Playing by Perverted Rules

Playing by Perverted Rules

Lobbying for Freedom in the 1980's: A Grass-Roots Guide to Protecting Your Rights; Edited by Kenneth P. Norwick; Wideview/Perigee; New York.

Susan J. Tolchin and Martin Tolchin: Dismantling America: The Rush to Deregulate; Houghton Mifflin; Boston.

What is freedom? To the ancient Greeks, freedom existed in the margins: it was that vacuum of authority between the just demands of religion and culture and the rational requirements of the State. Medieval thought, via Aquinas and Bonaventura, concurred in this assessment. It was only with the development of the English Enlightenment that, in Western thought, this world view changed. To John Locke and his peers, freedom was God's gift to mankind, a natural right bestowed by a gracious Creator. Consequently, governments that unduly restricted freedom opposed both Divine Will and choice. As Spinoza put it, "Not only can freedom be granted without prejudice to the public peace, but also, without such freedom, piety cannot flourish nor the public peace be secure." It was this understanding of man's relation to his universe that informed the thinking of Washington and Jefferson, and led to the creation of the American Republic.



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