrepresented. The first group of people that “support” it are the Randians. The Randians are not negative liberty supporters. They want it both ways: they reject all higher powers and anything that suggests that humans are an unnatural entity (some go so far as to say that we are not conscious) but they also claim to support free will and consciousness. The Randians are NOT negative liberty supporters and would never create a stable system (it would collapse because of the moral dilemmas it can't solve). The negative liberty side has a different view of human life. It sees that humans are a conscious entity. They see that there is something about humans that makes them better. Because of this quality, humans can't be put on a value scale like the positive liberty supporters would want. Humans can't be valued based on the natural things that make them up. Because of this, humans are an independent entity from the moment of existence (i.e. Conception). Any attempt on their lives is the attempt on a human, from conception to natural death unless they, the person in question, want to die consciously. Unlike positive liberty where life's value can be drasticly changed based on such things as knowledge of the person in question (communication with them and other things that make them more human), negative liberty gives all humans an equal value, after that it is up to the person in question to decide their value by their own decisions (wearing a seatbelt, not doing drugs, risks, etc...)
Your belief on the legality of abortion and other like act is hinged on your beliefs on the value of human life and the mysterious issue of consciousness. consciousness is the great equalizer and changes the value of a human from the sum of their parts to a standard value. It makes even the unproductive as valuable as the productive. It is the one thing that has no place in Darwinism and is fought by atheists and other like minded individuals. If you feel that humans are a conscious, sentient, beings, then you would not be in favour of abortion, communism, socialism and other evils.
The evolution of negative and positive liberty has brought them into contact with political ideologies. Because of the view on human dynamicism, negative liberty supports capitalism and other like ideologies wile positive liberty supports communism, socialism, fake fascism, and, sadly, paleo and neo conservatism. A positive liberty world would be one of inhumanity, it would be one where life is not valued until after birth (and not much more after that), and it would be one where you would never get to live your own life and have your own things (no privet property or privet life).
The reason why positive liberty is wrong is in the very events of the day in which it was conceived. The view that humans were a pattern-oriented and unconscious being would have prevented the very revelation of that, along with a better system to stop it. Positive liberty is the cancer that killed millions but, worse then that, destroyed the souls of many.