Civil Liberties & Privacy

Have We Abandoned Our Principles?

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America was founded upon commonly held principles of right and wrong. Our Declaration of Independence and our Constitution recognize these principles and enumerate several of them. Among these principles is the acknowledgment that we, as individuals, have certain unalienable rights — namely the rights to life, liberty, and the ... [click for more]

Demystifying the State

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Mystification is the process by which the commonplace is elevated to the level of the divine by those who have a vested interest in its unassailability. Government is a perfect example of mystification at work. Government is a group of individuals organized for the purpose of extracting wealth and exerting ... [click for more]

Freedom through Encryption

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When the history of the modern struggle for liberty is written, Philip Zimmermann will be celebrated as a true hero. To understand why, we must explore the issue of privacy in the information age. It is a story that should the thrill the heart of every lover of liberty. The government has always been able to read our mail. After ... [click for more]

The Greatest Enemy

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They're out to get me — the most relentless, implacable foe a human being ever had. They've been after me all my life. On the day I was born, they demanded to know who I was and where I was so that they could put me on their list. Their spies ... [click for more]

Individualism and the Free Society, Part 2

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Part 1 | Part 2 It was the United States of America, with its system of limited, constitutional government, that implemented the principle of capitalism-a free trade on a free market-to the greatest extent. In America, during the nineteenth century people's productive activities were for the most part left free of governmental regulations, controls, and restrictions; most thinkers ... [click for more]

Individualism and the Free Society, Part 1

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Part 1 | Part 2 A political system is the expression of a code of ethics. Just as some form of statism or collectivism is the expression of the ethics of altruism, so individualism — as represented by laissez-faire capitalism — is the expression of the ethics of rational self-interest. In this chapter I propose to show why this is ... [click for more]

Freedom, Virtue, and Responsibility, Part 3

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Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 Despite their good intentions, the proponents of the welfare-state, managed-economy way of life have ended up with results that are opposite from what they intended. The war on poverty was supposed to end poverty. It did not, and the situation is worse than when the war started some thirty years ... [click for more]

Freedom, Virtue, and Responsibility, Part 2

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Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 The welfare state and the managed economy do more than destroy individual self-esteem. They also destroy hopes of improving one's life. Now, we know that money cannot buy happiness, but certainly the hopes of improving one's own economic well-being provide a stimulus to happiness. That is to say, if a ... [click for more]

National Conflicts, Market Liberalism and Social Peace

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For three years, civil war has caused massive death and destruction in the former Yugoslavia. Almost every day, the television evening news has broadcast pictures of devastating artillery bombardments, ruined towns and villages, and multitudes of killed and wounded men, women and children. Tens of thousands of people have been turned into refugees forced to leave their homes and belongings ... [click for more]

Freedom, Virtue, and Responsibility, Part 1

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Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 When the surgeon general of the United States, Joycelyn Elders, announced that drug legalization was an idea worth studying, the reaction among politicians, bureaucrats, conservatives, and even those on the political left was immediate. "Immoral!" "You favor drug abuse?" "Have you ever held a crack baby?" "You should resign!" Why do ... [click for more]

A Warning from the Past

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In A.D. 476 Odovacar, a German commander in the Roman army, sacked Rome and took over the imperial throne. That date is usually cited as the end of the Roman Empire. As a political force, Rome did end about that time, but the spirit of Roman civilization had ... [click for more]

The Standard of Liberty

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The concept of a standard is as old as man himself. It has been expressed in man's earliest writings. Moses understood its principles; so did the Egyptians, the Greeks, the Romans, the ancient dynasties of China and Japan — in every society, there have been those who have understood its principles. Standards are so powerful that adherence to their principles ... [click for more]
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