Posts Tagged ‘Rights’

The Statists (on both sides of the aisle) have unintentionally awakened a sleeping Hero.  For quite some time, this dormant Hero has misidentified Statists as the caretakers of society (self proclaimed of course).  Statists, after all, claim to be the providers of jobs, health insurance, and general prosperity.  But Statists have recently allowed their proper identification to once again be exposed and discovered by part of the population that was formerly in the deep slumber of their busy, productive lives.

This sect of the population has become aware of an essential fact pertaining to any Statists’ “good” deeds: their deeds, good or otherwise, cannot be accomplished without yoking productive Americans — i.e., without yoking themselves.  For what products can statists redistribute if productive Americans do not produce them?  Yet even in the face of this question Statists are keeping to their mode of existence: throttling the goose to continue to lay golden eggs so they can dolled them out in exchange for gratitude, which may translate into votes come the next election cycle.

While productive Americans, these Heroes, are becoming aware of the game they are involved in, they simply wish to act to secure their right to life, liberty, and property, and live their precious lives.  Statists reject such notions as the existence of any rights (except for those they grant or allow) and proceed to violate them in order to carry out their “good” deeds, and proceed to assume all of the credit.

Let’s give credit where credit is due.  Deed after deed has required more effort from productive Americans in the form of taxes (or debt to eventually be paid for later by taxes) — good job Statists, that credit is rightfully yours.  Way to fleece productive Americans and redistribute it (inefficiently I might add).  The source of the wealth you are dolling out, however, comes from productive Americans and they are becoming tired of their role.

What we have here is a clash of worldviews.  While Statists need to resort to force in order to carry out their political vision, productive Americans simply need to refuse to be their victims to carry our their vision.

The foundation of the Statists worldview depends on it being an injustice for the needs of the needy to go unsatisfied.  They insist and continue to remind us that someone has to fill that void.  It has to be either those who cannot carry anyone’s extra weight let alone their own (the needy) or those who can (the productive).

The Statists’ vision is clear: it is analogous to an expansive world that we are all born into and it is completely flooded.  This world is populated with those who swim and those who drown without help — i.e., producers and moochers/looters.  Their solution to what they see is to chain everyone together in the attempt to force the swimmers to keep everyone else afloat.  (The flood represents obstacles to the existence of life and swimming representing the actions necessary to overcome them).  An observant man would rarely fail to notice that those, who are struggling to barely tread water, would be dragged under by the chains connected to less able.  They then put more pressure on the next ablest who is now dragged under by even more weight from the same chains, who then puts more pressure on the next ablest and so on to the end of the chain.  Anyone with sense realizes that if all are chained, all will drown — the necessary result of egalitarianism.

The foundation of the productive Americans’ world view is that their life is precious to them and the needs of some (or many) does not justify the chains they are forced to bear — those chains are the injustice not the needs of the needy.

Productive Americans have a similar vision and it may also be described as analogous to a flooded expanse populated with those who swim and those who drown without help, except they have a different solution: allow them to be free and productive for the sake of their own lives.  The flood is not their fault; it is the default and nature of life.

Who is right?  Statists offer chain gangs on a course certain to lead towards destruction.  What is it that productive Americans offer?   Not much; only voluntary trade of services to mutual benefit.  This process, however, allows productive Americans to continue to innovate and compete to bring the best products at the best prices to the market place, and consequently continuously raise everyone’s standard of living in the process.  Raising the standard of living reduces the obstacles to life.  This in a sense will allow those who were barely drowning in our previous analogy to now be able to tread water, does it not?  If this process continues, over time more people, who would have drowned otherwise, will be able to tread water.

So, in either case, need, will always exist — that obstacle to life is always present.  However, in the first case you have mutual and equal demise as that obstacle becomes increasingly overbearing even for the ablest, and in the other you have progress that continues to raise everyone up and over that obstacle over time.  You be the judge for which sounds better for your own existence.

Productive Americans’ are beginning to realize their solution to life’s obstacle requires the security of individual rights first and foremost regardless of need.  The moralists within the Statists’ ranks attempt to keep them in check by reminding productive Americans that they should love their fellow man and should be thy brother’s keeper.  The proper response to these moralists is to ask, “What respect or love can men have for one another when their lives are chained and meeting one man’s need necessarily means another must suffer?  How can they not come to hate one another in this environment? Indeed, doesn’t this environment necessarily breed hatred?”

