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Culture & Religion

We All Want Freedom. But What Is the Highest Form of Freedom?

The way our political parties approach freedom risks producing individuals who are slovenly free and in pursuit of their most base passions.

With midterm elections drawing near, what differentiates our two main political parties? Both profess a love of freedom but understand the world differently. While Democrats understand freedom as governmental protections to create equality, Republicans prefer the hands-off approach, asking for less regulation and more autonomy. But both agree on the liberal premise that more individual autonomy is the goal. The question, it seems, is simply how to get there.


These approaches, however, can only promise to produce individuals who are somewhat free and in pursuit of their most base passions. What is needed for a society to achieve a higher order of freedom is a collection of individuals ready to accept the responsibilities that come with great political and economic freedom. So what kind of training is necessary to achieve a higher order of freedom? Over at First Things, Yuval Levin argues that religious institutions and universities’ liberal arts departments are most well suited because they teach an appreciation of aesthetic beauty and moral right. 

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As Rob Riemen explains in his Big Think interview, a truly liberal education is essential to avoiding a democracy of the masses:

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