Freedom Circle logo
Freedom Circle

Where Can You Find Freedom Today?

Accepting the consequences of one's actions


Alternative Medicine Is Libertarian Medicine, by Butler Shaffer, 2 Dec 2006
Discusses several aspects of healthcare, including self-ownership, being responsible for our own care, decentralized information, the collapse of external authorities and the dehumanizing decisions resulting from institutionalized healthcare
Perhaps the most encouraging consequence of this movement toward more individually-centered, alternative systems, is the emergence of an increased willingness of men and women to take the responsibility for their lives. Liberty and responsibility are obverse sides of the same coin, inseparable from one another. Each of us is responsible—in a causal sense—for the consequences of our actions because we were in control of those actions. In the same way that a tornado can be said to have been responsible for the destruction of Smith's barn, being in control of our energies makes us responsible.
"And the Pursuit of Happiness": Nathaniel Branden, RIP, by Sheldon Richman, The Goal Is Freedom, 12 Dec 2014
Memorial essay, including some personal recollections, with emphasis on Branden's work on self-esteem and self-responsibility, and a preamble on the quoted phrase in the United States Declaration of Independence
In a free society, self-responsibility and the things that make it possible are critical because, among other reasons, you cannot compel anyone to take care of you, even if you would want that. Self-responsibility should not be mistaken for the caricature of atomistic individualism propagated so frantically by ignorant or dishonest critics of libertarianism and Objectivism ... We want and need freedom ... so that we may live happy lives. An essential ingredient of happiness is self-direction: the setting of one's life course, the choosing of worthwhile goals, and the striving to achieve them.
Another Meaning To September 11th, by Butler Shaffer, 19 Sep 2001
Reflects on the attacks of 11 Sep 2001, arguing against top-down poltical systems and in favor of "decentralized, spontaneous systems" such as the marketplace and emphasizing the need for individual responsiblity
The only people who were able to make a difference ... were ... a handful of courageous passengers who, devoid of any formal training or authority ... were apparently able to subdue the terrorists and bring down the plane, perhaps saving hundreds of lives. These passengers represent the real 'new world order': men and women taking control over and responsibility for their own lives and, in the process, bringing decision-making back to the individual. We are once again reminded that whatever orderliness prevails in our world is determined by how ordinary people respond to the immediate events in their lives.
A Clarion Call for Health Independence, by Wendy McElroy, 31 Jan 2007
A review of the movie Lorenzo's Oil (1992), exploring its main themes
The boy is going to die and soon; that is the consensus of every doctor ... Lorenzo is going to live; that is the quest of his parents. ... At first, they accept the experimental treatments ... Soon the Odones are ... pursuing every footnote on human or animal research ... Lorenzo's Oil is a counterargument to the assumed need for government funding and law to regulate all things medical ... The movie is a clarion call for individuals to take control of their own bodies and their own medical well being. It is the triumph of personal responsibility over bureaucracy, the individual over the system.
Related Topics: Health Care, Marriage
Conscience on the Battlefield, by Leonard E. Read, 1981
Pamphlet written in 1951, during the Korean War, revised edition in 1981; Read recalls the 1918 incident when the troopship he was on was sunk by a German submarine and wonders about his thoughts if he were dying (in 1951) on a Korean battlefield
A woman is a woman. A child is a child, with as much a right to an opportunity for Self-realization as you. To take a human life–at whatever age, or of any color–is to take a human life. You imply that you feel no personal responsibility for having killed these people. Why, then, did you personally accept the "honors"? According to your notions, no one person is responsible for the deaths of these people. Yet, they were destroyed. Seemingly, you expect collective arrangements such as "the army" or "the government" to bear your guilt. Yet you expect ... bestowal of personal honors for virtues.
