by Melinda Pillsbury-Foster
Ayn Rand said that first you must define your terms. I take that to mean that I as a writer must begin by explaining the terms of the dialogue that I want to begin.
The "Freedom Movement" is the phrase I use to encompass the cooperative coalition of persons and organizations that focus on various issues of individual liberty. These include but are not limited to taxation, regulatory interventions, and civil liberties. Such persons and organizations may identify themselves and Libertarian, small and capital L, non-partisan, Republican or Democrat. Some work within the Green Party. Obvious examples are CATO Institute and Reason Foundation; there are around 250 non-profits now identified in the Right Guide.
When I refer to the Freedom Movement that is what I mean. I acknowledge that some organizations refuse to recognize and cooperate with others within this broad spectrum.
I must involve you, the reader. We must share a common understanding for meaningful discourse to be possible.
When I shut my eyes and evoke the word "freedom" I see a series of images. I see individuals going about their daily lives. Their faces reveal a confidence that they live in a world where the threat of violence, coercion and fraud are rare and easily identified events. More. Where these events are not tolerated; the institutions, cultural, personal, and legal, of their world give each individual the means and standing to be made whole; to find justice, no matter what their degree or the amount of their personal wealth. The eyes of the poor and the weak are filled with the same confidence of their personal worth that illuminates the eyes of the rich and powerful.
That is the image that is freedom to me. That specific reality is the goal. What I see is the emancipation of the human spirit; a world of cooperation and benevolent human action.
It is not a world where the powerful prey on the weak. It is not a world where the weak join forces to tax those unwilling to help them involuntarily.
Individuals create the future by holding ideas and images in their minds. They bring worlds into being by seeing them and the avenues of choice that makes them inevitable.
This is the function of the many and varied institutions of humanity built first in the minds of individuals through uncounted millennia; to enable us to make visions the tangible reality of our every day lives. We strive, fail, regroup amend and move on. So it is for one life, one person; so it is for each of us.
It is not the bricks and mortar that are the institution, but the commingling of thoughts that direct individual actions thus bringing the physical into being.
Humans need visions for their spirits as their bodies need food to sustain life. America is the hunger of the human spirit for freedom. It is hope for the future condition of humankind and for each of us as individuals.