Saturday, August 26, 2023

Liberty always the civilized choice

(My Eastern New Mexico News column for July 23, 2023)

If you don't understand, love, or want liberty-- fine. If you'd prefer having powerful governments take most of your money, tell you what you are allowed to do, and watch your every move, go for it. It's not my place to deprive you of what you want.

I draw the line when you don't return the consideration. When you say I am required to live under your conditions when I don't place the same constraints on you. When you are willing to throw people in a cage for preferring liberty over authoritarian government and acting on their preference.

I wouldn't do the same to you because it would violate my principles.

This is why liberty will always be the civilized choice.

I envision a world where you are free to form silly little clubs whose members take turns governing each other to their hearts’ content. Where all your arbitrary rules apply only to those who explicitly join your club and agree to play by whatever rules are dreamed up. Arguing over how much each member must pay to fund this year's club leadership's pet projects. Where you can fight other clubs without involving anyone else.

A world where no one would be in danger for ignoring your clubs and the quirks of the club members.

I wouldn’t join, but I’d leave you alone to play your club’s games by your club’s rules. I would expect your club to stay out of my life completely.

If your club makes you feel like someone is taking care of you and keeping you safe, I understand. If your club leaders want to steal operating funds from the members and call this "taxation", fine. Just leave those of us who don't swallow the lies-- about the legitimacy of government through the "consent of the governed"-- out of it.

If your excuse for pretending your club should control my life involves a social contract, I would point out that a social contract can't impose an anti-social institution on those who haven't seen, read, or signed it. If it were a true social contract it would read "Don't hurt people and don't take their stuff", not something anti-social like: "You will let me hurt people and take their stuff if enough others agree and no one stops me".

You are free to establish your club, but not to impose it on everyone who lives where you think your club should rule.
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Calling human rights "Constitutional rights"

I am uncomfortable with calling any natural human rights "Constitutional rights". You may have noticed I don't use that phrase anymore (if I ever did).

I don't like it when people talk about "our Second Amendment rights", for example. 

For one thing, I don't like "our" being used in that collectivist way, and for another, the rights placed off-limits to government attention (oversight or scrutiny) don't hinge on the Second Amendment. 

That ignored amendment makes all government gun rules a crime. It doesn't "give" anyone any rights to do anything.

If the totalitarians of the state decide ignoring the Second Amendment (which they've gotten away with doing for around 90 years) isn't good enough, they can simply abolish it. 

But the natural human rights it addresses will exist unchanged. Forever. They'd rather you not realize this fact-- if they are aware of it.

Referring to the rights to own and to carry weapons and to form militias that are armed with weapons equal to or better than those wielded by government's military, as "Second Amendment rights" cheapens those rights; makes it easier for the anti-gun bigots to attack them through government violence.

But the rights to own and to carry weapons and to form militias aren't the only rights abused this way. Any natural human right called a "Constitutional right" or referred to by an amendment number is the same. If it's a right nothing can change that. Not government opinions, not mob rule, and not time. If it isn't a right, calling it one can't turn it into one.

Thinking rights come from or depend on documents or government opinions means you don't understand rights.
Until you understand and respect rights, you can't understand liberty.
If you don't understand liberty you'll probably never have it.
This isn't an academic exercise.


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