When listening to Madeleine Albright’s speech at The Forum 2000, I was surprised when she placed “freedom” in opposition to “responsibility”. This is a repetition of a mistake I first saw in the writings of Victor Frankl. Both of these influential personas have collapsed the two concepts of “duty” and “responsibility” into a single idea, calling it simply “responsibility”. It is a radical failing at worst. It is an error in lexicon at best. Collapsing “duty” into “responsibility” removes the possibility of being responsible to yourself. If you are drowning, your responsibility is to save yourself. If you and a car full of people are drowning, then you have a choice to be responsible to yourself or be personally irresponsible and risk your own life for the life of others. No choice is right or wrong, but both choices mean being irresponsible to either the individual or to others. Responsibility is not purely social nor purely individualistic. It’s both.
Freedom exists in the realm of personal responsibility.
Duty exists in the realm of social responsibility.
Therefore it is “duty” that stands opposite to “freedom”. Both of these are forms of “responsibility”.