What is it that makes a free country? Is it becuase the country is corruption-free. Nyet. Is it because the free country has taxation below a certain level? Nine. What distinguishes a free country is the right and use of private property. Socialism / Communism says the government owns everything. Facism says it is prvately owned but government controlled. Freedom is defined by the right of a private citizen to own and control his private property. In this country we are moving rapidly from that position to one of "freedom by permit only." This allows government to keep the fascade of freedom. "Of course you own it. Of course you may direct its use -- as long as you get a permit (our permission) to do so." One of the main functions of a legitimate government is to provide protection from others infringing on my rights.