Here’s the wonderful Percy Greaves, from a series of lectures delivered in Argentina in the summer of 1969, properly understanding the interconnectedness of free people (emphasis added).
The essence of freedom is that people be free, not only to select their actions, but also to deviate from traditional ways of thinking and acting, so that they may plan for themselves rather than have an established authority plan for them and prevent them from planning in their own way.
We all gain from the planning and the freedom of others. Many of us are using things that we ourselves could not invent or produce. I flew down here in a jet airplane. I have no way of knowing how to make a jet, and yet I benefit from the freedom of the people who made it. We all benefit from the freedom of the people who made the earphones that most of you have on today. We all benefit from the freedom others have enjoyed. Many inventors in days past had their difficulties. We benefit from Mr. Gutenberg’s freedom, which produced the invaluable printing press, so misused by national treasuries today.
So freedom is important to us not only for our own use, but also for our use of the products of the freedom of others who can improve our situation. …
My great teacher, Mises, asks, “What is the automobile of 1969?” He answers his own question: “It is just the automobile of 1909 with thousands upon thousands of minor improvements.” Everyone who suggested an improvement did it with the hope that he would make a profit. Many made suggestions that fell by the wayside. But it was the freedom of those men to work on improving the automobile that has given us the automobile that we have today. No one man invented it, neither did one man produce it.
It takes a roomful of plans or specifications to make a jet airplane. It takes men of many different talents. As one of the speakers brought here before you many years ago, Leonard Read, has said, no one man can make even such a simple thing as a pencil. There is not a man alive who can take it all the way from the original raw materials to the finished pencil with its eraser. There isn’t a man alive who could make a jet plane. It takes the cooperation of hundreds, possibly thousands. We who want to use the jet need freedom for them, so that we may use our freedom to use the production of their minds, while they are striving to help themselves by helping us.