Definitions

Perhaps like your own native country, the national anthems of Cuba, Russia, Chad, and Libya have their citizens proudly singing about their glorious freedom.

Without a categorical definition, everyone on earth can claim they live in freedom - or at least be relentlessly told they do.

Over the years I have adopted some clear definitions which I learned from other people. These might differ from your own definitions of these concepts, but by providing them here you will at least know what I am trying to say when I talk about these foundational human values.

So here’s what I mean when I use these words:

Freedom: Freedom is the societal condition that exists when every individual has full (i.e. 100%) control over his or her own property.

Property: An individual’s life, actions, and all non-coercive derivatives thereof.

Coercion: An attempted, intentional interference with property.

Crime: A successful act of coercion.

Moral: Absence of coercion.

Profit: Any increase in happiness acquired by moral means.

Plunder: Any increase in happiness acquired by immoral means.

I have found that by using these definitions it’s possible to have clarity in matters of right and wrong and freedom and subservience. I’m not dogmatic about these definitions and if anyone can offer ones with more utility and better empirical measurement I’d be happy and grateful to adopt them.