ESSENTIAL PRINCIPLES FOR
CONSERVATION OF LIBERTY
by Joel M. Skousen
WHY DO PEOPLE FAIL TO PRESERVE LIBERTY?
WHY DO PEOPLE HAVE SUCH A DIFFICULT TIME RECOGNIZING ITS LOSS?
In response to these difficult questions regarding the loss of liberty,
I have felt compelled to author this booklet. All free men need to determine
just what are the essential principles that are necessary to conserve
and defend individual, family, and group liberty from the slow, cancerous
destruction of socialist, collectivist, and totalitarian tendencies
The primal importance of this work lies in its fundamental premise:
that there exists certain fundamental rights (life, liberty, ownership,
and self-defense) that all men possess by virtue of their God-given
standing as free-agents here on earth, which are superior to any government,
constitution, or law which may be enacted by man to the contrary. While
this idea is certainly not unique among the annals of jurisprudence,
it has always been a rather nebulous idea that has found little consistent
implementation in constitutional law. In all the many and varied attempts
to define and construct a free society, this is the single most pressing
issue upon which men have rarely been able to agree. Fundamental rights
are difficult to define and even more difficult to list without fear
of leaving something out, or worse yet, including things that are not
true rights, but benefits or privileges granted by misguided governments.
Even the attempt by George Mason and other founding fathers of the
American Constitution, to make a listing or "Bill of Rights"
was limited to the worst abuses current at that time. The essential
corollary rights and economic freedoms that they failed to specifically
mention were some of the first fundamental rights to be lost to a hostile
20th century Supreme Court.
This work is an exposition and commentary on essential principles--those
fundamental expressions of doctrine that support a comprehensive philosophy.
In this case, the subject is liberty and the principles that I will
attempt to illuminate and clarify are the fundamental and basic doctrines
which, by either God-given mandate, or by time honored irrefutability,
have been shown to be absolutely essential to the preservation of freedom.
It is my basic purpose to establish the universal doctrines which lead
to the establishment of proper civil governments and just law.
HOW DO THE PRINCIPLES OF LIBERTY DIFFER FROM A CONSTITUTION?
Both a document of fundamental principles, and a constitution are
necessary to establish and preserve liberty. The principles are built
upon the foundation of the fundamental rights of man and establish the
doctrinal justification for earthly law and governments. A constitution
establishes the STRUCTURE OF GOVERNMENT and the general LAWMAKING POWERS
OF THE NATION which, when properly formed, should both enable and restrict
governmental power to the defense of those fundamental rights. In short,
a constitution is a LAW GOVERNING LAWMAKING. A constitution should not
contain specific laws or statutes, but rather only the laws which govern
and restrict the specific lawmaking process. The only exception
to this is where certain specific laws are included that the founders
desire to come under the restrictive amendment powers of the constitution.
Some have questioned the need to declare these principles, stating
that all such principles are found in the Constitution of the United
States of America, generally considered the greatest constitution of
liberty yet devised. But this is not true. Almost no principles are
enunciated within the text of the Constitution, although it is very
clear that specific principles and ideas guided the majority of the
Founders in their deliberations. But there were also many false principles
and bad ideas declared during the constitutional debates, some of which
found their way into constitutional language or compromises.
Other times, true principles had to be obscured in general language
so as not to offend the states who desired to uphold the institution
of slavery, one of the most flagrant violations of the fundamental rights
of man. The ultimate evidence of this intent to violate fundamental
rights was the failure of the first Congress to ratify one of the proposed
amendments, originally included in the "Bill of Rights" which
would have made the "bill of rights" binding upon the States
as well as the Federal Government.
Most of the representatives had a strong distrust for national government,
and felt at the same time a high degree of trust in the willingness
of the states to protect people's rights. After all, it was leaders
in the separate states or colonies that had risen to fight British tyranny
. This trust in the benevolence of the states was a natural, but somewhat
naive assumption reflecting their own trust in themselves--the representatives
of the States who were forming the new Constitution. They failed to
see into the future, however, the inevitable rise of influence based
politicians, rather than statesmen, who would rise to the temptation
of buying votes with benefits and suppressing the rights of some in
order to favor others. Some of state representatives voted against this
amendment not only for its inherent implication of distrust for state
governments, but because it would have prohibited certain acts inherent
in slavery. In modern times, it has become obvious that state legislatures
are as prone to violate fundamental rights as the Federal government.
The naive notion that certain forms of government regulation and control
are acceptable as long as they are done at the "local level"
is flawed and dangerous. State governments have become filled with large,
imposing bureaucracies, and an even larger percentage of unprincipled
politicians (especially Governors) buying votes with benefits and paying
off political debts with government jobs and lucrative contracts for
friends. Neither do state officials and legislators campaign on the
wide range of political issues and ideas that Congressmen do--the only
positions directly relevant to State offices are local city--county--state
issues which tend to revolve around what each legislator has "done
for his constituency". Certainly this is a part of national politics
as well, but at least there exists a myriad of higher issues that can
raise the national debate to the level of universal principles more
Only the clear enunciation of the fundamental rights of man--rights
which no man, or government can rightfully violate (even at the "local"
level) will stand as a permanent bulwark against the slow erosion of
Let me clarify at the outset that this work is not attempting to discredit
what I consider the inspired work of the majority of the America's constitutional
founding fathers. My purpose is to clarify the work of those who really
understood liberty, and reestablish the correct principles they did
discover by rewording them in more formidable language that cannot be
so easily reinterpreted by those with bad intent. I will also attempt
to elucidate the errors of compromise that were made due to the "political
realities" of 1779, and track the history of judicial interpretation
which began to erode the American Constitution from its very inception.
The American system of government never was designed or intended
to be a democracy. It was specifically designed as a constitutionally
limited, representative federation of sovereign states--a restrictive
type of REPUBLIC, where the powers of majority rule were exercised by
and through elected representatives, and were limited to specific
constitutionally delegated authority that protected the fundamental
rights of all, including minorities (except slaves), from improper majority
rule. The Supreme Court would not have been able to take such license
with the constitutional wording had the founders been more precise in
their language, and had established a primal document on principles
such as the one you are about to read. Of course, if they had, the constitution
would in all probability never been ratified by the states--there were
too many vested interest involved in violating a few fundamental rights
THE KEY TO LIBERTY IS THE UNIVERSAL RECOGNITION OF TRUE FUNDAMENTAL
RIGHTS BY THE PEOPLE THEMSELVES, COUPLED WITH A WILL TO DEFEND THOSE
RIGHTS BY FORCE OF ARMS.
