Political freedom

Political freedom (also known as political autonomy or political agency) is a central concept in history and political thought and one of the most important features of democratic societies.[1] Political freedom was described as freedom from oppression[2] or coercion,[3] the absence of disabling conditions for an individual and the fulfillment of enabling conditions,[4] or the absence of life conditions of compulsion, e.g. economic compulsion, in a society.[5] Although political freedom is often interpreted negatively as the freedom from unreasonable external constraints on action,[6] it can also refer to the positive exercise of rights, capacities and possibilities for action and the exercise of social or group rights.[7] The concept can also include freedom from internal constraints on political action or speech (e.g. social conformity, consistency, or inauthentic behaviour).[8] The concept of political freedom is closely connected with the concepts of civil liberties and human rights, which in democratic societies are usually afforded legal protection from the state.


Various groups along the political spectrum naturally differ on what they believe constitutes true political freedom.

Left-wing political philosophy generally couples the notion of freedom with that of positive liberty, or the enabling of a group or individual to determine their own life or realize their own potential. In this sense, freedom may include freedom from poverty, starvation, treatable disease and oppression as well as freedom from force and coercion, from whomever they may issue.

Classical liberal Friedrich Hayek criticized this as a misconception of freedom:

[T]he use of "liberty" to describe the physical "ability to do what I want", the power to satisfy our wishes, or the extent of the choice of alternatives open to us [...] has been deliberately fostered as part of the socialist argument[.] [T]he notion of collective power over circumstances has been substituted for that of individual liberty.[9]

Anarcho-socialists see negative and positive liberty as complementary concepts of freedom. Such a view of rights may require utilitarian trade-offs, such as sacrificing the right to the product of one's labor or freedom of association for less racial discrimination or more subsidies for housing. Social anarchists describe the negative liberty-centric view endorsed by capitalism as "selfish freedom".[10]

Anarcho-capitalists see negative rights as a consistent system. Ayn Rand described it as "a moral principle defining and sanctioning a man’s freedom of action in a social context". To such libertarians, positive liberty is contradictory since so-called rights must be traded off against each other, debasing legitimate rights which by definition trump other moral considerations. Any alleged right which calls for an end result (e.g. housing, education, medical services and so on) produced by people is in effect a purported right to enslave others.

Some notable philosophers, such as Alasdair MacIntyre, have theorized freedom in terms of our social interdependence with other people.[11]

In his book Capitalism and Freedom, American economist Milton Friedman argues that there are two types of freedom, namely political freedom and economic freedom. Friedman asserted that without economic freedom there cannot be political freedom. This idea was contested by Robin Hahnel in his article "Why the Market Subverts Democracy". Hahnel points out a set of issues with Friedman’s understanding of economic freedom, i.e. that there will in fact be infringements on the freedom of others whenever anyone exercises their own economic freedom and that such infringements can only be avoided if there is a precisely defined property rights system—which Friedman fails to provide or specify directly.[12][13]

According to political philosopher Nikolas Kompridis, the pursuit of freedom in the modern era can be broadly divided into two motivating ideals, namely freedom as autonomy or independence and freedom as the ability to cooperatively initiate a new beginning.[14]

Political freedom has also been theorized in its opposition to and a condition of power relations, or the power of action upon actions, by Michel Foucault.[15] It has also been closely identified with certain kinds of artistic and cultural practice by Cornelius Castoriadis, Antonio Gramsci, Herbert Marcuse, Jacques Rancière and Theodor Adorno.

Environmentalists often argue that political freedoms should include some constraint on use of ecosystems. They maintain there is no such thing, for instance, as freedom to pollute or freedom to deforest given that such activities create negative externalities, which violates other groups' liberty to not be exposed to pollution. The popularity of SUVs, golf and urban sprawl has been used as evidence that some ideas of freedom and ecological conservation can clash. This leads at times to serious confrontations and clashes of values reflected in advertising campaigns, e.g. that of PETA regarding fur.

