Economic vs. civil liberties?

Lynne Kiesling

One of the themes of my collection of links on Friday was that economic liberties are civil liberties, that a dichotomy between them is a false one. Philosopher Aeon Skoble explains why in this short Learn Liberty video.

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4 thoughts on “Economic vs. civil liberties?

  1. Lynne, I enjoyed your links on Friday, but I don’t buy the conclusion in the video. Sure, there’s a link between economic and personal civil liberties, but the dichotomy is not false. Getting stripped search unlawfully is a gross violation of one’s personal liberty and it’s much more important to prevent that type of violation than it is to correctly legislate economic freedoms. So the dichotomy is important to maintain, in my view, even if it may sometimes frustrate the goal of pure economic liberty, whatever that may mean in our complex world.

  2. @fnook: sure, some liberty violations don’t involve economic transactions, no argument there. But keep in mind, a lot of liberty violations that don’t _seem_ to involve economic transactions really do, such as censorship. And the main point is that _all_ economic transacations involve personal choice-making, so restricting them _is_ a violation of the freedom to choose. If you aren’t happy with “economic liberties = civil liberties” then perhaps take economic liberties as a subset of civil liberties. Still a false dichotomy, esp. in the way that (e.g.) Rawlsians use it.

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