Quotation of the Day…

by Don Boudreaux on September 17, 2019

in Philosophy of Freedom

.. is the closing paragraph of Tom Palmer’s 2002 essay “Classical Liberalism and Civil Society”; it appears on page 246 of Tom’s 2009 book, Realizing Freedom:

Classical liberals insist that, under normal circumstances, at least, the liberty of the individual human being is the highest political end. It is not the end or goal of life itself, but the condition that makes the ends of life most likely to be attained.

DBx: Your ability to achieve your individual ends – many of which, by the way, you likely pursue by voluntarily joining with other persons in joint enterprises such as not-for-profit charities and for-profit corporations – is compromised and sometimes even altogether thwarted if you are constantly being taxed and otherwise compelled by the state to serve ends that are not of your own choosing. Likewise, of course, if you are directly restrained by the state from pursuing whatever ends you choose.

Further, you do not achieve your individual ends insofar as your ‘success’ at doing so was assisted by the state diverting other people from the pursuit of their ends in order to compel them to serve your ends.

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