Enjoyment by individuals of social, political and economic rights

Articles

Give Me Liberty, by Rose Wilder Lane, 1936
Originally published as an article titled "Credo" in the Saturday Evening Post; describes her experiences in and history of Soviet Russia and Europe, contrasting them with the history of the United States, emphasizing the individualist themes
"Every advance toward personal liberty which had been gained by the religious revolution and by the political revolution, was lost by the collectivist economic reaction. ... I came out of the Soviet Union no longer a communist, because I believed in personal freedom. Like all Americans, I took for granted the individual liberty to which I had been born. It seemed as necessary and as inevitable as the air I breathed; it seemed the natural element in which human beings lived."
Individual Liberty and Civil Society, by Richard M. Ebeling, Feb 1993
Reflects on Benjamin Constant's lecture on what liberty meant to the ancient Greeks vs. the 19th century Europeans and Americans and the 20th century reversion to statism
"Our 'liberty' in the political order is to choose between political leaders with the same philosophical perspective. Once that has been done, we revert to being subjects dependent upon the increasing discretion of those we have placed in office and those who have the greatest special-interest influence in effecting the directions of state policy. ... we are continuing our journey back to the political world of three thousand years ago. We continue to trade away the modem ideal of individual liberty for the ancient ideal of collective tyranny."
Related Topics: Benjamin Constant, Society
Nothing Is More Local than the Individual, by Sheldon Richman, 31 Oct 2014
Powerful commentary on an Arkansas referendum to end county-level prohibitions on liquor sales
"... so-called local control actually constitutes a violation of the most local prerogatives of all: those of the individual. By what right does anyone prohibit an individual from engaging in peaceful commerce? If a minority of the residents of a county want to buy or sell alcohol, why should their neighbors—no matter how many—have the legal power to stop them? (And how long would a liquor store last in a town where no one drinks?)"
Stop Worrying about the Election, by Isaac M. Morehouse, Mises Daily, 3 Oct 2008
Illustrates individual freedom using The Shawshank Redemption and events in communist Poland
"... Andy Dufresne, even while imprisoned, was still free. No bars or guards or hardships could take away his freedom. Hatlen had lost his freedom, and even in the absence of physical oppression, he was still a prisoner. An individual who wants to be free can be, no matter what the world brings. An individual who has let the spirit of freedom die will never be free, no matter what the world brings."
Related Topics: Government, Poland
The Case for Optimism, by Butler Shaffer, 19 Oct 2001
Relates the change in people's behavior after the September 2001 attacks, some standing up for principle whereas others were following the herd
"One positive feature of the post-September 11th mess has been the discovery of who is, and who is not, devoted to individual liberty. It's all so easy to espouse liberty principles when there are no apparent costs associated with doing so. It becomes much tougher when the costs begin to escalate. ... To such people, there is now a greater 'cost' to leaving the security of the herd than there is a 'benefit' to living as a free, self-controlling individual."
Related Topics: September 11, 2001, Terrorism
Why Are We Afraid To Be Free?, by Butler Shaffer, 27 Nov 2001
Examines the question of how to bring about freedom in individuals' lives, discussing how government influences people to be in conflicted states and how one must look within oneself and act accordingly to begin to be "free"
"Why are so many of us preoccupied with the subject of 'freedom,' and yet seem so unclear about the conditions essential to its existence? The one question that dominates the inquiries I receive from others is this: 'what can we do to bring about a condition of freedom in our lives?' ... Still, the question is almost always misfocused, for the inquiry is generally framed in terms of how other people's thinking, or institutional systems can be changed to bring about a greater degree of individual liberty."
H.L. Mencken: The Joyous Libertarian, by Murray N. Rothbard, The Conservative Press in Twentieth-Century America, authored by Ronald Hamowy">New Individualist Review, Jun 1962
Examines the themes and style in Mencken's writings, mainly from the self-selected pieces in A Mencken Chrestomathy
"Mencken's guiding passion was individual liberty. To his good friend Hamilton Owens, he once solemnly declared: 'I believe in only one thing and that thing is human liberty. If ever a man is to achieve anything like dignity, it can happen only if superior men are given absolute freedom to think what they want to think and say what they want to say. ...' At another time he wrote that he believed in absolute individual liberty 'up to the limit of the unbearable, and even beyond.'"
How Nationalism and Socialism Arose from the French Revolution, by Dan Sanchez, 12 Apr 2017
Examines how three crucial ideas (liberalism, nationalism and socialism) emerged around the same time (18th and 19th century) and how they depended on the rise of the modern people's state
"The ideas of individual liberty and of the modern people's state emerged in close conjunction, because the two had a common enemy: the hereditary, divine princely state. ... Liberals considered the people's state, or 'political liberty,' to be an indispensable guardian of individual liberty ... The liberals among [the French revolutionaries] believed the objectives of collective power and individual liberty to be beautifully complementary, even identical. In practice, collective power waged war on individual liberty almost from the outset."
Liberalism, by Friedrich A. Hayek, New Studies in Philosophy, Politics, Economics and the History of Ideas, 1978
Chapter 9; originally written in 1973 for the Enciclopedia del Novicento; covers both the history of both strands of liberalism as well as a systematic description of the "classical" or "evolutionary" type
"The first people who had clearly formulated the ideal of individual liberty were the ancient Greeks and particularly the Athenians during the classical period of the fifth and fourth centuries BC. ... Their conception of freedom was of freedom under the law, or of a state of affairs in which, as the popular phrase ran, law was king. It found expression, during the early classical periods, in the ideal of isonomia or equality before the law which, without using the old name, is still clearly described by Aristotle."
On Liberty & License, by H. Joachim Maitre, Reason, Dec 1976
Discusses commentary by supposedly "conservative libertarians" on Nozick's Anarchy, State, and Utopia and worries about "the amoralism of some of the libertarian movement"
"Individual liberty is no end, no virtue, in itself. It is the supreme political principle, but that requires demonstration. This demonstration is impossible without a moral foundation, which too many of the better-known supporters of the free society explicitly disclaim. They are, however, ill-advised to exclude from their theory of the free society the concepts of morality, justice, and civility. As philosophical ideals and practical commitments, these qualities make for a social order acceptable to serious seekers after an alternative to today's growing State with its ill-disguised disregard for such considerations and its constantly growing enchantment with power."
Why We Consent to Oppression: Self-suppression paves the way for political suppression, by Peter R. Breggin, Reason, Sep 1977
Examines the questions posed by La Boétie in his "Discourse" from a psychological perspective, particularly how childhood self-suppression leads most adults to more easily accept government oppression
"Free will is the inner, personal, or subjective experience of liberty. It can be felt privately by the individual and it can be inferred from his public actions or conduct. Reason is closely related to free will. It can be described as systematic choice making. 'Personal sovereignty' is the term I use to designate the capacity and the right to govern one's inner world. It can be viewed as an absolute; we have the right to be absolute monarchs over our own inner experience. Personal freedom is the expression of free will in the external world."
Winning the Battle for Freedom and Prosperity, by John Mackey, Liberty, Jun 2006
Updated from speech given at FreedomFest 2004; after a brief background on himself, Mackey criticises the freedom movement from a marketing and branding perspective and suggests a different approach by de-emphasising some issues and prioritising others
"Freedom from government coercion is clearly a very, very important goal. But unless you live in a country like China, North Korea, Cuba, or Iran that lacks many personal liberties that we Westerners take largely for granted, freedom is not usually an important goal. American citizens mostly take their liberties for granted. Unlike the people in this audience, most Americans forget that vigilance is the eternal price we have to pay for protecting liberties."