These principles are only a strong deterrent to judicial and legislative
misconduct where there exists sufficient historical background of democratic
and majoritarian tyranny engraved upon the minds of a sufficiently
large portion of the populace to cause them to be ever vigilant
and distrustful of democracy. Unfortunately this is very difficult to
achieve and maintain because the errors and damage from socialism and
democracy are hidden errors, often appearing as failures of the free
market. It takes a highly educated and wise majority of people to be
able to sift through the obscuration of pseudo-educated liberals who
throw out benign appearing and lofty concepts of compassion that secretly
destroy other's rights. The psychological enticements of these corrupting
philosophies will be discussed in more detail later.
The principles are not, in and of themselves, a specific list of prohibitions
on evil forms of law or government--though they can be used to produce
such a list. What the principles accomplish is to establish the legitimate
basis for a government association (the defense of fundamental rights),
and thereby requires that all government actions be justified as a defense
of one or more of the fundamental rights of man. They also provide a
short concise learnable set of ideas that can help people recognize
bad law more easily. We must never underestimate the importance of keeping
a simple set of mental tools before the common citizen so he can easily
recall them to mind, and employ them to dismantle and analyze the ever-increasing
sophistication and sophistry of modern law and judicial interpretation.
A good constitution should make clear reference to fundamental rights
as the ultimate purpose of constitutional law, though the listing of
fundamental rights must be beyond political confirmation, as
I will discuss later. Thus, the existence of the principles, when acknowledged
as the ultimate authority by its citizens, requires that constitutional
interpreters look back to the fundamentals for their interpretive substance,
which makes obvious distortions of constitutional law much more difficult.
Even with all this, the ultimate defense against the erosion of liberty
has to reside in the personal arms of those free spirits who cherish
liberty above indolence, pleasure and government enticements. A well
armed citizenry is thus the only ultimate deterrence to both democratic
or totalitarian tyranny, as long as it is coupled with the wisdom and
zeal to know how to use the right of self-defense appropriately. And
in the final analysis, as we are now observing throughout the western
world, none of this makes any difference in the real world if people
are too complacent and pleased with their worldly security to defend
what is universally right for all. I fear we only see a fervor to fight
for individual benefits and divisive ethnic interests in the modern
world--all masked in the "sacred" name of preserving democracy.--that
doctrinal anesthetic that puts men's mind to sleep with the illusory
promise of equal rewards and benefits for all. Nothing could be more
preposterous than that illusion, and nothing more deadly to the natural
incentives of man to rise above his weaknesses.
FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS ARE NOT SUBJECT TO POLITICAL CONFIRMATION:
Fundamental Rights are those rights that we can derive from a universal non-conflicting criteria that allows all men to excercise their maximum free will without infringing on others rights, equally claimed, nor forcing others to serve their needs. These non conflicting rights are
inviolable, and superior to all forms of human government, and therefore NOT SUBJECT TO POLITICAL CONFIRMATION. This is a radically new
concept to those schooled to believe that the highest form of justice
comes by democratic means. It becomes clear, under the concept of "inviolable
rights" that fundamental rights should never be subject to ratification,
even in a constitution, though they should be recognized and referred
to by it. To do so would subordinate one's fundamental rights to the
will of a majority--those who will vote for such fundamental rights,
or worse yet, to deny them legal status by voting against them.
The latter case is very likely due to the fact that the fundamental
rights prohibit popular government welfare schemes by holding the right
to private property, among others, inviolate. Most of the constitutional
founders did not favor democracy, knowing that raw, unlimited democracy
could be totalitarian in nature. Their views were vividly confirmed
as the world watched the tyrannical excesses of the democratic French
revolution, a few years later. The clear historical propensity of democratic
majorities to vote themselves benefits from other people's pockets was
the prime reason why they selected a representative form of democracy
(the Republic) and put strict limits upon the exercise of majority rule
powers. As Jefferson put it, there was a necessity to "bind government
down with the chains of the Constitution."
The requirement that elected representatives, rather than the people directly, have legislative
powers is the
essential element that constitutes a representative Republic. It is a tacit recognition
that a fair amount of education and sophistication is necessary to sift
through the sometimes difficult and subtle issues involved in making
laws. But because of the potential for personal corruption in leaders,
as well as other foibles of man (intellectual arrogance, excessive deference
to people etc.) it is never enough to trust even a majority of representatives
to safeguard fundamental liberties. The genius of the original American
system was to actually limit the majoritarian powers of the people's
representatives. This way, even a bad or corrupt majority could not
make an unjust law--such laws were either prohibited outright by the
constitution or put off-limits by the "enumerated powers"
clause (that the government only possesses specific enumerated powers,
and nothing more). If strictly construed, it leaves no room for government
to assume new powers. If it isn't specifically listed, they can't do
it, no matter how popular. But sometimes bad law (especially of the
social spending variety) become so popular that the representatives
are pressed upon to amend the constitution to add such powers to the
enumerated list. This is why it is clearly not a sufficient safeguard
to place one's fundamental rights under the ratification and amendment
process of a constitution.
Most Americans labor under the mistaken assumption that our Constitution
safeguards all fundamental rights in the Bill of Rights. But this is
not true. The founders were very fearful of making a list, concerned
that something might be left out. So they left all "residual rights"
to either the States or the individuals--a dangerous piece of general
wording. Naturally the states took all the rest since no single individual
has the power to demand and defend his residual rights, not being as
powerful as an organized institution. At the same time, through poor
education, we have almost universally lost all recognition of fundamental
rights. No formal criteria or definition is found in the Constitution.
Perhaps, even worse, people have also become accustomed to view existing
law or interpretations of law as if they are the absolute "law
of the land," rather than look to the Constitution--or beyond--to
the ultimate law, in order to judge the validity of any law. There is
a further sense of futility when one sees official injustice fortified
and ratified by the very courts whose original function was to be a
safeguard against such oppression.
In a judicial sense, another purpose in recognizing the supremacy
of fundamental rights over statutory law, even exceeding constitutional
interpretation, is to reduce the propensity of government officials
to rely upon former legal precedents to justify the continued suppression
of such rights. This declaration of rights puts all government officials
on notice that all laws which violate fundamental rights are simply
null and void, and that the burden is upon government to prove that
such laws are in accord with fundamental rights. Most importantly, public
officials should be aware that they are PERSONALLY LIABLE for any infringement
of another's rights, and that men may ultimately and rightfully defend
their fundamental rights with appropriate force, when no practical or
fair legal recourse is possible.
NATURAL RIGHTS OR GOD GIVEN RIGHTS:
The occasional reference I have or will make to the ultimate sovereignty
of God over man is not meant as a coercive statement which one must
accept prior to accepting these principles and fundamental rights of
man. The principles and rights listed are sufficiently self-evident
that a man who chooses not to accept God may still accept them as "natural
rights." They are protected regardless of their recognition of
the source, though I have personally chosen to recognize God as the
ultimate sovereign and giver of basic freedom---though nowhere in the scriptures do we find a clear listing of fundamental rights. God champions liberty in principle but leaves it to man to find the inspiration to properly implement righteous law.
