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Where Can You Find Freedom Today?

Territory in west central Europe, ruled since 1848 by the Schweizerische Eidgenossenschaft - Confédération suisse - Confederazione Svizzera

Switzerland, officially the Swiss Confederation, is a landlocked country in west-central Europe. It is bordered by Italy to the south, France to the west, Germany to the north and Austria and Liechtenstein to the east. Switzerland is geographically divided between the Swiss Plateau, the Alps and the Jura; the Alps occupy the greater part of the territory, whereas most of the country's population of nine million people are concentrated on the plateau, which hosts its largest cities and economic centers, including Zürich, Geneva and Basel. Switzerland originates from the Old Swiss Confederacy established in the late Middle Ages, following a series of military successes against Austria and Burgundy; the Federal Charter of 1291 is considered the country's founding document.

Geographical type: Territory

Latitude: 46.83° N — Longitude: 8.33° E

Area: 41,285 km²

ISO 3166-2 code: CH

Birthplace of

Benjamin Constant, in Lausanne, on 25 Oct 1767

Deathplace of

William Henry Chamberlin, on 12 Sep 1969
Vilfredo Pareto, in Céligny, on 19 Aug 1923
Erich Maria Remarque, in Locarno, on 25 Sep 1970
Wilhelm Röpke, in Geneva, on 12 Feb 1966
Léon Walras, in Clarens, on 5 Jan 1910

Measures of Freedom

Economic Freedom Summary Index, Economic Freedom of the World, 19 Sep 2023
2021: 8.47, Rank: 3
Human Freedom Index [PDF], The Human Freedom Index 2023: A Global Measurement of Personal, Civil, and Economic Freedom
2021: 9.01, Rank: 1, Personal freedom: 9.39, Economic freedom: 8.47
Switzerland: Freedom in the World 2024 Country Report, Freedom in the World 2024
2024: Status: Free, Aggregate Score: 96/100, Political Rights: 39/40, Civil Liberties: 57/60
The political system of Switzerland is characterized by decentralization and direct democracy. Civil liberties are generally respected in the country, though laws and policies adopted in recent years have reflected a growing wariness of immigration and minority groups, which face societal and systemic discrimination.


"Bad Money Drives Out Good", by Charles Adams, Freedom Daily, Dec 2003
Explains Gresham's Law, recounting how Queen Elizabeth I restored pure silver coinage, how the Romans debased the Greek silver drachma and how Swiss bankers bought gold from the U.S. Treasury in the early 1970s
To prove that gold was of no real value except for jewelry, 30 years ago the U.S. Treasury started selling gold in Fort Knox at about $150 an ounce. Guess who bought the gold at that price? The Swiss bankers—not so dumb as to believe the U.S. fiscal authorities that gold had no monetary use ... [T]he Swiss remained true to the monetary value of gold by requiring that all Swiss francs be backed by a certain percentage of gold. No runaway printing-press francs for the gnomes of Zurich. Right now, the Swiss have made a bundle on the monetary antics of the U.S. Treasury and the Federal Reserve.
Related Topics: Gold Standard, Great Britain, Money
The Case For a Libertarian Political Party, by David Nolan, The Individualist, Aug 1971
A few months before founding the Libertarian Party, Nolan presents his rationale for establishing a new political party, after discussing four other libertarian activist strategies and admitting that "political approaches are inherently coercive"
[M]ost of us have been raised ... to believe that the two-party system is The Best Of All Possible Arrangements. We are told ... that it is the hallmark of a free society—with the Soviet one-party system held up as its antithesis ... [L]ogically speaking, if a one-party system is tyrannical, a two-party system is only one step removed from tyranny. And empirical evidence shows that ... Germany, France, and Australia ... are not significantly more repressive than our own country—and Switzerland, which has a four-party system, is probably the least despotic of any of the world's major nations.
The Mont Pelerin Society's 50th Anniversary, by Greg Kaza, The Freeman, Jun 1997
Historical and anecdotal essay about the founding of the Mont Pelerin Society and its first meeting, including insights on post World War II Germany
A visitor to Mont Pelerin is immediately struck by the breathtaking, panoramic view. A broad piazza overlooks Lac Léman (Lake Geneva) and the alpine Dents du Midi, which are visible in the distance. Across the lake is Evian-les-Bain, France ... One nearby resort town is Montreux, home of a well-known international jazz festival. From Vevey, a funicular railway travels up the mountainside to Mont Pelerin, a quiet, semi-rural setting conducive not only for reflection, but for hiking as well. One can hike ten minutes from the railway and stand in a rural field, surrounded by ... lush green grass.
Terrorism Comes with Empire, by Jacob G. Hornberger, 8 Jul 2005
Reflects on the 7 July 2005 London bombings (and 1993 and 2001 attacks in New York and the Pentagon) and why England and the U.S. were the targets rather than Switzerland
Question: Why didn't the terrorists strike Switzerland instead of England? After all, the two countries share the same "freedom and values," don't they? Answer: The Swiss government didn't attack Iraq. It doesn't meddle in the Middle East. It didn't participate in the brutal sanctions against the Iraqi people. It doesn't maintain an empire of overseas bases. It doesn't go abroad in search of monsters to destroy. The Swiss government minds its own business. That's why the terrorists did not strike Switzerland.

The introductory paragraph uses material from the Wikipedia article "Switzerland" as of 26 Apr 2024, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.