Freedom is the beginning, ending, middle, and totality of politics. Individual liberty is absolutely everything. Nothing else in government and the law is important, or even relevant, to society, culture, and civilization. No other value, concept, idea, or ideal even exists!
Freedom can be described as the politics, government, and law of liberty, justice, and individual rights. Those three all mean the exact same thing in terms of socio-economics and political science.
Individual liberty is probably best defined as the right to think, say, and do anything, but absolutely anything, that the individual personally wishes, or freely chooses to do, provided he respects the equal and concomitant right of his fellow man to think, say, and do anything, but absolutely anything, which he identically wishes or chooses. It's understood that none of these rights clash, conflict, compete, or contradict; rather, all of them supplement, compliment, coincide, and reinforce.
For the individual this means no (physical) force or (financial) fraud. For the government this means no personal, social, or economic taxation -- which would be theft -- or regulation -- which would be coercion.
For all people at all times, no inter-personal aggression, unwarranted attacks, or initiation of force is allowed. Force is only acceptable in competent, adult, human affairs when it's in retaliation against a force-initiator -- and even then it must be proportionate and just. It must be socially moral, and rationally justifiable and correct.
The fundamental rights of man are life, liberty, property, and privacy. No individual, group, nation, or government can ever rightfully trespass upon them. Like all rights, these are unrestricted and limitless.
Freedom can be described and defined as pure political liberalism. Or else 100% socio-personal libertarianism mixed with 100% economic laissez-faire capitalism. Both of these imply, entail, and require the other.
To get around the problem of taxation, and how to legitimately fund the government -- which no one has yet solved (except me) -- all individuals over 18 or so in a proper, legitimate, and free society must personally sign the liberal constitution, and agree to abide by it, and pay some tiny income "tax" or net worth fee. Anyone who refuses to sign, or doesn't pay his fee for services rendered, gets deported and loses his citizenship. But there's no other penalties, including fines, property confiscation, or jail time.
All individuals at all times are completely governed by Natural Law. This is so whether they know it or not, and whether they agree with it or not. Father Reality, Mother Nature, human nature, metaphysical and existential human equality, and human freedom impose Natural Law upon all men at all times absolutely.
And ignorance of this law is no excuse. Human law or "positive" law or tyrannical law never supersedes Natural Law. This universal and uniform law of "liberty and justice for all" allows for no "second class citizenships" among the various mentally sound, physically adult "citizens of the world."
It must be noted that individual freedom absolutely supersedes the values and ideals of democracy, republicanism, constitutionalism, and the separation of powers with their concomitant checks and balances. All of these are merely methods for gaining and maintaining liberty. But they aren't individual liberty themselves, nor are they valuable in and of themselves. These political techniques for governance are virtually useless and trivial next to the pure socio-economic disideratum of freedom.
Even a society governed by exceptionally foreign space aliens who call themselves kings or emperors, and who are elitist aristocrats which pass on their rule via primogeniture, and who never hold elections, or consult peoples' delegates in their rule, and who have no constitution, and which combine all executive, legislative, and judicial powers into one branch of government, etc. can still create political perfection and socio-economic utopia if they have utterly untrammeled, unlimited, unchecked, fully guaranteed individual rights.
"Minority rights" aren't real and aren't needed since they're superseded by individual rights. These are far stronger and are the only rights which actually exist. No majority (Bolshevik) or group (collective) rights exist to oppress or tyrannize the minority or the one.
The cynosure of government -- like the focus and locus of society -- is the individual. The purpose of government is to achieve the individual good. Under no circumstances should the government focus on, or even consider, "the general welfare," "the common good," "the good of all," or "the greatest good of the greatest number." These are collectivist, communist, and totalitarian values, notions, standards, and goals.
Only the individual matters, when it comes to politics, government, and the law. Only the individual truly exists. The purpose of government is to preserve, protect, and defend the exceptionally vulnerable one.
The "police power" of government to control and regulate society for the general health, welfare, benefit, prosperity, harmony, and progress of all doesn't exist. This illegitimate, improper, tyrannical power invariably tends to create a police state. And this view of the five-millenium-old "police power" of the state doesn't represent a poverty of imagination, or limited and crabbed view of government or society, but rather the intrinsic, ineluctable nature of the state.
Government by its nature is inherently reactionary, negative, and destructive. It properly attacks, forbids, and punishes crime and tyranny. But it can and should do nothing positive or pro-active. Any attempt at this will inevitably end up terrorizing, attacking, enslaving, and destroying the individual and the world.
All creative, inventive, imaginative acts by an activist government are necessarily criminal and tyrannical. A free, good, proper, legitimate government only protects and defends the individual and his rights. But it initiates nothing. Such is the nature of the state.
Although it isn't at all politically correct, multicultural, inclusive, diverse, sensitive, or even democratic and peaceful, freedom absolutely includes the right to be hateful, bigoted, stupid, and evil toward your fellow man, even if it profoundly hurts yourself, and all of society too. These four vices are socially and personally immoral, but they are also the individuals's absolute, untouchable, limitless right.
Government was invented 5300 years ago in Mesopotamia. So was writing, history, civilization, nations, war, racism, kings, priests, irrigation, the wheel, and the city. It could be referred to as The Governmental Revolution. And no event was ever more important and profound -- except the invention of reason and liberty 2700 years after.
America's Founding Fathers were the greatest political geniuses and saints that ever lived and exercised power. But they were far from perfect. They debated forever how to balance (individual) liberty with (social) power -- and never came up with the right formula. The correct answer is: individual liberty: 100%; government control of and social power over the individual: 0%.
So now politics is a problem solved. There's nothing more to discuss -- ever.
Or at least nothing serious. Nothing important. From now on it's all an argument about president vs. prime minister, bicameral vs. unicameral legislatures, appointed or elected judges, two 4-year terms or one 7-year term for the chief executive, etc. But nothing fundamental. This is a problem forever solved.
And please note: humans don't have to be "angels" as America's constitutional framers pitifully longed for. Neither the citizens nor the government leaders. The whole society can consist of, and be run by, Hitlers, Stalins, and Khomeinis. And you can still create Paradise on Earth.
All you need is infinite freedom for the individual. Once you have 100% personal liberty and 100% self-responsibility this will free and force the fascists, communists, and Muslims to completely behave personally, and entirely get along socially.
Individual liberty is the alpha and omega of society and the state. When it comes to government, freedom is perfection, utopia, and the definitive last word.
KYREL ZANTONAVITCH is the director of
The Liberal Institute