“Most of the major ills of the world have been caused by well-meaning people who ignored the principle of individual freedom, except as applied to themselves, and who were obsessed with fanatical zeal to improve the lot of mankind-in-the-mass through some pet formula of their own. The harm done by ordinary criminals, murderers, gangsters, and thieves is negligible in comparison with the agony inflicted upon human beings by the professional do-gooders who attempt to set themselves up as gods on earth and who would ruthlessly force their views on all others with the abiding assurance that the end justifies the means.”

–Henry Grady Weaver, The Mainspring of Human Progress (1953).


With incredible erudition and historical understanding, Henry Grady Weaver tells the true story of progress for the human race with acute understanding of the fundamental cause: freedom itself. It is this that has led to unimaginable creativity and the spreading and creation of wealth that could not have been imagined centuries earlier.

The role of the individual can be highly constructive, if two conditions are met—limited government and people who adhered to an ethical code. He hailed the concept of natural law and extolled political structure because it “unleashed the creative energies of millions of men and women by leaving them free to work out their own affairs—not under the lash of coercive authority, but through voluntary cooperation and moral responsibility.”