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Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Existing Rights, Protected Rights

Oh deary me. Someone needs an education in the difference between rights existing and rights protected.
First off, the government does provide the right to free-speech in nearly the same manner it might provide the right to healthcare. In the pre-governmental or natural state that Goldberg seems to refer to, anybody can silence anybody else. It is only through government regulation (i.e. the First Amendment and its interpretations) and civilization that people can have free speech. Similarly, people would have healthcare before the existence of government regulation, but maybe not as much as they deserve.
The lack of protection on the pre-existing right to free speech DOES NOT mean it was not already there. During pre-civilized times, the right to free speech was anarchistic. Like the blogger says, "anyone can silence anybody else", but you could also say anything you wanted.

The Left has the problem of seeing individual rights as, in a sense, physical objects. They see rights having proportions and weight and, of course, the ability to be manipulated. And, with our legal system, LEGAL rights have the ability to be modified or destroyed. But, moral rights, the same rights the blogger and the Left are both professing to believe in (when it comes to UHC) and trying to destroy (when it comes to everything else), are untouchable and eternal. They are the rights that we have as natural beings. They are not dreamy democratic positive rights, like right to a home and all that jazz, but the basic things all humans have at birth: speech, life, self-defense, etc. They can exist within protection, like our Constitution, but they also exist outside protection and be suppressed at will.

The key to understand natural rights is to understand the power of force. At its most basic, government is an institution based on the mass use of force to achieve ends. A nation like ours, born of a philosophy respecting natural rights, has many protections, as well as our culture having these rights sown into it. The government, while slowly chipping away at them, has only at the most chaotic of times attempted to outright remove the protections on these rights with its massive force. In other countries, like Germany, respect for natural rights have been minimal. Only in the last 50 years have any of the German people had any real cultural experience with natural rights. Today's democratic German government has strict laws various things we take for granted today, like free association and speech. The citizenry's ability to resist this force and to assert its own force, best shown through decentralized democratic government, is how America has lasted over 200 years without any of the destructive political upheaval that the rest of the world has experienced.

1 comment:

Michael said...

Dear people, wherever you may be,

Unfortunately, this may be the only way.

I've just finished rereading Atlas Shrugged for the third time. The first two times (a long time ago) I applied its lessons to the collapse of the Soviet Bloc. Now Ayn Rand's work seems more pertinent than ever due the events unfolding in my homeland.

The reason I say my homeland is because I'm an expatriate American English teacher living in South Korea. I've been living and working in the ROK for twelve years, but I still send in my absentee ballot for presidential elections every four years.

What I've been seeing taking place in the USA since January 20 is making me more upset by the day. The mounting deficits, the growing and dangerous dependence on China (many South Koreans are very jittery about China) to finance those deficits, the talk of instituting new (VAT and a big one at that) taxes to help cover those very same deficits, the bailouts of GM, and particularly Chrysler, the attempt to remove choice and private enterprise from the U.S. health care system, the stimulus that went mostly to government drones rather things that would really stimulate, and above all, the despicable behavior of the mainstream media in covering up Obama's real Chicago background. I had to go and find the red star at the top of William Ayers website all by myself!

All these things have made me very alarmed concerning the future of my country. So I've reached one overriding conclusion: it's time for Americans to revolt against royal authority for the second time in 234 years.

I say this because I don't believe the traditional legislative process can stop my country's slide towards the comfortable euthanasia of West European-style socialism. With the idiocy of Bush to guide them, the Republicans have done a very creditable job of taking Dirty Harry's 357. and pointing it at least at their feet, if not their heads.

So it's time to revolt. This will be a difficult idea for many Americans to grasp. After all, we are the product of a culture that has been based on the rule of law from its very beginnings back in medieval England.

What I'm talking about is starving the Government Beast. Come next April 15, 2010 don't send in your tax forms. Refuse to pay! If you're a small businessman don't pay your state (If you live in California, New York, or New Jersey, this applies especially to you) or federal business taxes. Don't pay your licensing fees! When the Bush tax cuts expire in 2011, don't file! Simply don't feed the Beast!

If you're worried about prosecution, there's safety in numbers. If ten million Americans refuse to pay, the looters can't possibly oppress more than a very small number of people. If ten million small business people refuse to knuckle under to the New Jealously Class, then the Beast will be truly crippled and will be forced to beg for mercy. View your refusal to pay blackmail to the looters as a civil rights issue along the lines of what inspired Martin Luther King during the civil rights movement of the 1950s and the early 1960s. IT IS NOT YOUR PATRIOTIC DUTY TO PAY HIGHER TAXES! In fact, it can be considered a form of treason to file on April 15, 2010.

Anyway, this has happened before. What most Americans don't remember or never learned is that in the run-up to the American Revolution the British backed down twice over the issue of taxes. Parliament repealed both the Stamp Act and the Townshend Acts in the face of fierce colonial protests. Remember, the looters don't have the mighty Royal Navy behind them, or ranks of hard fighting British Grenadiers, all they have in their favor is the willingness to submit of a people who have been comfortable for far too long.

If you don't think this is too wacky, PASS IT ON!!!

Michael G. Gallagher, Ph.D.
Seoul, Korea