A free society is rooted in a complex and interrelated set of ideas, values, and institutions that provide for long-term peace, civility, and well-being.
An ideal free society fosters a spontaneous order, in which there is a division of labor based on comparative advantage and people help themselves by helping others. Social and material progress is driven by innovation and creative destruction, and resources are conserved and applied to their highest-valued use.
Altogether, these features of a free society result in the most beneficial form of social organization. Societies that best approximate these ideals have proven throughout human history to be the most successful at enabling widespread well-being, especially for the least fortunate.
The other dimensions described in the Framework play a critical role in achieving this vision.
Vision IN PRACTICE
The Framework for a Free Society is not a source of new concepts; rather, it is the recognition of the work of thinkers throughout history. The development of the Framework is grounded in a rich literature of both those texts that have advanced these ideas and those that have provided a contrasting world view. The following are some of the works that influenced the development of the Framework for a Free Society:
Hayek, Friedrich A. “Cosmos and Taxis.” In Law, Legislation and Liberty. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1982. [Accessed from Portal Libertarianismo.]
Hayek, Friedrich A. “The Use of Knowledge in Society.” The American Economic Review 35, no. 4 (1945): 519-530. [Accessed from the University of Chicago.]
Jefferson, Thomas. “The Declaration of Independence.” 1776.
Polanyi, Michael. “The Republic of Science.” Minerva 1, no. 1 (1962): 54-74. [Accessed from the University of Colorado.]
Ricardo, David. On the Principles of Political Economy and Taxation. London: John Murray, 1821. [Accessed from the Library of Economics and Liberty.]
Schumpeter, Joseph. “The Process of Creative Destruction.” In Capitalism, Socialism, and Democracy. London: Routledge, 2003: 81-86.
Sowell, Thomas. A Conflict of Visions: Ideological Origins of Political Struggles. New York: Basic Books, 2007. [Book review accessed from the Foundation for Economic Education.]