John Dalberg-Acton stated: "The most certain test by which we judge whether a country is really free is the amount of security enjoyed by minorities".[16]

Gerald C. MacCallum Jr. spoke of a compromise between positive and negative freedoms, saying that an agent must have full autonomy over themselves. It is triadic in relation to each other because it is about three things, namely the agent, the constraints they need to be free from and the goal they are aspiring to.[17]


Hannah Arendt traces freedom's conceptual origins to ancient Greek politics.[1] According to her study, the concept of freedom was historically inseparable from political action. Politics could only be practiced by those who had freed themselves from the necessities of life so that they could participate in the realm of political affairs. According to Arendt, the concept of freedom became associated with the Christian notion of freedom of the will, or inner freedom, around the 5th century CE and since then freedom as a form of political action has been neglected even though, as she says, freedom is "the raison d'être of politics".[18]

Arendt says that political freedom is historically opposed to sovereignty or will-power since in ancient Greece and Rome the concept of freedom was inseparable from performance and did not arise as a conflict between the will and the self. Similarly, the idea of freedom as freedom from politics is a notion that developed in modern times. This is opposed to the idea of freedom as the capacity to "begin anew", which Arendt sees as a corollary to the innate human condition of natality, or our nature as "new beginnings and hence beginners".[19]

In Arendt's view, political action is an interruption of automatic process, either natural or historical. The freedom to begin anew is thus an extension of "the freedom to call something into being which did not exist before, which was not given, not even as an object of cognition or imagination, and which therefore, strictly speaking, could not be known".[20]

See also


  1. ^ a b Hannah Arendt, "What is Freedom?", Between Past and Future: Eight Exercises in Political Thought, (New York: Penguin, 1993).
  2. ^ Iris Marion Young, "Five Faces of Oppression", Justice and the Politics of Difference" (Princeton University press, 1990), 39–65.
  3. ^ Michael Sandel, Justice: What's the Right Thing to Do? (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2010).
  4. ^ Amartya Sen, Development as Freedom (Anchor Books, 2000).
  5. ^ Karl Marx, "Alienated Labour" in Early Writings.
  6. ^ Isaiah Berlin, Liberty (Oxford 2004).
  7. ^ Charles Taylor, "What's Wrong With Negative Liberty?", Philosophy and the Human Sciences: Philosophical Papers (Cambridge, 1985), 211–229.
  8. ^ Ralph Waldo Emerson, "Self-Reliance"; Nikolas Kompridis, "Struggling Over the Meaning of Recognition: A Matter of Identity, Justice or Freedom?" in European Journal of Political Theory July 2007 vol. 6 no. 3 pp. 277–289.
  9. ^ Friedrich August von Hayek, "Freedom and Coercion" in David Miller (ed), Liberty (1991) pp. 80, 85–86.
  10. ^ "Anarchism FAQ".
  11. ^ Alasdair MacIntyre, "The Virtues of Acknowledged Dependence", Rational Dependent Animals: Why Humans Need the Virtues (Open Court, 2001).
  12. ^ Hahnel, R. (2009-03-01). "Why the Market Subverts Democracy". American Behavioral Scientist. 52 (7): 1006–1022. CiteSeerX doi:10.1177/0002764208327672.
  13. ^ Friedman, Milton (1962). Capitalism and Freedom. University of Chicago Press.
  14. ^ Nikolas Kompridis, "The Idea of a New Beginning: A Romantic Source of Normativity and Freedom" in Philosophical Romanticism (New York: Routledge, 2007), 32-59.
  15. ^ Michel Foucault, "The Subject and Power" in Paul Rabinow and Nikolas S. Rose, eds., The Essential Foucault.
  16. ^ Acton, John D. (1907). The History of Freedom and Other Essays. London: Macmillan. p. 4.
  17. ^ MacCallum, Gerald (July 1967). "Negative and Positive Freedom" (PDF). The Philosophical Review. 73 (3).
  18. ^ Hannah Arendt, "What is Freedom?", Between Past and Future: Eight exercises in political thought (New York: Penguin, 1993).
  19. ^ Hannah, Arendt (1965). On revolution (Reprinted ed.). London: Penguin Books. p. 211. ISBN 9780140184211. OCLC 25458723.
  20. ^ Hannah Arendt, "What is Freedom?", p. 151.

External links

C. B. Macpherson

Crawford Brough Macpherson (18 November 1911 – 22 July 1987) was an influential Canadian political scientist who taught political theory at the University of Toronto.

Capitalism and Freedom

Capitalism and Freedom is a book by Milton Friedman originally published in 1962 by the University of Chicago Press which discusses the role of economic capitalism in liberal society. It sold over 400,000 copies in the first eighteen years and more than half a million since 1962. It has been translated into eighteen languages.