In like manner, we could attempt to justify the recognition of family
sovereignty based upon the "nature of man" which indicates
that the family unit is the most practical way to raise children. I
have chosen the theological basis that God is the spiritual creator
and father of all mankind, and thus has the ultimate right to delegate
that trust to parents, and to require an ultimate accounting of that
trust. Once again, each is free to choose the basis for evidence of
sovereignty as he sees fit. However, only the most enduring doctrine
will produce sufficient fire in the minds of men to cause them to fight
for these rights amid increasing democratic tyranny.
You will note that I have not used the traditional words "inalienable
rights." The reason is simple. The founders used the word (incorrectly,
I believe) to mean that government could not rightfully violate those
rights. But the word "inalienable" comes from a flawed religious doctrine that implies that man cannot give away or alienate from himself anything given from God---such as rights. This, however,
is not true, as applied to fundamental rights. A person CAN give up
these rights, as long as it is done under the terms of voluntarily contract.
One may enter into a contract, for example, to put himself into a
non-free condition. This does not constitute slavery when it is done
voluntarily, although the results may appear similar. We do it, to a
degree, every time we sign a mortgage where we place our income and
our property in jeopardy for a specific time. Or, as in a prepaid contract
for performance, (where one accepts a large sum of money advance of
performance), one would be obligating himself to serve the other party
till the contractual obligation is complete. This is a type of temporary
bondage we enter into voluntarily because we receive mutual benefits.
These other benefits compensate for our temporary lack of freedom. In
other words, we choose to temporarily trade some of our freedom of action
in order to gain other benefits. Whether such exchanges for "rights"
for benefits are done wisely is another question, but the freedom to
do so is clear.
The key to understanding what constitutes a true fundamental right
is to focus on this essential criteria: for a right to be true, it must be non-conflicting with all others simultaneously claiming such right, and must not require that anyone else serve your needs in exercising that right.
FALSE RIGHTS: There are many false rights being promulgated
in today's society, mostly due to the politician's attempt to entice
voters to view benefits as if they were rights. Three of the most popular
are the so-called "right" to a job, "right" to medical
care or the "right" to an education. Let us apply these claims
to the definition of a true fundamental right and see if they qualify.
Remember that the main criteria that determines whether or not an action
or state of being is protected as a right is whether or
not all men can simultaneously possess the "right"
in question without compelling anyone to perform a service in their
In the case of education, we cannot all receive an education without
compelling someone to teach, provide the facilities, the curriculum
and the books. Thus education, through others' efforts, must be a benefit
based upon contractual mutual obligations, and not a right--no matter
how essential it is deemed by the users thereof. On the other hand,
self-education would be a right as long as no one was compelled to assist
As to the "right" to a job, we may ask, in like manner,
if all people can claim a right to a job without compelling someone
to provide that job and the money for a salary. Obviously not. In reality,
a job is the exclusive property of the employer who owns the money and
the facilities. The labor portion of the job is the exclusive property
of the laborer. The negotiations as to the rate of exchange for the
owner's money and the laborer's efforts must be left to the arena of
free contract. Neither has a "right" to attach the others'
property or effort--each can only voluntarily exchange what he owns
for what he perceives the other offers in return.
Medical care can never be a fundamental right, either, as it would
clearly force doctors, nurses and hospital owners to become slaves to
those who demand the benefit. You may think they are not slaves because
they are being highly paid. But if you, the patients, are not paying,
then someone else is, and that person (even if a group of taxpayers)
are partially enslaved for the beneficiary's sake. Someone is always
partially enslaved whenever the direct beneficiary of any service doesn't
have to pay, and someone else or some group is not voluntarily paying
A more complete analysis of all the fundamental rights of man are
given in the next section
THE FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS OF MAN:
FUNDAMENTAL RIGHT #1: LIFE
The RIGHT TO LIFE itself from conception to natural death
except as a consequence for a crime against the rights of others.
This most basic of all rights, the RIGHT TO LIFE, is defined as broadly
as possible in order to preserve innocent life from external attack.
After much contemplation, I believe that life should be protected FROM
CONCEPTION since there is, at the very least, a unique life IN THE FORMATION
PROCESS. While others would attempt to deny any "right to life"
to the fetus because of lack of full and positive scientific proof of
"independent life", it is my belief that where there is doubt,
or where error is probable, relative to life, we ought to ERR IN DEFERENCE
TO LIFE, not against it.
Some also dwell on the fact that there is doubt as to when the fetus
becomes independent life from the mother. But even a new born baby is
not fully independent to sustain life. It would seem more appropriate
to base one's protection of life from conception based upon the fact
that unique life, a separate and distinct entity from the mother and
father, is IN THE FORMATION PROCESS. It is not particularly relevant
whether it is independent yet of the mother or not.
ABORTION: Let's consider the case of abortion carefully. As
in all the most difficult cases of law, we are faced with an apparent
conflict of rights here, between the mother and the child. But upon
close analysis, there is no such conflict, for each party to the conflict
is exercising rights during different time frames. First, both mother
and father, under voluntary circumstances, have already exercised their
right when they chose to engage in marital relations--which was previous
to the new child's existence. Like all other rights involving positive
acts, freedom may, and usually does, become linked to consequences
which the acting parties are bound to accept as part of the responsibility
for those actions as they affect others. This is always true where an
innocent third party is directly affected by such an act. In this case,
because a child has been engendered, the parents are both obligated
(not just the mother) to the engendered child in nurturing him or her
to the point of self-sufficiency.
Since the child is the innocent affected party, being engendered by
the acts of others, his right to preservation must be held superior
to any desires of the parent or parents to terminate the pregnancy,
especially for reasons of mere personal convenience. There is no right
to terminate the pregnancy any more than there is a right to terminate
any other voluntary contract or involuntary consequence of a responsible
act which affects an innocent third party. Therefore, there is no "right"
to an abortion of convenience, though there may exist some circumstances
where the prosecution of this violation of the right to life can be
distinguishable both in seriousness and intent from murder.
There are certain instances where there IS a legitimate conflict between
the rights of the mother and those of the fetus. In the rare case
where the life of the mother is clearly in danger due to the pregnancy,
the mother, having a fully developed existence in life already, should
be accorded the superior standing.
The cases involving rape, involuntary incest or other violations of
rights of the mother, which results in pregnancy, are not so clear.
What is clear is that where there is no attributable responsibility
for the pregnancy to the mother, she cannot be forced to bear
the consequences. Put another way, the fetus is a direct result
of a crime, though not a knowing participant in the criminal act. The
fetus is still as innocent as the violated woman and thus does not necessarily
deserve to lose its standing to the right to life. Here then is a clear
conflict of simultaneous rights. But the resolution of the problem
is not so conflicting. In most cases the fetus is acting upon the
mother in a manner which is only inconvenient and laborious, and yet
on the other hand, an abortion against the fetus would be FATAL. The
fact that she has previously been wronged does not necessarily justify
the killing of the fetus, especially when the mother is not facing a
commensurate conflict to her right to life.
