Magonism is an anarchist, or more anarcho-communist, school of thought precursor of the Mexican Revolution of 1910. It is based on the ideas of Ricardo Flores Magón, his brothers Enrique and Jesús, other collaborators of the Mexican newspaper Regeneración, as Práxedis Guerrero, Librado Rivera and Anselmo L. Figueroa; the Mexican government and the press of the early 20th century called as magonistas people and groups who shared the ideas of the Flores Magón brothers, who inspired the overthrow of the dictatorship of Porfirio Díaz and performed an economic and political revolution. The fight against tyranny encouraged by the Flores Magón contravened official discourse of Porfirian Peace by which the protesters were rated as the Revoltosos Magonistas to isolate any social basis and preserve the image of peace and progress imposed by force. Both of Flores Magón's brothers, like other members of the Mexican Liberal Party, used the term magonista to refer to the libertarian movement that promoted.
The same Ricardo Flores Magón affirmed: Liberal Party members are not magonistas, they are anarchists!. In his literary work Verdugos y Víctimas, one of the characters responds indignantly when he was arrested and judged: I'm not a magonist, I am an anarchist. An anarchist has no idols. Magonist thinking was influenced by anarchist philosophers such as Mikhail Bakunin and Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, others such as Élisée Reclus, Charles Malato, Errico Malatesta, Anselmo Lorenzo, Emma Goldman, Fernando Tarrida del Mármol and Max Stirner, they were influenced by the works of Marx and Ibsen. However, the most influential works were the ones of Peter Kropotkin The Conquest of Bread and Mutual Aid: A Factor of Evolution, at the same time they were influenced by the Mexican liberal tradition of the 19th century and the self-government system of the indigenous people. Indigenous peoples, since the Spanish conquest of Mexico, searched to preserve the practice of direct democracy, decision-making in assembly, rotation of administrative charges, the defense of communal property, mutual aid as the community exploitation and rational use of natural resources, shared anarchist principles raised by the magonists.
The direct influence of indigenous thought in magonism were the teachings of Teodoro Flores, mestizo Nahua, father of the Flores Magón brothers, the coexistence of other members of the PLM with indigenous groups during periods of organization and insurrection of PLM, between 1905 and 1910, such as the Popoluca in Veracruz, the Yaqui and Mayo in Sonora, the Cocopah in Baja California. Fernando Palomares, a Mayo indigenous, was one of the most active members of the Liberal Party who took part in the Cananea strike and libertarian campaign of 1911 in Mexicali and Tijuana. After the end of the armed phase of Mexican Revolution, after the death of Ricardo Flores Magón in 1922, began the rescue of magonist thought due to trade unionists in Mexico and the United States. In the post-revolutionary Mexico, the figures of Flores Magón brothers was recollected by governments, considering them precursors of the revolution. Both the insurrection of 1910 as social rights enshrined in the Mexican Constitution of 1917 was due to the magonistas, which since 1906 took up arms and drafted an economic and social program.
However, although the demands that led to the revolution in theory were resolved in the Constitution and in the speeches of the revolutionary governments, there was no significant change in the lives of the most vulnerable populations. The magonistas considered not fighting to change the administrators of the state, but to abolish them. For this reason, the survived magonistas continued to spread anarchist propaganda. Librado Rivera was persecuted and imprisoned during the government of Plutarco Elías Calles and Enrique Flores Magón, who believed that the Mexican social revolution is not yet over, could enjoy security until the presidency of Lázaro Cárdenas; the Mexican Anarchist Federation, founded in 1941 and active for about 40 years, edited the newspaper Regeneración and spread Magonist thought. In the 1980s Magonism survived among some youth anarcho-punk groups; the Biblioteca Social Reconstruir, founded in 1980 by the Spanish anarchist in exile Ricardo Mestre and located in Mexico City, was a library where to find anarchist literature and works on Ricardo Flores Magón or copies of Regeneración.
