9 Tales of Space and Time

The Idealists through John W. Campbell, Jr.
Shock Treatment by means of J. Francis McComas
Man of Parts through H. L. Gold
The nice Devon Mystery via Raymond J. Healy
Balaam via Anthony Boucher
Genius of the Species through Reginald Bretnor
Compound B through David Harold Fink
The chook or the Egghead through Frank Fenton
Overture by way of Kris Neville

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Sample text

Freedom, as people enjoyed it in the democratic countries of Western civilization in the years of the old liberalism’s triumph, was not a product of constitutions, bills of rights, laws, and statutes. Those documents aimed only at safeguarding liberty and freedom, firmly established by the operation of the market economy, against encroachments on the part of officeholders. No government and no civil law can guarantee and bring about freedom otherwise than by supporting and defending the fundamental institutions of the market economy.

But then he has to bear the consequences; he will either be less perfectly served or he will have to pay a higher price. Civil government enforces its commandments by recourse to violence or the threat of violence. The market does not need any recourse to violence because neglect of its rationality penalizes itself. The critics of capitalism fully acknowledge this fact in pointing out that for private enterprise nothing counts but the striving after profit. Profit can be made only by satisfying the consumers better or cheaper or better and cheaper, than others do.

Today it is fashionable to sneer at them. They are, trumpets the modern sage, “slippery” notions and “bourgeois” prejudices. Freedom and liberty are not to be found in nature. In nature there is no phenomenon to which these terms could be meaningfully applied. Whatever man does, he can never free himself from the restraints which nature imposes upon him. If he wants to succeed in acting, he must submit unconditionally to the laws of nature. Freedom and liberty always refer to interhuman relations.

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