The distinction made by the Classical Greeks when explaining why their city-state politics were better than a more despotic system. People would say "You are not free--you have to obey laws." They retorted that living under the conciously determined and verifiable rule of law made them free. Otherwise they would live under the arbitrary rule of a tyrant from whom there can be no appeal to the written law. However, a citizen couldn't just do whatever the hell he wanted (yes, they were only men)--that was "license". "Freedom" implied "self-discipline": since nobody was your supervisor, you had to be responsible to take the appropriate action without being told, or else the society you enjoyed would destroy itself.

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