Definition of liberty
There is probably no such problem in political science in respect of which there is so much difference of opinion among scholars as it appears in relation to freedom. In every age, ordinary people and thinkers have been giving different definitions of freedom according to their intellect and this is the situation even today.
(1) The narrow meaning of freedom – The very common meaning of freedom is that there should be no control or restriction on the conduct of any other human being or human community. He can sleep whatever he wants. From this it should not be understood that this notion is only of uneducated common man. The contractual thinkers like Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau etc. believed that there was a time, when there was neither society nor state, man lived in a natural state and had complete freedom. He used to act according to his wish. No human bondage applied to him. But this principle has no value in the present times, today man lives in society. If every person in the society gets the right to work according to his wish, then social life itself will be torn apart.
Definition of liberty
According to Herbert Spencer, “Every man is free to do what he pleases, but there is a restriction on him that he should not infringe on any equal liberty of any other man.”
According to Mill, “A man can be held accountable to society only for that part of his conduct which is concerned with others. In that part which is concerned only with his own life, his freedom is absolute. The mind is dominated by the individual.”
Modern scholars often do not accept these definitions. There are mainly two objections in this subject – (1) It is difficult to differentiate between the work related to one’s own life and the actions that affect others. (2) This definition is prohibitive. In the absence of bondage alone, a person cannot make his life happy and prosperous. Freedom is the gift of society, not just the absence of ties.
(2) True meaning of freedom – The true meaning of freedom is that the necessary facilities are available to the person for the full development of his innate talents and powers. Lossky is right in saying that “Freedom means eagerly maintaining that environment in which a person has the facility to develop the best of his life.” We cannot call freedom merely the absence of bondage. Freedom must be controlled. Mackenzie is right to say that “Freedom is the control of the right over the wrong.” Freedom is a given commodity of society, so it cannot be boundless. In the absence of bondage, freedom can be enjoyed only by powerful and resourceful people. The freedom of the weak will be destroyed. A person can develop himself to the maximum only if he enjoys freedom by staying within certain limits. But the facilities which are necessary for the development of the person’s personality should not be restricted.
According to Lossky, by liberty I mean that there should be no restriction on the existence of those social conditions which are absolutely necessary for the happiness of man in modern civilization.
Lossky’s definition is appropriate, as this definition is not prohibitive. In this it has been said that those social conditions should be arranged for man, in the absence of which he cannot be happy.
According to Aurobindo Ghosh, “Freedom is the internal decision of one’s life i.e. to follow Swadharma, to develop and attain one’s natural perfection and naturally and freely to establish one’s harmony with one’s environment.”
In the above definitions, the definition of Lossky seems to be more appropriate from a practical point of view. Freedom, according to Lossky, means that “the person should have those facilities by which he can make himself happy.” But there is also a flaw in this definition that who will decide which conditions are necessary for the happiness of the person. Individual or society?
Types of liberty
(1) Natural Liberty – Natural freedom is meant to be the freedom which was enjoyed by the people in the natural state before the formation of society and state. The contractual thinkers Hobbes, Locke and Rousseau believe in such freedom, but such freedom is hypothetical. Man lives in society and without society his existence is not possible, the question of civilized life does not arise. Living in the society, man cannot do arbitrariness. If we can take the meaning of freedom that man can do whatever he wants and there is no restriction on it by society, then it has to be accepted that such freedom is not in the fate of man.
But in the conditions of civilized society, we can also apply another meaning to the natural freedom. Prakriti also means the nature of man i.e. innate powers and talents. Therefore, the freedom which is for the development of these natural qualities of man. Essentially, that is natural freedom. Indian philosophers have called this Swadharma. They mean that a man should act according to his innate qualities and abilities, that is, to follow the internal rules of his life, this is Swadharma.
Definition of liberty
(2) Personal freedom – The meaning of personal liberty is that a person has the right to decide for himself the actions of his personal life. No one should have control over it. Personal functions may include family life, religion, food and clothing, etc. A person should have the freedom to believe, propagate and propagate religion according to his conscience. Moral development also comes in the personal freedom of the individual.
(3) Civil Liberty – The source of civil liberty is the state. It includes those rights and privileges, which are protected by the state. Every person can behave according to his wish within the limits set by the state. This is civil liberties. Two main facts are also included under this type of freedom- 1. other. Defense from interference of individuals, 2. Defense from interference of the government. If any person or group violates the rights of any person, then it is the duty of the state to protect that person. Even the government cannot infringe on the rights of any person. In democratic states, the government is not sovereign, it acts as a representative of the state. The rights of the individual come from the state and not from the government. Therefore, it is considered necessary that the powers of the government should also be limited. Lawsky said that “freedom can have no meaning unless the government is held accountable”.
Civil liberties include the following rights
- Right to protection of life and body.
- Protection of private property.
- Equality before the law.
- Freedom of speech, debate and forming community etc.
- Freedom of worship and conscience.
- Freedom of family life.
