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In many ways it is easy to interpret the philosophy of positive liberty as a critique of negative liberty - which is as it was formulated. Negative liberty, as it is often characterized by liberalism and those who support this interpretation of freedom, is generally the notion that freedom - which is most commonly recognized as a political ideal to aspire to - is a quality that should be maximized by the individual, and that any system of government is morally obligated to impinge upon this freedom as little as possible or not at all…
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So, doubtlessly, the concepts of positive liberty and negative liberty are inexorably linked; yet it is difficult to truly contend that positive liberty is a comprehensive critique of negative liberty, or, more pointedly, that they are incompatible at all.
Broadly, positive liberty and negative liberty are simply different sides of the same coin. Liberty - as a pure concept or an ideal - can come in many forms or varieties. And even if we choose to only accept the notion of individualistic freedom as the foundation of our political philosophies, we still must admit that defining it in terms of either all that an individual is capable of or all that an individual is permitted to do comprise merely opposite ends of a wide range of controls upon an individual's ability to act freely. ...
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