23 October 2005
Can you measure freedom?

I have run into a problem while writing my Wiki (yup, I’m still at it).  My central argument is that freer is better and this applies to the railways as much as anywhere else.

But “privatisation” has been worse than the nationalisation that preceded it.  As nothing can be less free than nationalisation ie complete control by the state, surely, this disproves my thesis?

It is by no means fatal.  I could take a step back and argue that freer is usually better.  But I would rather not. 

I could argue that if regulations are bad enough they can amount to a tyranny far worse even than nationalisation.  But how would I know?  It’s easy to tell after the fact.  If everything is great then things must have become freer and if they are even worse then they didn’t.  But that smacks of the sort of tricks communists get up to - praise the revolution up until the moment the bodies start floating down the river and then claim it was capitalism all along.  What you have to do is to be able tell beforehand.  But how do you measure freedom?

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