Tom W. Bell Living Lives that Respect Liberty


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Tom W. Bell Living Lives that Respect Liberty

  • Introduction
  • I. Legal Models
  • II. Legal Threats
  • III. Legal Solutions
  • Conclusion

Introduction

  • We’re going to discuss how our respect for liberty might inform--not mandate--the ways we live our lives.
  • We’ll cover three major areas: Personal, Interpersonal, and Career.
  • This will help us review some of the principles we've learned and show their limits.
  • Introduction
  • I. Only Political?
  • II. Personal
  • III. Interpersonal
  • IV. Professional
  • Conclusion
  • Tom W. Bell, Living Lives that Respect Liberty, slide , IHS Liberty & Society Seminar, Bryn Mawr, PA, July 13, 2007

I. Is Liberty Only a Political Value?

  • Introduction
  • I. Only Political?
  • II. Personal
  • III. Interpersonal
  • IV. Professional
  • Conclusion
  • Tom W. Bell, Living Lives that Respect Liberty, slide , IHS Liberty & Society Seminar, Bryn Mawr, PA, July 13, 2007
  • 1. His “fatal conceit,” recall, is that the rules necessary for regulating personal relations in small groups, such as in families or villages, scale up to large groups, such as states. He thus touts the virtues of impersonal justice for the (as he calls it) Great Society.
  • 2. Would we err in applying the rules that classical liberals claim necessary for the Great Society—respect for persons, property, and promises—to the small group?
  • Respecting rights versus dictating right action, or, "The political is personal.”
  • Does Hayek's "fatal conceit" argument apply in reverse?
  • C. Respect for liberty does appear to reflect other values, serving as a social sorting function

II. Liberty at a Personal Level

  • Liberty does not equate to atomistic libertinism. Rather, it allows--and arguably requires--us to choose associations that constrain our behavior.
  • Envy threatens liberty by encouraging both left- and right-wing ruin.
  • Case study: Robert Nozick, an eminent philosophical proponent of libertarianism, vigorously exercised his rights under the rent control laws of Cambridge, Massachusetts. Was he wrong to do so?
  • Introduction
  • I. Only Political?
  • II. Personal
  • III. Interpersonal
  • IV. Professional
  • Conclusion
  • Tom W. Bell, Living Lives that Respect Liberty, slide , IHS Liberty & Society Seminar, Bryn Mawr, PA, July 13, 2007

III. Liberty in Interpersonal Relations

  • Rights at home: How clear boundaries foster trust and respect.
  • Case study: Carol offers her roommate, Doris, a lot of unsolicited advice. Her recent suggestions included:
  • Introduction
  • I. Only Political?
  • II. Personal
  • III. Interpersonal
  • IV. Professional
  • Conclusion
  • Tom W. Bell, Living Lives that Respect Liberty, slide , IHS Liberty & Society Seminar, Bryn Mawr, PA, July 13, 2007
  • “You really ought to try wearing turtlenecks more often; they cover up those lines on your neck.”
  • “The way you pronounce 'insurance' makes you sound like a hick. Put the emphasis in the second syllable!”
  • “Don't go out with Frank. You'll just get drunk, sleep with him, and get syph. Again.”
  • Do principles of liberty suggest anything about the propriety of Carol's comments or what Doris should do in response?

IV. Liberty in Professional Lives

  • Fight the power or tend to your garden?
  • Case study: Suppose that a wealthy businessman, impressed with your many virtues and largely supportive of your public calls for a less intrusive government, has encouraged you to run for U.S. representative. He offers you all the necessary financial support, subject to one condition: Your campaign must announce its support of a largely symbolic, but to your mind odious, bill. You judge that you can win if and only if you accept his deal, and you reason that once in office you could do much good. Do you accept his deal? Why or why not?
  • Introduction
  • I. Only Political?
  • II. Personal
  • III. Interpersonal
  • IV. Professional
  • Conclusion
  • Tom W. Bell, Living Lives that Respect Liberty, slide , IHS Liberty & Society Seminar, Bryn Mawr, PA, July 13, 2007

Conclusion

  • Introduction
  • I. Only Political?
  • II. Personal
  • III. Interpersonal
  • IV. Professional
  • Conclusion
  • Tom W. Bell, Living Lives that Respect Liberty, slide , IHS Liberty & Society Seminar, Bryn Mawr, PA, July 13, 2007
  • Appropriately--and happily!--classical liberalism largely leaves you free to choose to live as you alone see fit. It can offer many suggestions if you seek them, but it commands only that you not violate anyone’s rights. Some of you will find that classical liberalism gives you a cause to live for, intense intellectual pleasures, and a community of friends and colleagues. But any of you can take just pride in simply living peaceably with your fellow humans.

