This book is an attempt to present in clear and concise form the principles of freedom. The conclusions are believed to be in harmony with the teachings of the great writers on this subject; yet few books on freedom treat the subject in a consistent and thorough manner.
During his long experience in campaigning for freedom the Author has heard much talk about freedom, but little that revealed a clear understanding of the subject. .This may be explained by the fact that the Law of Equal Freedom is not being taught in the schools, proclaimed from the platform, or discussed in the press.
The author believes freedom to be second in importance only to life itself; for without freedom there can be no happiness nor advancement; and he contends that the principle of equal freedom is workable in every department of social and political life, and that its intelligent application would eliminate all difficulties between man and man.
Lengthy arguments in many cases have been condensed into epigrams, because it is easier to remember epigrams than arguments. The sayings of ancient writers that are remembered and repeated are mostly epigrams. The Author believes the cause of Liberty would receive added impetus if the growing hosts of freedom would more often quote Libertarian maxims.
The manuscript for this book was submitted for criticism to the officers of the Libertarian League, who referred it to a committee of three life-long plumb-line protagonists of freedom: Clarence Lee Swartz, Cassius V. Cook and H. F. Rossner. After a painstaking and patient examination of its contents they unanimously and unqualifiedly indorsed it as a consistent exposition of the principles of freedom.
As the Author wrote the declaration of principles of The Libertarian League, and since this book in a measure follows this declaration in its arrangement of subjects, the committee urged that it be included in the preface as an indication of the contents of the book. In compliance with the wishes of the committee the declaration of principles of The Libertarian League is herewith appended:
The Law of Equal Freedom) as Adopted by The Libertarian League
Since life itself contains the impulse of physical growth and the development of faculties and therefore needs room and freedom to function; and since liberty is necessary to the exercise of faculties; and since the exercise of faculties is essential to happiness; therefore, to attain happiness one must have liberty. And since liberty, being essential to the individual, is also necessary to the race; and since this necessitates limiting the liberty of each to the like liberty of all, we therefore arrive at the sociological Law of Equal Freedom.
Freedom of thought is essential to the discovery of truth.
Freedom of speech is essential to the vindication of truth.
Freedom of the press is requisite for the dissemination of knowledge.
Freedom of assembly is essential for the discussion of public questions.
Freedom in education is essential to the development of correct principles of study and teaching.
Freedom in science is essential to the demonstration of fact, through investigation and experimentation.
Freedom in literature, art and music is necessary for the highest expression of conceptions and emotions.
Freedom in amusements and sports is essential to the fullest enjoyment of recreation.
Freedom in religion is necessary to avert persecution (as, e. g., for adopting and professing religious opinions, and for worshiping or not worshiping, according to the dictates of conscience).
Freedom of initiative and association is necessary for efficiency and economy in individual or co-operative enterprise,
Los Angeles, California, July, 1923.