Creativity and Criminality: The Two Faces of Responsibility: Do the Mentally Ill Lack Self-Control?, by Thomas Szasz, The Freeman, Nov 2000
Questions the distinctions made between "good" creative geniuses and "bad" (mad, criminal) geniuses, and the contention that so-called insane individuals cannot control their behavior
Accordingly, we view the mad person as having a disease (insanity) that deprives him of moral agency and hence responsibility. The evidence? That mad persons (mental patients) disavow choosing their actions and attribute their (illegal, destructive) actions to other agents, typically God or 'voices'; and that psychiatrists eagerly validate this misinterpretation by accepting the patients' claims as valid, attributing their 'symptoms' to irresistible impulses lodged in the chemistry of their brains, and excusing their crimes as the products of 'sick brains.'
Criminal Justice? The Legal System vs. Individual Responsibility, by Joseph Sobran, The Freeman, Sep 1995
Review of the title book, edited by Robert James Bidinotto and published in 1995 by the Foundation for Economic Education
Progressives used to talk confidently about 'building a new society.' Well, here it is. They've built it. We're in it. The intellectual cornerstone of the New Society was determinism: the belief that human behavior is in principle caused by factors outside the agent's control. Once the psychological and/or socioeconomic 'root causes' of undesired behavior—be it crime or capitalism—are found and addressed, that behavior can be methodically, 'scientifically' eliminated. ... Even our official language expresses the regnant ideology. Hence we now have departments not of penal justice, but of 'correction.'
Related Topic: Dave Walter
The Cruel Joke of Sacralizing Voting, by Sheldon Richman, The Goal Is Freedom, 7 Feb 2014
Comments on an MSNBC TV spot implying that voting is the only way to express oneself that really counts
Since voting has no practical consequences for the individual ... most of the burden falls on others — the system encourages irresponsibility. An individual voter is like a toddler in a car seat with a pretend steering wheel ... most people have zero incentive to undertake the considerable effort and expense it would take to become seriously informed ... Compare this systemic irresponsibility with the responsibility people routinely exercise in the marketplace and the rest of civil society, venues where their choices and actions really matter because they expect to reap both the benefits and the costs.
Related Topics: Benjamin Constant, Voting
'Date Rape' on Campus, by Murray N. Rothbard, The Rothbard-Rockwell Report, Feb 1991
Discusses recent alleged epidemic of "date rape" on college campuses, as reported by the New York Times
Are we now to include in rape any sex taking place after liquor is imbibed? ... Everyone is responsible for whatever he or she imbibes, unless the guy spiked the girl's drink without her knowledge (not mentioned in any of these cases) and everyone is responsible for their own actions, liquor or not.
Related Topics: Romantic Love, Sexual Pleasure
Dialectics and Liberty, by Chris Matthew Sciabarra, The Freeman, Sep 2005
Written ten years after publication of the first two of Sciabarra's "Dialectic and Liberty" trilogy, discusses Hayek's and Rand's dialectical analysis approaches and suggests that such context-keeping analysis is important in radical libertarian theory
This is a system ... of reciprocal connections between social psychology, culture, and politics:
Freedom to order our own conduct ... and responsibility for the arrangement of our own life ... Responsibility, not to a superior, but to one's conscience, ... the necessity to decide which of the things one values ... and to bear the consequences of one's own decision, are the very essence of any morals which deserve the name ...
Hayek understood that under advancing statism, culture tends to both promote and reflect those social practices that undermine individual self-responsibility.
The Drug War's Immorality and Abject Failure, by Anthony Gregory, Freedom Daily, Jul 2006
Discusses how drug use differs from criminal, property-rights violations, the justifications for the drug war and the many areas where it has had detrimental effects on society: inner cities, rule of law, foreign relations, etc.
Some people argue that, regardless of its myriad troubles, the drug war must persist because people are less responsible if they abuse drugs. But this could also be true if they watch too much TV, or gamble, or sleep around, or get into a bad relationship, or eat too much sugar or not enough vegetables. People can also have serious problems with legal drugs. All of these behaviors and habits can affect a person negatively, as well as the people around him. Nevertheless, it would make no moral or practical sense to arrest and jail people to make them act more responsibly in these respects.