Friedman argues for economic freedom as a precondition for political freedom. He defines "liberal" in European Enlightenment terms, contrasting with an American usage that he believes has been corrupted since the Great Depression. His views are especially popular among American conservatives and libertarians.

The book identifies several places in which a free market can be promoted for both philosophical and practical reasons. Among other concepts, Friedman advocates ending the mandatory licensing of physicians and introducing a system of vouchers for school education.

Economic freedom

Economic freedom or economic liberty is the ability of people of a society to take economic actions. This is a term used in economic and policy debates as well as in the philosophy of economics. One approach to economic freedom comes from classical liberal and libertarian traditions emphasizing free markets, free trade, and private property under free enterprise. Another approach to economic freedom extends the welfare economics study of individual choice, with greater economic freedom coming from a "larger" (in some technical sense) set of possible choices. Other conceptions of economic freedom include freedom from want and the freedom to engage in collective bargaining.The free market viewpoint defines economic liberty as the freedom to produce, trade and consume any goods and services acquired without the use of force, fraud or theft. This is embodied in the rule of law, property rights and freedom of contract, and characterized by external and internal openness of the markets, the protection of property rights and freedom of economic initiative. There are several indices of economic freedom that attempt to measure free market economic freedom. Based on these rankings correlative studies have found higher economic growth to be correlated with higher scores on the country rankings. With regards to other measures, such as equality, corruption, political and social violence and their correlation to economic freedom it has been argued that the economic freedom indices conflate unrelated policies and policy outcomes to conceal negative correlations between economic growth and economic freedom in some subcomponents.

Human rights in Armenia

Human rights in Armenia tend to be better than those in most former Soviet republics and have drawn closer to acceptable standards, especially economically. Still, there are several considerable problems.

Human rights in China

Human rights in China is a highly contested topic, especially for the fundamental human rights periodically reviewed by the United Nations Human Rights Committee (UNHRC), on which the government of the People's Republic of China and various foreign governments and human rights organizations have often disagreed. PRC authorities, their supporters, and other proponents claim that existing policies and enforcement measures are sufficient to guard against human rights abuses. However other countries and their authorities (such as the United States Department of State, Canadian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, among others), international non-governmental organizations (NGOs), such as Human Rights in China and Amnesty International, and citizens, lawyers, and dissidents inside the country, state that the authorities in mainland China regularly sanction or organize such abuses. Jiang Tianyong, 46, is the latest lawyer known for defending government critics to be jailed. According to the news over the past two years more than 200 have been detained in the ongoing crackdown on criticism in China.NGOs such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, as well as foreign governmental institutions such as the U.S. State Department, regularly present evidence of the PRC violating the freedoms of speech, movement, and religion of its citizens and of others within its jurisdiction. Authorities in the PRC claim to define human rights differently, so as to include economic and social as well as political rights, all in relation to "national culture" and the level of development of the country. Authorities in the PRC, referring to this definition, claim that human rights are being improved. They do not, however, use the definition used by most countries and organisations. PRC politicians have repeatedly maintained that, according to the PRC Constitution, the "Four Cardinal Principles" supersede citizenship rights. PRC officials interpret the primacy of the Four Cardinal Principles as a legal basis for the arrest of people who the government says seek to overthrow the principles. Chinese nationals whom authorities perceive to be in compliance with these principles, on the other hand, are permitted by the PRC authorities to enjoy and exercise all the rights that come with citizenship of the PRC, provided they do not violate PRC laws in any other manner.

