I fully realize that on a good day maybe one hundred people might read these little commentaries I write, and if a thousand did it would be something to celebrate. So when you take into consideration that there are over 300 million people living in this country, I don’t have any illusion that what I am saying is going to make any difference. So, why do I continue? I continue because the things I write about are the things that I feel very strongly about, and the principles I discuss are those which I hold dear. Therefore being the stubborn pig-headed individual that I am, it does not matter whether I am fighting a losing battle, I simply refuse to just toss in the towel and stop fighting for the things I believe in.
For the most part, the people that inhabit this country, no matter what they say, have forsaken the principles that guided our Founders when they established our Republic. Their loyalty now lies with the political party which most closely aligns with what they believe to be the purpose they’d like their government to serve. The principle of unbridled liberty no longer matters to most anymore.
Did you know that prior to our nations battle for its independence that Thomas Jefferson said, “Our attachment to no nation upon earth should supplant our attachment to liberty.” The very same should still apply towards our government today. Instead of seeking candidates who will best provide the things we think we deserve we should seek out candidates who will best preserve our rights and our liberty. Unfortunately far too many people today simply don’t understand the origin of their rights, and the meaning of liberty.
How many times have you heard someone spout off saying that they know their rights? Whenever I hear that I want to scream out, “Do you?” Often times these same people who claim that they are defending their rights are in reality trampling upon the rights of others. Your rights extend no further than to yourself. You cannot justify that you impose your beliefs upon others, or demand that they surrender any of their rights so that you may feel a bit safer and more secure.
That is the very nature of rights, they belong to each and every person in equal measure and liberty is nothing more than the ability to freely exercise all of your rights as long as your actions do not prohibit others from enjoying the same freedom. In 1791 Thomas Paine wrote a booklet entitled The Rights of Man, wherein he said, “Every generation is equal in rights to generations which preceded it, by the same rule that every individual is born equal in rights with his contemporary.” Therefore, if someone two hundred years ago possessed a right to do a thing than no one today has the authority to pass, or demand that legislation be passed, criminalizing what was once the lawful exercise of a right.
Whenever you hear someone discuss rights it is always preceded by the word civil, as in civil rights. But what are civil rights? Civil rights are those rights which you possess being a member of a civil society. But where do they come from, are they granted to you by the other members of society, or by government?
Going back to Thomas Paine’s booklet we find the following, “Hitherto we have spoken only (and that but in part) of the natural rights of man. We have now to consider the civil rights of man, and to show how the one originates from the other. Man did not enter into society to become worse than he was before, nor to have fewer rights than he had before, but to have those rights better secured. His natural rights are the foundation of all his civil rights.”
If our civil rights are therefore based upon our natural rights, then what are our natural rights? Natural rights are those which are man’s according to his existing in a state of nature, they are not dependent upon any law, custom, or beliefs, AND they are unalienable. In the 17th Century, English philosopher John Locke defined them as life, liberty, and estate, or property.
Basically, natural rights are those rights which man would be free to exercise were he in a state of nature. In such a state a man would be free to hunt or forage for his sustenance, to build a home to shelter himself, and more importantly, to defend his property and his rights against attack by others. But since not all men respect the rights of an individual man formed societies, civil compacts, with governments established to guarantee and protect these rights.
That is the basis for which OUR government was established, as stated in both our Declaration of Independence, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed…” and our Constitution, “We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution….”
Yet when one speaks of such things today they are looked upon with scorn by others, considered a threat to their security and the well being of the nation. But as John Adams so perfectly stated, “Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.”
If someone were to tell you that they intended to steal, or destroy, the Declaration of Independence, and the Constitution, they would be met with almost universal outrage by the people. Why do people have so much reverence for two parchment documents in display cases, and not have the same reverence for the principles written upon them?
The fact of the matter is that I can’t count but a handful of people who understand the principle of liberty…I mean real liberty. Real liberty is the ability to manage your own affairs without anyone telling you how, as long as in your doing so you don’t restrict anyone else from doing the same.
An example. Say I park my pickup truck in front of your driveway. I have now prohibited you from parking your vehicle in your driveway and have restricted your liberty to freely access any part of your property. But, as long as I do not block access to your property you should not have the right to tell me that I cannot park one, two, three vehicles in front of my house. Hell, if I wanted to I should be able to park an M1 Abrams Battle Tank in front of my house and nobody should be able to tell me otherwise. I’m not hurting anyone by doing so, and as long as the road can handle the weight I should be allowed to do so. Sure I don’t NEED one, but neither do half these ass clowns who buy those fancy 4 Wheel Drive trucks which they never take off road. If I can’t prove that I have a need for a tank then anyone who buys a 4 wheel drive vehicle should prove that they have a need for it as well. That my friends is the difference between liberty and governmental interference in our affairs. Some busy body with a severe case of insecurity or fear decides that someone has something, or is doing something that they don’t like, and they get the government to restrict that person from doing that thing.
