Posts Tagged ‘Man’s Rights’

“But the theory that rights come from God is hopeless. To begin with, there is no evidence for the existence of such a being, much less for the existence of rights that somehow emanate from his will. Whether one believes in God is beside the point here. Either way, the fact remains that there is no evidence for God’s existence, which is why it is supposed to be accepted on faith—in the absence of evidence. Rights in support of which there is no evidence are not rights but fantasies…

“…To say that rights come from God is to say that there is no evidence in support of their existence, that there is no basis for them in perceptual reality, that they are not rationally provable. This is not a sound theory of rights; it cannot serve as a solid foundation on which to advocate or defend liberty…” [Continued]

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No one can escape this undeniable truth: freedom must be earned—if not by you, then by the grace and generosity of your betters. To earn is to apply intelligent effort to achieve an outcome—which presupposes a mind able to think and use reason in order to distinguish truth from non-truth. The more valuable the goal then the more worthwhile the intelligent effort is in achieving it. Freedom being the most valuable thing an individual can earn, it is only fitting that it’s the hardest thing to obtain and maintain. Through all of recorded history, it wasn’t until the climax of the Enlightenment that a political system was designed and implemented to defend liberty—early attempts were made before, but none as successful as the U.S. Constitution. Our Constitution is a guard against tyranny; but just like its utter uselessness in the hands of mindless barbarians, who do not even know the reasons for their own traditions, so it is useless in the hands of mindless politicians elected by thoughtless constituents. It would almost take a mind as great as our framers—and just as thirsty for liberty—to preserve our political system that guards individual freedom. A mind that is simply acquiescent to the greatness of our framers’ design is not enough to secure liberty for he is defenseless against the senseless—how is he to know the difference?

“If it ain’t broken, then don’t fix it… but how do you go about maintaining it?” Just like a properly functioning motor needs maintenance from time to time, so does liberty—as Thomas Jefferson once said, “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.” When a motor ceases to operate or ceases to operate well, it will take an understanding mind to ascertain a solution. When a man suggests adding water to the fuel tank or mulch to the engine, how would you know that to be wrong unless you know something about the essence and nature of motors? When a man tells you that the only way to secure liberty is to take it away, how would you know that to be an error unless you know something about the essence and nature of liberty? There may be a lot of good choices when it comes to properly maintaining a motor, but there are infinitely more bad choices—so it is with preserving liberty—how are you to know the difference?

The first step to maintain our system of liberty is to discover liberty’s true essence, nature and importance—aside from what others tell you. The second step is to learn the true essence, nature and importance of our constitutional republic’s inner workings—aside from what others tell you. If you have no interest in discovering the difference or you don’t think that you are capable of understanding it, then you have already surrendered the right to liberty long ago and whatever individual freedoms you do enjoy you owe to men better than yourself; but then again, how are you to know the difference?

To know the difference requires learning the truth and contrasting that knowledge from the thick fog of non-truth. That particular journey is quite long and perhaps it can never be fully completed; but once significant progress is made, the subsequent steps to preserving liberty and our system will come quite naturally. I suggest that you start now for your time to act is running out.

Liberty lies in the hearts of men and women; when it dies there, no constitution, no law, no court can save it; no constitution, no law, no court can even do much to help it.” — Judge Learned Hand

Is there no virtue among us? If there be not, we are in a wretched situation. No theoretical checks — no form of government can render us secure. To suppose liberty or happiness without any virtue in the people, is a chimerical idea. If there be sufficient virtue and intelligence in the community, it will be exercised in the selection of these men. So that we do not depend on their virtue, or put confidence in our rulers, but in the people who are to choose them.” — James Madison, Speech in the Virginia Ratifying Convention, June 20, 1788

Suggested Reading to Understand Liberty and Our System:
Common Sense, by Thomas Paine
The U.S. Declaration of Independence
The U.S. Constitution
The Federalist papers
Capitalism and Freedom, by Milton Friedman
Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal, by Ayn Rand
The Virtue of Selfishness, by Ayn Rand
For the New Intellectual, by Ayn Rand
Men in Black, by Mark Levin
End the Fed, by Ron Paul
Meet the System, by Joseph Plummer
Free Market Revolution: How Ayn Rand’s Ideas Can End Big Government, by Yaron Brook

Suggested Reading to Understand The Contrast
:
The Communist Manifesto, by Karl Marx
Socialism: An Economic and Sociological Analysis, by Ludwig Von Mises
The Road to Serfdom, by F. A. Hayek

Freedom to earn, use, and trade one’s property by right was the American dream; which has since been incrementally replaced with extra privileges to the unearned at the expense of man’s rights. The principles involved with the old American dream were derived from a familiar principle: right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. The new American dream is unfortunately derived from an equally familiar principle: from each according to their ability to each according to their need.

Under the old American dream individuals only have a right to their life, and all the other rights that naturally follow. They do not, however, have the right to the life of others, and cannot therefore, violate the rights of others. The new American dream contradicts this principle because it necessarily violates the rights of others in order to accomplish its aims. Both dreams cannot coexist; it’s either/or.

To begin, let’s break down the phrase, “right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” The meaning of the word life in the phrase is that individuals have a right to their own life and they are not owned by anyone or anything; their right to life is a given and need not be bought or justified.

The natural consequence of this understanding is that individuals take responsibility to support their own life; in order to accomplish that, however, a right to liberty is necessary. The application and limits of the word “liberty” stems from the meaning of the word “life.” If one has the right to their life, that means they are at liberty to do whatever they want with their life. They are free to pursue what they value, and obtaining what one values has the natural consequence of happiness. The phrase, “right to the pursuit of happiness,” assumes one owns their life by right and it assumes one is at liberty to pursue, acquire, and keep their values in order to achieve their happiness by right — i.e., the right to property.

The new American dream views property ownership as a privilege — i.e., by permission vice by right. Property is necessarily acquired by the actions one takes to earn it; therefore, if property is a privilege, then so is liberty. Liberty is the natural consequence of those who own their life; therefore, if liberty is a privilege, then ultimately so is one’s life.

Within the new American dream, society (i.e., our government) “owns” its individuals; it assumes the responsibility of supporting those who cannot or will not support themselves.  In order to accomplish that, society grants special privileges to the needy by sacrificing the rights of those who are able and willing to support themselves. This gross violation of man’s rights and freedoms is of no consequence to those at the receiving end of special privileges — indeed they demand more of it. (People used to compete to be the most able.  Wait until you see the winners of the competition for the most needy).

A rational thinker might ask, “How will the standards of need be determined?” It used to be on an individual basis. When an individual needed something, he worked for it and didn’t force others to fulfill his need; he didn’t even have to explain himself. Under this new American dream, however, it’s decided by “disinterested” parties in a committee, who have control over the sole monopoly of legalized force — i.e., the government.

The trick is, however, all parties have an interest. They just deflect and refuse to define their interests by claiming to have no personal self-interest in the matter whatever — as if that would mean they don’t actually have an interest; they do. They just leave it for you to figure out what it is. The truth is a lot uglier than the lie.

Enjoy the nightmare.