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A new relationship between power and liberty

Rules laid down by the state are ultimately essential to our freedom

By Thomas Poole  

There’s a scene in Beethoven’s Fidelio where a group of prisoners stumble into the light in a stolen moment out of the cells. “O what joy to breathe freely in the open air,” they murmur, “only here is life.” Empathy with the imprisoned requires little imaginative leap these days. We are all prisoners now. The restrictions on our liberties are substantial, the loss of freedoms to socialise, wander…

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