Do You Need More Liberty Or Freedom?

5 Mins Read Deepanwita Dey 13 Nov 2023
Do You Need More Liberty Or Freedom

The terms freedom and liberty are often used interchangeably. Being two of the best blessings of a democratic world, are these two really the same? If there is one, what is the difference between liberty and freedom?

In this excerpt below, we will be diving a little deeper into both these concepts. Most importantly, as we boast our Statue of Liberty standing proud, do we really need more freedom in society?

There is a debate about which is better and how you can make progress with both!

Depending on the different types of society which we are currently part of, these two might have separate importance.

We will be discussing it all!

What Is Liberty?

What Is Liberty

Liberty is an individualist right, and it deals with each citizen separately rather than collectively. Although liberty has different symbolism depending on the country, in the USA, liberty is defined as a person’s freedom to pursue their own personal interest without much government influence.

You will often hear the term ‘free country’ here. Although, in the definition itself, the term freedom comes in, the difference is marked by government involvement.

We will discuss this involvement when we elaborate on the difference between liberty and freedom.

Types Of Liberty

In order for you to understand the concept better, here are the types of liberty.

1. Civil Liberty

Every democratic has laws and rights. When citizens enjoy them to the fullest, it is known as civil liberty.

2. Economic Liberty

Economic liberty allows citizens to pursue their career dreams and earn a better living. 

This is irrespective of the creed, race, and religion they belong to. This is also a cornerstone of a cosmopolitan place like New York.

3. Political Liberty

Making decisions for their own country is a pioneer of any democratic society. Political liberty is the right to participate in state or nation-based decision-making that will govern their lives.

4. Natural Liberty

This is the simplest right of a ‘free society.’ This is where a citizen can do anything he/she wishes on a free land. 

Whether to start a business, buy land anywhere within the nation, or lead their form of domestic life.

5. Domestic Liberty

This form of liberty is any form of gender inequality in the domestic realm. Both men and women have the right to lead their domestic life as they please. 

Domestic life should also be free from any form of exploitation and violation. Strict laws to condemn anyone associated with such acts.

What Is Freedom?

What Is Freedom

Freedom is the form of collective self in society and the ability of everyone to think or act as they wish to, without any external obstruction. 

This external obstruction could be another fellow citizen of the society, an individual of law, or another international force taking control.

One will also use freedom as a synonym for independence. History witnessed many countries finally achieving their freedom after a long-drawn colonial rule by the British government. This is what we mean when we say external control.

Types Of Freedom

To elaborate better on the difference between liberty and freedom, we should first get to the different types of freedom.

1. Freedom Of Belief

One is free to believe a particular thought. This can influence their decision-making as well. This belief could be political or even spiritual.

2. Freedom Of Education

Everyone has the right to pursue any form of education they can access in the country. This is irrespective of your color, religious preference, and gender.

3. Freedom Of Speech & Expression

The freedom to voice one’s thoughts and opinions without the fear or threat of prosecution.

4. Freedom Of Religion

The right to practice any religion they wish to. This is the epitome of any secular country that gives freedom to openly practice any religion, for example, India.

5. Freedom Of Association

The freedom to join any social or political association of one’s choice. Stand for one group without life-threatening fear. For example, protesting as part of the labor association.

Liberty Vs. Freedom – Difference Between Liberty And Freedom

Liberty Vs. Freedom - Difference Between Liberty And Freedom

Now that you have a better idea of the difference between freedom and liberty, here is how you can judge the two based on their benefits.

The Will & Way Theory

Liberty is the right to think of your own will without anyone’s control. For example, when one is an adult, they have their own will of choice without parental control.

Freedom is the right to think in your own way. This means the government wouldn’t put restrictions on your method. For example, opening a business in any region of the country you wish to.

Written Laws

Any written laws or constitutional rights do not govern liberty. They are more of a societal construct.

Written constitutional laws govern freedom. Considering leaders of the law and control are making decisions based on them.

Responsibility & Oppression

Liberty is the will to make your own decision. Hence, one also has to take responsibility for it.

Freedom is the right to make decisions without any societal or lawful control. We call this control a form of oppression.

Which Is More Important In Our Society

Which Is More Important In Our Society

Between the difference between liberty and freedom and now concluding liberty vs freedom, one can see the importance of both.

However, one can understand that liberty is the right to govern oneself with no control. Whole freedom is all about rights and laws that prevent the government from governing the citizens.

Liberty can start at a grassroots domestic level, while freedom has more official documentation.

Collectivist Society

Collectivist Society

This is a type of society where the societal bond of an individual possesses more importance than one’s intrapersonal relations. Societal relationships are more cohesive, and one can count on their society during decision-making.

In a collectivist society, group formation plays a bigger role in crafting the rights, laws, and responsibilities of freedom, which helps every citizen equally. Equality and secularism are important to promote unity in a collectivist society.

Individualist Society

Individualist Society

Individualist society is defined as a form of society where individual interest, will, and freedom find precedence over collectivist interests.

The idea of liberty is more appropriate for such a society. This is where every individual will have the right to pursue choice without being concerned with any aspect of society.

Why We Need Both

Why We Need Both

Both collectivism and individualism come with their own pros and cons, and although the difference between liberty and freedom is not huge, we need both to remove obstacles.

For example, although in a collectivist society, one can always count on their preferred group, too much interference from that group calls for liberty.

We cannot divide the world between these two societies (although that was the case before). Now, with the migration rate increasing and the world becoming a global village, we need to implement both to keep a balance in society.

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