An Economic Perspective on Illegal Drugs, by Paul Heyne, "Are Economists Basically Immoral?" and Other Essays on Economics, Ethics, and Religion, Feb 1990
Chapter 25, originally published in Forum; suggests various policies for dealing with the negative externalities of drug use
Suppose we committed ourselves to the position that all adult persons have the legal right to mess up their own lives as long as they do not let the costs spill over onto others? They would be legally entitled to purchase and use marijuana, heroin ... or alcohol but would have no right to impose the costs of their altered mind states on other people who had not consented ... Costs imposed on others without their consent are known in economics as negative externalities. The solution to the problem of negative externalities lies in turning the costs fully back upon those whose actions generate them.
Related Topic: War on Drugs
Escape from Responsibility, by Sheldon Richman, May 1996
Discusses legal cases where victims attempt to hold third-parties (e.g., book publishers, gun manufacturers, tobacco companies) responsible for crimes or other harms
The welfare state teaches the implicit lesson that you are not responsible for yourself. You will be taken care of. The "safety net" will catch you if you fall ... In a free society, a basic distinction is made between acts and words. Furnishing information on how to kill a human being is not the same as killing a human being. Many novels and movies, not to mention technical nonfiction works, provide information on how to kill. That information could be used to murder. Are novelists, movie producers, and technical authors to be held responsible for the use to which their information is put?
Related Topics: Health, Freedom of Speech
Feeding Obesity, by Scott McPherson, 13 Feb 2004
A Foreign Policy by and for Knaves, by Sheldon Richman, The Goal Is Freedom, 10 Oct 2014
Further thoughts on Richman's "Does Freedom Require Empire" (5 Sep 2014) prompted by Daniel McCarthy's counterpoint article as well as David Hume's and Leonard Read's writings
In the private sphere we tend to deal with other people face to face; we bear most of the costs of our actions; and we enjoy most of the benefits. This induces a sense of responsibility, and experience is a hard teacher. In contrast, politicians and bureaucrats spend other people's money (obtained by force), have other people do the heavy lifting (how many personally invaded Iraq?), and hardly ever suffer the consequences of their bad decisions ... No [one] was fired after the 9/11 attacks or the Iraq invasion, but some were promoted or awarded Medals of Freedom. (... In politics, it's irresponsibility all the way down.)
Freedom Evolves, by Ronald Bailey, 19 Feb 2003
Review of philosophy professor Daniel C. Dennett's book Freedom Evolves
However, if a person does something without being coerced, she chose to do it and she deserves whatever praise or blame her action merits. This view is well summed up with philosopher Alfred Mele's notion of a Default Responsibility Principle: 'If no one else is responsible for your being in state A, you are.' Our everyday practical moral reasoning allows us to figure out which people are morally responsible and which are not. For example, ... we hold jilted wives who run over their unfaithful husbands accountable because they know or should know that that is the wrong thing to do.
Related Topics: Evolution, David Hume
Freedom, Virtue, and Responsibility, Part 1, by Jacob G. Hornberger, Apr 1994
Examines some of the reasons why so many believe that drug legalization is a bad idea and that the war on drugs should go on, pointing out that not even penitentaries, German concentration camps or police states are drug free
What is the link between the type of political and economic system under which we suffer and the urge to trip out on mind-altering drugs? The welfare state and the managed economy create a sense of hopelessness and despair. The welfare state provides a constant, never-ending message: ... You are a bad, irresponsible people ... You are not old enough or responsible enough to manage your own lives ... [O]nce a person becomes convinced that he is ... unworthy of trust, and unable to handle responsibility—then don't drugs, including alcohol, provide a convenient way to escape the resulting shame?
Related Topics: War on Drugs, Society, The State
Freedom, Virtue, and Responsibility, Part 3, by Jacob G. Hornberger, Jun 1994
Explains the counterintuitive notion that in order to achieve a caring, compassionate, "good" society it is necessary to allow everyone the freedom to be irresponsible, to do anything they want as long it does not infringe on others' equal freedom
But underlying the entire principle of the free society is this: the right to be irresponsible, so long as it's peaceful ... When people are free to choose their way in life, they are confronted with an ever-increasing range of choices. Should I help that person who is starving? Should I ingest that harmful substance? ... And it is only through these daily choices that a person can ever develop a sense of "right" conduct. Does this mean that the choices will always be the "right" ones? Of course not. But that's the point! In order to develop the sense of "right" conduct, the person must be free to engage in the "wrong" conduct.
