Aretae responded to my posts on freedom and dependency a while back. I think I understand where he’s coming from, but I’d like to try a different tactic.
If we’re talking about distinct but related concepts (freedom and dependency), I’d like to add another one to the mix: self-government.
I’m speaking broadly about the ability of a person to participate in the governing of himself.
Modern progressives (i.e. us) associate self-government with freedom. We think of the history of the 20th Century as one in which freedom was expanded, and by freedom being expanded we largely mean people being able to vote for their choice of mediocre symbolic head of state (heh – just making sure that you’re paying attention). This is called "progress." And you’d better like it.
I believe that a person cannot legitimately participate in the governing of himself if he is dependent. Such a person becomes a pawn – his opinions are controlled by potential sources of support, for which he longs.
The fundamental problem with modern government therefore becomes obvious: we have a lot of people participating who appear to be participating in their own government but who are incapable of actually doing so.