Americans, in particular, embrace the language of liberty, even as the American state itself has become ominously and voraciously antithetical to liberty. The state pursues its wars in the name of liberty, and the government constantly reminds us that it maintains a large standing army, a massive military establishment, and a heavily integrated domestic police apparatus – all in the name of freedom. We cannot go far in the United States without being reminded that "if we like our freedom, thank a soldier."
To talk about peace in the 21st century, as fresh as we are from the deadly outcomes of the 20th, is a challenge. While it is natural to love liberty, it seems that peace is often argued to be unnatural, uncommon, and unlikely in the human condition. While the claim to liberty is granted by the Creator, claims to peace are not. But practiced liberty, with its prohibition on the use of force to take a man’s time, his children, his property and labor, his movement, is the fundamental precursor to peace. A truly free society is one that embraces a culture on the value of individual lives, a respect for their property, and aversion to the use of force. It is one that is comfortable in the art of trading and deal-making based on marketplace choices, not government edicts. A truly free society is a peaceful society.