Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Freedom's Principles [Democratic Peace]
Democratic Peace ^ | January 22, 2008 | R.J. Rummel

Posted on 01/22/2008 6:45:24 AM PST by Tolik


Click the cover on the right to download the book Freedom's Principles in pdf. The Forward to the book is below. It has been extensively revised as of January 17, 2008.


In Terms of Freedom

This is a book for those who want to foster freedom at home and abroad. If you believe in individual freedom as a right of all people, and if you believe that free people in free nations have an obligation to help those who suffer repression and enslavement under the world's thug regimes, then Freedom's Principles is for you. The pages that follow offer nothing less than a fundamental understanding of the psychological, socio-economic, and political roots of a worldview that I call freedomism.

So what is this freedomism? Why do I use this new term, instead of adopting a conventional political party label? I might explain by considering the political labels of my own country, the United States. Looking at American politics alone, it can be readily understood that the general positions of the Democrats, Republicans, Reform Party, Libertarian Party, Green Party, Socialist Party, and Communist Party, not to mention the plethora of even smaller groups, do not emphasize freedom at home and abroad as a core theme, although some of their political leaders may come close to doing so at times. Republicans, for example, if I may take President Bush as most representative, are freedomists in their foreign policy, to a much lesser extent in their economic policies, and not at all in their traditional social conservatism.

Then there are the Democrats who are keen to spread democratic freedom abroad, if we are to believe the public statements of such leading figures as Bill and Hillary Clinton. In practice, this means an emphasis on working through the United Nations, and the maintenance of stability in international relations. National defense is also important for Democrats, but, as an issue, it ranks second to international aid, to sensitivity to the "international community", and to "building bridges." Moreover, Democrats are soft socialists at home, believing in high taxes, government economic regulation and controls, in pursuit of a "social welfare" agenda. That said, American Democrats do also emphasize freedom, and not only rhetorically, but also in their policies, for the American citizen, at least.

What, then, of the libertarians? For sure, the beliefs of libertarians move us closer to what I mean by freedomism. As a young man, I was a self-professed democratic socialist, but in the early 1970s, under the hammer blows of Ludwig von Mises, F.A. Hayek, and Milton Friedman, I gave up my belief in socialism in favor of democratic libertarianism. And libertarian is what I called myself until recently. Indeed, I remain libertarian in domestic policy. I contend that the more domestic freedom there is from regulation, government control, taxation, and oppressive laws, the better. But only up to a point. I am not an anarchist. I believe that social justice means minimal government consistent with the guaranteed protection of equal civil and political rights for all. Yet this is a view that is commonly held by libertarian thinkers. Why, then, do I no longer describe my own view as libertarian? The reason lies beyond domestic politics.

On foreign policy, the libertarian is typically an isolationist, fundamentally opposed to foreign involvements and interventions, a perspective that has led some libertarians into an odd coalition with the democratic socialist and the communist (Marxist) left. Put simply, the libertarian argument is, "As domestic politics should be free, let international relations also be free. Let there be free trade and commerce, and freedom for other countries to do whatever they want with their people. What goes on in such countries is not our business."

In my view, the libertarian making such an argument is simply blinded by his faith in freedom, seemingly unaware that everything demands contextual qualification. Should those with a dangerous infectious disease remain free, when they could spread it everywhere, killing maybe hundreds with it? Unfortunately, by their isolationism, libertarians make life easier for the gangs of thugs (blandly called dictatorships) that murder, torture, and oppress their people as a routine matter of policy.

Not our business, our libertarian says, even though his fundamental belief in freedom is being violated in the most horrible ways, and even though he knows this to be the case. In his isolationism, the libertarian implies that since it's somebody else that's suffering, not him, or his loved ones, or his friends, it's okay. This is a position I have found myself unable to hold, and not because I care any less about my own personal security. Indeed, it is my contention that the isolationist ultimately plays fast and loose with his own welfare and that of his loved ones. For in an age of nuclear weapons and readily transportable biological, free nations can no longer sit back and ignore what goes on elsewhere in the production and deliverability of such weapons. Opposition to the rapacious affairs of thug regimes, including military intervention, is, in my view, absolutely necessary to secure and defend existing democracies, leaving aside the issue of advancing democracy further throughout our world.

In short, I believe that thug regimes cannot be trusted with either the possession or the capability for production of weapons of mass destruction. Yet the isolationists, whatever their party, seem willing to let the thugs rule not only their enslaved peoples, but, in due course, the world, too. As a freedomist, I say this is wrong. I believe that it is the responsibility of those within free nations to promote the freedom of all the world's peoples, and if tyrant leaders anywhere become a threat to the free world, as did those who ruled Iraq and Afghanistan until recently, and as those of Iran are threatening to do now, then that free world must take action, including military action if all else fails, for the sake of all the world.

