The value of political freedom stems from two related facts: the nature of physical force and the nature of man’s consciousness. The concept “force” has meaning only with respect to volitional beings. Since force negates thought, and since the good requires chosen values, force is always harmful to man. If man is to live, he must be free to think. Our culture largely rejects the view of man as volitional, and therefore endorses paternalism in politics—as demonstrated, for example, by the popular school of behavioral economics. The significance of this link between free minds and free markets was particularly evident in government’s response to the 2008 financial crisis.
This is a pdf of the talk that was given at the 2009 Objectivist Summer Conference in Boston, MA.
(PDF download, 890 KB)
Please note that this is not an MP3 audio download.