Freedom is what you have when no one is forcing their will on you. Everyone inherently recognizes this as a good thing because we all value our power to make decisions. We all value making decisions without being threatened. Unfortunately, most of us have not taken the time to consider the precise nature of freedom and its foundation in universal undeniable principles. Applying those principles to big issues may be complicated, but the concept of freedom is not. When applied consistently, it shows the way to a more harmonious society.

If somebody is forcing their will on us, clearly, we are not free. So perhaps it is helpful to think of freedom not as a substance, but as an ideal state of social harmony in which no one is forcing their will on anyone else. A violation of freedom is an attack on a particular victim whose will is being forcibly hindered by taking their life, stealing their property, or threatening them with assault. Freedom is not just an ideal state of society, but a moral code for respecting the rights of others.

Self-ownership is an integral part of being human. You own yourself. You own your body. You own your labor. For anyone to assert otherwise is to attempt to restrict your freedom or make you a slave.

Because you own yourself, it is wrong for someone to initiate force against you or your property. Acceptance of this simple fact is the foundation of a free and peaceful society. This universal nonaggression principle applies to everyone, and it is therefore wrong to kill, injure, assault, steal from, or threaten another person. Anyone who directly violates others, supports the violation of others, or violates others on behalf of someone else is holding us back from achieving our potential through the harmonious and mutually beneficial transactions that take place in freedom.

This is an excerpt from the book “FREEDOM!” by Adam Kokesh


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