Numerous human rights groups have publicized human rights issues in China that they consider the government to be mishandling, including: the death penalty (capital punishment), the one-child policy (which China had made exceptions for ethnic minorities prior to abolishing it in 2015), the political and legal status of Tibet, and neglect of freedom of the press in mainland China. Other areas of concern include the lack of legal recognition of human rights and the lack of an independent judiciary, rule of law, and due process. Further issues raised in regard to human rights include the severe lack of worker's rights (in particular the hukou system which restricts migrant labourers' freedom of movement), the absence of independent labour unions (which have since been changing), and allegations of discrimination against rural workers and ethnic minorities, as well as the lack of religious freedom – rights groups have highlighted repression of the Christian, Tibetan Buddhist, Uyghur Muslim, and Falun Gong religious groups. Some Chinese activist groups are trying to expand these freedoms, including Human Rights in China, Chinese Human Rights Defenders, and the China Human Rights Lawyers Concern Group. Chinese human rights attorneys who take on cases related to these issues, however, often face harassment, disbarment, and arrest.According to the Amnesty International report from 2016/2017 the government continued to draft and enact a series of new national security laws that presented serious threats to the protection of human rights. The nationwide crackdown on human rights lawyers and activists continued throughout the year. Activists and human rights defenders continued to be systematically subjected to monitoring, harassment, intimidation, arrest and detention. The report continues that police detained increasing numbers of human rights defenders outside of formal detention facilities, sometimes without access to a lawyer for long periods, exposing the detainees to the risk of torture and other ill-treatment. Booksellers, publishers, activists and a journalist who went missing in neighboring countries in 2015 and 2016 turned up at detention in China, causing concerns about China’s law enforcement agencies acting outside their jurisdiction.

Human rights in Pakistan

The situation of Human Rights in Pakistan (Urdu: پاکستان میں انسانی حقوق‎) is complex as a result of the country's diversity, large population, its status as a developing country and a sovereign Islamic democracy with a mixture of both Islamic and secular law. The Constitution of Pakistan provides for fundamental rights, which include freedom of speech, freedom of thought, freedom of information, freedom of religion, freedom of association, freedom of the press, freedom of assembly and the (conditional) right to bear arms. The Clauses also provide for an independent Supreme Court, separation of executive and judiciary, an independent judiciary, independent Human Rights commission and freedom of movement within the country and abroad. However it is debatable how much these clauses are respected in practice.

Khawaja Nazimuddin, the 2nd Prime Minister of Pakistan stated: "I do not agree that religion is a private affair of the individual nor do I agree that in an Islamic state every citizen has identical rights, no matter what his caste, creed or faith be". However, this in stark contradiction to what Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan, stated in an address to the constituent assembly of Pakistan, "You will find that in course of time Hindus will cease to be Hindus and Muslims will cease to be Muslims, not in the religious sense, because that is the personal faith of each individual, but in the political sense as the citizens of the State." Though the Constitution includes adequate accommodation for Pakistan's religious minorities, in practice non-Sunni Muslims tend to face religious discrimination in both the public and private spheres (for example – non Muslims cannot hold any of the top positions in the country's government). In response to rising sectarian and religious violence, the Pakistani government has unveiled several high-profile efforts to reduce tension and support religious pluralism, giving new authority to the National Commission for Minorities and creating a Minister for Minority Affairs post. Nonetheless, religious violence and intimidation, as well as periodic charges of blasphemy, have occurred. Attacks against Shia Muslims, who make up between 5–20% of Pakistani Muslims, have also been carried out by terrorist organizations such as the TTP and LeJ. However, in recent years, the Pakistani military and law enforcement agencies have conducted vast and extensive operations against these terrorist organizations which has resulted in a dramatic decrease in violence against minorities and restoration of relative peace. Furthermore, Pakistani courts have taken action against the misuse of blasphemy laws,in one case sentencing multiple people to life in prison and death for starting a blasphemy mob. Pakistani lawmakers have also taken action against the misuse of blasphemy laws, putting forward amendments that seek to equate punishments for a false accusation of blasphemy to the punishment for actually committing blasphemy.Although Pakistan was created to uphold the principles of democracy, military coups in Pakistan are commonplace, and for most of its history after independence has been ruled by military dictators who declare themselves president. The Pakistani general election, 2013 were the first elections in the country where there was a constitutional transfer of power from one civilian government to another.Elections in Pakistan although being partially free, are rife with irregularities including but not limited to vote rigging, use of threats and coercion, discrimination between Muslim and non-Muslim and many other violations. Additionally the Government of Pakistan has itself admitted on several occasions that it has absolutely no control over the Military of Pakistan and related security agencies.Domestic violence is an important social issue in Pakistan, specially because of allegations that the Pakistani government has not done enough to stem the problem from the country. An estimated 5000 women are killed per year from domestic violence, with thousands of others maimed or disabled. The majority of victims of violence used to have no legal recourse but this was fixed recently when multiple provincial parliaments passed thorough and strict laws against domestic violence. According to the 2016 Global Slavery Index, an estimated 2,134,900 people are enslaved in modern-day Pakistan, or 1.13% of the population.In general Freedom of the press is allowed but any reports critical of the government policy or critical of the military is censored. Journalists face widespread threats and violence making Pakistan one of the worst countries to be a journalist in, with 61 being killed since September 2001 and at least 6 murdered in 2013 alone. Tv stations and news papers are routinely shut down for publishing any reports critical of the government or the military.In May 2012, President Asif Ali Zardari signed the National Commission for Human Rights Bill 2012 for the promotion of the protection of human rights in the country. However, it remains to be seen if any positive effects will be derived from this.

