A Page on Freedom: Number 19
MAY 01, 1985 by LEONARD E. READ
Security and Freedom
Many Victims wander unwittingly into socialism, gulled by assumptions they have not tested. One popular but misleading assumption is that security and freedom are mutually exclusive alternatives—that to choose one is to forgo the other.
In the United States during the past century more people achieved greater material security than their ancestors had ever known in any previous society. Large numbers of people in this country accumulated a comfortable nest egg, so that “come hell or high water”—depressions, old age, sickness, or whatever—they could rely on the saved fruits of their own labor to carry them through any storm or temporary setback. By reason of unprecedented freedom of choice, unparalleled opportunities, provident living, and the right to the fruits of their own labor—private property—they were able to meet the many exigencies which arise in the course of a lifetime.
We think of these enviable, personal achievements as security. But this type of security is not an alternative to freedom; rather, it is an outgrowth of freedom. This traditional security stems from freedom as the oak from an acorn. It is not a case of either/or; one without the other is impossible. Freedom sets the stage for all the security available in this uncertain world.
—Leonard E. Read
THE FOUNDATION FOR ECONOMIC EDUCATION, INC.
IRVINGTON-ON-HUDSON, NEW YORK 10533