Most arguments surrounding this issue stem from desires to be rid
of any remembrances of the evil act. Though I do not want to denigrate
the reality of such emotional pain, I believe it is resolvable in almost
all cases without abortion. While I would clearly favor the bearing
of the child, with the option of placing the baby in an adoptive home,
I would not favor the prosecution of a mother who chose not to bear
the child in this case. Because there are such closely conflicting rights,
it ought to be left as a matter of conscience, leaving the final judgment
to God. This is an example of an area of legitimate difference between
people who still agree on these basic principles.
CAPITAL PUNISHMENT: As to other ramifications of this right
to life, this right may be placed in jeopardy when a person is engaged
in violating another's rights. The second part of the statement stipulates
the essential condition upon which one may lose his life involuntarily.
The right of self-defense can sometimes justifiably end another's life
or a capital crime may be punishable by death after prosecution by the
due process of legitimate authority, as determined by constitutional
This first fundamental right does not preclude the use of capital
punishment. All of the fundamental rights of man are only valid insofar
as one is not acting to violate another's right. Since one clearly has
the right to defend oneself to whatever degree necessary to eliminate
the threat, the possibility of death being meted out as the consequence
for aggression is also clear. One cannot claim all of his fundamental
rights while in the process of destroying another's rights. That is
why treason is usually a capital crime when acting to destroy a government
which is legitimately defending fundamental rights. Revolution against
a tyrannical government, however, is not treasonous.
The larger question in capital cases surfaces when the aggressor is
caught after the fact, and he is no longer in the act of aggression.
Death can and should be applied insofar as the criminal is still a threat
to the right to life of others. It is clearly the most complete deterrent
to this person acting again to violate another's life. Surety
about a criminal's future disposition to do evil is difficult to determine
except by multiple, competent witnesses to such threats. However, a
fairly clear predisposition to criminality is demonstrated by the occurrence
of a second offense. Imprisonment should only be used for criminals
with clear remedial potential and should be self supporting by the labor
of the inmates so as not to act as a violation of the property rights
of law abiding citizens.
There are certain COROLLARY RIGHTS TO LIFE that are
related to man's innate characteristics surrounding life: the ability
to think, believe, and reason--all in some ways distinguishable from
rudimentary life itself. Every person has a right to his own mind, to
believe, reason and think as he wishes. Only his actions based upon
those thoughts can bring him into conflict with others, and make him
subject to consequences. In reality it is nearly impossible to deprive
a person of his beliefs, or his thoughts. Therefore, one may ask, why
state them as rights if they can't be violated?
The answer is found mainly in the grave dangers associated with new
developments of mind control. The use of mind altering drugs and electronic
manipulation of certain physical and emotional characteristics of the
body are becoming more prevalent in totalitarian societies. Such physical
threats, or other involuntary bombardments or harassment of the mind
are a violation of the following corollary rights to life. However,
the use of psychological devices to induce a response to advertising
is not a violation since it is not involuntary. If you choose to watch
television programming and its advertising, you shouldn't complain if
you are affected by them. Open public advertisements, especially on
public highway systems does not qualify as strictly voluntary and can
be regulated, since one cannot easily avoid looking at it.
A. The right of free THOUGHT and JUDGMENTon the
individual worth of ideas, people and things.
The very essence of freedom is the ability of men to make judgments
concerning the relative merits of the ideas, people and things we encounter
in life. Man is not completely self-sufficient and is therefore constantly
searching for favorable items to enhance and provide for life. Despite
our reluctance to accept the judgmental nature of our minds, we do,
in fact, make thousands of judgments automatically each day. Our minds
classify everything we see, hear, and feel about people, ideas and things,
within seconds of input, without much conscious effort. Because there
is a natural tendency from insecure elements of society to demonstrate
hostility toward this freedom of judgment, it must be duly protected
by law. Let me take a few moments to explain the nature of this hostility,
that is rooted in socialist thought:
EGALITARIAN HOSTILITY TO PERSONAL JUDGMENT:
It is essential to your understanding of the threat to freedom to
realize how socialism is made appealing to the majority. It all centers
around the concept of judgment, and how the socialist breeds envy against
those that have achieved high results. That inequality exists is undeniable.
It will always exist because no two people are or ever will be exactly
alike. Whether such inequality came about by just or unjust means is
the only proper question.
The underlying assumption of socialism is egalitarianism--that all
men are equal, and since we do not now have equal results it must have
been due to exploitation. Let us analyze this proposition against the
concept of RELATIVE INDIVIDUAL WORTH.
Every individual is unique, possessing different capabilities and
personal characteristics that vary from time to time according to the
correctness of one's thoughts, desires and actions. The sum total of
all these characteristics and skills determines our TOTAL TRUE WORTH.
The concept of truth worth is powerful. It brings to mind immediately
questions of "what am I really worth, as a person." Each person
has a fairly good idea, at any given moment, what his true worth is
relative to two things: how he compares himself to others and how he
compares to what he thinks he SHOULD be. Each person is in a constant
struggle to get others to recognize his worth AT LEAST AS HIGH as he
esteems himself. Note that very few people protest being esteemed higher
than how they perceive their own true worth.
If you doubt that people possess such a concept of total true worth,
try treating someone who you esteem highly as if he were of little worth.
His negative reaction to such treatment should be enough to convince
One's total true worth is really a composite of numerous specific
worths in different talents and skills plus a vital factor reflecting
one's general moral character. In other words, people may possess high
worth in numerous skills and yet be so offensive in personal character
that hardly anyone will accord them high TOTAL worth.
Not all people are honest enough to accept their low true worth as
a reflection of their own failures or weaknesses. Rationalization and
excusing of one's weaknesses, or blaming them on childhood abuse or
environmental influence are common everywhere. There are legitimate
ways to improve one's worth, but most people are enticed into the new
and popular social doctrines proclaiming that "I'm OK and You're
OK"--everyone accept us as we are. This is like a mutual compact
of blindness where everybody sees, but pretends not to see, or at least,
not to tell. It is only a game for fools and manipulators who make money
by telling people what they want to hear.
The more people become intimidated into playing like they never judge
another's worth (which is impossible) the more people feel they have
a "right" not to be judged. This is dangerous. People stop
changing and improving. People begin playing games with reality, trying
to alter people's perception of true worth instead of working to improve.
One of the most common games is where people try to cover up their low
worth in one area of character by promoting and emphasizing some other
more narrow, but successful skill or worth they possess. For example,
some high ranking military or government officers with low character
have found great difficulty in maintaining any respect after retirement,
when their rank is no longer visible. They fail to realize that their
previous honors may only have been an illusion based upon respect for
the rank--not the person. These are the type that in desperation to
hold onto their former prestige get very offended, even after retirement,
if you do not address them by their former rank. They may keep symbols
and titles on their mailbox, on their cars, and on every wall of the
house just to ensure that the illusion of honor is maintained.