In May 2018, a new constitutional amendment was passed that allowed tribal people to access their rights. The amendment allowed the people in tribal areas to enjoy the same constitutional rights as other Pakistanis. The constitutional amendment ended the Frontier Crimes Regulation (FCR), imposed under British rule in the 1850s. Under the FCR, people in the tribal areas were explicitly denied their right to appeal their detention, the right to legal representation, and their right to present evidence in their defence – sanctioning a wide-ranging series of human rights violations.

Human rights in Russia

As a successor to the Soviet Union, the Russian Federation remains bound by such human rights instruments (adopted by the Soviet Union) as the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (fully). In the late 1990s, Russia also ratified the European Convention of Human Rights (with reservations) and from 1998 onwards the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg became a last court of appeal for Russian citizens from their national system of justice. According to Chapter 1, Article 15 of the Constitution adopted in Russia in December 1993, these embodiments of international law take precedence over national legislation. However, from Vladimir Putin's second term as President (2004–2008) onward there were increasing reports of human rights violations.

Since the 2011 State Duma elections and Putin's resumption of the presidency in spring 2012, there has been a legislative onslaught on many international and constitutional rights, e.g. Article 20 (Freedom of Assembly and Association) of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which is embodied in Articles 30 and 31 of the Constitution of the Russian Federation (1993). A law was passed in December 2015 that gives the Constitutional Court of Russia the right to decide whether Russia can enforce, or ignore, resolutions from intergovernmental bodies such as the European Court of Human Rights.As a member of the Council of Europe and a signatory of the European Convention on Human Rights, Russia has international obligations related to the issue of human rights. In the introduction to the 2004 report on the situation in Russia, the Commissioner for Human Rights of the Council of Europe noted the "sweeping changes since the collapse of the Soviet Union undeniable".During his time as Ombudsman of the Russian Federation from 2004–2014, Vladimir Lukin invariably characterized the human rights situation in Russia as unsatisfactory while acknowledging that building a law-governed state and civil society in such a complex country as Russia would be a hard and long process. A former politician and diplomat, Lukin was replaced first by Ella Pamfilova and then in April 2016 by Tatyana Moskalkova, a lawyer and professor with the rank of Major-General in the Ministry of Internal Affairs.

Human rights in Saudi Arabia

Human rights in Saudi Arabia are the subject of protection or violation by the government, which enforces Wahhabi religious laws under absolute rule of the Saudi royal family.The strict regime ruling the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is consistently ranking among the "worst of the worst" in Freedom House's annual survey of political and civil rights.Qorvis MSLGroup, a US subsidiary of Publicis Groupe, amid the execution of political protesters and opponents, has been working with Saudi Arabia for more than a decade to whitewash its record of human rights abuses.

Saudi Arabia is one of approximately thirty countries in the world with judicial corporal punishment. In Saudi Arabia's case this includes amputations of hands and feet for robbery, and flogging for lesser crimes such as "sexual deviance" and drunkenness. In the 2000s, it was reported that women were sentenced to lashes for adultery; the women were actually victims of rape, but because they could not prove who the perpetrators were, they were deemed guilty of committing adultery. The number of lashes is not clearly prescribed by law and is varied according to the discretion of judges, and ranges from dozens of lashes to several hundreds, usually applied over a period of weeks or months. In 2004, the United Nations Committee Against Torture criticized Saudi Arabia over the amputations and floggings it carries out under Sharia. The Saudi delegation responded defending "legal traditions" held since the inception of Islam 1,400 years ago and rejected interference in its legal system.

