- “Negative liberty” is freedom from interference in personal matters. It reminds me of what former Mexican president said: “the right of other ends in the beginning of other’s rights to gain peace.”
- “Positive liberty” is freedom to realize some greater good in history. That may lead to repression as it may fall in a totalitarian way.
- The capacity to choose wisely and to act well as a matter of habit or as an outgrowth of virtue.
- The human capacity that unifies all our other capacities into an orderly whole. Directs our actions toward the pursuit of happiness and goodness.
- Freedom is simply a neutral faculty of choice, and choice is everything, for choice is a matter of self-assertion, of power.
If will is the defining attribute of all reality. The moral life is a contest of wills, between my will and God’s imposition of His through the moral law. There can be no “common good” if there are only the particular goods of particular men and women acting out their own particular willfulness.
- Homo voluntatis cannot explain why some things that can be done should not be done. It cannot defend himself or the institutions of democracy against the new dangers to national security and world order. Why? Because Homo voluntatis cannot give an account of a freedom worth sacrificing, even dying, for.
“Whilst I have said that all men and women are born equal, I do not wish therefore to suggest that qualities are not inherited, but on the contrary I believe that just as everyone inherits a particular form so does he inherit the particular characteristics and qualities of his progenitors, and to make this admission is to conserve one’s energy… A man who is truthful and does not mean ill even to his adversary will be slow to believe charges even against his foes. He will, however, try to understand the viewpoints of his opponents and will always keep an open mind and seek every opportunity of serving his opponents.”
“I would suggest that we must emphatically state that a man has the right not only to his mind, but also to change his mind and his fundamental convictions of conscience whenever his mind and conscience so dictate to him in the best light he knows.”