Books

Free to Choose: A Personal Statement
    by Milton Friedman, Rose D. Friedman (Contributor), 1979
Contents: The Power of the Market - The Tyranny of Controls - The Anatomy of Crisis - Cradle to Grave - Created Equal - What's Wrong with Our Schools? - Who Protects the Consumer? - Who Protects the Worker? - Cure for Inflation - The Tide is Turning
How I Found Freedom in an Unfree World: A Handbook for Personal Liberty
    by Harry Browne, 1973
Partial contents: I-Why You Are Not Free - The Identity Trap - The Government Trap - II-How You Can Be Free - Freedom from Government - Freedom from Social Restrictions - III-A New Life - Who Are You? - Your Own Morality - A Fresh Start - Making Changes
Individual Liberty: Selections from the writings of Benjamin R. Tucker, by Benjamin Tucker, 1926
A collection of essays and editorials; contents: Sociology: State Socialism and Anarchism - The Individual, Society, and the State - Economics: Money and Interest - Land And Rent - Trade and Industry
"Publisher's Note: C.L.S., the editor and compiler of this book, has known Benjamin R. Tucker personally since 1891, having entered his employ at that time in the mechanical department of Liberty, Mr. Tucker's journal for the exposition of Individualist Anarchism. ... For a considerable period he had complete editorial charge, during Mr. Tucker's absence. Thus the present work has been performed by one who has entire familiarity with Liberty's philosophy and who perhaps at present has a closer sympathy with Mr. Tucker's ideas than any other person in America."
Principles for a Free Society: Reconciling Individual Liberty With the Common Good
    by Richard A. Epstein, 1998
Partial contents: Natural Law: The Utilitarian Connection - Social Norms versus Legal Commands - Harm: The Gateway to Liability - The Benefit Principle - Altruism: Its Uses and Limits - Forfeiture: The Flip Side of Rights - Boundaries: Firm and Fuzzy
  • ISBN 0201136465: Hardcover, Addison-Wesley, 1998
  • ISBN 0738200417: Hardcover, Perseus Books, 1998
  • ISBN 0738208299: Paperback, Perseus Publishing, New edition, 2002

Videos

Free to Choose: The Updated and Revised Television Series
    by Milton Friedman, 1990
Recordings of television programs, originally broadcast in 1980 on PBS; participants included David Brooks, James Galbraith, Gary Becker, Thomas Sowell, Michael Kinsley, Gordon Tullock, and Samuel Bowles; with new introductions by Ronal Reagan and others

What's So Bad About The Galactic Empire?, by Sean Malone, 4 May 2017
Analyzes the various Star Wars movies and attempts to answer the title question and conversely what is good about the Rebel Alliance
"The only answer to this question that actually makes sense is that the Empire is an awful place to live because its people lack individual freedom. Citizens of the Empire aren't secure in their possessions and property. They can't go where they want without being stopped by Imperial forces. They can be imprisoned or forced into an army without a trial or the opportunity to say no, and restrictions on trade and commerce make them poor and condemn them to getting what they need from dangerous black markets, smugglers, and gangsters."
Related Topics: Star Wars, Democracy, Militarism