The courts continue to impose sentences of flogging as a principal or additional punishment for many offences. At least five defendants were sentenced to flogging of 1,000 to 2,500 lashes. Flogging was carried out in prisons.In 2009, Mazen Abdul-Jawad was sentenced to 1,000 lashes and five years in prison for bragging on a Saudi TV show about his sexual exploits.In 2014, Saudi blogger Raif Badawi's sentence was increased to 1,000 lashes and ten years' imprisonment after he was accused of apostasy in 2012. The lashes were due to take place over 20 weeks. The first round (50) were administered on January 9, 2015, but the second round has been postponed due to medical problems. The case was internationally condemned and put a considerable amount of pressure on the Saudi legal system.

In October 2015, UK pensioner and cancer victim Karl Andree, then 74, faced 360 lashes for home brewing alcohol. His family feared the punishment could kill him. However, he was released and returned home in November that year.In 2016, a Saudi man was sentenced to 2,000 lashes, ten years in prison and a fine of 20,000 riyals($5,300) for making tweets critical of Islam, and denying the existence of God.In September 2018, the official Twitter account of the Saudi Arabia prosecutors issued a warning to punish those who share anything satirical on social media that "affects public order, religious values and public morals". The punishment included a five-year prison term and a fine of 3 million riyals ($800,000). The government of Saudi Arabia has arrested a few intellectuals, businessmen and activists last year following the same reason.

Human rights in Turkmenistan

Turkmenistan's human rights record has been heavily criticized by various countries and scholars worldwide. Standards in education and health declined markedly during the rule of President Saparmurat Niyazov.Since December 2006, under the Government of President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow, no significant improvements regarding human rights and civil liberty have been observed by international human rights organizations.

Human rights in Uganda

Human rights in Uganda relates to the difficulties in the achievement of international rights standards for all citizens. These difficulties centre upon the provision of proper sanitation facilities, internal displacement and development of adequate infrastructure. Nonetheless, Uganda is, as per the Relief Web sponsored Humanitarian Profile – 2012, making considerable developments in this area.

After a heavily contested election campaign, President Yoweri Museveni was re-elected into office and his re-election was independently verified by Amnesty International. Despite verification of the election results, Amnesty did express concerns over alleged election violence and freedom of press restrictions.

Identity politics

The term identity politics in common usage refers to a tendency of people sharing a particular racial, religious, ethnic, social, or cultural identity to form exclusive political alliances, instead of engaging in traditional broad-based party politics, or promote their particular interests without regard for interests of a larger political group. In academic usage, the term has been used to refer to a wide range of political activities and theoretical analysis rooted in experiences of injustice shared by different social groups. In this usage, identity politics typically aim to reclaim greater self-determination and political freedom for marginalized groups through understanding their distinctive nature and challenging externally imposed characterizations, instead of organizing solely around belief systems or party affiliations. Identity is used as a tool to articulate political claims, promote political ideologies, and guide political action with the aim of asserting group distinctiveness and gaining power and recognition in the context of perceived inequality or injustice.The term identity politics has been in use in various forms since the 1960s or 1970s, but has been applied with, at times, radically different meanings by different populations. It has gained currency with the emergence of social movements such as the women's movement, the civil rights movement in the U.S., the LGBTQ movement, as well as nationalist and postcolonial movements.Examples include identity politics based on age, religion, social class or caste, culture, deafhood, dialect, disability, education, ethnicity, language, nationality, sex, gender identity, generation, occupation, profession, race, political party affiliation, sexual orientation, settlement, urban and rural habitation, and veteran status.


Broadly speaking, liberty (Latin: Libertas) is the ability to do as one pleases. In politics, liberty consists of the social, political, and economic freedoms to which all community members are entitled. In philosophy, liberty involves free will as contrasted with determinism. In theology, liberty is freedom from the effects of "sin, spiritual servitude, [or] worldly ties."Sometimes liberty is differentiated from freedom by using the word "freedom" primarily, if not exclusively, to mean the ability to do as one wills and what one has the power to do; and using the word "liberty" to mean the absence of arbitrary restraints, taking into account the rights of all involved. In this sense, the exercise of liberty is subject to capability and limited by the rights of others. Thus liberty entails the responsible use of freedom under the rule of law without depriving anyone else of their freedom. Freedom is more broad in that it represents a total lack of restraint or the unrestrained ability to fulfill one's desires. For example, a person can have the freedom to murder, but not have the liberty to murder, as the latter example deprives others of their right not to be harmed. Liberty can be taken away as a form of punishment. In many countries, people can be deprived of their liberty if they are convicted of criminal acts.