In 1994, when the Zapatista Army of National Liberation took up arms in Chiapas, claimed the ideas of the Flores Magón brothers. In 1997, indigenous organizations, social groups of libertarians and municipal councils of the state of Oaxaca, declared the "Citizen Year of Ricardo Flores Magón" from 21 November to 16 September 1998. In August 2000, driven by indigenous organizations in the State of Oaxaca and libertarian groups in Mexico City, the Magonistas Days were held for the 100 years of the founding of the newspaper Regeneración. In the popular uprising of Oaxaca of 2006, took part organizations and youth groups influenced by anarchist magonistas ideals. Rubén Trejo: Magonismo: utopía y revolución, 1910–1913. 2005, Cultura Libre – ISBN 970-9815-00-8 M. Ballesteros, J. C. Beas, B. Maldonado: Magonismo y Movimiento Indígena en México. 2003, Ce-Acatl AC An overview about the magonism Ricardo Flores Magón Archive
Anarcho-capitalism is a political philosophy and school of anarchist thought that advocates the elimination of centralized state dictum in favor of self-ownership, private property and free markets. Anarcho-capitalists hold that in the absence of statute, society tends to contractually self-regulate and civilize through the spontaneous and organic discipline of the free market. In an anarcho-capitalist society, law enforcement and all other security services would be operated by funded competitors selected by consumers rather than centrally through confiscatory taxation. Money, along with all other goods and services, would be and competitively provided in an open market. Personal and economic activities under anarcho-capitalism would therefore be regulated by victim-based dispute resolution organizations under tort and contract law, rather than by statute through centrally determined punishment under political monopolies, which tend to become corrupt in proportion to their monopolization.
Business regulations, such as corporate standards, public relations, product labels, rules for consumer protection and labor relations would be regulated voluntarily via the use of competitive trade associations, professional societies, standards bodies. Various theorists have espoused legal philosophies similar to anarcho-capitalism. However, the first person to use the term was Murray Rothbard who, in the mid-20th century, synthesized elements from the Austrian School of economics, classical liberalism and 19th-century American individualist anarchists Lysander Spooner and Benjamin Tucker. A Rothbardian anarcho-capitalist society would operate under a mutually agreed-upon libertarian "legal code which would be accepted, which the courts would pledge themselves to follow"; this pact would recognize self-ownership, property and tort law, in keeping with the universal non-aggression principle. Anarcho-capitalists are distinguished from minarchists, who advocate a small Jeffersonian night-watchman state limited to protecting individuals and their properties from foreign and domestic aggression.
Anarcho-capitalists argue for a society based on the voluntary trade of private property and services in order to minimize conflict while maximizing individual liberty and prosperity. However, they recognize charity and communal arrangements as part of the same voluntary ethic. Although anarcho-capitalists are known for asserting a right to private property, some propose that non-state public or community property can exist in an anarcho-capitalist society. For them, what is important is that it is acquired and transferred without help or hindrance from the compulsory state. Anarcho-capitalist libertarians believe that the only just and most economically beneficial way to acquire property is through voluntary trade, gift, or labor-based original appropriation, rather than through aggression or fraud. Anarcho-capitalists see free market capitalism as the basis for a prosperous society. Murray Rothbard said that the difference between free market capitalism and "state capitalism" is the difference between "peaceful, voluntary exchange" and a collusive partnership between business and government that uses coercion to subvert the free market.
"Capitalism", as anarcho-capitalists employ the term, is not to be confused with state monopoly capitalism, crony capitalism, corporatism, or contemporary mixed economies, wherein market incentives and disincentives may be altered by state action. They therefore reject the state, seeing it as an entity which steals property, initiates aggression, has a compulsory monopoly on the use of force, uses its coercive powers to benefit some businesses and individuals at the expense of others, creates artificial monopolies, restricts trade and restricts personal freedoms via drug laws, compulsory education, laws on food and morality and the like. Many anarchists view capitalism as an inherently authoritarian and hierarchical system and seek the expropriation of private property. There is disagreement between these left anarchists and laissez-faire anarcho-capitalists as the former rejects anarcho-capitalism as a form of anarchism and considers anarcho-capitalism an oxymoron, while the latter holds that such expropriation is counterproductive to order and would require a state.
