A discourse by G. Edward Griffin
There have been thousands of books written about the philosophical foundation of freedom, and hundreds of thousands of lives have been lost in battles against tyrants, yet few people today can agree on what freedom is. Many think it’s merely not being in jail. There is even less consensus on how to write laws and constitutions to keep a balance between personal freedom and public safety. This issue is simple to resolve once an important principle is recognized: Agents of a just state derive their authority solely from the citizens they serve. That means the state may use physical force to do only those things that individual citizens may use force to do, which is to defend lives, liberty, and property – nothing more. The state, therefore, must be purely defensive, not aggressive, in all that it does. Individuals do not have the right to forcibly take from some to give to others for so-called benefits or compensation nor do they have the right to coerce their neighbors to follow a specific code of conduct except to the extent that doing so is necessary to protect the life, liberty, or property of others. If individuals do not have the right to do these things, they cannot delegate it to elected representatives. The function of a just state, therefore, is to protect the lives, liberty, and property of its citizens – nothing more. Freedom flows from that. DVD, 1 hr.