Is freedom possible without responsibility

Freedom and responsibility are inseparable. Without freedom, responsibility is not possible, without responsibility freedom becomes impossible. They are one of the cornerstones of subsidiarity, which as a principle does not want to regulate everything from top to bottom, but on the contrary is a bottom-up principle. So the competencies should be located at a lower level, if possible, the higher unit may only claim regulatory competence if things cannot be done on the lower unit.

But this means that the small units are of enormous importance. The small units are ultimately the person, the individual or the family as the nucleus of society. The more the individual or the family can live and work in freedom and responsibility, the less state regulation will be necessary. Relatively simple legal principles such as the protection of private property or respect for the freedom of others are sufficient for this. This principle of freedom and personal responsibility applies even to more complex issues such as environmental protection. Anyone who wants to live in an intact environment must also take responsibility for acting responsibly in their own sphere of activity, using resources efficiently and avoiding destruction. The state or the EU are responsible for setting the appropriate framework conditions.

On the other hand, it is understandable that not every single person, no matter how caring for his family, acts responsibly in his community, etc. etc., can pursue foreign policy himself. This is the task of the state, or should be raised to the European level in the European Union.

In other questions it will make sense if corresponding responsibilities are assumed at all levels. One example is security. At the local level it depends on the behavior of the individual residents of a community how safe that community is. The police can't (and shouldn't) be everywhere. To this end, the citizen should also be able to protect his own house, apartment and thus the family efficiently. But the protection of the borders of the state will be a task of the state. Just as one keeps the borders between the countries open in federal states like Austria or Germany, one should also keep the internal borders open at the EU level and protect the external borders at the European level. Such protection of the EU's external borders is much more than just increased intergovernmental cooperation.

Freedom and responsibility stand in opposition to a state that wants to regulate as many areas of life as possible. In this pursuit of greater influence, politics uses the natural comfort of the individual citizen. Of course, it is tempting to delegate various tasks to local or state levels. But once this path is taken, the state will attract more and more powers and dig deeper and deeper into the pockets of its citizens (or incur debts at the expense of future generations) in order to expand its power over more and more areas. The escape from personal responsibility, which originally seemed comfortable, is ultimately paid dearly, by each and every one of them.

It is time to see freedom and responsibility as a pair of terms in a positive light again, and to take a clear stand against the increasing paternalism by the state.



Published on December 29, 2017.