The word "liberty" is often used in slogans, such as "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" or "Liberty, Equality, Fraternity".

List of Newspeak words

A list of words from the fictional language Newspeak that appears in George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four. Some of these words may not strictly be Newspeak, as many of the examples come from the internal jargon of the Ministry of Truth (which is said to be "not actually Newspeak, but consisting largely of Newspeak words").

artsem – artificial insemination

bb – Big Brother

bellyfeel – a blind, enthusiastic acceptance of an idea

blackwhite – the ability to believe that black is white, to know that black is white, and to forget that one has ever believed the contrary

crimestop – to rid oneself of unwanted thoughts, i.e., thoughts that interfere with the ideology of the Party. This way, a person avoids committing thoughtcrime

crimethink – Thoughtcrime, thoughts that are unorthodox or outside the official government platform (or the crime of thinking such thoughts)

dayorder – Order of the day

doubleplusgood - Replaces excellent, best and benevolent

doubleplusungood - Replaces terrible and worst

doublethink – the act of simultaneously accepting two mutually contradictory beliefs as correct

duckspeak – Voicing political orthodoxies without thinking, lit. "to quack like a duck"

equal – Only in the sense of physically equal, like equal height/size, etc. It does not mean socially – politically or economically – equal, since there is no such concept as political equality in Ingsoc's permanent oligarchical hierarchy. In keeping with doublethink, Ingsoc is also classless and egalitarian, so there is also no concept of social inequality.

facecrime – An indication that a person is guilty of thoughtcrime based on their facial expression

free – Meaning Negative freedom (without) in a physical sense, only in statements like "This dog is free from lice", as the concepts of "political freedom" and "intellectual freedom" do not exist in Newspeak

full – (the adverb fullwise appears in the Records Department's written orders)

good – (Can also be used as a prefix vaguely meaning "orthodox")

goodthink – thoughts that are approved by the Party and follow its policies, ideals and interpretations. It is the opposite of crimethink

goodsex – intercourse between man and wife, for the sole purpose of begetting children and without physical pleasure

ingsoc – English Socialism

joycamp – Forced labour camp

malquoted – flaws or inaccurate presentations of Party or Big Brother-related matters by the press. See misprints below

miniluv – "Ministry of Love" (secret police, interrogation and torture)

minipax – "Ministry of Peace" (Ministry of War, cf: 'Department of Defense' vs 'War Department')

minitrue – "Ministry of Truth" (propaganda and altering history, culture and entertainment)

miniplenty – "Ministry of Plenty" (keeping the population in a state of constant economic hardship)

misprints – Errors or mispredictions which need to be rectified in order to prove that the Party is always right. See malquoted above

oldspeak – English; perhaps any language that is not Newspeak

oldthink – Ideas inspired by events or memories of times prior to the Revolution

ownlife – the tendency to enjoy being solitary or individualistic

plusgood – replaces the words better and great. Refers to good compliance with Party orthodoxy.

pornosec – subunit of the Fiction Department of the Ministry of Truth that produces pornography

prolefeed – The steady stream of mindless entertainment to distract and occupy the masses

recdep – "Records Department" (division of the Ministry of Truth that deals with the rectification of records; department in which Winston works)

rectify – used by the Ministry of Truth as a euphemism for the deliberate alteration (or 'correction') of the past

ref – To refer (to)

sec – Sector

sexcrime – any and all sexual activity which is not specifically goodsex

speakwrite – An instrument used by Party members to note or "write" down information by speaking into an apparatus as a faster alternative to an "ink pencil". It is, for example, used in the Ministry of Truth by the protagonist Winston Smith. Speakwrites are also apparently able to record everything that is spoken into the device

telescreen – television and security camera-like devices used by the ruling Party in Oceania to keep its subjects under constant surveillance

thinkpol – the Thought Police

thoughtcrime – the criminal act of holding unspoken beliefs or doubts that oppose or question Ingsoc

Unperson – someone of whom, after his or her execution, any evidence [up to and including memories] that he or she ever existed was erased [or derided as potentially dangerous falsehoods].

upsub – submit to higher authority. In one scene in the novel, Winston Smith is instructed to alter a document to conform with the Party line, and submit it to his superiors before filing it: rewrite fullwise upsub antefiling

Outline of libertarianism

The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to libertarianism, a political philosophy that upholds liberty as its principal objective. Thus, libertarians seek to maximize autonomy and freedom of choice, emphasizing political freedom, voluntary association and the primacy of individual judgment.

