Liberty vs responsibility

Topics: Political philosophy, John Locke, Liberalism Pages: 3 (1122 words) Published: December 18, 2013
Liberty v/s Responsibility
Liberty is the most valued and sought after outcome of any political society. It is a mark of a productive and prosperous society where people enjoy a set of fundamental rights for e.g.:- right to free speech, fair trial, etc. On the other hand social responsibility towards others and oneself unites the community and increases social well-being. Various political philosophers have come up with different ways to prioritize one over the other and some have believed to strike a balance between the two. This leads to an interesting political debate that at what point we draw a line between liberty and responsibility, where in we have maximum liberty and minimum responsibility. In this paper I assert the libertarian political thought which resolves this debate by striking a fine balance between liberty and responsibility. To support my argument, I apply the ideas of John Locke who was a 17th century classical liberal philosopher (for first reason) and much of libertarian political thought is inspired from his works. For second reason I apply the ideas of libertarian philosopher Friedrich Hayek. Towards the end I discuss the principles of libertarianism which clearly address this conflict.

The first reason is the primary reason why people have desire to loot or plunder and that reason is scarcity. Scarcity is also the main reason why we have to follow a set of rules and act responsibly. If there were no scarcity, then there would be a surplus of goods and resources for everyone and any person’s wishes and desires would be fulfilled no matter how unlimited they were and his/her actions would have no consequence on anybody else. But we do live in a world where there is scarcity and that cannot be avoided. So, we have to interact and exchange goods with one another and that involves a set of rules for social conduct. In this context, John...

Cited: –
Karpowicz, Korab. On the History of Political Philosophy. New York: Pearson, 2010. Print.
"Libertarianism." Wikipedia. N.p.. Web. 15 Dec 2013. .
"Recalling Hayek on Responsibility." The American Spectator. N.p., 7 1 2009. Web. 15 Dec 2013. .
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