Monday, September 12, 2011

Freedom is not Potentia

For potentia has two definitions; it is not merely capacity, but power.  It is not merely the limits of your ability, but your political influence.

It derives from potens, a word which roughly means "To be able to."  This phrase even today conveys dual meanings - the freedom to do so, by which I mean the absence of arbitrary power preventing you from doing so (arbitrary, now there's a word for another day), but equally the -strength- to do so.  (A good blog name would be "Possum," which has little to do with opossums, and translates as "I am able.")

Your actions are limited by two constraints - what you are capable of, and what politicians prevent you from doing.

Modern liberal philosophy, where it values freedom at all, can roughly be summed up as confusing freedom for potentia; for believing that what we are by our own efforts capable of doing is a limit on our freedom in the same sense that arbitrary power is a limit on our freedoms.  It emphasizes a balancing act between strength-potentia and power-potentia.

Because it has no mechanisms by which to actually modify your capabilities, all it is truly capable of doing is depressing your power-potentia.  The government, no matter how hard it wishes or tries, cannot make you stronger, cannot make you smarter, cannot make you healthier, cannot make you better - government is purely a lever of power-potentia, meaning the only influence it can ever have over your life is to limit your choices.

It depresses your power-potentia, therefore, attempting to enhance your strength-potentia.  But strength-potentia ultimately depends upon a single strength - strength of will.  This is that of strength-potentia that must depress with power-potentia.  And as all other strengths depend on this one - all strengths are depleted in the effort to strengthen a people.

They seek to create a powerful and emboldened people by telling them at every turn what they may not do.  Raise your child that way and tell me how well it works.

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