Give Me Liberty [PDF], by Rose Wilder Lane, 1936
Originally published as an article titled "Credo" in the Saturday Evening Post; describes her experiences in and history of Soviet Russia and Europe, contrasting them with the history of the United States, emphasizing the individualist themes
An American could look at the whole world around him and take what he wanted from it, if he were able ... But anyone whose freedom has been, as mine has always been, freedom to earn a living if possible, knows that this independence is another name for responsibility. The American pioneers phrased this clearly and bluntly. They said, "Root, hog, or die." There can be no third alternative for the shoat let out of the pen, to go where he pleases and do what he likes. Individual liberty is individual responsibility. Whoever makes decisions is responsible for results.
Henry David Thoreau and "Civil Disobedience," Part 3, by Wendy McElroy, Freedom Daily, May 2005
Further examination of themes in "Civil Disobedience", including unjust laws, politicians and reformers, voting, when to resist the state and the influence on Gandhi
Thoreau's disdain for politicians may seem a logical extension of his disrespect for "the law" but many reformers disrespected the law without holding lawmakers personally responsible. The viewpoint of such people overlooked the role of "choice," Thoreau argues. Every politician who enacts a law chooses to do so; every agent who enforces a law chooses to do so. If officials create or enforce a law with which they disagree, then they have surrendered their conscience to the state and should be held personally responsible for that decision.
How the Welfare State Corrupted Sweden, by Per Bylund, Mises Daily, 31 May 2006
People seem unable to enjoy life without responsibility for one's actions and choices, and it is impossible to feel pride and independence without having the means to control one's life. The welfare state has created a dependent people utterly incapable of finding value in life ...
Related Topics: Day Care, Sweden, Unemployment
How To Get Action, by Leonard Read, Ideas on Liberty, May 1955
First published in the quarterly Ideas on Liberty; reprinted in the 1958 collection Essays on Liberty, Vol. III and in The Freeman Aug 1998; argues the best form of action is working on self-improvement
This mania for organizing is usually little more than an effort, doubtless unwitting, to transfer responsibility from oneself to some other person or persons whose competence is often unknown. Responsibility and authority always go hand in hand. Thus, if this process of organizing succeeds, authority over one's own actions is lost precisely in the degree that responsibility is shifted to someone else ... The inclination to escape personal responsibility—plus the belief that somehow intellectual miracles can be wrought by us on someone else—is too pervasive for easy rejection.
The Humanitarian with the Guillotine, by Isabel Paterson, Ideas on Liberty, Sep 1955
Reprinted from The God of the Machine (1943), chapter XX; analyzes the negative consequences of "humanitarians" (or professional philanthropists) and politicians actions to provide relief to the needy
If the primary objective of the philanthropist ... is to help others, his ultimate good requires that others shall be in want ... If he wishes to help "humanity," the whole of humanity must be in need. The humanitarian wishes to be a prime mover in the lives of others. He cannot admit either the divine or the natural order, by which men have the power to help themselves ... But he is confronted by two awkward facts; first, that the competent do not need his assistance; and second, that the majority of people, if unperverted, positively do not want to be "done good" by the humanitarian.
Related Topics: Communism, Life, Taxation, World War II
Individual Responsibility Is Key to Health Care Concerns, by Milton A. Kamsler Jr., Health Care News, 1 Apr 2002
Interview with Nathaniel Branden, by Nathaniel Branden, Karen Reedstrom, Full Context, Sep 1996
In two parts; topics range from David Kelley, objectivisim, Ayn Rand, his memoir Judgment Day, Barbara Branden, Leonard Peikoff, homosexuality, self-esteem and more
The principle is, when people act, at any age, they need to know what they are doing, they need to operate consciously, and they need to be able and willing to take responsibility for the consequences of their actions. This clearly excludes girls who get pregnant at 14 and the boys who impregnate them ... We live in a time of great irresponsibility and one manifestation of the irresponsibility is children having children and getting themselves diseased and passing that disease to others. There is no such thing as sexual morality. There is only morality. There is ... living responsibly or not living responsibly.
