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Freedom of trade
Human rights
Freedom of the press
Freedom of religion
Progress and utility
Courage and modesty

Anders Chydenius
- foundation
P.O. Box 567
FIN-67700 Kokkola
Tel. +358 (0)6 829 4111
E-mail: asiamies@chydenius.net

About human rights

Natural rights

The foremost right of Nature is that man be permitted to live, to build and reside on Earth, to provide for himself and his family, to marry and have progeny.

Thoughts upon the Natural Rights of Servants and Peasants, 1778.

Natural equality

Nature shapes them exactly alike us at birth. Their posture in the crib is the same as ours, their souls have the same Reason as other people's, whereby it is plain to see that the Lord of Creation also had intended them to have equal rights with other people.

Thoughts upon the Natural Rights of Servants and Peasants, 1778.

Labour is the poor man's merchandise

Servants are Swedish subjects, just as we, their masters, are. Their service or labour is to be regarded as no different from wares that they, for their own and publick benefit, hold for sale. For it is in this manner that the Masters can better themselves. Any Seller is given the freedom to sell his wares, if not to all then at least to several, and he has the choice to decide with whom he will trade. He is further entitled to price his wares, and agree thereupon with the Buyer... Whereas a Servant

1° is not allowed to retain his wares at will, but

2° is compelled to sell to whomever Fate decides, and furthermore

3° to a price that is determined by the Buyer; for N.B. the Serving Classes have no part in Legislation. Such state of matters in a free people I may well call Slavery.

Three Questions in Political Economy, 1761-62.

The primary demand made by nature

The first demand made by Nature is to sustain life and this demand does not tolerate any limitation, since it far exceeds the bonds that hold the community together. The leaders of Society cannot exercise power over life, and furthermore they cannot cut off any means which is used to maintain life

Is Rural Trade Advantageous or Disadvantageous to the Kingdom, and to What Extent does it Affect the Progress or Decline in Means of Livelihood? 1777

Is poverty criminal?

I fear that among hundreds of masters there are more sinful ones than among the same number of servants, and that if, for example, every tenth sinful servant is obliged to answer for his vices, the same applies to scarcely every hundredth master - at least persons of rank and public servants - Is it not a shame, is it not an obvious injustice to take away from them the freedom to better themselves merely for the possibility of committing crimes as a result of this?

Thoughts on the Natural Rights of Servants and Peasants, 1778.

Protection for refugees

At a time when the inhabitants of Sweden, under the rule of a mild and wise King, make up practically the only race in Europe which enjoys complete peace both inside and outside the country, then our hearts can only bleed for the terrible wars, horrors and persecutions which are now quickly spreading over several continents.

Surely nothing could be more well-considered, more in accordance with a just and Christian love for all people, more in keeping with the noble spirit of unity and freedom which becomes a contented people, and with our blessed but sparsely populated Fatherland’s true interests than if we precisely on such an occasion opened our arms tenderly to all those unfortunate people who already are or will be without refuge in their Fatherland and therefore wished themselves far away so that they could seek safety against violence and oppression for themselves, their wives and children and their belongings?

Memorandum on the Freedom of Religious Faith, 1779.