Is freedom the ability to choose?
Would I have more freedom or less if usury were legal?
Is freedom the ability to choose? Would I have more freedom or less if usury were legal? In Canada it's illegal for you to lend me money at a billion percent interest. I'm not legally free to enter into such a contract no matter how much I consent, because I can't sign over an 'inalienable' right--similarly I can't legally sign myself into literal slavery. The intent of the law is to produce more *net* freedom even though it restricts a freedom, so, the hopeful answer is "On average, I would have less freedom if I could legally enter into usurious contracts" unless I'm unusually good at avoiding bad deals. (The threshold for usury is 60% in Canada, but disgustingly payday-lenders have an exemption: https://www.facebook.com/adamgolding/posts/10107929944993742 ) I also think Britney Spears would be more free if exclusive recording contracts et cetera had been illegal:[#FreeBritney] https://www.facebook.com/adamgolding/posts/10107904378504192 (note also there's a distinction some make between positive and negative liberty: https://www.facebook.com/adamgolding/posts/10107326506544232 ) It probably clarifies my position to mention that I support collective action to reject all exclusive agreements: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1987161627985471/permalink/3529170533784565 This is a collective action I support independently of whether the exclusive agreement is binding under current law or cultural conventions. It's one of those things that ends up requiring tactical exceptions but I'm doing okay at following the principle as with this collective action: https://www.facebook.com/adamgolding/posts/10107928772029372 This is all to say, freedom is not always increased by increasing choice--to make a more political analogy, if you take Dugin's view, nations should have the freedom to be authoritarian, other nations should have the freedom to be democratic, and we should 'live and let live'--I don't agree with him--I agree with spreading democracy to the whole earth: https://www.facebook.com/adamgolding/posts/10107929823397422 (Kudos to Arielle for her question to Dugin which made me LOL -- she basically asks "so how much of a facist are you?") Here's some more posts I made about inalienability: https://www.facebook.com/adamgolding/posts/10107866290912032 https://www.facebook.com/adamgolding/posts/10107870921267762 https://www.facebook.com/adamgolding/posts/10107917741020602 https://www.facebook.com/adamgolding/posts/10107909164183652 https://www.facebook.com/adamgolding/posts/10107909284542452 https://www.facebook.com/adamgolding/posts/10107931276116162 https://www.facebook.com/adamgolding/posts/10106593635877922 [https://www.facebook.com/adamgolding/posts/10108071068560982 ] In my conversation with John Maione in https://www.facebook.com/adamgolding/posts/10107851536375242 I get into the more mathematical version of the problem of defining 'maximum freedom' in a software system -- lots of unresolved issues there too!