Iraqi Death by Political Abstraction, by Sheldon Richman, 5 Jun 2006
Examines the causes of the 2005 Haditha killings, reflecting on Leonard Read's notable essay "Conscience in the Battlefield"
Realization that responsibility rises to the very top does not, of course, exonerate anyone below. The Marines at Haditha didn't have to pull the triggers, killing women, children, and infants. They didnt have to be in Iraq at all ... As for those already in uniform, they too had choices. They could have refused to go. That surely would have had unpleasant consequences, but that's life. What they can't do is deny responsibility on the grounds that they bought the Bush administration's line that they were serving their country. Any thinking person could see through that. There is no obligation to obey an immoral order.
Law, Property Rights, and Air Pollution [PDF], by Murray N. Rothbard, Cato Journal, 1982
Examines the principles of tort law, how to determine what is just property and how to deal with invasions of property such as air pollution
Epstein's second argument is contained in the sentence: "X corporation hurt me because its servant did so in the course of his employment." Here Epstein commits the error of conceptual realism, since he supposes that a "corporation" actually exists, and that it committed an act of aggression. In reality, a "corporation" does not act; only individuals act, and each must be responsible for his own actions and those alone. Epstein may deride Holmes's position as being based on the "nineteenth-century premise that individual conduct alone was the basis of individual responsibility," but Holmes was right nevertheless.
Libertarians and Liberalism: Essays in Honour of Gerard Radnitzky, by George Leef, The Freeman, Jul 1997
Review of the 1996 book, edited by Hardy Bouillon, which includes essays by Walter Block, Arthur Seldon, Hans Sennholz, Anthony de Jasay, Gordon Tullock, Antony Flew and Vaclav Klaus
People want freedom to do the things they like, but want the state to succor them when things go awry. As [Anthony de Jasay] says, 'The rough underside of freedom is responsibility for oneself. The fewer the institutional obstacles an individual faces in choosing acts to fit his preferences, the more his life is what he makes of it, and the less excuse he has for what he has made of it. ... The corollary of an individual's discretion to contribute to or coldly ignore the purposes of the community is that he has no good claims upon it to advance his purposes.'
Related Topic: Rule of Law
The Mainspring of Human Progress by Henry Grady Weaver, by William H. Peterson, The Freeman, Jun 1998
Review of the 1997 edition of Weaver's classic, published by the Foundation for Economic Education, with a preface by FEE founder Leonard Read and a new introduction by John Hood (author of The Heroic Enterprise)
Freedom cannot be separated from personal accountability. The Ten Commandments and the biblical injunctions against covetousness, and to 'love thy neighbor as thyself' go far to explain the triumph of laissez-faire capitalism. As Weaver wrote: 'Your natural freedom—your control over your own life-energy—was born in you along with life itself. It is a part of life itself. No one can give it to you, nor can you give it to someone else. Nor can you hold any other person responsible for your acts. Control simply can’t be separated from responsibility; control is responsibility.'
Related Topic: Austrian Economics
Parallels Between Liberty and Health, by Rich Schwartzman, 30 Sep 2011
Discusses guidelines from the Food and Drug Administration that attempt to regulate nutritional supplements as synthetic food preservatives, in spite of the 1994 Dietary Supplements Health and Education Act, and the advertising concept of "social proof"
"Right now, ... most people, concerned about fitting in, still follow doctors, the media—any 'authority figure' that makes them feel comfortable—and not responsible." ... "The important thing is that we take responsibility for our own health—no matter what others think. Living the best possible life is a whole lot better than following the crowd into the ditch," [Bette] Dowdell wrote. That, too, sounds familiar. Personal responsibility is the balancing factor for individual liberty. We are responsible for maintaining both our health and our liberty. Government can't do the former and won't do the latter.
