- Liberty taken as an ambivalence between good and evil, that is allowing people to act as they please, is not even practically coherent. The first principle of practical reason is “Do good and avoid evil.” Liberty then is pre- or sub-rational. It has not yet even taken on the character of rational practical discourse.
- The difference between the freedom necessary for a moral growth and liberty is that the freedom for moral growth is rational and punishment for evil is ready at hand. Liberty presupposes no punishment for evil and a religious “faith in freedom [that] does not rest on the foreseeable results in particular circumstances, but on the belief that it will, on balance, release more forces for the good than for the bad.”
- Given that liberty as defined has no rational basis and cannot be an object of practical reason or an authoritative action, libertine men are necessarily led by sentiment and emotion. The moment practical reason approaches liberty it vanishes and good is pursued and evil avoided. A liberal society may be able to subsist only with properly motivated sentiment for a time, but it cannot endure in the long run.
- Liberalism is in fact completely implausible and its plausibility rests only in the continued inertia of not thinking about it.
- Liberalism as such cannot exist in reality, because it is the absence of practical reason. A liberal society is then like a cancer patient. Cancer does not exist apart from something at least minimally healthy and alive. So, we have the notion of freedom of speech or religion, where anything may be said or anything believed and preached. However, lawyers and legal scholars will contest this and provided nuances and escapes. This is necessary for the continued functioning of society, but in that respect it is a resistance (perhaps unintentional) to liberalism rather than its instantiation.
- Even libertarians are not even full liberals. Property at the least is necessarily enforced. The freedom to use things as we please is intolerable to the libertarian, because liberalism is too much of a burden for a mind to submit to.
- Another form of escape are things like the non-aggression principle “defined as initiating or threatening the use of any and all forcible interference with an individual or individual’s property” or “If it harm none, do what you will.” Sentiment comes in when we consider what “interference” or “harm” means, generally whatever is displeasing to me. Once we apply our reason, we arrive at anti-liberal notions.