We Hold These Truths

For nearly 40 years, Independent Institute was led by a founder in whom the foundational principles of life and liberty were deeply ingrained—in both his mind and heart, rooted in reason and faith.

And this commitment remains enshrined in our mission statement: To boldly advance peaceful, prosperous and free societies, grounded in a commitment to human worth and dignity.

The worth and dignity of every human.

Each an equally beloved creation, equally endowed with certain inalienable rights, chief among them life and liberty.

Our Statement on the Terrorist Attacks on 9/11 equally applies today:

The Independent Institute offers condolences to all those suffering in the continuing wake of terrorist attacks and mass murders around the world. We join the civilized world in condemning these horrific deeds. All those specific individuals responsible for the planning and organization of the murders, injuries, and damages of [October 7] and afterward must be brought to justice for these barbaric acts.

Justice, not the deployment of weapons of warfare, whether American drones, or missiles fired at streets, homes, shops, schools, and hospitals. As Robert Higgs wrote of an earlier time and place:

Those bombs are smart, no doubt, but they are better at math than at morality. Even when they work as they are supposed to, they are not smart enough to discriminate between the innocent and the guilty as they detonate in a densely populated urban area…

We must remember that every means is itself an end, and thus weigh carefully the means we encourage, for each will be judged by what it produces, not its intent.

As we also affirmed at the start of this rocky century:

The Statue of Liberty is recognized worldwide with good reason as a symbol of liberty and justice for all. The peaceful spread of these ideals must be our best and most enduring export. And, we will win the hearts and minds of individuals the world over only if we adhere to these values—at home and abroad—with the fidelity that those values demand.

Mary L. G. Theroux is Chairman and Chief Executive of the Independent Institute.
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