Freedom is the physical manifestation of agency and consequences, in the absence of coercion.

Key 3 Analysis

Practicing Freedom is a daily exercise in the Economic Realm.  A Free Market Economy (free from government intervention) results in Economic Prosperity.  We say, “Freedom precedes prosperity.”  Freedom gives incentive to try new ideas.

Freedom is the opportunity to apply free will in pursuing personal goals, preferred occupations, and religious worship as a few examples.  Freedom allows the opportunity to try, but gives no guarantee of successful outcomeDr. W. Cleon Skousen describes this as:

“Freedom to Try, Freedom to Buy, Freedom to Sell, Freedom to Fail.”

“The highest level of prosperity occurs when there is a free-market economy and a minimum of government regulations.”  Principle #15 The Five Thousand Year Leap p. 179

Freedom is having the opportunity to be able to own property.  This is much more than just buying land and farming it.  It is ability to own all personal property, everything we exchange for our labor.  Intellectual property; such as things we create with our hands, minds, invent, write,   Products of our industry, time, talents, services, knowledge, mind, rent, develop, etc.

In a free society, government is not authorized to redistribute the wealth (the labors of the people).  Individual charity, families, and churches at the local levels help people in need.  Government can only do what we as individuals can do.  We cannot justifiably take from our neighbor to give to ourselves or to others who we think are in need, and neither can the government.

We like to also think of freedom as also the accumulation of right choices.  People who have mastered their mind, body, appetites, who have persevered in spite of challenges, who have taken responsibility for their own choices and consequences have been able to prosper magnificently.  The key is that they had the opportunity to try.

Sometimes we call this the American Dream because people can pursue their own interests.    This means they also have the possibility to fail.  There is not a constitutionally authorized safety net that government or some other entity will bail them out.  There are no entitlements, other than an opportunity to try.

Miraculous inventions and discoveries have exploded into existence because freedom allowed discovery and that the creators could reap the profits of their own labor.  Freedom in the economic realm is known as a free market or as capitalism. It has been said this way “Capitalism is the unequal distribution of wealth and Communism is the equal distribution of poverty.”  Under communism there is no incentive for people to excel or produce more than the minimum required.

The United States Constitution is the Charter for Freedom;  it allows freedom to prosper because it restricts government intervention or coercion.


Government is not reason; it is not eloquence. It is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master.      George Washington

* * *

That Religion, or the Duty which we owe our Creator, and the manner of discharging it, can be directed only by Reason and Convictions, not by Force or Violence; and therefore all Men are equally entitled to the free exercise of Religion, according to the Dictates of Conscience; and that it is the mutual Duty of all to practice Christian Forbearance, Love, and Charity towards each other.”      George Mason

* * *

 . . enlightened by a benign religion, professed, indeed, and practiced in various forms, yet all of them inculcating honesty, truth, temperance, gratitude, and the love of man; acknowledging and adoring an overruling Providence, which by all its dispensations proves that it delights in the happiness of man here and his greater happiness hereafter — with all these blessings, what more is necessary to make us a happy and a prosperous people? Still one thing more, fellow-citizens — a wise and frugal Government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government, and this is necessary to close the circle of our felicities.      Thomas Jefferson March 4, 1801   First Inaugural Address

* * * 

If we were directed from Washington when to sow and when to reap, we should soon want bread.     Thomas Jefferson

* * * 

I think we have more machinery of government than is necessary, too many parasites living on the labor of the industrious.      Thomas Jefferson Letter to William Ludlow, 1824

* * * 

I own myself the friend to a very free system of commerce, and hold it as a truth, that commercial shackles are generally unjust, oppressive and impolitic –  it is also a truth, that if industry and labour are left to take their own course, they will generally be directed to those objects which are the most productive, and this in a more certain and direct manner than the wisdom of the most enlightened legislature could point out.     James Madison, speech to the Congress, April 9, 1789

* * *

It is the highest impertinence and presumption, therefore, in kings and ministers, to pretend to watch over the economy of private people, and to restrain their expense, either by sumptuary laws, or my prohibiting the importation of foreign luxuries.  They are themselves always, and without any exception, the greatest spendthrifts in the society.  Let them look well after their own expense, and they may safely trust private people with theirs.  If their own extravagance does not ruin the state, that of their subjects never will.      Adam Smith, Wealth of Nations, page 442 

* * *

Frederic Bastiat:

Socialists desire to practice legal plunder, not illegal plunder. Socialists, like all other monopolists, desire to make the law their own weapon. And when once the law is on the side of socialism, how can it be used against socialism? For when plunder is abetted by the law, it does not fear your courts, your gendarmes, and your prisons. Rather, it may call upon them for help.

To prevent this, you would exclude socialism from entering into the making of laws? You would prevent socialists from entering the Legislative Palace? You shall not succeed, I predict, so long as legal plunder continues to be the main business of the legislature. It is illogical – in fact, absurd – to assume otherwise.

The Choice is ours.

This question of legal plunder must be settled once and for all, and there are only three ways to settle it:

            The few plunder the many.

            Everybody plunders everybody.

            Nobody plunders anybody.

We must make our choice among limited plunder, universal plunder, and no plunder. The law can follow only one of these three.

Limited legal plunder: This system prevailed when the right to vote was restricted. One would turn back to this system to prevent the invasion of socialism.

Universal legal plunder: We have been threatened with this system since the franchise was made universal. The newly enfranchised majority has decided to formulate law on the same principle of legal plunder that was used by their predecessors when the vote was limited.

No legal plunder: This is the principle of justice, peace, order, stability, harmony, and logic. Until the day of my death, I shall proclaim this principle with all the force of my lungs (which alas! is all too inadequate).      Frederic Bastiat (1801-1850) The Law

* * *

If, from the more wretched parts of the old world, we look at those which are in an advanced stage of improvement, we still find the greedy hand of government thrusting itself into every corner and crevice of industry, and grasping the spoil of the multitude. Invention is continually exercised, to furnish new pretenses for revenues and taxation. It watches prosperity as its prey and permits none to escape without tribute.     Thomas Paine, Rights of Man, 1791

* * *

By removing the organization of economic activity from the control of political authority, the market eliminates this source of coercive power.      Milton Friedman, Capitalism and Freedom p. 15

 * * *

The idea that political freedom can be preserved in the absence of economic freedom, and vice versa, is an illusion.  Political freedom is the corollary of economic freedom.  It is no accident that the age of capitalism became also the age of government by the people.     Ludwig Von Misses, Planning for Freedom, p.38

* * * 

There are two potential violators of man’s rights; the criminals and the government.  The great achievement of the United States was to draw a distinction between these two–by forbidding to the second the legalized version on the activities of the first. . . . the government was set to protect man from criminals–and the Constitution was written to protect man from the government.  The Bill of Rights was not directed against private citizens, but against the government–as an explicit declaration that individual rights supersede any public or social power.      Ayn Rand The Virtue of Selfishness, Man’s Rights, pp. 111,112

 * * *

 The highest level of prosperity occurs when there is a free market economy and a minimum of government regulation.     Dr. W. Cleon Skousen  5000 Year Leap Principle #15

* * *