James Otteson is the executive director of the BB&T Center for the Study of Capitalism, and Teaching Professor of Political Economy, at Wake Forest University in Winston‐​Salem, North Carolina. He also serves as a Senior Scholar at the Fund for American Studies, a Research Professor in the Freedom Center and Department of Philosophy at the University of Arizona, and a Research Fellow at the Independent Institute in California.

Does individual liberty threaten community? Some think that it does. As philosophy professor James Otteson explains, some worry that individual liberty undermines moral community, while others worry that it neglects those most vulnerable in a community, such as the poor. But Otteson cautions against thinking this way, for several reasons. As he explains, to take away individual liberty is to take away freedom of association, which interferes not only with autonomy, but with the actual creation of robust and meaningful communities. While freedom of association means that some people will make choices we don’t like, and that some communities will decline over time, it also allows for the creation of new and different communities which evolve as their members freely choose to be a part of them.

For more, visit Learn​Lib​er​ty​.org.