People with low or partially low true worth, who fear the consequences
of others' free judgment (concerning them), are the first to embrace
the doctrine of egalitarian socialism. The doctrine of egalitarianism
has been growing across academic and religious circles for many years.
As mentioned before, the egalitarian proclaims that "all men are
created equal" and that any inequality of men is due to exploitation
and prejudice. The concept that all men were "created equal"
or that they will ever be absolutely equal is patently false. Not even
the egalitarian academics believe it, having presumed that they are
wise enough to set themselves up above others as world planners. Jefferson
didn't even believe that when he wrote it in the Declaration of Independence.
He took George Mason's phrase "all men are created equally free
and independent" and shortened it, perhaps assuming that everyone
would know he was referring to equal freedom before the law and God,
rather than absolute equality. But poor public education (which Jefferson
promoted) quickly ensured that these essential assumptions were lost
from public consciousness
Egalitarianism possesses a high degree of hostility to personal judgments
of others. It has even obtained a large foothold within the Christian
community out of a false understanding of Matthew, Chapter 7, verse
1: "Judge not that ye be not judged." But is it clear from
the wording alone that it is not a blanket prohibition against judgment,
which is mentally impossible, but rather a severe caution against IMPROPER
judgment. In the ultimate sense the correct interpretation must be construed
even more narrowly, since it is obvious that even if a man judged unrighteously,
God would not stoop to return unrighteous judgment upon him. I believe
the word judgment here refers to ultimate CONDEMNATION of the soul of
man, which must be left to God. In other words, he that condemns totally,
and unjustly, shall also be condemned.
But all of this points to a major feature relating to freedom of judgment:
just as in the free market of economics, we demand our right to judge
the value of a product and offer value accordingly, so there is an identical
free market in the judgment of other people and their relative worth.
That is what you do when you judge the relative worth of another's service
potential. Services are the reflection of our desire to work together
in the sharing of specialized skills--as a way of improving our leverage
over the insecurities of life. The fact that specialization exists as
a natural outgrowth of free labor is prima facia evidence of the innate
inequality of man. In reality, it is a blessing, not a curse, due to
the wide variety of labor tasks needed in the world.
When you are bidding for labor or a service, you are actually bidding
for at least a portion of that person. You are making a judgment mostly
pertaining to his specific worth related to the service, but his total
true worth can also play a large role. Many an employer has selected
a man of lower specific skill as a welder, for example, because he manifests
a good personality, is honest and appears to have a stable personal
family life. While others may protest vigorously that their personal
life has nothing to do with their welding skill, the employer would
disagree, as is his right. He doesn't want the hassle of hiring people
every month or so. The more stable the lifestyle of a person, the more
cost efficient is his investment in the laborer. Simply because the
employer may not be able to legally define what he views as "a
stable lifestyle" does not detract from the reality that he can
recognize things that he believes, even subconsciously, are representative
of stability. That brings us to class judgments.
A person's mind, as part of its self-protective function, classifies
certain characteristics he views in others as good or bad, safe or dangerous,
etc. We place people who share common characteristics with others into
generalized groups, or classes, to facilitate quick recognition of those
same traits if they should appear again in someone else. This is what
constitutes a "class judgment." Everyone makes them, even
those who try their best not to consciously recognize that fact.
Class judgments are not necessarily evil. They can be either good,
bad or in between, depending on the accuracy of the person making the
judgment. Being open minded or non-prejudicial is not fooling oneself
into thinking he doesn't make class judgments, but in consciously being
open to new input, and constantly "cross checking" with other
input to either confirm or revise one's opinions. A fair minded person
always recognizes that no matter how consistent certain classes of people
seem to be, there are always exceptions, inducing him to keep an open
Personnel managers and employers use highly sophisticated class judgments
constantly to enhance their ability to select new employees. When a
certain manner or way of dress shows a history of instability, a competent
personnel manager consciously or subconsciously begins to avoid selecting
those types for interviews. While some may protest that he is forming
prejudices, let us remember that his time to interview and make decisions
is limited. When an employer is prohibited from making class judgments,
such as requesting a certain class of people from an employment agency,
he is robbed of his time, which is money, which is property; the ownership
of which is a fundamental right. He is then forced to interview many
more people than he normally would if he were free to pre-select generalized
classes of applicants that, by experience, promise a higher rate of
THE RIGHT TO MAKE PRIVATE DISCRIMINATIONS: The benefits of
making class judgment are clear to the person who is busy and far outweigh
the mistakes that occur in closed-minded people. But no one has a right
to demand that he or she be judged according to any certain standard--this
is always a matter of conversion and negotiation. You have to convince
others of your worth. Even though some won't give you the time to do
so, you do not own his time and cannot force anyone to give you an interview--no
matter how "unfair" you think it is. You can always go elsewhere
and usually find someone who is willing to recognize your true worth.
Remember that people of really high worth are rare and high worth employers
are always on the look out for them. The trouble comes when a person
may have high general character worth, but he is seeking a common job
where there is a lot of equally qualified competition. It is easy to
get lost in a big sea, no matter how valuable you may be. So upgrade
your skills and find a smaller niche.
There is a reason why anti-discrimination laws are damaging to minorities
in the long term. The more government tries to force employers to hire
minorities, the more strongly employers are convinced minorities are
an undesirable class of employees. Even if government prohibits the
free exercise of judgment, it can never stop people from making those
judgments in their mind. When government tries to enforce equality of
results in the name of "opportunity", freedom of choice is
quickly replaced by reverse discrimination.
Unfortunately, the more the judgment process is driven underground,
the more mistakes people make in those judgments. Eventually both employers
and minorities are harmed as business suffers from bad employment decisions
and other employees become hostile to the reverse discrimination, widely
mandated by liberal courts.
Laws which deny to a person the right to act upon his class judgments,
especially concerning race, and gender have wide acceptance. But whether
or not you agree or disagree that a person can come to some rational,
general distinctions about people relative to race, religion, or sex,
is irrelevant. The essential point relative to freedom is whether or
not it is proper for government to restrict private judgments
in this or any other area where no rights are violated. Once we allow
government, by law, to attack some judgments, there is no way
to protect any other class judgment from attack.
When government has the arbitrary power (and it is ARBITRARY) to select
which class judgments are evil and which are acceptable, there is absolutely
nothing to prohibit politicians from expanding that list to protect
fat people, crazy people, aids infected homosexuals or Marxists from
private class judgments. Note that while the principles of liberty allow
people the freedom to engage in private, voluntary evil practices, it
also protects the right of others to judge them as evil, even
for their private acts, and to exclude them from employment or association.
Neither does the public sector have to accept all forms of conduct.
Like any other association, it can set down guidelines and rules of
conduct based upon the limits of the originating by-laws agreed to by
the majority of citizens. Nobody has a "right" to a government
job any more than a private one.
