1. INTRINSIC NATURE OF RIGHTS
I believe that only individuals have rights, not the collective group; that these rights are intrinsic to each individual, not granted by the state; for if the state has the power to grant them, it also has the power to deny them, and that is incompatible with personal liberty.
I believe that a just state derives its power solely from its citizens. Therefore, the state must never presume to do anything beyond what individual citizens also have the right to do. Otherwise, the state is a power unto itself and becomes the master instead of the servant of society.
2. SUPREMACY OF THE INDIVIDUAL
I believe that one of the greatest threats to freedom is to allow any group, no matter its numeric superiority, to deny the rights of the minority; and that one of the primary functions of a just state is to protect each individual from the greed and passion of the majority.
3. FREEDOM OF CHOICE
I believe that desirable social and economic objectives are better achieved by voluntary action than by coercion of law. I believe that social tranquility and brotherhood are better achieved by tolerance, persuasion, and the power of good example than by coercion of law. I believe that those in need are better served by charity, which is the giving of one’s own money, than by welfare, which is the giving of other people’s money through coercion of law.
4. PROPERTY RIGHTS = HUMAN RIGHTS
I believe that the human instinct for private property is a positive force because it provides an incentive for production, which is necessary for the material support of mankind. It justly rewards those who use resources wisely and punishes those who abuse them. Those without property must depend on others for survival, and those who depend on the state must serve the state. Therefore, private property is a human right, essential for prosperity, justice, and freedom.
5. MONEY WITHOUT COERCION
I believe in freedom to accept or reject any currency, or other forms of money, based entirely upon my personal judgment of its value, because a monopoly over the issuance of money and the power to force others to accept it leads to corruption, inflation, and legalized plunder.
6. EQUALITY UNDER LAW
I believe that all citizens should be equal under law, regardless of their national origin, race, religion, gender, education, economic status, life style, or political opinion. Likewise, no class should be given preferential treatment, regardless of the merit or popularity of its cause. To favor one class over another is not equality under law.
7. THE GREAT LEADER
I believe that leadership is a natural outgrowth of human dynamics and is essential for social order and large-scale tasks. However, there are two types of leadership. One is based on coercion and decree, found in military organizations and totalitarian political systems. The other is based on persuasion and good example, found in voluntary organizations and free political systems. We must evaluate leaders, not only on their stated goals, but on which type of leadership they offer. Their goals may be admirable, but how they pursue those goals may be tyranny. All modern totalitarian systems have a “great leader” who claims to represent the best interests of the people but who is, in reality, merely a dictator. Truly great political leaders do not follow that path.
8. PROPER ROLE OF THE STATE
I believe that the proper role of the state is negative, not positive; defensive, not aggressive. It is to protect, not to provide; for if the state is granted the power to provide for some, it must also be able to take from others, and that always leads to legalized plunder and loss of freedom. If the state is powerful enough to give us everything we want, it also will be powerful enough to take from us everything we have. Therefore, the proper function of the state is to protect the lives, liberty, and property of its citizens, nothing more. That state is best which governs least.
In day-to-day application, The Creed of Freedom can be reduced to just three simple rules. We call them the …
THREE COMMANDMENTS OF FREEDOM
Only individuals have rights, not groups. Therefore, do not sacrifice the rights of any individual or minority for the alleged rights of groups.
EQUALITY UNDER LAW
To favor one class of citizens over others is not equality under law. Therefore, do not endorse any law that does not apply to all citizens equally.
The proper function of the state is to protect, not to provide. Therefore, do not approve coercion for any purpose except to protect human life, liberty, or property. (This is the principle of non-aggression.)