Addendum: Hello, Jonah (page 1)

  • Introduction
  • I. Only Political?
  • II. Personal
  • III. Interpersonal
  • IV. Professional
  • Conclusion
  • Addendum
  • Tom W. Bell, Living Lives that Respect Liberty, slide , IHS Liberty & Society Seminar, Bryn Mawr, PA, July 13, 2007
  • Why? Because our love for liberty comes not from dry theory, but from passion.
  • And, anyhow, why not?

Addendum: Hello, Jonah (page 2)

  • Introduction
  • I. Only Political?
  • II. Personal
  • III. Interpersonal
  • IV. Professional
  • Conclusion
  • Addendum
  • Tom W. Bell, Living Lives that Respect Liberty, slide , IHS Liberty & Society Seminar, Bryn Mawr, PA, July 13, 2007
  • Verse 1:
  • Well, hello, Jonah! And—whaddya' know?—
  • I see Geppetto and Pinnochio!
  • It's gettin' crowded, from head to tail.
  • Guess we're all livin' in the belly of the whale.
  • [Get it? That’s us, man! Institutionalized coercion surrounds us, and we have to figure out how to deal with it. Heavy, huh?]

Addendum: Hello, Jonah (page 3)

  • Introduction
  • I. Only Political?
  • II. Personal
  • III. Interpersonal
  • IV. Professional
  • Conclusion
  • Addendum
  • Tom W. Bell, Living Lives that Respect Liberty, slide , IHS Liberty & Society Seminar, Bryn Mawr, PA, July 13, 2007
  • Verse 1:
  • Well, hello, Jonah! And—whaddya' know?—
  • I see Geppetto and Pinnochio!
  • It's gettin' crowded, from head to tail.
  • Guess we're all livin' in the belly of the whale.
  • At least it's cozy, and nice and warm,
  • And it gives us shelter from the ragin' storm,
  • [Statism does have its benefits, after all. Maybe not be net benefits, but still . . . .]

Addendum: Hello, Jonah (page 4)

  • Introduction
  • I. Only Political?
  • II. Personal
  • III. Interpersonal
  • IV. Professional
  • Conclusion
  • Addendum
  • Tom W. Bell, Living Lives that Respect Liberty, slide , IHS Liberty & Society Seminar, Bryn Mawr, PA, July 13, 2007
  • Verse 1:
  • Well, hello, Jonah! And—whaddya' know?—
  • I see Geppetto and Pinnochio!
  • It's gettin' crowded, from head to tail.
  • Guess we're all livin' in the belly of the whale.
  • At least it's cozy, and nice and warm,
  • And it gives us shelter from the ragin' storm,
  • And though I smell trouble, I can say at least,
  • I'm not deeper in the belly of the beast.
  • [In other words, “Hooray, I’m not yet whale poop!”]

Addendum: Hello, Jonah (page 5)

  • Introduction
  • I. Only Political?
  • II. Personal
  • III. Interpersonal
  • IV. Professional
  • Conclusion
  • Addendum
  • Tom W. Bell, Living Lives that Respect Liberty, slide , IHS Liberty & Society Seminar, Bryn Mawr, PA, July 13, 2007
  • Verse 1:
  • Well, hello, Jonah! And—whaddya' know?—
  • I see Geppetto and Pinnochio!
  • It's gettin' crowded, from head to tail.
  • Guess we're all livin' in the belly of the whale.
  • At least it's cozy, and nice and warm,
  • And it gives us shelter from the ragin' storm,
  • And though I smell trouble, I can say at least,
  • I'm not deeper in the belly of the beast.
  • Refrain 1:
  • We stumble through this world of darkness, pain, and doubt.
  • We suffer in this prison, we struggle to get out.
  • With strivin', strength, and study, we might finally find a way.
  • To flee the night and finally see the day.
  • [Some other stuff might help, too, granted, but we will almost certainly require hard work, good character, and research in the human sciences. And I love alliteration.]