The favorite target for the prohibition of our right to make discriminatory
class judgments involves labor. Labor unions, feminists, homosexuals,
and every other purveyor of false minority rights has been in a desperate
struggle to use the power of government to make it illegal, first to
judge by classes (but only their class) in the selection of labor
for jobs. Jobs are first improperly defined as a right, which
they are not. Next, they assert that no one can be denied a "right"
because of race, color or creed. But that is a non-sequitor. A true
right cannot be abridged for anyone--whether by race or any other reason,
except aggression against the rights of others. But the real point is
that a job, as previously explained, is NOT a right of the worker. It
belongs to the EMPLOYER as an extension of his property rights. The
only right the laborer has is to offer or withhold his labor--which
he can do regardless of his race, color or creed.
Thus, while it is almost impossible, short of damaging or drugging
the mind, to stop a person from making judgments, man has sought, by
use of improper law to stop the exercise of free judgment. When the
exercise of free judgment, even when discriminatory, is prohibited,
the essence of free thought is lost as well. In the final analysis,
the prohibition of the exercise of free judgment is generally a violation
of the following rights involving freedom of action.
FUNDAMENTAL RIGHT #2: LIBERTY
To ACT without external or prior restraint when those actions
are not in direct and harmful conflict with the rights of others.
This is the basic law of freedom--the right to do anything in the
pursuit of "life, liberty, and happiness", including that
which others may think dangerous, or harmful to SELF, as long as others'
fundamental rights are not infringed in the process.
I want to make it perfectly clear that I do not condone or approve
of the evil actions that some persons perform with their freedom to
act, but we must clearly defend their freedom to fail, to make wrong
or even evil choices, so long as others are not compelled to participate.
The price of freedom is that we must allow people the liberty, within
these bounds, to make poor judgments.
Incidentally, the foregoing explains why freedom is not a utopian
system except when the average true worth of the citizens of such a
society is high. Why? Freedom is the NON-SYSTEM which, by individual
negotiations for worth, allocates (over time) to each product,
service, person or idea the results most correctly correlated to
its actual true worth.
What is the self-regulating nature of this negotiation for worth?
The fact that nobody minds getting rated higher than how he perceives
worth, but that he will vigorously protest when rated lower. In the
absence of legalized coercion by private or government sources, each
person acting as the guardian of his own worth tends to force all values
to eventually move toward their actual worth. All deviations from true
worth are temporary and will adjust towards reality over time.
Let me emphasize again, if the man of high worth cannot convince a
prospective employer of that worth, or cannot get a fair hearing, he
searches for another who will. If he runs out of time or money and cannot
afford to wait, he may accept a low paying job temporarily, but he will
be inwardly searching for more reward for his worth. All of this leads
to higher supply and demand of things and people of value in society--leading
to higher efficiency and prosperity to all. Any other forced system
of restricted free judgment leads to lower supply of both competency
and quality of people and products, with a commensurate higher price
for diminishing quality.
The result is that when people's true worth, as a whole, is high (which
includes an assessment of their character) freedom produces magnificent
results. Where low true worth is predominant, either generally, or in
major classes of persons, freedom will produce justifiable class differences
at best, and justifiable failure at worst--in either case, freedom allocates
the highest degree of justice according to real worth.
That is why freedom ultimately only works well with good, moral people.
That statement is not a license to demand that we enforce righteousness
upon everyone, but it is a warning of ultimate consequences for a nation
that disregards divine promptings and warnings that come to all through
The key to the success of liberty, given these human liabilities,
is not in surrounding men with regulatory edicts which subject all actions
and desires to prior restraint and control of others, but in the vigorous
prosecution (just consequences for their actions) when they cross that
delicate line between voluntary, self-degenerate practices and harmful
consequences to others. And I think the punishments ought to be very
severe for harm done under the influence of drugs or alcohol--especially
for second offenses.
Additionally, I do not wish to concentrate on the adverse consequences
of freedom except to point out that one must be willing to accept a
fair amount of "victimless" consequences of man's poor judgment
in order to preserve the freedom of those who exercise good judgment.
Private drunkards will fail to care for their families properly and
children will suffer. But governments must be limited in their ability
to intrude, except in cases of verifiable abuse. To do otherwise, that
is, to give GOVERNMENT the power to decide what is good exercise of
freedom and what is not--in the absence of visible and harmful damage
to others--is to court totalitarian control. One of the most pervasive
evils of our day is the government notion that it has the right to protect
us from ourselves, even when no victims are caused. I will cover this
in more detail under the right to self-responsibility.
VIOLATIONS OF GOD'S LAWS: Some Christians have mistakenly tried
to make the point that there are no victimless crimes, and that we therefore
ought to have government control of self-debasing acts between consenting
adults. Certainly God commands that people abstain from these immoral
acts--why shouldn't government? While it is probably true that personal
corruption eventually affects others, especially the family, the law
can only "see" what is tangibly visible and distinguishable
from proper acts. When we allow law to enter the domain of judgment
over voluntary acts (that do not violate the right of any other) , there
is NO WAY TO DISTINGUISH (in law) those acts from other voluntary
acts without giving government the dangerous and arbitrary powers of
specifying which are "approved" or "disapproved"
actions. That kind of power can work against good morals as well--especially
when immoral people become a majority, or at least rise to positions
I wish to again emphasize the extreme danger here: In order to vest
in a ruling body the POWER to declare certain voluntary acts illegal
when no victim is clearly distinguishable, when no direct harm or
damage (to fundamental rights) is claimed by any individual, one
has to allow that ruling body, presumably elected by the majority of
citizens, the power to JUDGE ALL VALUES, and to attack those
out of favor with "public policy" edicts. Christians, who
are the most frequent champions of such government power, should realize
that vesting such a power in the majority allows for the possibility
that other persons opposing Christian moral values may someday gain
the majority and use that same power to declare Christian values
illegal or against "public policy." That may happen sooner
than we think.
Before you dismiss this presumption out of hand, think carefully whether
we, even today, possess such a majority. I personally don't believe
we have such a majority. Even if we did,
we should never take upon ourselves majority rule powers which
we would be unwilling to allow others to equally exercise, should they
become the majority.
This way all are protected. Most active Christians have become concerned
because Christian values and prayers have been outlawed from public
schools. But they forget, that the real evil is that these are not "our"
schools--they are government schools, which take everyone's tax money
(which is wrong) and thus any values promulgated will always be at the
expense of others left out or undermined. The solution is not for one
majority to force their values upon anyone else, but to let each faction
support the kind of schooling values they want. Let all schools, public
and private be funded only by user fees--then everyone is free to pay
for the education values they want. Then no one can complain that his
personal values are not represented by his own money. As you can see,
law can be either good or evil. It has no virtue in and of itself. Let
us wisely consider and limit its potential use by evil men.
