Arrow-right Camera


The limits of liberty

Many people today make liberty their primary concern. It is indeed a serious matter. I do not find equal attention given to the meaning of “liberty” or “freedom.” If liberty means the freedom of an individual to act without restraint, I think it is a concept of little merit. If I were left to pursue whatever fancy might strike me at the moment, I would think myself prey to desires and urges I could not account for. This seems to me an unfreedom.

Liberty must have a close connection to morality: I am free to do what is right, my duty, the good. In doing wrong, I am in chains, perhaps of my own making. Liberty is not conducive to a life of feckless ease. I have to justify, if only to myself, my actions with reference to other concerns; liberty is not self-justifying. I can’t help thinking a robust discussion of the meaning of such terms as “liberty” would be a useful supplement to our civic lexicon.

Gregory Chipps



Top stories in Opinion

Editorial: Washington state lawmakers scramble to keep public in the dark

State lawmakers want to create a legislative loophole in Washington’s Public Records Act. While it’s nice to see Democrats and Republicans working together for once, it’s just too bad that their agreement is that the public is the enemy. As The Spokesman-Review’s Olympia reporter Jim Camden explained Feb. 22, lawmakers could vote on a bill today responding to a court order that the people of Washington are entitled to review legislative records.