© 2005 May 12 by G. Edward Griffin -- Revised 2006 August 24
Q: Why does The Creed of Freedom not include age as a factor for equality under law? Many firms have a bias against hiring or promoting older people. Isn’t that a violation of employee rights?
A: Age was omitted from the Creed on purpose. An infant or a young child should not have the same rights under law as an adult. Laws and mores vary from culture to culture, but it is universally accepted that parents have legal and moral authority over their children. Children are entitled to the same rights to life, liberty, and property as adults, but they do not have the same claim to freedom-of-choice. Otherwise, they would not obey their parents or go to school or anything else they didn’t want to do. Age makes a difference in many aspects of life, including the right to vote, the right to sexual independence, access to addictive substances, eligibility for military service, responsibility for financial contracts, and the severity of sentencing in courts of law.
It is a different matter outside the realm of law. In personal matters, we are entitled to make distinctions on the basis of whatever preference we wish. If you decide to employ someone to help you in any task, whether it is lifting boxes in your warehouse, guarding your property, or doing your accounting, you have every right to select on the basis of age. I have no right to compel you to hire me if you think I am too young, too old, too arrogant, too sullen, too stupid, too slovenly, too fat, too skinny, too white, too black, or too anything else. If I do not have the right to force you to hire me, I cannot delegate such a right to politicians. Therefore, any law denying an employer the freedom to apply his own standards – including age – is not consistent with The Creed of Freedom. Such laws start out seeming to be compassionate but always end up as tools to regiment society and deny real human rights.
One of the tenets of The Creed of Freedom is Freedom-of-Choice, which includes freedom-of-association. That means you should be free to select those with whom you want to work, to play, or to live. This is essential to a free society. Besides, it's entirely natural. Most people prefer to associate with those who share something in common. They prefer to be with those who are approximately the same age, the same educational level, the same interests and hobbies, the same economic strata, the same religion, the same race, the same tastes in entertainment, the same political views. Everyone does this to one degree or another.
There's a name for this process. It's called "discrimination." In order to select those whith whom you wish to associate, you must by definition be discriminate. You must be free to reject those with whom you do not wish to associate. Otherwise, you cannot choose.
The problem arises in the fact that, today, the word "discrimination" has become confused with the word "hatred," but they are not the same at all. Just because you prefer to be with those of your own age group doesn't mean that you hate those who are older or younger than you, and this is equally true in the case of race, or religion, or any other category.
Government has no business attempting to dictate the social relationships between individuals and groups. Every time government steps in and uses the force of law to rearrange social relationships in accordance with some omnipotent formula, it always makes matters worse. It's like trying to stop a dog from barking by throwing stones at it.
All of these considerations are incorporated in The Creed of Freedom. It is an unerring compass that will guide us through the fog of confused thinking on any political issue and lead us safely to personal liberty and social tranquility.