On the Nolan chart, anarcho-capitalists are located at the extreme edge of the libertarian quadrant since they reject state involvement in both economic and personal affairs. Anarcho-capitalists argue that the state relies on initiating force because force can be used against those who have not stolen private property, vandalized private property, assaulted anyone, or committed fraud. Many argue that subsidized monopolies tend to be corrupt and inefficient. Murray Rothbard argued that all government services, including
Individualism is the moral stance, political philosophy, ideology, or social outlook that emphasizes the moral worth of the individual. Individualists promote the exercise of one's goals and desires and so value independence and self-reliance and advocate that interests of the individual should achieve precedence over the state or a social group, while opposing external interference upon one's own interests by society or institutions such as the government. Individualism is defined in contrast to totalitarianism and more corporate social forms. Individualism makes the individual its focus and so starts "with the fundamental premise that the human individual is of primary importance in the struggle for liberation." Classical liberalism and anarchism are examples of movements that take the human individual as a central unit of analysis. Individualism thus involves "the right of the individual to freedom and self-realization", it has been used as a term denoting "The quality of being an individual.
Individualism is thus associated with artistic and bohemian interests and lifestyles where there is a tendency towards self-creation and experimentation as opposed to tradition or popular mass opinions and behaviors, as with humanist philosophical positions and ethics. In the English language, the word "individualism" was first introduced, as a pejorative, by the Owenites in the late 1830s, although it is unclear if they were influenced by Saint-Simonianism or came up with it independently. A more positive use of the term in Britain came to be used with the writings of James Elishama Smith, a millenarian and a Christian Israelite. Although an early Owenite socialist, he rejected its collective idea of property, found in individualism a "universalism" that allowed for the development of the "original genius." Without individualism, Smith argued, individuals cannot amass property to increase one's happiness. William Maccall, another Unitarian preacher, an acquaintance of Smith, came somewhat although influenced by John Stuart Mill, Thomas Carlyle, German Romanticism, to the same positive conclusions, in his 1847 work "Elements of Individualism".
An individual is any specific object in a collection. In the 15th century and earlier, today within the fields of statistics and metaphysics, individual means "indivisible" describing any numerically singular thing, but sometimes meaning "a person.". From the 17th century on, individual indicates separateness, as in individualism. Individuality is the quality of being an individuated being; the principle of individuation, or principium individuationis, describes the manner in which a thing is identified as distinguished from other things. For Carl Jung, individuation is a process of transformation, whereby the personal and collective unconscious is brought into consciousness to be assimilated into the whole personality, it is a natural process necessary for the integration of the psyche to take place. Jung considered individuation to be the central process of human development. In L'individuation psychique et collective, Gilbert Simondon developed a theory of individual and collective individuation in which the individual subject is considered as an effect of individuation rather than a cause.
Thus, the individual atom is replaced by a never-ending ontological process of individuation. Individuation is an always incomplete process, always leaving a "pre-individual" left-over, itself making possible future individuations; the philosophy of Bernard Stiegler draws upon and modifies the work of Gilbert Simondon on individuation and upon similar ideas in Friedrich Nietzsche and Sigmund Freud. For Stiegler "the I, as a psychic individual, can only be thought in relationship to we, a collective individual; the I is constituted in adopting a collective tradition, which it inherits and in which a plurality of I's acknowledge each other's existence." Individualism holds that a person taking part in society attempts to learn and discover what his or her own interests are on a personal basis, without a presumed following of the interests of a societal structure. The individualist does not follow one particular philosophy, rather creates an amalgamation of elements of many, based on personal interests in particular aspects that he/she finds of use.
On a societal level, the individualist participates on a structured political and moral ground. Independent thinking and opinion is a common trait of an individualist. Jean-Jacques Rousseau, claims that his concept of "general will" in the "social contract" is not the simple collection of individual wills and that it furthers the interests of the individual. Societies and groups can differ in the extent to which they are based upon predominantly "self-regarding" behaviors, rather than "other-regarding" behaviors. Ruth Benedict made a distinction, relevant in this context, between "guilt" societies with an "internal reference standard", "shame" societies with an "external reference
Refusal of work
Refusal of work is behavior in which a person refuses regular employment. As actual behavior, with or without a political or philosophical program, it has been practiced by various subcultures and individuals. Radical political positions have advocated refusal of work. From within Marxism it has been advocated by Paul Lafargue and the Italian workerist/autonomists, the French ultra-left. International human rights law does not recognize the refusal of work or right not to work by itself except the right to strike; however the Abolition of Forced Labour Convention adopted by International Labour Organization in 1957 prohibits all forms of forced labour. Wage slavery refers to a situation where a person's livelihood depends on wages when the dependence is total and immediate, it is a negatively connoted term used to draw an analogy between slavery and wage labor, to highlight similarities between owning and employing a person. The term'wage slavery' has been used to criticize economic exploitation and social stratification, with the former seen as unequal bargaining power between labor and capital, the latter as a lack of workers' self-management.