(4) Political Freedom – According to Lawsky, “Political freedom is the name of the power to be active in the owners of the state.” This means that every person should have the right to express his opinion about the affairs of the state and according to his ability, directly or indirectly, he can cooperate in the work of the government. Leacock has called this constitutional freedom, which means that the people have the right to elect their own government and that government should be accountable to the common people. Gilchrist has called political freedom synonymous with democracy. Under this, the following rights are usually included –
(i) Right of citizens to elect their representatives – In modern democratic countries, every citizen has the right to elect his representative by voting, but this right is also given to adults only. Foreigners, lunatic and children are denied this right.
(ii) Right to be self-elected – This means that the citizen who has the right to vote also gets the right to be a candidate in the election himself.
(iii) Right to hold public office – In democratic countries, every citizen has the right to hold office according to his ability. that person . It is also necessary to possess the qualifications prescribed by the state rules.
(iv) Right to debate and criticize freely – Right to get proper information regarding state matters and to debate freely and criticize the government.
(5) National Independence – National independence means that “every nation should be completely free in the management of external and internal affairs collectively, without any external power or control over it.” We cannot establish human unity without the perfection of national life. No nation till then complete development of its life and culture. until he is completely free. Therefore, there can be no moral right of one nation to assert its authority over another. In fact, the nature of the nation is also an element and it has its own individual life and purpose. Like a person It also has its own characteristic features. Therefore it is necessary that every nation can develop its personality freely according to its talent, its historical traditions and its internal laws, only then it can make a proper contribution to the perfection of human civilization.
Definition of liberty
Economic Freedom – Economic freedom means that every person should get a proper opportunity to earn a living and he should get the least reward of his labor so that he can lead the life of a decent human being.
The creeper is most important. In the absence of economic freedom, all rights are meaningless. What can be the value of the right to vote and freedom of expression for a person who is constantly surrounded by economic problems, that is, who has to face unemployment, beggar or extreme poverty? The ideal of economic freedom is the product of socialist thought.
Definition of liberty
Relationship between liberty and law
There are two views prevailing regarding law and liberty. Some individualist thinkers are opposed to the legal system. On the other hand, most of the scholars are generally supportive of the view that laws are complementary to liberty.
(1) Laws are anti-freedom – according to individualists, freedom means that there is no control on the conduct of the person, that is, he can do whatever he wants according to his will. The law imposes restrictions on the conduct of a person and obstructs one’s will to act. Therefore, according to his opinion, law is anti-freedom. Therefore some individualists view the state with hatred and enmity, because in their views the freedom of the individual is hindered by the activities of the state. Anarchists consider the state to be a staunch enemy of the freedom of the individual and therefore want to put an end to it.
Definition of liberty
(2) Laws are complementary to freedom – The above ideas are based on the wrong definition of liberty. We have determined the meaning of freedom that necessary facilities are available to the individual for the full development of his innate talents and powers. If we consider this definition keeping in mind, then automatically we will come to the conclusion that control and law are not opponents of freedom, but are its protectors. The more a person wants to be independent and develop himself more, the more control he needs to be. Take, for example, a child who has an innate ability to be a good scientist. But if such a child is left free from the beginning, who spends all his time in sports and does not pay attention to studies, then how can he become a good scientist? For the development of any power, there is a need for hard practice and discipline and at the same time there is a need to be under the control of those people who are more scholar than themselves in that subject, if the student will not accept the control of his teacher, then he will study How will you take interest in and progress? A person is qualified in some subject. Even then he will have to be subordinate to others for other subjects and follow those who are experts in those fields. The words of Rabindranath Tagore are worth remembering in this regard. He said, “It is impossible to achieve freedom without control.” God is also not completely independent – “If God becomes omnipotent and starts doing arbitrary, then his creation will end and his power will have no meaning. Shakti can be power only when it works within limits. God’s water will remain water, his earth cannot become anything other than the earth.”
It is clear from the above discussion. That laws are complementary to liberty. It is true that laws protect the liberty of an individual from interference by other persons. Secondly, protect against state interference. Third, laws are necessary for the individual development of the individual. Therefore, law cannot be the antithesis of liberty. The more free a person wants to be, the more and more he has to be in control. Freedom cannot be imagined in the absence of control. In the absence of control, only the powerful will enjoy freedom, the freedom of the weak will be destroyed.
Definition of liberty
(3) Not every law of the state is a supplement to freedom – Not every law of the state can be a supplement to freedom. The extent to which the state protects the freedom of its citizens, it depends on the nature and system of governance of that state. The question of freedom of the individual does not arise in autocratic states. Personality freedom can be possible only in democracy. The reality is that no such state has been established in the history so far, under which all citizens have been given proper freedom. Even in democratic states, the vicious circle and competition between selfish and devious politicians, various political parties and economic and social classes continues, in which the freedom of the individual remains a mere formality. That’s why Mill has said – “The so-called majority considered as much a threat to the freedom of the individuals as the state power of autocratic kings.” So freedom is still a mirage and a very distant ideal. But it is necessary that in the absence of law, freedom cannot even be imagined. Locke’s statement is completely true that- “Where there is no law Had there been, there could be no freedom.