Someone once said: It isn’t that Christianity has been tried and found wanting; it has been tried and found difficult – and abandoned. Perhaps the same running away from righteousness is responsible for freedom’s plight for, plainly, the American people are becoming more and more afraid of and are running away from – abandoning – their very own freedom revolution.
Freedom, it seems to me, is of two broad types, psychological and sociological. The psychological – perhaps the most important of the two, but not the major concern of this book – has to do with man freeing himself form his own superstitions, myths, fears, imperfections, ignorance. This, of course, is a never-ending task to which we should give a high priority.
The sociological aspect of freedom, on the other hand, has to do with man imposing his will by force on other men. It is unfortunate that we need to spend any time on this part of the problem, for it calls for combating a situation that should not be. (p.10)
My theme is that any of one of us has a moral right to inhibit the destructive actions of another or others, and, by the same token, we have a right to organize (government) to accomplish this universal right to life, livelihood, liberty. But no living person or any combination of persons, regardless of how organized, has a moral right forcibly to direct and control the peaceful, creative, productive actions of another or others. (p.11)
The Constitution and the Bill of Rights. These were essentially a series of prohibitions – prohibitions not against the people but against the political arrangement the people, from their Old World experience, had learned to fear, namely, overextended government.
The Constitution and the Bill of Rights more severely limited government than government had ever before been limited. There were benefits that flowed from this limitation of the state.
The first benefit…was that individuals did not turn to government for security, welfare, or prosperity because government was so limited that it had little on hand to dispense; nor did its limited power permit taking from some citizens and giving to others. To what or to whom do people turn for security, welfare, and prosperity when government is not available to them? They turn to where they should turn – to themselves. (p.14)
A second benefit that flowed from this severe limitation of government: When government is limited to inhibiting the destructive actions of men, when it sticks to its sole competency of keeping the peace and invoking a common justice, then there is no organized force standing against the peaceful, productive, creative actions of citizens. As a consequence of this limitation, there was a freeing, a releasing of creative energy, on a scale unheard of before.
We must everlastingly keep in mind that its roots (the explosive growth of America) were in the revolutionary concept that the Creator, not the state, is the endower of man’s rights. (p.15)
Reflect on one of the manifestations of the original structure: each individual having freedom of choice as to how he disposes of his own income. Measure the loss in this freedom of choice (ie: taxes) and you measure the gain of socialism. (p.16)
One need not be much of an economist to realize that when the money volume is expanded, everything else being equal, the value of the monetary unit declines: prices rise. (p.19)
Inflation is the fiscal concomitant of socialism or the welfare state or state interventionism. (p.20)
I have contended that socialism can be financed only by inflation which is an expansion of money volume – with a consequent price rise as money value declines. (p.21)
The integrity of the medium of exchange (money) has to be presupposed to assume that a division-of-labor economy can function for any sustained period of time. (p.24)
As a reliance on political authoritarianism advances, a faith in free men suffers erosion and, finally, obliteration.
It would seem to follow that there is no remedy for our current devolution except as a faith in free men be restored. The evolution of such a faith, I suspect, will rest as much on an unbelief in authoritarianism as on a belief of what can be wrought by voluntarism. (p.28)