Brad Miller

What is Liberty?

In Liberty on August 8, 2011 at 3:13 pm

Liberty is simply the ability to live as one chooses. Liberty is choice without external coercion through fraud, theft, or violence. It is the exercise of Free Will.

More specifically it means the freedom to choose how to live as one sees fit as long as it does not affect the ability of others to do the same. 

This is because the other side of the coin of  the freedom to choose is the responsibility of consequence.  Liberty then is choice + consequence. Liberty requires that an individual endure the consequences of his actions.

If choice is limited by an external source , the Liberty of that individual is infringed upon and if the consequence of  a choice made  is transferred to another individual, their Liberty is violated as well.

It is a very simple concept. Why do we get so lost in the weeds with the political debates today? All of the debates that we engage in should be whittled down to the basic idea of “does this action increase or decrease individual Liberty?”

Now when it comes to the plunderers in Washington we know that every Law they pass is a limit to our Individual Liberty. Every tax dollar they steal limits our ability to live our life as we choose. We should not forget either that the Government can never regulate an industry. All regulations limit personal choice. It limits both the choice of the capitalist and entrepreneur as well as the consumer. So if the financial sector is “regulated” that means that the management of a company can not employ the capital of investors in the most efficient way they see fit to meet the consumer demand.  This leads to the reduction in the choice of products and services available to the consumer. (which includes the plunderers)

Within the very concept of Liberty is predicated the ability of an individual to govern himself. He needs no external coercion to “guide” or “nudge” him concerning the decisions of his life. It is the profit/loss and trial and error system that works to “guide” and “nudge” individuals who act and then re-evaluate their choices in light of their consequences.

Today we do not live in a land that respects Liberty. Most people in this country have acquiesced to the will of State for the illusion of security. Liberty means risk. There is no way around that. The risk to fail, the risk to succeed, the risk to believe falsehoods, and the risk  to uncover truth. It also means the risk of having to defend your life and your property.  

In an environment of Maximum Individual Liberty  there still will be those who will infringe upon the rights of others. But the more Liberty individuals enjoy  the less power the State has and this limits the amount of harm  aggressors in society can do. It is my opinion that the machinery of the State has led to the death of untold millions throughout history.  Without the power of the massive tyrannical State behind him one individual can not violate the Liberty of more than a few people in his life time. 

How many people could Hitler have killed with only his two hands?

Liberty is a good thing. Liberty is the ability to choose to live your life according to what you value. It doesn’t mean running roughshod over others, because if you did you would have to face the consequences of individuals protecting their life and property.

Individual Liberty means living the fullest life you can imagine. It means acting to achieve what you desire. If the choice you make fails to achieve your desire, you re-evaluate your choice then choose differently or choose to pursue an entirely different desire all together. The choice is always up to you.

Liberty to me is an exciting concept. Gary Johnson talked about block granting Medicare back to the States because then we would have 50 laboratories of innovation to figure out the best way to purchase health care for the elderly.  Well, with Maximum Personal Liberty in Society we would have 310 million individuals acting as laboratories of innovation for everything in this country.  Entrepreneurs and Capitalists would be free to meet the demands of consumers as they saw fit. Consumers would be free to purchase the goods and services that they thought best would meet their demands.

With the current debt downgrade mess I like to imagine a world where Individual Liberty reigns. A time when there is extremely limited government or no government at all.  All peaceful choices are available to all. In this world , creative human energy would flow, technological advancements would explode, and each individual would have the best chance at becoming the individual they want to be.

Until the day I live in a Stateless Society I advocate for Maximum Individual Liberty and the elimination of as much Government as fast as possible.

And that’s my take



Suggested Reading:

On Liberty by John Stuart Mill

Liberty Defined: 50 essential issues that affect our freedom by Ron Paul

Essay on Self-Reliance by Ralph Waldo Emerson

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