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The value of freedom

Posted April. 19, 2021 07:30,   

Updated April. 19, 2021 07:30


“The only unfailing and permanent source of improvement is liberty.” - John Stuart Mill, “On Liberty“

“The guiding principle that a policy of freedom for the individual is the only truly progressive policy remains as true today as it was in the nineteenth century.” - Friedrich Hayek, “The Road to Serfdom”

Both individuals and states long for improvement, progress and prosperity. But not many know that the source of those values lies in liberty. It is regrettable that no curriculums, including tertiary education, teach the importance and meaning of liberty.  

It is a human nature to pursue happiness, and humans are happy when they are free from interference and control as each one of them is a master of their life. One may think that no one would hate freedom, but surprisingly, many dislike it. They hate diversity or thinking, which makes them want someone else to decide everything for them.  

Humanity prospered along with expansion of liberty. People are better off these days because of expanded freedom. If someone compares wealthy countries with less-wealthy countries, he or she may find that the freer a country becomes, the better of it gets. Communist states that restrict freedom are all poor.  

We are living in an era where liberty is limited, rather than expanded. It is because the world aims for big government. The government becomes bigger, individual activities are restricted and liberty shrinks as the number of laws increases and the size of government budgets grows. The path toward national prosperity lies in expanding freedom and small government. Some put more importance on equality than on freedom. But this is a wrong way of thinking because a society that prioritizes equality over freedom eventually loses both. A society that emphasizes more freedom achieves bigger freedom and equality at the same time. Numerous countries have witnessed aggravated inequality by emphasizing equality.