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The Libertarian and Socialist are Beholden to

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6/29/2015 10:19:07 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
I don't believe the problem lies in a sense of responsibility versus a sense of irresponsibility but in whom, the collective or the individual, does responsibility lie. On the one hand, you have the Libertarian saying responsibility lies in the individual; and, on the other hand, you have the socialist saying it lies in society.

The problem I see with this is it seems to presuppose the existence of one without the other. In other words, how can one be responsible for himself, or herself, without using the resources provided by the society in which he, or she, lives? Or, how can society be responsible to its members without its members being responsible to the society in which they live? The individual and society do not exist in isolation from each other.

The relationship that exists between the individual and his, or her, society is a dynamic relationship that necessitates a responsiveness, or accountability, to each other. As the poet, John Donne, once wrote, "No man is an island, entire of itself." The resources we either consume or cultivate are not resources, entirely, of our making. To put it simply, society does not exist apart from individuals and individuals do not exist apart from society.