The Personal Website of Mark W. Dawson

Containing His Articles, Observations, Thoughts, Meanderings,
and some would say Wisdom (and some would say not).

Freedoms, Liberties, Equalities, and Equal Justice for All

In my writings, I have often written of "Freedoms, Liberties, Equalities, and Equal Justice for All". I, therefore, think it is appropriate the I explain what I mean by this aphorism.

One should distinguish between the terms "Freedom" and "Liberty." Speaking generally, Freedom usually means to be free from something, whereas Liberty usually means to be free to do something, although both refer to the quality or state of being free. Freedom generally means you are free from despotic oppression, whether it be by a government, an aristocracy, a theocracy, or an individual or group. Freedom of Religion, Speech, Press, Assembly, Petitioning Government, or to Bear Arms, etc. refers to the release from despotic restraints. Liberty, on the other hand, gives you the right to choose a course of action. How to spend your money, what job or occupation you wish to pursue, where you live, who you associate with, what education you undertake, who to marry, or any personal decisions you make is liberty. Freedom is not to be used in the sense of our being free to do anything we want. All laws can be viewed as a restriction on freedom and liberty, and such restrictions are proper in any well-regulated society. But they are only proper to prevent one person's freedom and liberty from infringing on another person's freedom or liberty. It is this balance between each person's Freedom and Liberty, and another's' person's Freedom and Liberty that defines the state of a Free society. Therefore:

“Liberty is to choose the what and how in exercising your Natural Rights, while Freedom is the absence of repression before, during, or after exercising your Natural Rights.”
 - Mark Dawson

Equalities is a much simpler concept. It is the concept that no matter what race, religion, creed, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, ancestry, age, veteran status, disability, military service, political affiliation, or other protected status, as well as rich or poor, and powerful or powerless, all are treated the same by all governmental actions. Whether it be through Legislative, Executive, or Judicial actions, everybody has the right to be treated like every other person. In the Judicial branch of government, this is best express by the saying "Justice is Blind". Thus, it should be by the actions of the Legislative and Executive branches of government. All Americans should be treated equally by all governmental actions. To not do so is to is antithetical to the principles of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. Therefore, you must remember that:

"Equality is not a guarantee of equal outcomes but a guarantee of equal opportunity and equal treatment."
 - Mark Dawson

Justice for all is expounded in another of my articles, "Justice and The Rule of Law in America", a longer than usual Article on my thoughts on this subject. However, it has five parts that are shorter and can be read independently from each other. These five topics are my thoughts on Justice for All:

  • Just Process - Without Just Process, there can be no Justice. But a Just Process requires that several concepts and tenets be enforced for Justice to prosper.
  • Just Charging - The process of Justice begins with a Just Charge, for without being charged justly, you cannot have Justice.
  • Just Trials - A Just Trial is essential for Justice. The rights of the defendant must be preserved, but the interests of the victim and their families must also be served.
  • Just Sentencing - We should also remember that laws are meaningless if there are no consequences or deterrence for violating them. This requires a Just Sentence.
  • Just Imprisonment and Parole - Finally, Imprisonments and Paroles must be justly applied. Not only for the inmates but for society and the victims as well.

Freedoms, Liberties, Equalities, and Equal Justice for All are the founding principles of our government. But these principles can only be preserved through eternal vigilance to preserve them by a free and just people. All Americans must dedicate themselves to these principles for all to have Freedom, Liberty, Equality, and Equal Justice for All.