This, then, is my position. I am a freedomist, and I believe many others are as well. I intend this book to give substance to this belief, to provide not only the intellectual understanding of why the political world is as it is today, but also a path to a future world that is free, bountiful, and at peace. This is an ambitious undertaking, to be sure. Only you, the reader, can judge whether I succeed.

Contact E-mail: click R.J. Rummel

Friday, January 18, 2008

Freedom's Principles Revised


I just published on my website an extensive editing and rewriting of my book, Freedom's Principles (free and downloadable in pdf).

I started my research on conflict and war as an undergraduate in the 1950s, and did both my MA thesis and PhD dissertation on violence and war. Since then, I have written some 25 books and over a hundred articles and pieces on conflict and violence (see my website). Now it all comes down to this one last book to sum it up. I can write no more.

I thought of writing a fair, balanced, and unbiased review of the book (smiles), but since the preface is here, I will content myself with giving the book's principles below. Each of these is a chapter, and together they provide a basic understanding and justification of freedom, as well as a unique explanation of conflict and cooperation, and ways of minimizing and resolving violence. Enjoy


The Subjectivity Principle
     Perception is subjective
The Intentionality Principle
     We behave to achieve
The Self-Esteem Principle
     We strive for self-esteem
The Expectation Principle
     Expectations guide our behavior
The Responsibility Principle
     We are responsible for our behavior
      Each of us is an individual
The Communication Principle
     We communicate as a field of expression
The Power Principle
     We produce effects
          Power = Interests x Capability x Will
The Conflict Principle
     Conflict is a balancing of powers
The Cooperation Principle
     Cooperation depends on expectations aligned with power
The Gap Principle
     A gap between expectations and power causes conflict
The Helix Principle
     Our conflict becomes less intense, our peace more lasting
     Through conflict we negotiate an interpersonal contract
The Universality Principle
     Our interpersonal principles apply to all societies
The Trisocial Principle
     Societies are generally trisocial
The Violence Principle
     A gap between the status quo and power causes violence
The Polarity Principle
     The more government, the more violence
     Power shapes peace
Part 4 International (or intergroup) Relations
The Field Principle
     Free actors comprise a social field
The Exchange Principle
     Free relations form an exchange society
The Freedom Principle
     Violence does not occur between free and democratic societies
The War Principle
     A gap between the international status quo and power causes war
     Through conflict states negotiate a social contract
The Commonality Principle
The peace principles apply to all relationships The Peacemaking Principle We make peace by balancing powers
The Peacekeeping Principle
     Peace depends on keeping expectations and power aligned
The Peacefostering Principle
     Freeing adjustment to change fosters peace
The Positive Peace Principle
     Minimize the power of government

Promote Freedom
Vectors of Action Toward Peace

Freedom's Principles Book BlogDemocratic Peace BlogWar/peace docudramasDemocratic Peace BibliographyUniversal ArchiveVisualizing democideVisualizing democide Q AND A


TOPICS: Editorial; Foreign Affairs; Government; Philosophy
KEYWORDS: democraticpeace; freedom; freedomism; rjrummel

        Democratic freedom is highly related to economic freedom, and the overall welfare of a people. Want to help end impoverishment and violence, then promote democracy. Better then just flooding a poor country with money, much of which goes into the pockets of the ruling gang

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Freedom, Democracy, and Human Development


In a recent The Wall Street Journal commentary, "The Real Key to Development," Mary Anastasia O'Grady writes:
Are the world's impoverished masses destined to live lives of permanent misery unless rich countries transfer wealth for spending on education and infrastructure?

You might think so if your gurus on development economics earn their bread and butter "lending" at the World Bank. Education and infrastructure "investment" are two of the Bank's favorite development themes.

Yet the evidence is piling up that neither government nor multilateral spending on education and infrastructure are key to development. To move out of poverty, countries instead need fast growth; and to get that they need to unleash the animal spirits of entrepreneurs.

Empirical support for this view is presented again this year in The Heritage Foundation/The Wall Street Journal Index of Economic Freedom, released today [see the article for the country-by-country index]. In its 14th edition, the annual survey grades countries on a combination of factors including property rights protection, tax rates, government intervention in the economy, monetary, fiscal and trade policy, and business freedom.

….The Index also reports that the freest 20% of the world's economies have twice the per capita income of those in the second quintile and five times that of the least-free 20%. In other words, freedom and prosperity are highly correlated.
This is consistent with my research on economic freedom and development. But then what about democratic freedom?

