Leaders of the Free World

Some claim that the President of the United States of America is the ‘leader of the free world’ (Google News) . How can this be? How can an entire society of free people have only one leader? Surely free people can follow other leaders!

Consider that the winner in a political election is not the chosen leader of all voters. Some people voted for other candidates while others did not vote at all, yet the winning candidate is imposed on them all. In addition, states gather resources from taxation, a compulsory payment their subjects are certainly not free to refuse. States also compel their subjects to obey rules not agreed to by contract.

In a free society, every person is free to choose their own leader, living according to the example set by people they consider great, and giving money to people and businesses of their choice. Indeed each person may follow many leaders depending on the leader’s area of expertise and influence. In the area of business, one could follow Henry Ford or John D Rockefeller. In computing, Steve Jobs or Bill Gates. In philosophy, Aristotle or Plato. In economics, Ludwig von Mises or John Maynard Keynes. In charity, Mother Teresa or William Booth.

Politicians do not lead free people, but rather subject them to theft and directions. A society of free people has not one leader, but many leaders, chosen voluntarily.

© Danny Haynes

- posted 19 October 08 in


  1. David Corless, 21 October 2008, 11:58:

    How do you suggest we organise a country of ‘free people’? How do we build infrastructure etc.? I understand your point about being subject to someone you didn’t choose means you aren’t free, but I genuinely would like to know how else society can progress. If everyone chooses not to follow anyone, then you have anarchy, which is not what I think you are aiming for.

  2. Danny Haynes, 27 October 2008, 21:41:

    David, in terms of this article, a federal or even state government is not required in order to build infrastructure. It could all be provided by private firms or through local councils (which could remain as they are, or be privately owned). ‘We’ don’t need to ‘organise’ anyone. Are you suggesting that power must be exercised in order for society to function?

    If you are interested in how a free society might be organised, I suggest you read The Private Production of Defense by Hans-Hermann Hoppe.

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