The Bob Jones University controversy is a case in point--a perfect
example of how the government is beginning to declare certain religious
tenets in violation of the beliefs of the majority. The US Government
specifically singled Bob Jones out for attack because it had a policy
which the government believed would not find wide support from other
churches and schools. Each student attending the university signed a
contract agreeing that they would not participate in interracial dating
as a condition of their attendance. Whether you agree with the religious
tenets such agreements were based upon is irrelevant. What is relevant
is that this was an example of a miniature covenant society which chose,
by UNANIMOUS CONSENT, to enforce a different standard of conduct than
the world around them. There was no harm to any person, not even to
the minorities that attended. No minority brought suit against the school
since they were all there by prior agreement with the policy. Those
that didn't like the policy simply went elsewhere for an education.
They recognized no "right" to be educated at Bob Jones. The
US Treasury Department (IRS) attacked its tax exempt status, claiming
its racial policies were a violation of national "public policy."
Most other Christian faiths were wise enough to support Bob Jones, knowing
that if the government won its case, "public policy" hostility
could easily spread to encompass "fundamentalist" Christians,
then mainline Christians, and traditional Jews. The government won its
case, and now the evil precedent is strengthened...ready to strike again
at the next denomination that opposes the "public will."
USING STRONG DETERRENTS FOR EVIL BEHAVIOR: How, then, does
a society of partially righteous people protect themselves from the
slow and pervasive evils of consenting immoral acts? Part of the answer
is to allow consenting evils, but to vigorous prosecute the participants
when they cross that line where they begin to visibly and harmfully
affect others. This involves the use of harsh punishments as
a deterrent. Since people realize that their faculties are slowed and
impaired by the use of alcohol and marijuana, and that the risk is high
of making mistakes that could injure others while under the influence,
these persons would be most reluctant to use those substances, in the
presence of heavy potential penalties. I'm not referring to the token
slap on the wrist such as drunk drivers presently receive. I would support
very serious consequences, such as treble damages for property damage,
and loss of driving privileges as long as the victim was permanently
impaired--which could be for life! I would even evoke the death penalty
for multiple offenders involving the death of another. This would act
as a much more effective deterrent to the harmful results of consenting
evil actions than the present costly and ineffective prohibition on
PRIOR RESTRAINT. I am opposed to giving prohibition powers
of prior restraint to the untrustworthy and amoral state. Prior restraint
is only appropriate when IMMINENT threat to life or property is present.
Under this doctrine, a driver of a vehicle could still be stopped and
arrested for driving "under the influence" of either alcohol
or drugs, since his lack of coherence constitutes an imminent threat
to life and property. Imminent means it could happen at any time--a
clear and present danger.
MORAL LEADERSHIP ENCOURAGED; Another part of the answer comes
from understanding the proper role of leaders in a principled, constitutional
system. In brief, while government is prohibited from enjoining voluntary
acts, good or evil, leaders are not prohibition from leading and guiding
their constituency away from evil. There is no principle of good government
that mandates that government leaders cannot pray in public, sermonize,
or in any other way lead--as long as no coercion or public tax funds
are used to directly subsidize such beliefs (other than the leader's
own salary). Leaders are hired to lead (within the bounds of constitutional
limits)--not to poll the constituents on each issue. If the people don't
like that brand of leadership, they vote for someone else or use the
impeachment process for removal in the case of severe violations of
law or abuse of power. But while in office, the leader must be free
to speak his will. Only a leader's actions on behalf of government power
COVENANT SOCIETIES: The most effective answer to the question
of isolating consenting evils comes from the establishment of COVENANT
SOCIETIES. This document of principles provides for the establishment
of mini-sovereign states, called "covenant societies" which
effectively allows for people of strict and uniform beliefs to join
together, by prior unanimous agreement, in the enforcement of higher
laws than the national government could enforce--consenting moral
views, if you will.
This then, is the proper way for the various religious denominations
to have the high moral societies they wish, and it does not require
that others be coerced to believe and live as we may wish. The reason
these covenant societies are justified in legislating personal morals
is that such societies are formed by initial UNANIMOUS consent. Since
ALL agree to abide by the higher moral restrictions, and the associated
penalties, they can be rightfully enforced. The right to form covenant
societies is merely an extension of the right to contract.
However, by the nature of the diversity of people and belief
on the NATIONAL level, the initial unanimous citizen compact of the
nation (the Constitution) must be broad enough to encompass all non-coercive
beliefs, allowing competition and freedom to determine which values
will prosper. That is why these principles do not attempt to define
any particular faith or statement of belief, other than to provide a
non-coercive, platform of universal laws and rights which allows for
all men to pursue religious freedom. This is the same standard the founders
of the US Constitution followed. While most were devoutly religious,
they did not see the need to force God down the throat of non believers.
So, while God is not mentioned in the Constitution, they still attempted
to give the people the Godly form of the universal law of liberty.
This way all good men possessing diverse beliefs can unanimously agree
and rely upon these principles for a peaceful existence, each having
the level of protection from evil that he desires, and all being protected
from compulsion and aggression by others, both foreign and domestic.
FUNDAMENTAL RIGHT #3: OWNERSHIP
TO OWN, DISPOSE OF, AND CONTROL ALL PROPERTY AND ASSETS
WHICH ARE EARNED BY THE HONEST FULFILLMENT OF VOLUNTARY CONTRACTS, RECEIVED
AS A GIFT, INHERITED, OR EARNED IN PROPORTION TO THE APPLICATION OF
ONE'S LABOR TO UNOWNED PROPERTY.
The above stated right is generally regarded in the classical sense
as the right of PROPERTY. I have chosen to designate it with the term
ownership since property in the modern sense usually connotes land,
which is an essential but only partial form of ownership.
It is of some interest that, in man, there is only a partial hostility
toward ownership. The basic nature of man manifests a tendency to want
to keep the product of his labor. Our labor in this insecure world is
sufficiently laborious to preclude any casual disregard for work. It
is therefore only natural that man does not wish to labor in vain. The
concept of wanting to retain the value of the product of labor seems
to be innate with man as long as the effort is difficult. In fact, the
larger the price in effort and risk, the more dear becomes one's sense
So everyone loves the concept of ownership--for himself. It is YOUR
ownership that is up for grabs--at least among unenlightened men. Men
and women who have become wise in an understanding of the "golden
rule" do not seem to manifest this type of selfish resentment.
They understand that hostility toward another's ownership will ultimately
undermine their own. Once again, let's take a closer look at why socialism
is hostile to ownership.
SOCIALISM AND OWNERSHIP:
The politics of envy as practiced in every dispensation of time (by
collectivist intellectuals) is to accentuate the inequality of ownership
of man; obscure the relationship between ownership, effort and true
worth; and hype the rhetoric of exploitation. For the socialists, there
are always sufficient examples in the free world of legal, but amoral,
exploitation to fuel the fires of class resentment (although the most
notable examples usually occur under government protected monopolies
or in the presence of other official intervention inhibiting the expansion
mechanism of the free market--such as early feudalism).
