My letter to the NY Times re: Statism vs. Liberty

Re: In Japan, Bid to Stifle Criticism Is Working

Dear Sir:
In your chilling report of the Abe government’s efforts to limit Japan’s free press, you use the terms “right-leaning” and “conservative” to describe his government. May I suggest that a better term is “statist” vs. one of “liberty”. The right/left and conservative/liberal descriptions do not convey real differences. An extreme example would be the usual references to Nazi Germany as right-leaning and conservative and Stalinist Russia as left leaning and liberal; whereas, both were statist regimes intent on grinding their citizens under the boot heal of government repression. Nobel Laureate F. A. Hayek characterized both regimes as two sides of the same coin in Road to Serfdom. The alternative to a statist regime is one dedicated to liberty, in which the individual is allowed complete freedom of expression.
Patrick Barron
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