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IPFS News Link • Philosophy: Libertarianism

Raising a Standard to Achieve Liberty

• by Jacob G. Hornberger

 Non-libertarians are still convinced that they are free. That's one reason why non-libertarians are befuddled by libertarians. When they ask us what we are all about, we sometimes respond that we are about bringing liberty to America. That befuddles them because in their minds, America is already a free country. 

Until I was in my late 20s, I was a non-libertarian. Having attended public schools, where I dutifully recited the Pledge of Allegiance, I had no doubts that I lived in a free society. When I was around 28 years old, a friend of mine from junior high school gave me a book entitled A Time for Truth by William Simon, who served as Treasury Secretary under President Reagan. The book emphasized the importance of restoring liberty to America. I told my friend that while I enjoyed reading the book, I couldn't understand Simon's point about restoring liberty to America. As Americans, we already were free, I said.

One day in the late 1970s, I walked into the public library in my hometown of Laredo, Texas, looking for something to read. I came across four little different-colored books entitled Essays on Liberty, volumes 1–4. I took volume 1 off the shelf and began perusing it.