Are we losing our liberty and our freedom, in America? It seems as though we are because almost daily we see another bill being passed in the U.S. Congress that seems to take away our liberties and our freedoms to be Americans. The Declaration of Independence states "Life, Liberty and…", which was written by a group of people that believed in what we now call classical liberalism. What do we mean by liberty especially as it is compared in today's climate? Liberty is the freedom to do as you wish with your own body at anytime you wish.
Your liberty stops when it infringes on the liberty of another. (Gaus) "Liberals have typically maintained that humans are naturally in ‘a State of perfect Freedom to order their Actions…as they think fit…without asking leave, or depending on the Will of any other Man’ (Locke, 1960 :" Classical Liberalism works very well with negative liberties. Negative liberties are defined as limiting government from taking our natural liberties away without due cause. (Gaus) "Paradigmatic liberals such as Locke not only advocate the Fundamental Liberal Principle, but also maintain that justified limitations on liberty are fairly modest. Only a limited government can be justified; indeed, the basic task of government is to protect the equal liberty of citizens."
To this, our founders added that government is required to protect us from invasion, Article IV Section 4. Our government is neglecting their responsibility in this regard with the killing of Robert Krantz and the nightly terror that border ranchers are subjected to, when bands of marauders come across the southern border into Arizona destroying fences and killing livestock. (Holub)"Armed with automatic weapons and sophisticated communications, the cartelistas are escalating their attempts to use their smuggling corridors inside the US." The federal government has installed signs stating, "Travel Caution Smuggling and Illegal Immigration may be Encountered in this Area". This is shameful that we have a constitution being ignored by the very people that are supposed to be protecting our liberties. The new liberalism and positive liberties go hand in hand. What government gives, government can take away.
Government has now taken away the liberty of being safe on our own property. This lack of enforcement is advancing beyond the border states into Utah with marijuana grow sites being protected by Mexican cartels, and where border crossers entering campgrounds for water and cell phones. (Brubaker) "The grower pointed his sawed-off shotgun at the girls and demanded their cell phones. The girls feared for their lives, Thomas said. They felt the only reason the man didn't shoot them is because there were too many girls, and he didn't have enough ammunition." A positive liberty as viewed by the new liberalism, was taken away, where teenage girls almost died and perhaps worse.
With Liberty comes freedom, but also with liberty come responsibility. Negative Liberties bring freedom. The opposite of negative liberties is positive liberties, with positive liberties you can be as free as your benefactor tells you, that you can be. It sounds just like slavery, where a slave is as free as his owner tells the slave to be. (Gaus) "If I am prevented by others from doing what I could otherwise do, I am to that degree unfree; and if this area is contracted by other men beyond a certain minimum, I can be described as being coerced, or, it may be, enslaved." With freedom comes action, the action to do the very best that you can or the very least that you wish, but it is your choice, because you have that freedom. You have that liberty that gives you that freedom.
Gaus, Gerald and Courtland, Shane D., "Liberalism", The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Spring 2011 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.), URL = <http://plato.stanford.edu/archives/spr2011/entries/liberalism/>.
Holub, Hugh. Ranchers report smuggler scouts on the border area hilltops. Tucson Citizen.com. (2010) http://tucsoncitizen.com/view-from-baja-arizona/2010/08/10/ranchers-report-smuggler-scouts-on-the-border-area-hilltops/
Brubaker, Ladd. Deseret News. Border Patrol needs more leeway on federal lands, Bishop says (04,2010). http://www.deseretnews.com/article/print/865553290/Border-Patrol-needs-more-leeway-on-federal-lands-Bishop-says.html