Trivialization of liberty

Other Names:
Collapsed concept of freedom
Simplistic understanding of liberty
Misguided civil libertarianism
Tension between choice and freedom

Civil-libertarians protect the right to free choice, but not necessarily equality; strive for liberty rather than liberation. Individual freedom is a problem if not embedded within an ethical context which recognizes the social implications and responsibilities of liberty.


When a feminist activist in the USA, the plaintiff in a lawsuit defending her and other women's right to go shirt-free like men at a public beach, insisted that the legal defence be based upon a women's equal right to go shirt-free rather than a civil-libertarian right to freedom of expression, a host of civil-libertarians who were formerly her backers withdrew support. The woman and 11 other feminists withdrew from the lawsuit rather than let themselves be party to setting a legal precedent based upon values that, in their view, were so often misused by the likes of pornographers and naturist paedophiles against women and children.


The reduction of the concept of liberty to doing what one wants to do destroys the profundity of the experience. Freedom is found in the midst of and because of constraints, not in the absence of them.


Problem Type:
F: Fuzzy exceptional problems
Related UN Sustainable Development Goals:
GOAL 3: Good Health and Well-beingGOAL 16: Peace and Justice Strong Institutions
Date of last update
11.12.2017 – 13:14 CET