There is nothing more common in history than for oppressed people to rise up against their masters and, at great cost in treasure and blood, throw off the old regime, only to discover that they have replaced it with one that is just as bad or worse. That is because it is easy to know what we dislike about a political system but not so easy to agree on what would be better.
For most of history, it has been the habit of men to focus on personalities rather than principles. They have thought that the problem was with the man who rules, not with the system that sustains him. So, they merely replace one despot for another, thinking that, somehow, the new one will be more wise and benevolent.
Even if the new ruler has good intentions, he may be corrupted by the temptations of power and, in those rare cases where he is not, eventually he is replaced by another who is not as self-restrained. As long as the system allows it, it is just a matter of time before a new despot will rise to power. To prevent that, it is necessary to focus on the system itself, not personalities and, for that to happen, it is just as important to know what we are for as it is to know what we oppose.
Even today, with so much talk about fighting to defend freedom, who can define what that word means? For some, freedom means merely not being in jail.
Who can define the essence of personal liberty? Who can look you in the eye and say: “This I believe, and I believe it for this reason, and this reason, and this reason also.” The world is dying for something to believe in, a
statement of principles that leaves no room for misunder-standing; a creed that everyone of good faith toward their fellow human beings can accept with clarity of mind and strength of resolve. There is an old saying that if you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.
The Creed of Freedom that you are about to read is the rock-solid ground that will allow us to stand firm against all the political nostrums of our day and those in the future as well. The Creed expresses the core ideology that binds all members together.
This is not like the platform of a political party that typically is a position statement on a long list of specific issues and which changes from year to year to accommodate the shifting winds of popular opinion. Instead, it is stated in terms of broad principles that do not change over time and that are not focused on specific issues at all.
If these principles are followed, most of the vexing political and social issues of the day can be resolved in confidence that the resulting action will be consistent with compassion, justice, and freedom.
Although I authored The Creed, I cannot claim credit for it. All of the concepts are taken from the
great thinkers and writers of the past. My role has been merely to read the literature, sort the concepts into categories, and condense them into summary statements.
When you read the Creed, please be mindful that it is an abstract of an essay that is published elsewhere on this site.
The depth of the Creed cannot be fully appreciated without the explanations, definitions, and arguments that support it.