The Vicious Side of Freedom

G. K. Chesterton once observed that in the modern world “the virtues have gone mad because they have been isolated from each other and are wandering alone. Thus some scientists care for truth; and their truth is pitiless. Thus some humanitarians only care for pity; and their pity… is often untruthful.” Something similar can be said about the virtues of freedom and idealism. Freedom is an important virtue. But it is not the only virtue. And apart from other virtues–apart from prudence, say, and duty and responsibility, all of which define and limit freedom–freedom becomes a parody of itself. It becomes, in a word, unfree.

Roger Kimball, The Long March

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