One of the tenets of my personal belief system is that individual freedom and liberty are basic human rights. This fascinating article in the Wall Street Journal explains how personal freedom unleashed an unprecedented explosion of progress in the developed nations of the world just since 1800. I also recommend Matt Ridley’s book The Evolution of Everthing which goes into great depth in explaining that top-down control of societies has never worked because everything from morality to art to economic activity evolves from the bottom up.