July 3, 2010
Liberty and the Inherent Tension Between Freedom and Power
This past week I received a wonderful gift from my 19-year-old son, Justin. He remastered an old acoustic track I'd laid down over 10 years ago, of a song I'd written over 20 years ago. The track is entitled "Tiananmen Square" and you can find it here. I think he did an incredible job and I hope you find it worth a listen. I believe the most relevant line is: "You were willing to die for what I take for granted."
What does this have to do with business law? Well, business law is at its root (at least from one perspective) about the balance of power between government and business, and I do not believe it is an exaggeration to say that this balancing implicates our individual liberty.
I think many would agree that individual liberty both requires and is threatened by centralized power. Some form of centralized power is arguably necessary to protect individuals, while those wielding that power will seemingly always be tempted to entrench and expand that power--often at the expense of individual liberty.
One of the ideological divides I see in business law is between: (1) those who view abuse of governmental power as the greatest threat to individual liberty, and business as a check on that power; and (2) those who view the the abuse of power generally to be the greatest threat to individual liberty, and see business as often wielding the most relevant power. The important point for me today, however, is that many on both sides share a genuine desire to avoid the abuse of power exemplified by the Tiananmnen Square massacre.May you find something to be grateful for on this 4th of July Weekend.
in danger of sounding like a flower child here is a quote I saw the other day: :
we need to replace the l o v e o f p o w e r
with the p o w e r of l o v e
Posted by: Gisela | Jul 4, 2010 10:41:48 AM