Why Freedom of Association Is So Important
If one were to come up with a word cloud for the year 2020, among the largest words, such as “awful” and “disaster” one would most assuredly find the word “lonely.” Thanks to the convenient excuse of covid, numerous state governments instituted a regime of veritable house arrest for their citizens. Streets were deserted, stores empty, churches closed by government decree. Restaurants and bars usually filled to the brim with happy chatting people were instead filled with an eerie silence, punctuated, perhaps, only by the muffled cries of proprietors lamenting their imminent bankruptcy. While in most places the “social distancing” has lessened in its severity, there are still many hindrances to what would be considered normal social existence, as the horror stories coming out of colleges and schools demonstrate all too clearly. Sadly, but not unexpectedly, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports a widespread increase in anxiety, depression, substance abuse, and suicidal ideation among the population. Young people have been especially hard hit, with over 25 percent of those ages 18–24 experiencing suicidal ideation.
None of this is surprising. In the words of Aristotle, “man is a social animal,” after all. Under such circumstances, the recent publication of the book Why Associations Matter: The Case for First Amendment Pluralism by Professor Luke Sheahan at Duquesne University could hardly be more timely and needed. In this short and easy-to-follow, yet thorough, work, Sheahan guides the reader through not only a crash course in why the right of free association is necessary for human life and liberty but also through the current state of First Amendment jurisprudence on the subject and a potential legal theory under which the right to association could be
Article from Mises Wire