Dr. Thomas Szasz, 1920-2012


Dr. Thomas Szasz (April 15, 1920 – September 8, 2012) was a giant in both the field of psychiatry and in the movement for the liberation of the individual from all unwarranted coercion. Always unafraid to confront conventional wisdom with the truth as he saw it, he struck at the heart of the use of psychiatry (and medicine generally) to further the State’s control over the individual. His work forced even those who disagreed profoundly to address the issues of individual responsibility (for both patient and physician) and the individual’s relationship to the State in ways the medical community had not addressed for decades, if at all. The pages of The Freeman, published by the Foundation for Economic Education since the 1950s, contain many of his best commentary on the flaws in his own profession and how its errors and excesses often pose threats to liberty (see the Szasz archive). He should be remembered as a champion of individual liberty and responsibility, and honesty in all professions. His intellectual rigor, honesty, and personal integrity serve as a towering example for all who continue to struggle for the liberation of the person from the State.

Read Dr. Thomas Szasz’s obituary in The New York Times.

Recent Freeman articles by Dr. Szasz:

Who Killed Michael Jackson?

Imprisoning Innocents

Titles of Ignobility: Suicide as Secession

The Shame of Medicine: Is Suicide Legal?

The Shame of Medicine: Celebrating Coercion

The Medicalization of Suicide

Civil Liberties and Civil Commitment


View the full archive of Dr. Szasz’s Freeman articles here.

Chuck Grimmett August 2013



Chuck Grimmett is FEE's Director of Web Media. Get in touch with him on Twitter: @cagrimmett


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April 2014

Around the world, people are struggling to throw off authoritarianism, with deeply mixed results. From Egypt to Venezuela, determined people build networks to overthrow their regimes, but as yet we have not learned to live without Leviathan. In this issue, Michael Malice and Gary Dudney discuss their glimpses inside totalitarian regimes, while Sarah Skwire and Michael Nolan look at how totalitarian regimes grind down the individual--and how individuals fight back. Plus, Jeffrey Tucker identifies a strain in libertarianism that, left unchecked, could reduce even our vibrant movement to something that is analogous to the grim aesthetic of architectural brutalism. The struggle for our lives and freedom is a struggle for beauty; it begins inside each of us.
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