posted ago by DuxBellorum ago by DuxBellorum +1 / -1

Negative liberty is the absence of obstacles, barriers or constraints. One has negative liberty to the extent that actions are available to one in this negative sense.

Positive liberty is the possibility of acting — or the fact of acting — in such a way as to take control of one’s life and realize one’s fundamental purposes.

To conceptualize the difference in an easy to understand manner without getting too philosophical: if you are allowed to buy heroin, you have negative liberty. If you use heroin and the drug controls your life, you lack positive liberty.

Libertarians tend to promote negative liberty at all costs, which often has the impact of reducing positive liberty in a society. To contrast, a National Socialist tends to maximize both positive and negative liberty which would reduce ones overall negative liberty but might increase positive liberty.

What are ancaps thoughts on the distinction. Is negative liberty in all cases what one should maximize or does having rules in place to balance both negative and positive liberty make more sense.

Benjamin Franklin once said the following for example:

“Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters.” ― Benjamin Franklin

Do ancaps believe such a belief has any grounding or are they against this belief?