Freedom is a social product whereby society opens up for the individual an enlarging world of the potential and possible within which he may construct his own future as he will.
Commons, R. (1924), The Legal Foundations of Capitalism, Lawbook Exchange, p. 82
Indeed, "freedom is a social product," that is, she is always the result of people competing and cooperating for a new stage of freedom. First and foremost, liberty is a complex network of mutable rights and duties. The freedom for A constricts the freedom of B, imparts coercive power of A over B. So the rights that combine humans in a web of perfectible freedom constantly call for endeavours at re-forming change.
Mostly, the resourceful individual will have to embark on collective action to advance on this path, while her aim should always be to create conditions that make the individual more resourceful and more capable of taking advantage of her natural and her enabled resourcefulness.
I am neither authorised nor do I intend to speak for Senator Laura Ebke. However, I find her political work convincing and worthy of support. Here is a case in point, as I see it, which is taken from Senator Ebke's facebook page:
LB623 was advanced to Select File today, on a vote of 39-6 (4 not voting). This bill would allow a limited number of young people--children of undocumented residents of the country who were born in another country, but brought here as young children--to make application (and test) for a drivers license of some sort. There may be amendments yet on Select File, which would change the look of these permits, so that they can be distinguished from citizen "regular" licenses.These licensee would fall under the so-called DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) provisions of the federal government. 49 states have already created some sort of licensing allowance for these young people--Nebraska is the only state that hasn't. I said a few words on the topic on the floor today. Here is gist of what I said:
Thank you Mr. President.
I rise today in support of LB623. I’ve been quiet through most of this debate, but I wanted to say just a few words about this bill.
First of all, the knee jerk reaction of saying “these kids are illegal, so shouldn’t get any benefits” almost makes sense. After all, illegal is illegal, and we don’t want to encourage illegal activity... But the calculus changes—for me, anyway—when we start talking about children.
First of all, I’m not sure that a drivers license or permit is a “benefit.” It’s not an entitlement that one gets by virtue of being here. You have to take a test—something I would argue is a good thing, to show minimum competency; and you have to pay a fee.
But second, and perhaps the most important consideration for me, these DACA eligible folks were kids—oftentimes very young kids--when they came here. In many cases they were babies. We don’t—last time I checked—hold toddlers who grew up in a meth house responsible for what their parents did and, tag them for life as drug manufacturers; nor do we require Bonnie and Clyde’s children, strapped in the back of the getaway car, to pay restitution to the banks.
At some point yesterday, there was some discussion of justifying holding these children accountable for the “sins” of their parents, if you will, based on a biblical understanding, but while I am not as inclined as Senator Chambers to quote from scripture, there’s at least some scripture out there—including one from Ezekiel-- which suggests that “The son shall not suffer for the inequity of the father, nor the father suffer for the iniquity of the son.”
We are, in other words, perhaps, responsible for our own actions. Personally, I think we’d all be happier if we looked at one another as individuals, rather than as part of some group. None of us would like to be held accountable for the sins of our ancestors—most of us, if we do enough digging, will find that somewhere in the family tree we have slave holders, thieves, adulterers, or some other manner of riff-raff. To me, holding kids accountable for what their parents did while they were still in diapers, makes little sense, and is of questionable merit when one considers the “American Way.”
As one who has sat through 12 high school graduations in the last 13 years, and signed diplomas of Crete High graduates for 10 of those years—and who has had children going to school during all of that time—I firmly believe that most of these kids (and I don’t know which of them actually qualify for DACA, but I’m sure that some do)—are trying to live the American dream, just as most of our grandparents and great grandparents did. They’re receiving an education, they hang out with their friends of all ethnicities, and they want to be here, because HERE is home for them. They want to pursue their education or go to work. They want to do all of the things—here in Nebraska—that we say we want more of our Nebraska kids to do.
My maternal grandparents were born in Jefferson County, which I represent. They were born to (in one case) a German born immigrant, and in the case of 3 of my great grandparents, American born children of German immigrants. My cousin and I have tried to find documentation on one of my great-grandfathers, but we can’t find anything, other than a resident alien draft card during World War I. We don’t know how he got here, and we can’t find any record that he ever became a citizen. It’s possible that he snuck in and was an illegal immigrant, so maybe I need to be sent away. My grandparents both spoke German when they went to school. They spoke German most of the time at home (even though most of their parents had been born in the U.S.). And by the time I knew them, 40-some years after they’d gone off to school, their parents had died, and I never knew them to speak anything but English in a perfect Nebraska dialect.
This is just my opinion. And I’m sure many will disagree with me on some element of this. But people come to the United States because of opportunity. Opportunity for themselves and their family, and for their kids to have a better life than they did. Here in Nebraska, we need this population. As has been mentioned, the immigrant population has been largely responsible for Nebraska’s population growth. I know it’s been responsible for the population growth in Crete. These folks are here. We can’t do anything about porous borders. What we can decide is how we’re going to handle the challenges in front of us. To my mind, we’ve got two choices: we can either push people away, insure that we don’t have a labor pool for business to draw from, wait to lose another congressional seat; OR, we can embrace the change and make the most of it, we can say to these young men and women, o.k., we’re going to give you a chance—now go out and make something of yourself. A driver’s permit—in some form (and I supported the Groene amendment, because a slightly different card makes sense if we want to be sure that we don’t have vote fraud)—is good policy, if we expect that these residents of our state will find a job, or continue their education. In either case, we’ve talked about wanting our students to stay in Nebraska—and this might help that.
I urge a green vote on LB623.
The source (always worth visiting).