The criticism of social stratification covers a wider range of employment choices bound by the pressures of a hierarchical social environment. Similarities between wage labor and slavery were noted at least as early as Cicero. Before the American Civil War, Southern defenders of African American slavery invoked the concept to favorably compare the condition of their slaves to workers in the North. With the advent of the industrial revolution, thinkers such as Proudhon and Marx elaborated the comparison between wage labor and slavery in the context of a critique of property not intended for active personal use; the introduction of wage labor in 18th century Britain was met with resistance – giving rise to the principles of syndicalism. Some labor organizations and individual social activists, have espoused workers' self-management or worker cooperatives as possible alternatives to wage labor; the Right to be Lazy is an essay by Cuban-born French revolutionary Marxist Paul Lafargue, written from his London exile in 1880.
The essay polemicizes against then-contemporary liberal, conservative and socialist ideas of work. Lafargue criticizes these ideas from a Marxist perspective as dogmatic and false by portraying the degeneration and enslavement of human existence when being subsumed under the primacy of the "right to work", argues that laziness, combined with human creativity, is an important source of human progress, he manifests that "When, in our civilized Europe, we would find a trace of the native beauty of man, we must go seek it in the nations where economic prejudices have not yet uprooted the hatred of work... The Greeks in their era of greatness had only contempt for work: their slaves alone were permitted to labor: the free man knew only exercises for the body and mind... The philosophers of antiquity taught contempt for work, that degradation of the free man, the poets sang of idleness, that gift from the Gods." And so he says "Proletarians, brutalized by the dogma of work, listen to the voice of these philosophers, concealed from you with jealous care: A citizen who gives his labor for money degrades himself to the rank of slaves."
Raoul Vaneigem, important theorist of the post-surrealist Situationist International, influential in the May 68 events in France, wrote The Book of Pleasures. In it he says that "You reverse the perspective of power by returning to pleasure the energies stolen by work and constraint... As sure as work kills pleasure, pleasure kills work. If you are not resigned to dying of disgust you will be happy enough to rid your life of the odious need to work, to give orders, to lose and to win, to keep up appearances, to judge and be judged." Autonomist philosopher Bifo defines refusal of work as not "so much the obvious fact that workers do not like to be exploited, but something more. It means that the capitalist restructuring, the technological change, the general transformation of social institutions are produced by the daily action of withdrawal from exploitation, of rejection of the obligation to produce surplus value, to increase the value of capital, reducing the value of life." More he states "Refusal of work means...
I don't want to go to work. But this laziness is the source of intelligence, of technology, of progress. Autonomy is the self-regulation of the social body in its independence and in its interaction with the disciplinary norm."As a social development Bifo remembers "that one of the strong ideas of the movement of autonomy proletarians during the 70s was the idea "precariousness is good". Job precariousness is a form of autonomy from steady regular work. In the 1970s many people used to work for a few months to go away for a journey back to work for a while; this was possible in times of full employment and in times of egalitarian culture. This situation allowed people to work in their own interest and not in the interest of capitalists, but quite this could not last forever, the neoliberal offensive of the 1980s was aimed to reverse the rapport de force." As a response to these developments his view is that "the dissemination of self-organized knowledge can create a social framewo
Direct action originated as a political activist term for economical and political acts in which the actors use their power to directly reach certain goals of interest, in contrast to those actions that appeal to others by, for instance, revealing an existing problem, highlighting an alternative, or demonstrating a possible solution. Both direct action and actions appealing to others can include nonviolent and violent activities which target persons, groups, or property deemed offensive to the action participants. Examples of nonviolent direct action can include sit-ins, workplace occupations, street blockades or hacktivism, while violent direct action may include political violence or assaults. Tactics such as sabotage and property destruction are sometimes considered violent. By contrast, electoral politics, negotiation and arbitration are not described as direct action, as they are politically mediated. Non-violent actions are sometimes a form of civil disobedience, may involve a degree of intentional law-breaking where persons place themselves in arrestable situations in order to make a political statement but other actions may not violate criminal law.