Politics of Transnistria

Politics of Transnistria, a de facto independent state situated de jure within the Republic of Moldova in Eastern Europe, takes place in a framework of a semi-presidential republic, whereby the President of Transnistria is head of state and the Prime Minister of Transnistria is head of government. Executive power is exercised by the government. Legislative power is vested in both the government and parliament.

Formally, Transnistria has a multi-party system and a unicameral parliament, called the Supreme Council. The president is elected by popular vote. The latest parliamentary elections were held in December 2010; however, they were not monitored by international organizations such as Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), which has expressed doubts about the level of democracy in the region, and were not recognized by other countries.

Political parties from Moldova do not recognize the Transnistrian government and do not participate at elections organized by it.

Rooi gevaar

Rooi gevaar (English: Red danger) is an Afrikaans phrase, sometimes translated into English as "Communist danger". The term gained popularity in South Africa during the Cold War and was associated with the perceived threat of international communism to religious, economic, and political freedom on the Southern African subcontinent. This pretext was used to justify the banning of the South African Communist Party (SACP) and its sister organisation, the African National Congress (ANC), which were regarded as leading anti-apartheid movements. Alternatively, the phrase rooi komplot (English: Red plot) was also used.The term diminished in use after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.

Siberian Social-Democratic Union

Siberian Social-Democratic Union (Russian: Сибирский социал-демократический союз) was a Siberian organization of Social Democratic groups. It was formed in the spring of 1901, by the initiative of the Tomsk Social-Democrats. Social-Democratic groups from Krasnoyarsk, Irkutsk and the Taiga. In the end of 1901 the union adopted a programme which defined its mission as fighting for political freedom of the proletariat, and for socialism. The union was initially dominated by 'economists'.In 1902 a Chita committee was formed, and groups in Achinsk, Barnaul, Kansk, Novonikolayevsk, Petropavlovsk and other locations. In 1903 an Omsk committee was formed. In January 1903 the union was affiliated to the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party, and changed name to Siberian Social-Democratic Union - RSDLP Committee. The union now had begun adhering to the Iskra line. The 1st conference of the union held in the summer 1903 reaffirm the commitment of the organization to the Iskra line. However, the delegates of the union at the 2nd RSDLP congress, Trotsky and V. E. Mandelson, took a Menshevik position. The union later condemned their behaviour at the congress.

Solidarity action

Solidarity action (also known as secondary action, a secondary boycott, or a sympathy strike) is industrial action by a trade union in support of a strike initiated by workers in a separate corporation, but often the same enterprise, group of companies, or connected firm. The term "secondary action" is often used with the intention of distinguishing different types of trade dispute with a worker's direct contractual employer. Thus, it may be used to refer to a dispute with the employer's parent company, its suppliers, financiers, contracting parties, or any other employer in another industry.

In most countries, solidarity action is lawful. In the US and UK, there are restrictions on strikes against anyone but a direct contractual employer. In the majority of OECD countries, solidarity action is generally lawful, and the right to strike is seen as a part of broader political freedom.

Swaraj Party

The Swaraj Party was established as the Congress-Khilafat Swaraj Party. It was a political party formed in India in January 1923 after the Gaya annual conference in December 1922 of the National Congress, that sought greater self-government and political freedom for the Indian people from the British Raj. It was inspired by the concept of Swaraj. In Hindi and many other languages of India, swaraj means "independence" or "self-rule." The two most important leaders were Chittaranjan Das, who was its president and Motilal Nehru, who was its secretary.

Das and Nehru thought of contesting elections to enter the legislative council with a view to obstructing a foreign government. Many candidates of the Swaraj Party got elected to the central legislative assembly and provincial legislative council in the 1923 elections. In these legislatures, they strongly opposed the unjust government policies.The establishment of fully responsible government for India, the convening of a round table conference to resolve the problems of Indians, and the releasing of certain political prisoners, were the resolutions in the central legislative council.As a result of the Bengal Pact, the Swaraj Party won the most seats during elections to the Bengal Legislative Council in 1923. The party disintegrated after the death of C. R. Das.

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