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Liberty Is the Politics of Love

November 19, 2014 in Blogs

By Robin Koerner

You know you love someone when you want for them what they want for themselves.

The three little words that really convey this sentiment are not, “I love you,” which can mean all kinds of things to all kinds of people; rather they are, “As you wish.”

Love is kind, expansive, proactive, and fundamentally non-constraining. And although some of us may disagree on a positive definition of love, we can surely all agree about what it is not: restricting, compelling, imposing, or violating the right of another to pursue his own happiness and self-actualization. Those characteristics attach to something altogether incompatible with love – and that is Fear.

And it is evident that fear has also been the driver of our nation’s politics for many years.

In a divided nation, as partisans work to use the political system and the institutions of power to impose their worldview on those who disagree with them, could we develop a politics not of Fear or imposition, but of Love? What would it look like? What system or philosophy could possibly be Love, politicized?

The answer is the politics of Liberty. Liberty, like Love, says to its recipients, “As You Wish” or “I want for you what you want for yourself.” Liberty seeks to build a society in which people can express themselves most fully because they can express themselves most freely.

While this identity between Liberty and Love is for me the best argument for the former as a political philosophy, it poses serious challenges to those of us who are fighting for it.

As I discussed with the wonderful Jeffrey Tucker on two episodes of my Blue Republican Radio show, liberty that is not Loving is not true liberty. Even libertarianism, like all political philosophies, can become a dogma, purporting a principled basis but in practice chiefly concerned with proving its own rightness and imposing itself on unwilling recipients. Even libertarianism can be imposed without consent – but only if it is not loving, and fails to put people first.

Tucker calls the latter tendency “Brutalism,” after the architectural school that was associated with the Soviet ideology and era – for, like brutalist architecture, brutalist libertarianism refuses to make any concessions to the culture, history or aesthetics of the people who are supposed to …read more

Source: ROBIN KOERNER BLOG

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