The Philosophy of Liberty
You own your life.
To deny this is to imply that another person has a higher claim on your life than you do.
No other person or group of persons owns your life.
Nor do you own the lives of others.
You exist in time.
Your future is your life. To lose your life is to lose your future.
Your present is your liberty. To lose your liberty is to lose your present.
Your past is the product of your life and liberty. To lose the product of your life and liberty is to lose that portion of your past that produced it.
The product of your life and liberty is your property.
Property is the fruit of your labor, the product of your time, energy, and talents.
Property is that part of nature which you turn to valuable use.
Property is the property of others that is given to you by voluntary mutual consent.
Two people who exchange property voluntarily are both better off, or they would not do it.
Only they may rightfully make that decision for themselves.
At times some people initiate the use of force or fraud to take from others without voluntary consent.
To take life is murder.
To take liberty is slavery.
To take property is theft.
It is the same when these actions are done by one person acting alone, by many acting against the few, or even by people with fine hats.
You are justified in protecting your own life, liberty, and justly acquired property from the forceful aggression of others.
You may ask others to help defend you.
You are not justified in initiating the use of force against the life, liberty, or property of others.
You may not designate another person to initiate force against others on your behalf.
You can seek leaders for yourself, but you cannot impose rulers on to others.
They are only human beings and have no claims that are greater than those of any other human being.
Regardless of the imaginative labels for their behavior, or the numbers of people encouraging them, they still cannot murder, enslave, or steal.
You cannot give them any power you don't have yourself.
Since you own your life, you are responsible for your life.
You do not rent your life from others who demand your obedience.
You are not a slave to others who demand your sacrifice.
You choose your own goals based on your own values.
Success and failure are the necessary incentives to learn and to grow.
Your actions on behalf of others, or their own action on behalf of you is virtuous only when derived from voluntary mutual consent.
Virtue can exist only where there is free choice.
This is the basis of a truly free society.
It is not only the most practical and humanitarian foundation for human action, it is also the most ethical.
Problems in the world that arise from initiation of force by government have a solution.
The solution is for people of the world to stop asking government to initiate force on their behalf.
Evil does not arise only from evil people, but also from good people who tolerate the initiation of force as a means to their own ends.
Good people have empowered evil people throughout history.
Having confidence in a free society is to focus on the process of discovery in a marketplace of values rather than to focus on a sole imposed vision or goal.
Using government to impose a vision on others results in unintended perverse consequences.
Achieving a free society requires the courage to think, talk, and act.
Especially when it is easier to do nothing.