The liberty principle for this Freedom Friday is that economic freedom for individuals is the key to creating freedom for everyone. This is the reason why a free enterprise system is far superior to any system of coercive collectivism. Individuals in a free market society control their economic success by their willingness to work for it. The individual is not important in socialism or communism and can be sacrificed for the good of collective.
In his article titled “Why Economic Freedom Is Ethical, Effective Alternative to Coercive Collectivism,” Anthony B. Kim wrote, “societies with higher degrees of economic freedom thrive because they capitalize more fully on the ability of individuals to innovate and prosper.” Noting that Marxism-Leninism place no value on individuals because “they exist to serve the state; the state does not exist to serve them.” He then compared Marxist-Leninist ideology to a free market democracy.
Indeed, the discussion of freedom to choose has at its core consideration of the relationship between the individual and the state. As a vital component of human dignity, autonomy, and personal empowerment, liberty is valuable as an end unto itself.
Just as important, however, is the fact that freedom provides a proven formula for economic prosperity and societal progress. It’s ultimately about moving societies forward for the benefit of a greater number of people.
As documented in The Heritage Foundation’s annual Index of Economic Freedom, societies with higher degrees of economic freedom thrive because they capitalize more fully on the ability of individuals to innovate and prosper.
Economies rated “free” or “mostly free” enjoy incomes that are more than twice the average levels in all other countries and more than five times higher than the per capita gross domestic product of “repressed” economies.
The pursuit of, and commitment to, free market policies clearly pave a proven way to more vibrant growth and greater prosperity.
In fact, history tells us that the human spirit thrives on fairness, opportunity, transparency, and liberty.
Kim continues his article by reminding his readers of “the collapse of the Soviet Union three decades ago.” He recognized that the “false and outmoded ideologies” could have “emotional and political appear for some,” but the results of such government policy are “poverty, deprivation, and oppression.” He concluded his article with this quote from Austrian-British economist and philosopher Friedrich von Hayek:
To build a better world, we must have the courage to make a new start. We must clear away the obstacles with which human folly has recently encumbered our path and release the creative energy of individuals.
We must create conditions favourable to progress rather than “planning progress.” … The guiding principle in any attempt to create a world of free men must be this: A policy of freedom for the individual is the only truly progressive policy.
Our government has adopted numerous socialistic practices over the years, and there are many voices in our nation calling for us to adopt more of them. Such decisions are made by the politicians we elect. This is one reason why Americans should look past the promises being made to the results they will bring. We should remember that the government cannot give anything to one group without taking it from another. We should also remember that people work to earn the rewards and will cease working if the rewards go to other people.