Related Topics: Health Care, The State
Persuasion versus Force, by Mark Skousen, Liberty, Sep 1991
Based on the "From Force to Persuasion" chapter in Alfred North Whitehead's Adventures of Ideas (1933), Skousen suggests a new libertarian creed, "The triumph of persuasion over force is the sign of a civilized society"
It is significant that Professor Whitehead chose the word "persuasion," not simply "freedom," as the ideal characteristic of the civilized world. The word "persuasion" embodies both freedom of choice and responsibility for choice. In order to persuade, you must have a moral philosophy, a system of right and wrong that governs you ... Freedom without responsibility only leads to the destruction of civilization ... I have a vision of a free society, not because of a benevolent dictator commands it, but because we love freedom and the responsibility that goes with it.
Responsibility, by Charley Reese, 10 Apr 2006
... some folks view the tort system as a trip to Las Vegas or as a lottery. If they are involved in a single-car crash, then it's the car's fault or the road's fault. ... If they get fat or harden their arteries, it's the food industry's fault. ... If they stupidly shoot themselves, it's the gun manufacturer's fault.
Restoring Parental Responsibility for Education, by Marshall Fritz, The Freeman, Jul 1996
Diffferentiates between "public" and "private" schools, arguing against calls for adding "market dynamics" to the former and pointing out lack of parental responsibility as the culprit for the lack of success in tax-funded schools
In their call for "market dynamics," union leaders miss the real secret of success of parent-funded schools: parental responsibility. Conservatives who tout "choice" make the same mistake, says ... Jack Simons ... Simons uses food stamps to illustrate the hollowness of mere "choice" without responsibility: "Some Subway Sandwich shops now accept USDA food vouchers for cold sandwiches not to be eaten inside. If choice is so all-fired important," asks Simons, "why not man the ramparts demanding that the poor be given the "choice" to use their food stamps to buy hot food and even eat it inside?"
Roads, Cars, and Responsibility, by Scott McPherson, 7 Apr 2004
Related Topics: London, Private Roads, Virginia
Sophie Scholl: A Life of Courage, by Wendy McElroy, Freedom Daily, May 2007
Review of the 2005 German film Sophie Scholl: The Final Days (Die letzten Tage), also contrasting this film with typical Hollywood depictions of Nazis
The Hollywood characterization ... loses the sense of ... how ordinary people can absolve themselves of all responsibility for facilitating evil. ... Arendt went on to describe how ordinary people can commit terrible acts simply because the acts are performed systematically and within a socially sanctioned context that does not demand or encourage personal accountability. Thus, the seizure of Jewish property was not theft if the property was confiscated through forms that were properly stamped ... Those who processed the paperwork and inventoried the goods ... were divorced from personal responsibility.
Test your freedom IQ, The Orange County Register, 18 Jun 2006
20 multiple-choice questions covering the role of government, free enterprise, taxes, property rights, free speech, religion, civil liberties, transportation, war and foreign policy, the Nanny State, gun ownership, education and immigration
17. Every year thousands of new laws are passed by Congress, the state Legislature and local governments, governing such things as shower water pressure, helmets for motorcyclists, smoking on beaches. Is this a good thing?
a) Yes. Government has your best interests in mind, and its regulations have helped us have longer lives ...
b) Mostly. Although some laws could be pruned, most are needed to keep a complex, modern society functioning well.
c) No. A nanny state law will never substitute for good parenting, self-responsibility and common sense.
Tobacco Medicaid Litigation: Snuffing Out the Rule of Law, by Robert A. Levy, Policy Analysis, 20 Jun 1997
Treating Us like Children, by Sheldon Richman, Freedom Daily, Nov 1998
Comments on an amendment to an appropriations bill that would outlaw Internet gambling, overwhelmingly approved by the Republican-controlled Senate, and discusses the "democratic paternalism" evinced by this action
There is no reason to think that people change when they enter the polling booth. There is also no reason to think that people generally act irresponsibly in their private affairs. Some do, but most don't. If we don't trust people to conduct their own lives responsibly, I see no reason to trust them with the vote. In fact, I'd sooner trust them in their own affairs than in my affairs and everyone else's. Running one life has to be easier than choosing on behalf of everyone. At least the errors will have less-widespread consequences. Democratic paternalism, then, is based on a contradiction.