The aim of direct action is to either obstruct another political agent or political organization from performing some practice to which the activists object, or to solve perceived problems which traditional societal institutions are not addressing to the satisfaction of the direct action participants. Non-violent direct action has been an assertive regular feature of the tactics employed by social movements, including Mahatma Gandhi's Indian Independence Movement and the Civil Rights Movement. Direct action tactics have been around for as long as conflicts have existed but it is not known when the term first appeared; the radical union the Industrial Workers of the World first mentioned the term "direct action" in a publication in reference to a Chicago strike conducted in 1910. Other noted historical practitioners of direct action include the American Civil Rights Movement, the Global Justice Movement, the Suffragettes, revolutionary Che Guevara, certain environmental advocacy groups. American anarchist Voltairine de Cleyre wrote an essay called "Direct Action" in 1912, cited today.
In this essay, de Cleyre points to historical examples such as the Boston Tea Party and the American anti-slavery movement, noting that "direct action has always been used, has the historical sanction of the people now reprobating it."In his 1920 book, Direct Action, William Mellor placed direct action in the struggle between worker and employer for control "over the economic life of society." Mellor defined direct action "as the use of some form of economic power for securing of ends desired by those who possess that power." Mellor considered direct action a tool of both owners and workers and for this reason, he included within his definition lockouts and cartels, as well as strikes and sabotage. However, by this time the US anarchist and feminist Voltairine de Cleyre had given a strong defense of direct action, linking it with struggles for civil rights:...the Salvation Army, started by a gentleman named William Booth was vigorously practising direct action in the maintenance of the freedom of its members to speak and pray.
Over and over they were arrested and imprisoned... till they compelled their persecutors to let them alone. Martin Luther King felt that non-violent direct action's goal was to "create such a crisis and foster such a tension" as to demand a response; the rhetoric of Martin Luther King, James Bevel, Mohandas Gandhi promoted non-violent revolutionary direct action as a means to social change. Gandhi and Bevel had been influenced by Leo Tolstoy's The Kingdom of God Is Within You, considered a classic text that ideologically promotes passive resistance. By the middle of the 20th century, the sphere of direct action had undoubtedly expanded, though the meaning of the term had contracted. Many campaigns for social change—such as those seeking suffrage, improved working conditions, civil rights, abortion rights or an end to abortion, an end to gentrification, environmental protection—claim to employ at least some types of violent or nonviolent direct action; some sections of the anti-nuclear movement used direct action during the 1980s.
Groups opposing the introduction of cruise missiles into the United Kingdom employed tactics such as breaking into and occupying United States air bases, blocking roads to prevent the movement of military convoys and disrupt military projects. In the US, mass protests opposed nuclear energy and military intervention throughout the decade, resulting in thousands of arrests. Many groups set up semi-permanent "peace camps" outside air bases such as Molesworth and Greenham Common, at the Nevada Test Site. Environmental movement organizations such as Greenpeace have used direct action to pressure governments and companies to change environmental policies for years. On April 28, 2009, Greenpeace activists, including Phil Radford, scaled a crane across the street from the Department of State, calling on world leaders to address climate change. Soon thereafter, Greenpeace activists dropped a banner off of Mt. Rushmore, placing President Obama's face next to other historic presidents, which read "History Honors Leaders.
