Free will may be defined as 'the ability to decide what to do independently of any outside influence' (Cambridge English Dictionary). As Rothbard defines it, free will distinguishes man from beast: 'man, the rational animal, possesses reason to discover [his proper] ends and the free will to choose' (The Ethics of Liberty).
Economic liberty is an essential component of human freedom. Economic liberty does not mean 'the love of money' or 'valuing money over people's lives'. Economic liberty is part of the freedom that gives true meaning to human life and differentiates a human being from, say, a tree, that may well be alive and well, thriving in the garden, but has no concept of its own agency or self-worth. There it stands, rooted, safe and secure in a field, for hundreds of years, being watered by the rain and fed by the earth, but it has no sense of personal accomplishment. Human beings are not like plants - we strive always to balance freedom with security because we know that without freedom, security is meaningless.
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