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Published October 20, 2011 in Talking Points by Sharon Harris
A free society is a tolerant society. Unlike the cookie-cutter world of the state, where one education system is made to fit all, where one medication must apply to all, where one lifestyle is forced on all.
In a free society, there's room for cranks, misfits, oddballs, outcasts. They're free to pursue their happiness in their own way.
Tolerance. Freedom of speech. Freedom of association. A place where unwise and unpleasant opinions can be expressed freely, and the right to do so is defended ferociously.
Again, the gentle invisible hand vs. the visible fist of government.
In a free society, all honest and peaceful people — wherever they may be from — are free to make their own way, make their own contribution, and benefit from the abundance and tolerance liberty brings.
Until World War I, immigration was almost completely free in the U.S. Immigrants came by the millions, and by the millions they prospered and quickly became part of mainstream America — without government handouts.
The gentle invisible hand. An open hand of welcome to all who yearn to be free. As the Statue of Liberty inscription boldly proclaims:
"Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she
With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed, to me;
I lift my lamp beside the golden door."
Once I saw on television a group of Haitians who had crossed the ocean on a small, inflatable raft. The raft was meant to hold a dozen people, but twice that many had been on board. They had somehow survived the shark-infested, turbulent rages of the sea. They were exhausted, hungry, dirty, frightened. These people had risked their lives to come here. Can you imagine the kind of courage that took?
A reporter interviewed one of the men. His clothes were dirty and tattered and he was so weak he could barely stand. But he smiled as he pulled something from the inside of his jacket. Neatly folded in a plastic bag was a clean set of clothes. He needed them, he explained, so he could go on job interviews.
Of course, he never got that opportunity. The government sent him back to Haiti.
In a truly free society, refugees from tyranny would always be welcome.
Can we achieve a free society? Find out why liberty is a better solution to our problems than the coercive state.