What Statists conveniently overlook time and again is that the cognizance of the need of others has not and will never disappear; it simply must take a back seat to securing individual rights in every corner of the political arena.  What they have not failed to overlooked, however, is that the act of asserting individual rights in this arena threatens their mode of existence and succeeding to secure them will unravel their whole rotten racket of rusted chains; and that is a large source of their fear.  That is the motivation for some of them to continue to rationalize their continued actions.

Of course Statists are not this honest with us, or even necessarily with themselves about the nature of their fears and their mode of existence.  Observe that when one’s mode of existence relies on productive Americans acting against their self-interest, or on them passively accepting others who act to throttle them, deceit becomes an important ally while clarity and transparency become a liability.  Statists don’t necessarily want their victims to become aware of what’s going on.

If you get a chance, ask them, “What right does the needy give you to throttle my life”?  Then observe the sorts of contorted pretzels they twist themselves into to evade this crucial connection: their methods require you to wear chains.

Well, productive Americans are now getting wise to the Statists’ ways and are becoming less interested in the “goods” they’re peddling — their inner Hero has awaken.  A group of people, and productive American’s especially, can only be duped for so long by the same warn out gimmick.

Statists, your game is up!  The era of Heroes, who act to secure their rights, has returned!

With Gun Control, Cost Benefit Analysis Is Amoral

The most complete answer to the lefts appeal to statistics against guns.

Gesundheit!

Posted: January 15, 2013 in Ethics, Politics
Tags: , , , , ,

*Achoo*

The flu debate, like so many other debates this past century, is suffering from the lack of a principled approach. People speak of rights, of the greater good, of statistics, or of whatever concept in order to make their case.  These arguments lack a principled foundation and/or a principled structure.  What makes you say these rights are in fact rights?  Why is this for the greater good? What is considered the greater good in this case?  These are all questions begging to be asked but receive no acknowledgement.  I will provide the missing links and bring clarity to the debate.

 The initiation of force should be an illegal act, on principle.  This principle stems from the right to life, which is one’s right to live one’s life free from coercion and from initiated force.  It means you have a right to live for your own sake, and take actions that furthers your existence.  It does not mean you have a right to the life of others.  The initiation of force prevents or frustrates any number of those manifestations of a right to life, so if you or someone else initiates force, that is wrong.  A disease emanating from your body that physically affects others is a use of force whether it’s intentional or not, or if it can be controlled or not.  The government should have the right to quarantine you and others have the right to restrict your access on their property in order to counteract the use of force from your infection.  It’s not your fault, as the infected, but neither is it the fault of those who are uninfected.  As the uninfected, however, it would be an injustice for the government to quarantine you because it would be them initiating force on you.
 
As the uninfected and unvaccinated (or vaccinated with less than 100% effectiveness), you have the right to waive your right for the same reason the criminal can waive his right to remain silent and confess a crime.  You may visit known areas of contagious people, like hospitals, or work, or any other areas where contagious people may lurk.  If you are uninfected and vaccinated, however, then the infected or potentially infected cannot harm you so the initiation of force principle doesn’t apply; assuming of course that the vaccine strain is matching the infected strain and is 100% effective.  This year’s vaccine is only 62% effective according to some studies, which places the vaccinated under the category of unvaccinated in principle since they are still at risk of becoming infected.

As the infected, you have no right to be on the premises of another’s property without it first being cleared with the owners.  They have a right to refuse your admittance and the default assumption is that they are uninfected, unimmunized (vaccinated or not), and that they haven’t waived their right.  Your presence on their property would be a violation of their right if that is indeed the case.

Employers and property owners may set the terms of how they employ others or how others use their property.  They may restrict employment or customer access to those who are vaccinated or not, or from those who are infected or not.  If they choose to accept the infected on their premises, then they must warn those with whom they deal with so that the uninfected may choose to waive their right or not.  If the owners advertise an infection free zone, but knowingly permit the infected, then they become an accomplice.  If they only choose to accept the uninfected, then no warning should be legally obligatory even if they are unvaccinated.

