Freedom is the unencumbered ability for each individual to choose for themselves what they do with their own life, liberty, labor, and property and to accept sole responsibility for the choices they make. This is known as the Philosophy of Liberty.
But we're getting ahead of ourselves. Let's start from the beginning and find out why this might even be relevant to you...
If you were the only person in the world, you could do anything you desired with yourself and the resources of your planet with the caveat that you and you alone were responsible for the consequences of your actions, good or ill.
In the real world, however, no man is an island. Evolution dictates that the more there are of a species, the more likely it is to survive.
And so with each new person introduced into the equation, the valuable resources you depend on for survival begin to dwindle. Since these resources are finite, you and your new neighbors must now compete for those resources causing your once tranquil paradise to erupt with negative emotions: greed, hate, fear. These in turn lead to conflict and the 8 Real Crimes (see sidebar), none of which are all that great for your continued survival or quality of life.
Of course, its not all bad. Your new neighbors may be able to teach you valuable skills or have skills themselves that enhance your overall quality of life. Other benefits to peacefully associating with these neighbors: increased protection, comradery, entertainment, companionship. These spark positive emotions that are very good for your survival and quality of life: hope, compassion, love.
What to do, what to do?
Clearly, you need a societal framework to co-exist with these new neighbors.
In order to co-exist peacefully with each other rather than living like violent savages, we must come to some basic agreement on how best to interact with each other, some foundational rules for individual behavior that allow us to co-exist and interact peaceably with each other. But where do we get them?
Certainly, we could pull them out of thin air and attribute them to the Gods or choose kings and politicians to make them up on a case-by-case basis depending on how they're feeling at the time, but without a rational, logical framework of ethics, the foundation of our society will eventually devolve and crumble.
The simple answer is to base the ethics of our society on the concepts of self-ownership, that each individual is the sole master of their life, liberty, labor, and property, the non-aggression principle, that the initiation of force is immoral, and the ethic of reciprocity, that one should not treat others in ways they would not wish to be treated. With these as our foundations, we have the makings of a rational, societal framework that will keep the peace, a society based on the protection of individual freedom rather than the imposition of violence and coercion.
For an in-depth, highly-advanced explanation on how we arrive at this conclusion, please read or listen to "Universal Preferable Behavior" by Stefan Molyneux. For a much simpler layman's overview, check out "The Philosophy of Liberty" by Lux Lucre and "Libertarianism in One Lesson" by David Bergland . All of these are listed in the sidebar to your right.
For more information and far more in-depth perspectives, we present several resources below:
The Philosophy of Liberty by Lux Lucre
Universal Preferable Behavior by Stefan Molyneux
Complete Libertyby Wes Bertrand
The Market For Liberty by Linda and Morris Tannehill
Healing Our World by Mary Ruwart
Visit these websites to learn more about the philosophy of liberty and find out what's happening in the liberty movement: