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Freedom Debate: Konstantin Kisin vs Ash Sarkar

Well worth a few minutes of your time.

12 comments to Freedom Debate: Konstantin Kisin vs Ash Sarkar

  • Fraser Orr

    It is a funny argument for her to make since there is almost a perfect inverse relationship between how likely you are to starve and how much freedom you have or how secure your property rights are. Sub saharan africa isn’t poor or starving because its people are lazy, or the land infertile or the weather not suitable. On the contrary it is the most fertile place on earth that spontaneously grows the most massive, dense diverse forests on earth. It is poor and hungry because strong men empowered by stupid arguments like hers deny people private property rights and individual freedom and are constantly at devastating war with other strong men to see who can steal the most from the already starving people. And the idea that she is concerned with people’s political agency when she is arguing for taking away people’s right to speak freely makes you wonder why her head doesn’t explode with the massive cognitive dissonance. Much as the current trend on the left in America is to effectively say “To ensure your right to vote, I am going to take your vote and vote for you.”

    But it is nice to hear a discussion conducted based on people taking turns to talk in a respectful manner and trying to use logical inference, without the usual shouting, accusations, Jerry Springer style audience participation and cancelation. So kudos to her for at least that small mercy.

  • Barbarus

    Ash Sarkar’s arguments are a perfect example of the left’s tendency to conflate whatever they are arguing for with some more or less unrelated, but well known, good. In this case it’s other people’s property which is somehow the same thing as freedom, but it is done in many other fields.

  • KJP

    I choose not to work. Therefore I have no money so no food and am starving. Is not choosing not to work a freedom? Forcing me to work, even if it saves my life, is not freedom.

  • Runcie Balspune

    Sarkar has a low opinion of human morality, assuming that someone dying of hunger is due to a immoral decision of someone else not willing to share food is a classic socialist argument that has no historical bearing.

    Most of today’s institutions arose from civic duty not centralised planning, for example hospitals and orphanages were from religious organisations.

    The difference is between coercion of civic duty and freedom to exercise it, Sarkar mistakingly believes if it is not coerced it doesn’t happen, which is demonstratively incorrect.

    The reason charitable food banks are successful is because they are not run by the government and can legitimately refuse the chap who just drove up in his Ferrari, something the government cannot do.

  • Paul Marks

    Ash Sarkar says that she wants democratic socialism – not a dictatorship.

    Pine Ridge and some other “Native American” reservations have had democratic socialism since 1934 – rule by democratically elected councils with communal ownership of the land and “free” services.

    89 years of democratic socialism has not worked very well in Pine Ridge – in spite of endless subsidies.

    By the way, the left establishment tend to lump in the “social problems” (polite language) of Pine Ridge and other democratic socialist reservations with South Dakota generally – in spite of the policies of these areas being the opposite of those of South Dakota, and the Governor of South Dakota not even being welcome to visit Pine Ridge.

  • Paul Marks

    I doubt that one American in a 100 knows that “Indian Charlie” Curtis was the first Vice President “of colour” of the United States – and even fewer know that he supported the private, individual, ownership of land by his people – not the communal socialism pushed by the intellectuals of Colombia University New York City.

  • Paul Marks

    Peter Hitchens calls Konstantin Kisin an “idiot” – which says rather more about Mr Hitchens than it does about Mr Kisin.

    Ash Sarkar – talks of violence being justified if there is great poverty.

    The lady seems unable to understand that this behaviour, whether it is done by direct looting or by looting organised by state taxation, makes poverty worse, not better, than it otherwise would be.

    Is my own 14 thousand Pounds a year justified? Do I save the taxpayers 14 thousand Pounds a year or more? I doubt it.

    I tell myself that some other politician would take the money if I did not – but it is hard to escape the conclusion that the world would be a better place without me in it.

  • Mark F

    Gandhi went on hunger strikes many times. So have countless others….virtually all in support of freedom.

  • Brutus Tell

    Sarkar says the word “freedom” when she means “power.” Which fits with the modern leftist fallacy to see all of human existence as simply one collective’s play for power over another.

  • Paul Marks

    Mark F and Brutus Tell – yes to confuse freedom with power, or with stuff (such as food) is a terrible error. It is the “Positive Freedom” lie.

    A person starving to death on a deserted island (where they have washed up after a ship wreak) is a free person – and a person with all the material comforts, but is afraid of punishment if they say “the wrong thing” is not a free person.

    Freedom and “free stuff” are different things.

  • The Pedant-General

    kisin missed a trick to challenge the set up in the introduction – he could have opened with the principle that freedom is the bedrock upon which all those other nice things depend.

    If your society is not free, it will very quickly stop being able to provide the goodies. You can’t trade one for the other.

  • Fraser Orr

    @Paul Marks
    Freedom and “free stuff” are different things.

    There is a saying in the open source movement, coined I imagine by Richard Stallman, that the software is “free as in free speech, not as in free beer.” However, given what is happening to “free speech” that might not resonate quite so well. I heard this as well when Elon Musk started charging for blue checkmarks. “Hw” they complained, “Free speech, but it’ll cost you $8 a month.” Again, showing a deep fundamental misunderstanding of what free speech actually means.