fredag 14 oktober 2016

Twofold liberty

Flocken flyr. Foto: Astrid Nydahl
Idag blir det en blogg som är helt engelskspråkig. Jag vill inte kommentera dessa 1600-talsord - hämtade ur en längre text - utan låter dem stå som de en gång skrevs. Jag inbillar mig att de är värdefulla också nu. Uppgifter om upphovsmannen finns längst ner i bloggen.

There is a twofold liberty, natural (I mean as our nature is now corrupt) and civil or federal. The first is common to man with beasts and other creatures. By this, man, as he stands in relation to man simply, hath liberty to do what he lists; it is a liberty to evil as well as to good. This liberty is incompatible and inconsistent with authority and cannot endure the least restraint of the most just authority. The exercise and maintaining of this liberty makes men grow more evil and in time to be worse than brute beasts: omnes sumus licentia deteriores. This is that great enemy of truth and peace, that wild beast, which all of the ordinances of God are bent against, to restrain and subdue it. The other kind of liberty I call civil or federal; it may also be termed moral, in reference to the covenant between God and man, in the moral law, and the politic covenants and constitutions amongst men themselves. This liberty is the proper end and object of authority and cannot subsist without it; and it is a liberty to that only which is good, just, and honest. This liberty you are to stand for, with the hazard (not only of your goods, but) of your lives, if need be. Whatsoever crosseth this is not authority but a distemper thereof.

In 1645, John Winthrop, the deputy-governor of Massachusetts, was impeached for interfering in a local militia election. Following his acquittal, Winthrop delivered a short speech, “On Liberty”.

John Winthrop (12 January 1587/88 – 26 March 1649) was an English Puritan lawyer and one of the leading figures in the founding of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, the first major settlement in what is now New England after Plymouth Colony. Winthrop led the first large wave of immigrants from England in 1630, and served as governor for 12 of the colony's first 20 years of existence. His writings and vision of the colony as a Puritan "city upon a hill" dominated New England colonial development, influencing the governments and religions of neighboring colonies.

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