Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Freedom's underlying principles

At the Freedom School here in San Antonio we held a session moderated by Tom Palmer of the Cato Institute, who was sent local-issue editorials from almost all the Freedom newspapers and asked to analyze them. Tom is a very smart guy and a good synthesizer, and he teased out the principles underlying the editorials he was given to read, with these results:

1. Freedom papers tend to support the widest scope of personal freedom consistent with equal freedom for all.
2. The rule of law is an important principle, meaning that societies should be guided by institutions that operate consistently rather than by the personal predilections of leaders or rulers — and that the law applies to the rulers as well as the ruled.
3. Economy in government — that the primary purpose of government is to provide justice and other genuinely essential services, that choices have costs, and that when services can be provided without coercive action, the voluntary route is better.

Not a bad set of principles. Having been to a couple of them, I can't help but think that the Freedom Schools, where top-notch scholars and speakers are invited to give presentations and lead discussions on applying freedom principles to everyday issues, have something to do with this kind of consistency. I'm very pleased that Freedom Communications thinks this is important and invests some of its profits in the endeavor.

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