Addendum: Hello, Jonah (page 6)

  • Introduction
  • I. Only Political?
  • II. Personal
  • III. Interpersonal
  • IV. Professional
  • Conclusion
  • Addendum
  • Tom W. Bell, Living Lives that Respect Liberty, slide , IHS Liberty & Society Seminar, Bryn Mawr, PA, July 13, 2007
  • Verse 2:
  • Hey, now, Geppetto, what's that you've got?
  • As ideas go—hah!—I'd say that's hot.
  • Count me in! I like your plan,
  • To burn the belly of leviathan.
  • Thank you, Jonah, I liked your prayer.
  • But will you now please get over here.
  • You've got to labor, and not just wish,
  • To get out of the belly of the fish.
  • [Please note that I’m not anti-prayer. I’m just saying that you need good works, too.]
  • [And, yes, I know that whales are not fish. That’s poetic license, my friends.]

Addendum: Hello, Jonah (page 7)

  • Introduction
  • I. Only Political?
  • II. Personal
  • III. Interpersonal
  • IV. Professional
  • Conclusion
  • Addendum
  • Tom W. Bell, Living Lives that Respect Liberty, slide , IHS Liberty & Society Seminar, Bryn Mawr, PA, July 13, 2007
  • Verse 2:
  • Hey, now, Geppetto, what's that you've got?
  • As ideas go—hah!—I'd say that's hot.
  • Count me in! I like your plan,
  • To burn the belly of leviathan.
  • Thank you, Jonah, I liked your prayer.
  • But will you now please get over here.
  • You've got to labor, and not just wish,
  • To get out of the belly of the fish.
  • [Everybody!]
  • Refrain 2:
  • We stumble through this world of darkness, pain, and doubt.
  • We suffer in this prison, we struggle to get out.
  • With strivin', strength, and study, we might finally find a way.
  • To join the fight to win the light of day.

Addendum: Hello, Jonah (page 8)

  • Introduction
  • I. Only Political?
  • II. Personal
  • III. Interpersonal
  • IV. Professional
  • Conclusion
  • Addendum
  • Tom W. Bell, Living Lives that Respect Liberty, slide , IHS Liberty & Society Seminar, Bryn Mawr, PA, July 13, 2007
  • Verse 3:
  • Hurray, brothers! We're finally out!
  • Hallelujah sisters! Raise a joyful shout!
  • From hell below we've now been hurled. . . .
  • [Sounds good, eh? Hold on, though. Here comes the kicker:]

Addendum: Hello, Jonah (page 9)

  • Introduction
  • I. Only Political?
  • II. Personal
  • III. Interpersonal
  • IV. Professional
  • Conclusion
  • Addendum
  • Tom W. Bell, Living Lives that Respect Liberty, slide , IHS Liberty & Society Seminar, Bryn Mawr, PA, July 13, 2007
  • Verse 3:
  • Hurray, brothers! We're finally out!
  • Hallelujah sisters! Raise a joyful shout!
  • From hell below we've now been hurled.
  • But we’re still livin’ in the belly of the world.

Addendum: Hello, Jonah (page 10)

  • Introduction
  • I. Only Political?
  • II. Personal
  • III. Interpersonal
  • IV. Professional
  • Conclusion
  • Addendum
  • Tom W. Bell, Living Lives that Respect Liberty, slide , IHS Liberty & Society Seminar, Bryn Mawr, PA, July 13, 2007
  • Refrain 3:
  • We stumble through this world of darkness, pain, and doubt.
  • We suffer in this prison, we struggle to get out.
  • With strivin', strength, and study, we might finally find a way.
  • To seize the light and make a brighter day.
  • [Thus the struggle continues. Utopia is not an option. But we can make the world a better place, and make ourselves better in the process.]



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