I aim to get back here tomorrow or Monday with some seriously random thoughts. But this has been a go-go-go sort of week, with little time to stop and cogitate, let alone write.
So I’ll leave the thinking to someone else today. Here’s another of those in-depth and thoughtful articles from Ammo.com, this one on the distinction between freedom and liberty — and how those differences shaped history. A sample:
To better understand what freedom and liberty mean, it’s helpful to look at the respective etymologies of these words, digging into their histories and how they developed.
Freedom comes from Old English, meaning “power of self-determination, state of free will; emancipation from slavery, deliverance.” There were similar variants in Old Frisian such as “fridom,” the Dutch “vrijdom,” and Middle Low German “vridom.”
Liberty comes from the Latin “libertatem” (nominative libertas), which means “civil or political freedom, condition of a free man; absence of restraint, permission.” It’s important to note that the Old French variant liberte, “free will,” has also shaped liberty’s meaning. In fact, William R. Greg’s essay France in January 1852 notes that the French notion of liberty is political equality, whereas the English notion is rooted in personal independence.
In an interview with Lew Rockwell, Professor Butler Shaffer makes some interesting distinctions between freedom and liberty. Shaffer argues that freedom is the “condition that exists within your mind, within my mind. It’s that inner sense of integrity. It’s an inner sense of living without conflict, without contradiction, without various divisions and so forth.”
This point of view is in line with the philosophy of the Stoics. They believed that a person’s body can be physically imprisoned, but not his mind (much like Viktor Frankl famously said in his Man’s Search for Meaning).