Today, a coalition of conservative organizations released the Freedom Conservatism: A Statement of Principles letter articulating the values and principles that unify groups across the liberty movement.

Independent Women’s Forum joins with many other allies in agreeing to these principles because we believe that they are fundamental to people experiencing more opportunities and greater well-being.

For example, the economic opportunity derived from small business ownership or freelancing would not be achieved in an economic system that does not respect private property and enforce contracts.

Individuals cannot express their natural skills and ability in the marketplace by creating goods and services that consumers want–no matter how small–if the government owns all means of production and decides where time and money should be invested.  

Women who want to balance raising their children or caregiving for an aging parent can find flexibility in an ever-evolving economy that generates alternatives to a traditional 9-to-5 job.

We risk losing all the individual choices, rights, and freedoms as well as the opportunities that flow from the free enterprise system when government grows beyond its limits.

We believe that a limited government, which upholds the law and ensures that it is applied to everyone equally, creates certainty and fairness for people to engage in commerce and participate freely in society.

Unfortunately, younger Americans and some minority groups believe in the fable of socialism and increasingly reject capitalism necessitating that we articulate the principles of liberty and free enterprise:

Today’s public policy challenges are different than the ones faced by the Sharon Statement signatories in 1960. Authoritarianism is on the rise both at home and abroad. More and more people on the left and right reject the distinctive creed that made America great: that individual liberty is essential to the moral and physical strength of the nation.

The time could not be more relevant for leaders to affirm the principles of liberty.

The principles begin with liberty itself:

  1. Liberty. Among Americans’ most fundamental rights is the right to be free from the restrictions of arbitrary force: a right that, in turn, derives from the inseparability of free will from what it means to be human. Liberty is indivisible, and political freedom cannot long exist without economic freedom.

Rounding out the top three principles:

  1. The pursuit of happiness. Most individuals are happiest in loving families, and within stable and prosperous communities in which parents are free to engage in meaningful work, and to raise and educate their children according to their values.
  2. The foundation of prosperity. The free enterprise system is the foundation of prosperity. Americans can only prosper in an economy in which they can afford the basics of everyday life: food, shelter, health care, and energy. A corrosive combination of government intervention and private cronyism is making these basics unaffordable to many Americans. We commit to reducing the cost of living through competitive markets, greater individual choice, and free trade with free people, while upholding the rule of law, freedom of contract, and freedom of association.

The other principles include full faith and credit; a nation of laws, not men; Americans by choice; out of many, one; America’s promissory note; the shining city on a hill; and freedom of conscience. 

To learn more about Freedom Conservatism: A Statement of Principles, visit: