Based on the essay "On the Rule of the Road" by A.G. Gardiner, what is the difference between "individual liberty" and "social liberty?"

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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In this essay, Gardiner is distinguishing between the liberty to do as one wishes and the liberty that society has to be free from excessive disturbances of the peace.  Gardiner says that we all have the liberty to do whatever we like so long as it does not intrude unduly on other people.  He says, therefore, that it is fine if you want to dye your hair or wear strange clothing in public.  That is your individual liberty.  But society also has its own liberty; the liberty to have a reasonable degree of peace and quiet.  Therefore, we do not have the individual liberty to, as Gardiner says, play the trombone in the street from midnight until 3 AM.  Thus, even though we have individual liberty, we must restrain that liberty when it comes into conflict with social liberty.


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