Origins of Free Peoples by Jason Caro

By Jason Caro

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Indictment is thus no trick of language or rhetoric for such accusation can also be written on the human body, not with a scarlet letter perhaps but practically Introduction 19 nonetheless through the kinds of postures and confinements a body is held in. Strictly in terms of their origins, the difference between the free and the anti-free is not the moral difference between good and bad. It is rather the empirical and practical difference between being carefully unmarked and being carefully marked.

No, what is the same is the effect of anti-freedom in the origins of free peoples, namely, as the spur for the full emergence of their liberty. Like proto-freedom, anti-freedom has to be modulated just right for a free people to fully originate. If the threat to their freedom were too great, or if the problem of anti-freedom were too widespread, then the cause of liberty is lost and a different priority, perhaps survival or collaboration will be the order of the day. ) On the other hand, if the threat to freedom is too faint or insignificant, then there would be no need for more of it to originate and the free might today still inhabit their foundational Edens such as Algernon Sidney’s or John Locke’s states of nature.

This freedom has its own rules, which are distinct from those of power, reason, or history. That which is freedom may develop in a theory or in a history text or “out there” in the “real world” of political institutions and living beings. The old distinction between theory and practice does not hold when it comes to what is imperative for freedom. This is because what matters in terms of origins is not the format but simply how this specific mode of free life must originate. It is interesting, for example, that American liberty is always celebrated on the day that John Hancock flamboyantly signed a parchment and not, as might be expected from a realist interpreter, on that fateful day at Yorktown when Lord Cornwallis surrendered.

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