HMS Conqueror wrote:
"The liberty of the individual is no gift of civilization. It was greatest before there was any civilization." - Sigmund Freud, German psychologist (1856-1939)
This quote becomes more baffling every time I read it. Is he opposed to liberty, or to civilisation? And why is Freud taken as an authority on anything on a 'rational' board?
The quote of the week isn't necessarily authoritative. It may just be something that whoever put it up happened to think was witty or thought-provoking or amusing.
“I liked the store detective who said he'd seen a lot of people who were so confused that they'd stolen things, but never one so confused that they'd paid twice.”
“A memorandum is written not to inform the reader but to protect the writer.”
“Common sense is the collection of prejudices acquired by age eighteen.”
“The lion and the calf shall lie down together, but the calf won't get much sleep.”
And so on.
Lord Zentei wrote:
Regarding your first question: at a guess, I'd say that he's pro-liberty, but is probably arguing against the idea that authority somehow guarantees liberty, and is making an argument against those who use "civilization" and "government authority" interchangeably. He's probably also being an iconoclast and a contrarian, I understand he used to do that a fair bit.
As for your second question: no idea.
The quote gets an interesting interpretation of you add "Which was a bad time" to the end of it:
"The liberty of the individual is no gift of civilization. It was greatest before there was any civilization. Which was a bad time
." So liberty may be better than not-liberty, but it's not a new invention, so you can't call it either
a state-created thing or
a result of progress.
Leaving aside that the claim is ludicrous anyway, unless you don't think that women are individuals capable of liberty.
The problem with perfect liberty for everyone is that it's mutually exclusive. If your right to swing your arm doesn't
end at my nose, then whichever of us looks weakest gets punched in the nose a lot.
This ties into the Hobbesean version of the state of nature: the "war of all against all." Unless you consider "liberty" to be a buzzword that means "good by definition," unlimited liberty for everyone isn't necessarily a good thing, any more than unlimited food for everyone.
HMS Conqueror wrote:
So he is against liberty - on balance that is how I was reading it, but one can never be sure with these mystics.
What does it mean to be against liberty?
Does that mean "I am opposed to your right to do everything,
whatever you wish to do I wish for you to not do?"
Or does that mean "I am opposed to your right to do anything
, there are some things you may not do?"
If the latter opinion is "against liberty," then it's impossible for civilized life to exist without everyone being a freedom-hater or whatever. Which is ridiculous.
3) Quotes need not be from an authority, so long as they make their point well. One of my favorite quotes of all time is Philip K. Dick's poignant definition of reality, but what authority is a career sci-fi writer on anything, especially
May I suggest a quote with a similar meaning, and a little more poetry?
"Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's, and unto God the things that are God's" Mathew 22:21
This does not convey the same meaning, especially not to an atheist. Or a Christian. Or, for that matter, anyone else except you, I think...