Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Four Freedoms

Franklin D. Roosevelt’s four freedoms are: freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom from want and freedom from fear. He used these to explain America’s participation in World War II.

However, the last two of Roosevelt’s freedoms imply government intervention into the lives of the people. In order to get freedom from want, the government would have to use redistribution of wealth.

For freedom from fear Roosevelt declared that we should have a world wide disarmament so that there could be no acts of aggression committed. In Roosevelt’s terms: “…a world-wide reduction of armaments to such a point and in such a thorough fashion that no nation will be in a position to commit an act of physical aggression against any neighbor—anywhere in the world.”

Therefore, FDR’s four freedoms are not actual freedoms.

Can the Remnant Become the Majority?

Albert Jay Nock (1870-1945) was a classical liberal thinker and writer. He wrote several articles and books, among them Free Speech and Plain Language.

Albert Jay Nock

Albert Jay Nock

In chapter thirteen of this book Nock refers to the Remnant and the majority. He re-words quotes from the Book of Isaiah as an answer to the following question: “Should I go and preach my teaching (meaning liberalism) to the masses?” The answer was the following,

“‘Ah’ the Lord said, ‘you do not get the point. There is a Remnant there that you know nothing about. They are obscure, unorganized, inarticulate, each one rubbing along as best he can. They need to be encouraged and braced up because when everything has gone completely to the dogs, they are the ones who will come back and build up a new society; and meanwhile, your preaching will reassure them and keep them hanging on. Your job is to take care of the Remnant, so be off now and set about it….’”

I also believe that there is a remnant that “will come forth and build up a new society.” Therefore, my answer would be yes. The remnant can become the majority.

Personal Responsibility

Which promotes greater personal responsibility, the free market or the welfare state?

Under the welfare state the people rely upon the government to give them their money. Therefore, they do not have to have the responsibility of earning money in order to feed, clothe and house themselves or their families.

Under the free market people must rely upon themselves, without aid from the government, to make a living.

Therefore, the free market promotes and requires greater personal responsibility.

The Source Of Rights

According to early classical liberal thinkers, such as John Locke and Frederic Bastiat,  our rights are given by God. The Declaration of Independence states the same:“…God given rights…to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness….”

Could the state be the giver of rights? One could say yes. However, although we have delegated some of our rights to the government, such as the right of settling disputes, nobody gave the government the right to give rights. Therefore, how can they give rights if they do not possess that power. God is the true giver of our rights.

Restitution Or Jail?

Which is better for society, restitution or jail?

In the modern society when a person commits a crime he is normally sentenced to jail for a certain time period that is deemed just considering the severity of the crime. However, most people do not consider a second option, restitution.

Restitution is the paying back to the victim by the criminal for the crime committed. For example, if my best jewels get stolen, the thief, after being caught, must return not only the stolen jewels but also make up for the crime. This system benefits the victim, who, instead of paying through taxes for the criminal’s jail stay, gets paid back by the criminal.

The system also benefits the criminal. While in jail the criminal merely awaits the end of his sentence, plotting more crimes, restitution forces the criminal to repay and discourages him from committing more crime, because if he did he would have to repay more and more. On top of this, in order to repay the victim, the criminal must earn the means by which to repay. This forces him to work and have responsibility, which in itself creates a personality not prone to criminal behavior.

On the whole, restitution is better for society because it benefits both the victim and the criminal, while jail does not.