Overall, more than 2,600 people were arrested while protesting energy policy and associated health issues under the Barack Obama Administration. In 2009
Some observers believe existentialism forms a philosophical ground for anarchism. Anarchist historian Peter Marshall claims, "there is a close link between the existentialists' stress on the individual, free choice, moral responsibility and the main tenets of anarchism". Anarchism had a proto-existentialist view in the writings of German individualist anarchist Max Stirner. In his book The Ego and Its Own, Stirner advocates concrete individual existence, or egoism, against most accepted social institutions—including the state, property as a right, natural rights in general, the notion of society—which he considers mere spooks or essences in the mind. Existentialism, according to Herbert Read, "is eliminating all systems of idealism, all theories of life or being that subordinate man to an idea, to an abstraction of some sort, it is eliminating all systems of materialism that subordinate man to the operation of physical and economic laws. It is saying that man is the reality—not man in the abstract, but the human person, you and I.
In this respect, existentialism has much in common with Max Stirner's egoism." Friedrich Nietzsche is one of the first philosophers considered fundamental to the existentialist movement, though the movement did not exist until after his death, when his works became better known. While he was alive, Nietzsche was associated with anarchist movements and proved influential for many anarchist thinkers, in spite of the fact that, in his writings, he seems to hold a negative view of anarchists; this was the result of a popular association during this period between his ideas and those of Max Stirner. As such, Nietzsche's Übermensch was representative of the freedom for people to define the nature of their own existence, as well as the desire for a new human, to be neither master nor slave. Nietzsche's idealized individual invents his or her own values and creates the terms under which they excel, taking no regard for God, the state, or the social behavior of'herds', it was these things that drew Nietzsche to anarchists and existentialists alike, showing the clear commonality between both.
Some point to Mikhail Bakunin as following a "philosophy of existence" against "the philosophy of essence" as advocated by Hegel, a figure whom many anarchists, in contrast to Marxists, have found authoritarian or totalitarian. "Every individual," Bakunin writes, "inherits at birth, in different degrees, not ideas and innate sentiments, as the idealists claim, but only the capacity to feel, to will, to think, to speak," a set of "rudimentary faculties without any content" which are filled through concrete experience. Foundational existentialist thinkers such as Søren Kierkegaard and Friedrich Nietzsche voiced their opposition to Hegel for denying the role of the free individual, glorifying State and Church, claiming "absolute knowledge" about human beings. While influenced by Hegel early in his life, Bakunin was stridently opposed to Hegel around the time he became an anarchist, would refuse to say he was influenced by him; the transcendentalists Henry David Thoreau, were influential to anarchism and existentialism.
In the first and middle decades of the 20th century, a number of philosophers and literary writers had explored existentialist themes. Before the Second World War, when existentialism was not yet in name, Franz Kafka and Martin Buber were among these thinkers who were anarchists. Both are today sometimes seen as Jewish existentialists as well as Jewish anarchists, it is agreed that Kafka's work cannot be reduced to either a philosophical or political theory, but this has not been an obstacle to making links from existentialism and anarchism to his principal writings. As far as politics, Kafka attended meetings of the Klub Mladých, a Czech anarchist, anti-militarist, anti-clerical organization, in one diary entry, Kafka referenced influential anarchist philosopher Peter Kropotkin: "Don't forget Kropotkin!"In his works, Kafka famously wrote about surreal and alienated characters who struggle with hopelessness and absurdity, themes which were important to existentialism, yet presented critiques of the authoritarian family and bureaucracy as well, about which he had strong views as institutions.
He spoke, for instance, of family life as a battleground: "I have always looked upon my parents as persecutors," he wrote in a letter, that "All parents want to do is drag one down to them, back to the old days from which one longs to free oneself and escape." In this regard, he was speaking from experience, but he was influenced by his friend Otto Gross, an Austrian anarchist and psychoanalyst. Otto Gross himself blended Nietzsche and Stirner with Sigmund Freud in developing his own libertarian form of psychology, feeling that they revealed the human potential frustrated by the authoritarian family: "Only now can we realize that the source of authority lies in the family, that the combination of sexuality and authority, shown in the family by the rights still assigned to the father, puts all individuality in fetters."Agreeing with Gross and holding fundamental anarchist views, Kafka would define capitalism as a bureaucracy, "a system of relations of dependence" where "everything is arranged hierarchically and everything is in chains", that in the end "the chains of tortured humanity are made of the official papers of ministries".
