Obligations to the Future
Keywords:climate change, concentrated disadvantage, economic inequality, freedom, opportunity, post-truth, poverty, racial inequality, social welfare
Freedom is considered one of America’s most cherished values. Most Americans agree that freedom requires order, justice, security, opportunity, fairness, absence of harm, absence of undue interference, and a variety of rights. But while Americans may agree on these things in broad, abstract terms, they are often divided over their precise definitions. In this article, the authors emphasize how a variety of societal problems—including climate change, racial inequality, poverty and economic inequality, concentrated disadvantage, intergenerational transmission of privilege and disadvantage, and the undermining of truth and expertise—are issues of freedom. The authors discuss the connection between these issues and freedom, and the need to demand action from elected representatives in order to enact true freedom for all Americans.