Freedom Philosophy


By James E. Kostrava, CAE

1. Be self-reliant and productive. (Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged, [A brief synopsis appeared in the May 1997 issue of The Freeman: Ideas on Liberty, called, “Atlas Shrugged Revisited: Forty Years of Voicing the Philosophy of Freedom,” by Edward W. Younkins, www.fee.org.]; Lawrence W. Reed, “The Quackery of Equality,” www.mackinac.org; Burton W. Folsom, Jr., The Myth of the Robber Barons.)

2. Respect others. (Golden Rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” The Bible: Matthew 7:12, “So whatever you wish that men would do to you, do so to them.”; Henry Hazlitt, The Foundations of Morality.)

3. Don’t stop anyone from doing anything that is peaceful. (Leonard E. Read, Anything That’s Peaceful).

4. Respect private property. Don’t redistribute wealth: Don’t take what is not yours. Let me keep what is mine. (Davy Crockett, “Not Yours to Give”)

5. Respect the rule of law. (Frederic Bastiat, The Law)

6. Cherish individual liberty, never putting the interests of a group above the rights of an individual. (Thomas Jefferson, Declaration of Independence of the United States of America; Friedrich A. Hayek, The Road to Serfdom, Henry Grady Weaver, The Mainspring of Human Progress.)

7. Be humble. Admit that no one is capable of fully comprehending the complexity of the free market nor has the ability to control it. (Leonard E. Read, “I, Pencil,” www.fee.org; Ludwig von Mises, Human Action; Adam Smith, An Inquiry Into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations.

8. Don’t make laws that defy human nature and basic laws of economics. (James Madison, Constitution of the United States of America; Clichés of Politics, edited by Mark Spangler; Frederic Bastiat, Selected Essays on Political Economy; Ludwig von Mises, Economic Policy; Milton Friedman, Capitalism and Freedom.)

9. Limit government to the very narrow roles of defending the peace, enforcing the law, and maintaining freedom in a civil society. (James Madison, Constitution of the United States of America; Milton and Rose Friedman, Free to Choose; Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America; The Freedom Philosophy Anthology.)

10. Consider the big picture, taking into account unintended consequences and long-term effects of public policies. (Henry Hazlitt, Economics In One Lesson.)

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