His questions are fundamental. Is suicide an exercise of rightful self-ownership or a manifestation of mental disorder? Does involuntary confinement under psychiatric auspices constitute unjust imprisonment, or is it therapeutically justified hospitalization? Should forced psychiatric drugging be interpreted as assault and battery on the person or is it medical treatment?
The ethical standards of psychiatric practice mandate that psychiatrists employ coercion. Forgoing such "intervention" is considered a dereliction of the psychiatrists' "duty to protect." How should friends of freedom—especially libertarians—deal with the conflict between elementary libertarian principles and prevailing psychiatric practices? In Faith in Freedom, Thomas Szasz addresses this question more directly and more profoundly than in any of his previous works.
Many of the concepts expressed in Facets of Liberty take a strong anti-political, anti-war, anti-establishment and pro-market flare, where, as L.K. Samuels has written, the most invaluable lesson learned about government is that “the first casualty of politics is the truth.” In this political world, which has become increasingly reactionary and authoritarian, a truly revolutionary movement should not revise but revoke. And the target of revocation should be politics itself. “Politics,” as Karl Hess stated in 1969, “does devour men” where “some men have exercised the power to live off the output of other men.” In essence, the material in Facets of Liberty constitutes a well-argued rebellion against politics itself and the collectivistic establishment that created it.