Timothy Sandefeur: We Must Start by Presuming either in Favor of Freedom or against It

In discussing politics, there are two possible candidates for an initial presumption. We might presume in favor of totalitarianism – everything is controlled by the government, and citizens must justify any desire to be free – or we can presume in favor of liberty and require anyone who proposes to restrict freedom to justify that restriction. Either everything is allowed that is not forbidden, or everything is forbidden that is not allowed. As Professor Richard Epstein observes, there is no third, middle-ground option, because there is no obvious midpoint between the two extremes: people will bicker endlessly about what qualifies as exactly halfway. So we must start by presuming either in favor of freedom or against it.
— Timothy Sandefeur, The Permission Society: How the Ruling Class Turns Our Freedoms into Privileges and What We Can Do About It