The writer says "individual liberty leads to social anarchy." Do you agree/disagree? Give reasons for your answers.

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

In his essay "On the Rule of the Road," A. G. Gardiner explores the nature of liberty and argues that some degree of personal liberty must be sacrificed for the good (and, indeed, the liberty) of society. The title refers to Gardiner's point that if motorists and pedestrians were to...

Unlock
This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial

In his essay "On the Rule of the Road," A. G. Gardiner explores the nature of liberty and argues that some degree of personal liberty must be sacrificed for the good (and, indeed, the liberty) of society. The title refers to Gardiner's point that if motorists and pedestrians were to observe no rules on the road, travel would become very dangerous and no one would get anywhere. This is the social anarchy which Gardiner regards as the greatest possible danger.

Gardiner is clearly correct in his assertion that we must sacrifice some of our liberty to live in a society. If I am free to play loud music all night, my neighbor is not free to sleep. We need to take steps to prevent our freedoms from encroaching on the freedoms of others. The only debate is about precisely where to draw the line. Every society will draw it in a slightly different place, though similar types of society, such as liberal democracies, will tend to converge around the same area on the continuum of individual liberty.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team