Man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains"
-- Jean-Jacques Rousseau
What is freedom?
Freedom is the ability to exercise your own free will, not the delegation of free will from someone in government.
There is a link between civil liberties and financial freedom: What good are your civil liberties if the government can take away all your money and vice versa. Freedom is a unit, personal liberty and economic liberty.
Freedom is not: doing everything you want to.
Freedom is: not having to do what you don't want to do.
This website endorses freedom, we don't endorse what people do with their freedom.
“Every man has a freedom to do all that he wills, provided that he infringes not the equal freedom of any other man.”
-- Herbert Spencer
"The key to freedom is the ability to defend yourself."
-- Ron Paul
Concentration of power
The essence of political freedom is the absence of coercion of one man by his fellow men. The fundamental danger to political freedom is the concentration of power. The existence of a large measure of power in the hands of a relatively few individuals enables them to use it to coerce their fellow men. Preservation of freedom requires either the elimination of power where that is possible or its dispersal where it cannot be eliminated.
Freedom is inalienable and inevitable
There is no known method for fully controlling other peoples minds. This makes your freedom of thought inalienable.
As a person part of your make-up is ability to choose. It is part of your nature and you can't avoid it.
If Person A tells you to stand in the left corner, if you do it, you might argue you have no freedom. But if person A tells you to stand in the left corner and person B tells you to stand in the right corner, you have three options.
Stand in the Left corner
Stand in the Right corner
No-one has taken your freedom away, whatever you do, it will be your choice regardless of how unappealing the options are.
Freedom is default position
Just as the burden of proof is on the accuser, not on the one accused. The burden of proof is one the one who would deny liberty away. One who wishes to sing a song or bake a cake should not have to start by begging permission from all others in the world. Nor should she have to rebut all possible reasons against baking or singing. The burden is on the forbidden, and that burden may be met if singer was depriving others of sleep, or the baker had dangerous cooking methods. But the presumption is for liberty.
It is the exercise of power, not the exercise of freedom that requires justification"
- Are there free and independent media, literature and other cultural expressions?
- Are there free religious institutions and is there free private and public religious expression?
- Is there freedom of assembly and demonstration?
- Is there freedom of political or quasi-political organization?
- Are there free trade unions and peasant organizations or equivalents, and is there effective collective bargaining? Are there free professional and other private organizations? (Note: This includes political parties, civic organizations, ad hoc issue groups, etc.)
- Is there an independent judiciary?
- Does the rule of law prevail in civil and criminal matters? Is the population treated equally under the law? Are police under direct civilian control?
- Is there protection from political terror, and from unjustified imprisonment, exile or torture, whether by groups that support or oppose the system, and freedom from war and insurgency situations? (Note: Freedom from war and insurgencies enhances the liberties in a free society, but the absence of war and insurgencies does not in and of itself make a not free society free.)
- Is there freedom from extreme government indifference and corruption?
- Is there open public discussion and free private discussion?
- Is there personal autonomy? Does the state control travel, choice of residence, or choice of employment? Is there freedom from indoctrination and excessive dependency on the state?
- Are property rights secure? Do citizens have the right to establish private businesses? Is private activity unduly influenced by government officials, the security forces, or organized crime?
- Are there free religious institutions and free private and public religious expressions?
- Are there personal social freedoms, including gender equality, choice of marriage partners, and size of family?
- Is there equality of opportunity, including freedom from exploitation by or dependency on landlords, employers, union leaders, bureaucrats or any other types of obstacles to a share of legitimate economic gains?
Freedom is the solution
"I believe that my theory is correct; for whatever be the question upon which I am arguing, whether it be religious, philosophical, political, or economical; whether it affects well-being, morality, equality, right, justice, progress, responsibility, property, labor, exchange, capital, wages, taxes, population, credit, or government; at whatever point of the scientific horizon I start from, I invariably come to the same thing the solution of the social problem is in liberty."
Far from entertaining the absurd idea of doing away with religion, education, property, labour, and the arts, when we say that the State ought to protect the free development of all these kinds of human activity, without helping some of them at the expense of others
Stefan Molyneux on how government enslave us.
- Before governments and tribal times, governments could only produce. There was no excess production of food or resources. This no point owning any slave. If a horse can only produce enough food to pull the horse, there is no point owning the horse.
- As people could produce excess goods needed for survival, it became profitable to own them. Even worth the effort of breaking them in and controlling them
- The Egyptian society was just a human farm
- Freedom was given to increase productivity, but we are still being controlled, and to offset the misery propaganda is used and enemies created.
Questions for libertarians
Roads enhance freedom - just as allowing rape enhances the freedom of a rapist.Freedom is not the goal, morality is the goal.
Its not the free market that causes people to lose/suffer, its their own choices.
Because I bought an IPad, or worked for a company that supplied Apple products, it does not mean I am owed some of his fortune. We are not owed the portion of someone elses sucess becasue we sat on our thumbs.
Justifications for freedom
- Utility - Greatest good for greatest amount of people
- Autonomy - Respecting the autonomy of moral agents
- Pursuit of happiness
- Natural law