See my plot below, which clearly shows the strong relationship between democratic freedom and the year 2000 economic freedom index (source is here).

The problem here is in focusing on economic freedom and not taking into account overall measures of a people's welfare and impoverishment, such as their infant mortality rate, life expectancy, secondary school enrolment, overall education, literacy, poverty, disparity in incomes, health, and so on. The UN has done this with their Human Development Index (HDI), and Human Poverty Index (HPI) for all countries. All such measures of a people's welfare are highly intercorrelated and form an empirical dimension that goes well beyond the economic freedom index in quantifying a people's impoverishment. Then how do HDI and HPI correlate with democratic freedom? You can see the close relationship in thee following table, which also shows that such freedom helps provide a people security from violence

Thus, democratic freedom is highly related to economic freedom, and the overall welfare of a people. Want to help end impoverishment and violence, then promote democracy. Better then just flooding a poor country with money, much of which goes into the pockets of the ruling gang.


1 posted on 01/22/2008 6:45:25 AM PST by Tolik
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: Lando Lincoln; neverdem; quidnunc; .cnI redruM; Valin; King Prout; SJackson; dennisw; ...

R.J. Rummel extensively revised and reissued his book Freedom's Principles in promotion of his life long project of Freedom, Democracy and Peace

This ping list is not author-specific for articles I'd like to share. Some for the perfect moral clarity, some for provocative thoughts; or simply interesting articles I'd hate to miss myself. (I don't have to agree with the author all 100% to feel the need to share an article.) I will try not to abuse the ping list and not to annoy you too much, but on some days there is more of the good stuff that is worthy of attention. You can see the list of articles I pinged to lately  on  my page.
You are welcome in or out, just freepmail me (and note which PING list you are talking about). Besides this one, I keep 2 separate PING lists for my favorite authors Victor Davis Hanson and Orson Scott Card.  

2 posted on 01/22/2008 6:45:57 AM PST by Tolik
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Tolik
Your book looks intersting, and I share your struggle with the interntional implications of pure libertarianism. But I think you stumble over the un-recognized codependence of our culture. This co-dependence invites each of us, to assume the responsibilities of others. We often cloak this taking by calling it compassion, love and other names. You called it an "oligation to help those struggling under thuggish regimes".

But no one has this obligation. To so help others without their consent is indeed taking their responsibility ( and with it some of their spiritual birthright) for oneself. To force others in your country to assume this responsibility is also wrong, without their full consent.

To do so freely, with their full consent and equal cooperation, is the only way to help that doesn't involve this.

Therefore, the best way to help is not to become involved in other countries, but to invite and accept as many people here as want to live freely. THat pretty much sums up the libertarian position.

THe dilemma comes because we don't like thinking of ourselves as non-compassionate people. People who strive to practice non-codependence are often called mean, cold and non-caring, because in our society, what we call love is actually codependence.

3 posted on 01/22/2008 7:05:23 AM PST by Red Boots
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Red Boots
Therefore, the best way to help is not to become involved in other countries, but to invite and accept as many people here as want to live freely.
Unless the promotion of liberty abroad is in the interest of national security...   
We know that freedom has an inverse relationship to human rights abuse, so we promote freedom in the areas breeding tyranny against the U.S. 
Otherwise, we all hunker down in 50 states while Putin and Ahmadinejad trade weapons and plot land grabs? 

4 posted on 01/22/2008 7:36:26 AM PST by littlehouse36 (Why be Europe?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: Tolik

for later reading

5 posted on 01/22/2008 8:56:26 AM PST by kalee (The offenses we give, we write in the dust; Those we take, we write in marble. JHuett)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: littlehouse36
Otherwise, we all hunker down in 50 states while Putin and Ahmadinejad trade weapons and plot land grabs?

They could plot all they wanted, but they wouldn't have any people with which to carry our anything, since they'd all have fled to freer climes.

6 posted on 01/22/2008 9:26:51 AM PST by Red Boots
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: Red Boots; nicmarlo

Outstanding Comments

On an individual basis, we become co-dependent when we compromise our values in exchange for a dysfunctional relationship. Our negative self image fuels our desperation to be loved or admired. Then we wonder why we continually fail at relationships.

Our “boundaries” become weak and we lose the ability to say no....

The same principles apply to nation-states.

America has replaced on many levels do-dependency for love....we use and abuse each other and wonder why things seem to be going to hell.

7 posted on 01/22/2008 12:38:03 PM PST by Halgr (Once a Marine, always a Marine - Semper Fi)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794 is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson