Advocates of freedom know this doctrine is based on an error and invoke the indivisibility of freedom in response to it. But too often they undercut their own case by talking about . . . economic freedom.
To insist that there are different types of freedoms opens a Pandora’s box of possible abuses:
Whenever one says “economic freedom,” one implies that other kinds of freedom exist. That of course does not imply that some freedoms are more equal than others, but it certainly opens the possibility. That can’t happen if we insist that freedom is indivisible.
The case for the indivisibility of freedom is not hard to make when one remembers that there are no economic ends. There are only ends, that is, the values we pursue in the course of our lives. — Ibid.
Richman quotes Thomas Sowell to this effect:
“One of the last refuges of someone whose pet project or theory has been exposed as economic nonsense is to say: ‘Economics is all very well, but there are also non-economic values to consider.’ Presumably, these are supposed to be higher and nobler concerns that soar above the level of crass materialism.
“Of course there are non-economic values. In fact, there are only non-economic values. Economics is not a value in and of itself. It is only a way of weighing one value against another.” — Ibid.
The bottom line:
There are only non-economic values. If that is so, then there is no economic freedom. There is only freedom. Full stop. — Ibid.
Richman’s article is here.