Freedom has a price. Does freedom have value?
We all like to do as we please – to exercise individual freedom. Freedom poses a problem when its expression impinges on other life.
As social creatures, attempts to satisfy desires often impact others. Indeed, many desires intrinsically involve others.
Material wealth is delimited by the extent of property ownership. Wealth begins with one’s own body: the most private property.
Attempting to control someone else against their will – taking liberty – is a denial of freedom and thereby a property violation. All laws are ultimately about the protection of property as a natural right.
One rightly achieves social desires with others through cooperation. Intermingling property enriches both parties.
As animals, our very living deals death. Other than fruit (a gift from plants), our food is a theft of life from other life.
To sustain ourselves over time, we must allow other life to thrive. To sustain our own freedom, a tacit cooperation with other life is necessary.
The same logic applies to the perpetuation of our own species. We must leave resources – restrict freedoms – if future generations are to enjoy their lives as we have enjoyed ours.
Time itself is a property which has value, and the taking of which from someone or something else rightly has a price. Economists refer to the taking of time as an “opportunity cost.”
In all instances – whether dealing with others or dealing with Nature – taking liberty has a price, and cooperation has value.
In pursuit of exploitative profit, capitalism promotes taking freedom. The freedom to acquire private property comes at the price of taking others’ property. In intent, capitalism is the antithesis of cooperation.
The price of freedom and the tolerance of taking liberties on a vast scale has created a mass extinction event which will wipe humanity from the face of the Earth within a foreseeable future.
Freedom has a price but no value. Cooperation has value but no price.
Unless we learn to value cooperation and time over freedom and the acquisition of material riches – and practice that lesson fulsomely – we will rob ourselves of all of our wealth in short order.