It is the same with money as well. I am free to go about earning a living and if by my efforts I accumulate a great deal of wealth then no one has the right to say that I have earned too much and a portion of it should be taken to be given to those who haven’t earned enough to survive. If I decide to donate to charity, then that is my choice. But government mandated charity is theft, plain and simple. Or, as Frederic Bastiat said, “Man can live and satisfy his wants only by ceaseless labor; by the ceaseless application of his faculties to natural resources. This process is the origin of property. But it is also true that a man may live and satisfy his wants by seizing and consuming the products of the labor of others. This process is the origin of plunder.” Call it theft or plunder, it is against the beliefs, or ideals, espoused by the men who wrote those documents that so many revere, without knowing the first thing about what they contain.
So when you tell me that my ideas, my beliefs go against what this country stands for, you had better rethink your position. It is not I who am an enemy to my country, it is you with your misguided beliefs about what America stands for. It is YOU who have declared war upon the principles contained in our founding documents, not I.
There is something else Frederic Bastiat said that you really need to think about. He also declared that “Each of us has a natural right—from God—to defend his person, his liberty, and his property… If every person has the right to defend—even by force—his person, his liberty, and his property, then it follows that a group of men have the right to organize and support a common force to protect these rights constantly.”
You see, we have a right to defend our liberty against any and all who would limit it…and that includes defending it against external enemies and domestic ones. That means against you or our own government when it no longer serves the purpose for which it was established. That principle is enshrined in our Declaration of Independence, “That whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security.”
You see, Jefferson, who wrote the Declaration of Independence, was a well read man, having studied the great thinkers and philosophers of ages past. In The Mind of Jefferson, Stuart G. Brown wrote that in a letter to Dr. Benjamin Rush, Jefferson regarded three men to be the “…trinity of the world’s greatest men…” These men being Lord Francis Bacon, Sir Isaac Newton, and the English political philosopher John Locke.
Although Locke was not a Founding Father, it was upon his writings in his Treatise on Civil Government that Jefferson drew many of his beliefs. Locke is not taught in our schools, unless possibly you take a college course which covers his writings. So therefore the average person has no idea what Locke wrote about, or what ideas he believed in. So allow me to share just a sampling of what Locke believed in.
As I have spoken previously of, our civil rights are based upon our natural rights. In Section 18 of Locke’s Treatise, he says, “This makes it lawful for a man to kill a thief, who has not in the least hurt him, nor declared any design upon his life, any farther than, by the use of force, so to get him in his power, as to take away his money, or what he pleases, from him; because using force, where he has no right, to get me into his power, let his pretence be what it will, I have no reason to suppose, that he, who would take away my liberty, would not, when he had me in his power, take away every thing else…”
In his treatise The Law, Bastiat declares that “Law is solely the organization of the individual right of self-defense which existed before law was formalized. Law is justice.” Therefore, if the law is turned on its head and opposes the purpose for which it was established, those who enforce the law become criminals and may be opposed using any methods necessary to preserve your liberty. These were the beliefs held by our Founders, and they are the beliefs that have been abandoned by society today.
In a letter to the Boston Gazette in 1763 John Adams wrote, “Resistance to sudden violence, for the preservation not only of my person, my limbs, and life, but of my property, is an indisputable right of nature which I have never surrendered to the public by the compact of society, and which perhaps, I could not surrender if I would.”
Years later, in his Letters from the Federal Farmer, Richard Henry Lee would write, “To preserve liberty it is essential that the whole body of the people always possess arms and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them.” That certainly sounds to me like Mr. Lee felt that it was our right to rise up and use force against any who would attempt to take away our liberty.
These beliefs are nothing new. Thousands of years ago Marcus Tullius Cicero wrote, “There exists a law, not written down anywhere but inborn in our hearts; a law which comes to us not by training or custom or reading but by derivation and absorption and adoption from nature itself; a law which has come to us not from theory but from practice, not by instruction but by natural intuition. I refer to the law which lays it down that, if our lives are endangered by plots or violence or armed robbers or enemies, any and every method of protecting ourselves is morally right.”
But, as Samuel Adams wrote in 1775, “No people will tamely surrender their Liberties, nor can any be easily subdued, when knowledge is diffused and Virtue is preserved. On the Contrary, when People are universally ignorant, and debauched in their Manners, they will sink under their own weight without the Aid of foreign Invaders.”
Frederick Douglass, the great orator and abolitionist, once said, “Find out just what people will submit to, and you have found out the exact amount of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them; and these will continue until they are resisted with either words or blows, or both. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress.” Although he was primarily speaking of slavery, the principle can be applied to any who are oppressed, including those oppressed by their own government.
So, tell me again who is the enemy to their country, to the beliefs it was founded upon? I suppose Orwell was right though when he said, “In a time of universal deceit – telling the truth is a revolutionary act.”
But don’t you dare tell me that I hate my country, or that I am an enemy to all that America stands for. As H.L. Mencken once said, “The notion that a radical is one who hates his country is naive and usually idiotic. He is, more likely, one who likes his country more than the rest of us, and is thus more disturbed than the rest of us when he sees it debauched. He is not a bad citizen turning to crime; he is a good citizen driven to despair.” I only defend all that I hold dear.