Martin Buber is best known for his philosophy of dialogue, a form of religious existentialism centered on the distinction between the I
Freethought is a philosophical viewpoint which holds that positions regarding truth should be formed on the basis of logic and empiricism, rather than authority, revelation, or dogma. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, a freethinker is'a person who forms their own ideas and opinions rather than accepting those of other people in religious teaching.' In some contemporary thought in particular, freethought is tied with rejection of traditional social or religious belief systems. The cognitive application of freethought is known as "freethinking", practitioners of freethought are known as "freethinkers". Modern freethinkers consider freethought as a natural freedom of all negative and illusive thoughts acquired from the society; the term first came into use in the 17th century in order to indicate people who inquired into the basis of traditional religious beliefs. In practice, freethinking is most linked with secularism, agnosticism, anti-clericalism, religious critique; the Oxford English Dictionary defines freethinking as, "The free exercise of reason in matters of religious belief, unrestrained by deference to authority.
Freethinkers hold that knowledge should be grounded in facts, scientific inquiry, logic. The skeptical application of science implies freedom from the intellectually limiting effects of confirmation bias, cognitive bias, conventional wisdom, popular culture, prejudice, or sectarianism. Atheist author Adam Lee defines freethought as thinking, independent of revelation, established belief, authority, considers it as a "broader umbrella" than atheism "that embraces a rainbow of unorthodoxy, religious dissent and unconventional thinking."The basic summarizing statement of the essay The Ethics of Belief by the 19th-century British mathematician and philosopher William Kingdon Clifford is: "It is wrong always and for anyone, to believe anything upon insufficient evidence." The essay became a rallying cry for freethinkers when published in the 1870s, has been described as a point when freethinkers grabbed the moral high ground. Clifford was himself an organizer of freethought gatherings, the driving force behind the Congress of Liberal Thinkers held in 1878.
Regarding religion, freethinkers hold that there is insufficient evidence to support the existence of supernatural phenomena. According to the Freedom from Religion Foundation, "No one can be a freethinker who demands conformity to a bible, creed, or messiah. To the freethinker and faith are invalid, orthodoxy is no guarantee of truth." And "Freethinkers are convinced that religious claims have not withstood the tests of reason. Not only is there nothing to be gained by believing an untruth, but there is everything to lose when we sacrifice the indispensable tool of reason on the altar of superstition. Most freethinkers consider religion to be not only untrue, but harmful."However, philosopher Bertrand Russell wrote the following in his 1944 essay "The Value of Free Thought:" What makes a freethinker is not his beliefs but the way in which he holds them. If he holds them because his elders told him they were true when he was young, or if he holds them because if he did not he would be unhappy, his thought is not free.
The whole first paragraph of the essay makes it clear that a freethinker is not an atheist or an agnostic, as long as he or she satisfies this definition: The person, free in any respect is free from something. To be worthy of the name, he must be free of two things: the force of tradition, the tyranny of his own passions. No one is free from either, but in the measure of a man's emancipation he deserves to be called a free thinker. Fred Edwords, former executive of the American Humanist Association, suggests that by Russell's definition, liberal religionists who have challenged established orthodoxies can be considered freethinkers. On the other hand, according to Bertrand Russell, atheists and/or agnostics are not freethinkers; as an example, he mentions Stalin, whom he compares to a "pope": what I am concerned with is the doctrine of the modern Communistic Party, of the Russian Government to which it owes allegiance. According to this doctrine, the world develops on the lines of a Plan called Dialectical Materialism, first discovered by Karl Marx, embodied in the practice of a great state by Lenin, now expounded from day to day by a Church of which Stalin is the Pope.
Free discussion is to be prevented. In the 18th and 19th century, many thinkers regarded as freethinkers were deists, arguing that the nature of God can only be known from a study of nature rather than from religious revelation. In the 18th century, "deism" was as much of a'dirty word' as "atheism", deists were stigmatized as either atheists or at least as freethinkers by their Christian opponents. Deists today regard themselves as freethinkers, but are now arguably less prominent in the freethought movement than atheists. Among freethinkers, for a notion to be considered true it must be testable, verifiable and logical. Many freethinkers tend to be humanists, where they basing morality on human needs and would find meaning in human compassion, social progress, personal happiness and the furtherance of knowledge