What It Means to Be a Libertarian [PDF], by Randolph J. May, Cato Journal, 1997
Review of Charles Murray's book What It Means to Be a Libertarian (1997), contrasting it with Tocqueville's writings in Democracy in America (1835-1840)
Obviously, if it is no longer a crime to use drugs or visit a prostitute, in a real sense one has greater "freedom" to do so. But from a larger societal point of view, surely the more fundamental questions pertain to the links between freedom and the other side of freedom's coin: responsibility. Does more limited government really lead to a more responsible citizenry in ways that contribute to the overall public good? Or, put another way, can government encourage individuals to act more responsibly simply by getting out of the way and expanding their freedom of action? Murray's answer to those questions is an emphatic "yes."
Why Are We Afraid To Be Free?, by Butler Shaffer, 27 Nov 2001
Examines the question of how to bring about freedom in individuals' lives, discussing how government influences people to be in conflicted states and how one must look within oneself and act accordingly to begin to be "free"
[W]e are, by nature, self-controlling beings. I, alone, can energize my will and my body on behalf of purposes to which I must choose to act ... Because we are self-controlling beings, we are also responsible for our actions. This is not a moral or ethical proposition, but simply a causal one: I am responsible for what I do because I am the one who controls my actions. By the same token, to the degree we seek to control the lives and property of others, we help to foster, in their minds, the illusions that they are not responsible for what they do.
Winning the Battle for Freedom and Prosperity, by John Mackey, Liberty, Jun 2006
Updated from speech given at FreedomFest 2004; after a brief background on himself, Mackey criticizes the freedom movement from a marketing and branding perspective and suggests a different approach by de-emphasizing some issues and prioritizing others
Most importantly, our health and well-being are our own responsibilities. Our doctors cannot assume these responsibilities. Nor can the bureaucratic "experts" controlling a health care system. The freedom movement must first advocate the ideal of self-responsibility for health. We own our own bodies, don't we? This is no minor thing, because the Left, by supporting socialized medicine, demonstrates a belief that common citizens are too stupid to take responsibility for our own health and therefore need the "experts" to step in and control things for our own good.


The Alliance Story: An Interview With Marshall Fritz, by Marshall Fritz, Tammy Drennan
Topics include how Fritz came to his views, why he thinks government schools cannot be reformed, charter schools, various objections to turning education to the free market and the effects of state/school separation on taxes, the economy and "the church"
MF: ... Parents who don't care are going to draw some wisdom from Yogi Berra and his comment, "When you come to a fork in the road, take it." ... [O]ur welfare-dependent, irresponsible parent never comes to a fork in the road. She is given just enough money and support by the government to continue her irresponsibility. And when the government is no longer going to occupy her children's time in something called school, nor give her an existing wage in terms of welfare benefits, ... then she's going to be faced with the various charitable organizations' demands on her ... to shape up.
Interview with Karl Hess, by Karl Hess, A. Lin Neumann, Reason, May 1982
Topics discussed include the Republican Party, National Review, AEI, Goldwater, Rothbard, anarchism, the Vietnam War, Carter and Reagan, fascism, urban enterprise zones, the environment, and authoritarianism vs. freedom
HESS: ... The only way, it seems to me to clean [the environment] up is to get back to the concept of individual responsibility, so that people are responsible for their actions; so that when you damage the environment, the people affected by it hold you responsible. If a factory is dumping corrosive chemicals from its stacks ... and there was no intervening protection for the corporation, the community would have two choices: it could demand redress from the corporation ... or it could choose to let itself be killed for a certain amount of money, which is what a lot of communities would choose to do.


Taking Responsibility: Self-Reliance and the Accountable Life
    by Nathaniel Branden, 1996
Partial contents: Introduction - Toward Autonomy - Freedom and Responsibility - Self-Reliance and Social Metaphysics - A Self-Responsible Life - The Challenge of Separation - Self-Responsibility and Romantic Love - Accountability in Organizations


Where's my bailout?, 29 Oct 2008