A Fundamental Difference

One fundamental difference between those in favor of liberty and those opposed is what each side thinks of the common man. One side thinks of the common man on the same level of themselves. The other thinks of the common man as someone to take care of, to do things for, because they think of this man as being fundamentally unable to do things for himself. Further, this side sees nothing wrong with such actions. They never imagine that being treated as a child is offensive. Why? Because they are better men, you see; they are a slice above; they are royalty. They are meant to rule and others are meant to follow.

Put another way, on one side is the virtue of humility. On the other side is the sin of vanity. On one side is tolerance, the idea of live and let live, a thirst to live free, not tyranny by an unending maze of laws. On the other side is the concept that not all laws need to be enforced all the time, that they will be enforced when useful, and ignored at other times. The idea here is that laws will be enforced for other people, but not for themselves, because they are the law-makers, not the law-followers.

Again, the first side sees laws as agreements among free men that bind all men equally. Thus, there should be few laws and they should restrict freedom as little as possible, because the restriction of liberty of one man restricts it for all men; only morality is a sure guide here. On this side, the preference is for simple, clear, and direct laws. On the other side, the idea is that laws reflect desires of what other people should do, but because that cannot be admitted openly, laws must be made complex so as to hide the interior reasons.

One side sees themselves in harmony and brotherhood with the common man; the other sees the common man as pawn, problem, or object of perpetual mercy, a mercy that leaves the common man always at some kind of disadvantage. One side longs for the blessing of all men; the other wants to keep some group always beneath their feet so that they can continue to enjoy their lives. One side wants all to share in the bounty of liberty; the other wants to keep the bounty only for themselves.

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