Waiving one’s right and being exposed to the infected has some risks if you become infected yourself; however, vaccinations come with their own risks too.  Each individual should weigh the alternatives, judge their situation, and act accordingly.  It would be an injustice for the government to force either a vaccine on someone or to force someone to be exposed to the infected. In either case it’s the initiation of force, which is an injustice. To illustrate this idea a little better, both cases would be similar to forcing one to play one round of Russian Roulette. The risks involved with the flu are less than Russian Roulette, but the principle is the same. Does it really matter if the cylinder is chambered for 1,000,000 or so rounds instead of 6 rounds? In either case you are being forced — someone else is making the decision for you — to take a risk with your life, which makes such an act massively inappropriate and not to mention an injustice.I have listed the involved parties (infected, uninfected, property owners, employers and government) with regard to the flu, and their respective rights within a free society. These are the limits that each party should be able to freely act within in order to secure liberty and justice for all. These principles should guide one’s thinking when considering the flu debate (or any debate involving rights).

Dear Federal Government,

By what standard and by what right am I forced to do certain things? I pay into Social Security (SS), which is NOT being saved for me; it is being spent faster that it can be collected. Arbitrary strangers, not including the administrative middlemen each taking their cut, will be the beneficiary of that money. I also pay into welfare, which has the same story. Then there is a percentage of my income, which is being taxed to fund certain thing that I do not benefit from, while others do.

WHY should I pay for any of those things; the only reason I could come up with is because I’m forced to. If I wasn’t forced to, then I’d find a better place to invest my money. If I can secure a retirement, which would be better than any government could provide, then WHY should I participate? Even if I’m wrong and I cannot do better for myself, isn’t it my choice regardless? By what right is my choice stolen from me?

If there is no (good) reason for me to participate in any of these things, then should it stop? The government doesn’t need my money in this regard to function; it functioned just fine without direct tax on its citizens for nearly a century. The government functioned just fine without SS or any other welfare program too.

If Obamacare is wrong, then WHY is forcing everyone to participate in SS — or any welfare program for that matter — not wrong too? By what standard and what right is this abortion of individual rights allowed to continue? What catastrophe occurred in the past that allowed our rights to be sold so short, and WHY am I forced to bear the burden brought on by past generations? I do not need and will never use any welfare program, and their continuation is putting a strain on my life.

Unless my understanding is wrong, there is no proper answer for WHY to any of my questions; therefore, give up your “Saintly Quest” and revert back to protecting my rights instead of violating them for the benefit of arbitrary strangers. I have no problem paying you for that — it is your proper role, after all.

To put it as simply as I can, this is my life and I want it back — every aspect of it – and that is not a request. My life and any part of it was never yours to take without my consent.

Sincerely,

m0

PS I’m still waiting for a reply.

An elegant contrast between liberty and tyranny was created by Frederick Bastiat In his 1850 pamphlet titled, “The Law”; the principles highlighted within remain timeless — a must read for any serious student and lover of liberty.

“The harmlessness of the mission performed by law and lawful defense is self-evident; the usefulness is obvious; and the legitimacy cannot be disputed.

“As a friend of mine once remarked, this negative concept of law is so true that the statement, the purpose of the law is to cause justice to reign, is not a rigorously accurate statement. It ought to be stated that the purpose of the law is to prevent injustice from reigning. In fact, it is injustice, instead of justice, that has an existence of its own. Justice is achieved only when injustice is absent.

“But when the law, by means of its necessary agent, force, imposes upon men a regulation of labor, a method or a subject of education, a religious faith or creed — then the law is no longer negative; it acts positively upon people. It substitutes the will of the legislator for their own wills; the initiative of the legislator for their own initiatives. When this happens, the people no longer need to discuss, to compare, to plan ahead; the law does all this for them. Intelligence becomes a useless prop for the people; they cease to be men; they lose their personality, their liberty, their property.

“Try to imagine a regulation of labor imposed by force that is not a violation of liberty; a transfer of wealth imposed by force that is not a violation of property. If you cannot reconcile these contradictions, then you must conclude that the law cannot organize labor and industry without organizing injustice.” — Frederick Bastiat (http://constitution.org/law/bastiat.htm)

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.