Socialism gains most of its adherents with the initial attraction
and claim that it provides a "more just" distribution of the
products of "society"--albeit by coercion rather than by voluntary
mechanisms. Upon close inspection however, it can be shown that socialism
is always a violator of justice, when viewed in the context of
universal and fundamental rights.
The illusion whereby socialism successfully blames freedom for all
the ills of society works like this: In the exercise of economic freedoms,
man is often tempted to be lazy, speculate, gamble, and/or extend himself
beyond his real capabilities. The natural consequences of such errors
of judgment, ignorance and greed lead to occasional economic problems,
often engulfing innocent investors. These problems are not cyclical,
as many economic texts ignorantly assert. They occur in direct proportion
to the enlightenment, morality, and character of the free populace.
This is to say that a highly experienced, enlightened and moral society,
working with the maximum incentives of freedom, and listening to the
warnings of conscience, would experience few, if any, economic reversals
short of nature's unpredictable intervention.
On the other hand, people UNschooled in these essential principles
of liberty look to the highest immediate power for relief of their problems
which results in controls and regulations which, in turn, distort the
economy. With each distortion of the natural incentives of man to work
and produce, some dislocation of employment and entrepreneurship occurs.
The economic hardship of unemployment, if sufficiently widespread, induces
special interest groups to call for direct government welfare compensation
which in turn causes further distortions in the economy as the productive
class is burdened with more taxes. These increased taxes, coercively
derived, to pay for such wealth transfers are, in essence, a violation
of ownership rights, and a "tax" on a producer's existence.
It is like an employer having to hire other people who do no work.
GOVERNMENT INTERVENTION AND DEPRESSIONS: Here is where socialism produces
injustices in the name of justice. Much of the original dislocation
and slowdown of economic growth came first from government induced but
false economic growth (usually through fiat money or credit expansion.)
Then, due either to inflationary fears or outright conspiracy to foreclose
on speculative property, the government cuts back on phony monetary
expansion and adds more regulations and controls. Depression comes and
the "free market" is to blame. It is, partially, for being
stupid enough to go along with government "easy money and credit".
In any case, the socialist points to every new unemployed person as
if he were the product of the failures of the free market, rather than
from the intervention of government. And, in reality, it looks like
that is true. Every unemployed person can look to an individual employer
who severed his job ties. Thus, in the act of championing the cause
of the "unemployed" and calling for welfare transfer payments,
which increases taxes (or inflation), the socialist induces greater
unemployment, which in turn is made to appear the failure of the free
market. These mechanisms are so subtle, diverse, and hidden that only
the most well-trained Austrian (free market) Economists can trace them
effectively. The common person becomes a sucker for every false economic
excuse thrown before him.
AFFECTS ON MARGINAL BUSINESSES: In reality, at any given time in a
free economy, there are thousands of marginal businesses in existence
at the periphery of the job market. It is upon these new, or old marginal
businesses that new taxes and regulations impact most. Most of these
new business endeavors also happen to be the prime source of new jobs.
But their failure to stay alive is complex, and never obviously attributable
to a few dollars more in taxes or a few more regulations. Government
deficit spending may deny him loans at reasonable interest rates. Inflation
may eat away at profits which he cannot tolerate amid more efficient
competition. Much of the time, it is simply the discouragement of all
the paper work necessary to stay in business, acting as an unpaid government
tax collector for the IRS, or being an unwilling benefit provider for
the unemployed, that makes good people quit or retire early.
But for whatever reason, each portion of government intervention takes
its toll upon growth, and provides MORE VICTIMS than BENEFICIARIES,
of welfare and transfer payments. The ratio of jobs destroyed to jobs
provided by government is always a negativerelationship,
in the range of at least 1.2 to 1, and as high as 3 to 1 depending upon
the bureaucratic overload and the disincentives to production as viewed
by the employers.
It is in this concept of higher net victims than beneficiaries
that we disprove the so-called "justice" of socialism.
The ultimate proof that this phenomena of higher victims to beneficiaries
is not transitory, but an inherent propensity of socialism, is found
in the utter lack of historical success of any fully socialized economy
and the disastrous correlation between the degree of socialism in any
mixed economy and its economic problems. Even from the highly touted
pragmatic view of end results, we can also demonstrate that socialism
is, in fact, incapable of sustaining net production in society, and
that it ALWAYS degenerates into a net consuming society. There are virtually
no historical examples, either past or present, of fully developed socialist
societies that are net producers (the ability to produce net growth
with no further indebtedness).
There is no free market government today, and virtually all governments
are increasing their debt load each year. Even those partially socialized
nations such as the United States, Taiwan, Korea, and Hong Kong are
feeding upon the high net production of the remaining private section,
which IN SPITE OF the negative effects of socialist taxation and regulation,
continues to show an overall net production. But the government sector
in each nation continues to increase indebtedness. The demand for increased
benefits never diminishes voluntarily Worst of all, in all mixed-socialist
economies, the governments are all heading inexorably toward bankruptcy.
Some have been able to slow the march into debt but once heavily socialized,
no one has been able to reverse it. Insofar as governments continue
to apply more controls and government spending, rather than less, couple
with increased welfare, and social benefits, the resulting economic
deterioration is inevitable.
Only the presence of a continual flow of western capital from net
producing nations keeps the other socialist nations under the appearance
of viability. What happens when the mixed economies like the United
States reach the point where it becomes a net consumer and can no longer
bail itself out? Interestingly enough countries don't collapse economically--the
people (when the borders are sealed) just keep on working at a subsistence
level. What always happens, eventually, is war and destruction--that's
the irrevocable lesson of history.
THE LEGAL PRETENSES OF COLLECTIVISM:
The ability of the socialist to obscure the violation of ownership
rights is enhanced by the use of government to do the violating. If
a neighbor were to come to my house and demand, at the point of a gun,
a monthly sum of money for his personal welfare and support, he would
be viewed as an extortioner and thief. When he and the majority of other
benefit-hungry people go to the legislature to accomplish the same thing
by the rule of law, suddenly we who resist such expropriation of lawful
ownership are viewed as criminals.
In like manner, modern governments rarely admit to open expropriation
of property. They simply obscure the theft by calling it taxation in
support of our "duty" as citizens. In reality, the official
view of property rights is that they are secure to the individual only
insofar as they do not conflict with the "public good." In
other words, property rights become subordinated to public needs, which
are INFINITE. Such public "needs" become arbitrary when "public"
ceases to be defined as ALL the people, and comes to be viewed as satisfaction
of some minority need, as if that minority represented all of us in
that same "potential" situation.
Here again is another fallacious case of so-called "shared rights."
The government claims both private and public sectors have a "compelling
interest" in these property rights. But the only pertinent question
is who has the ULTIMATE INTEREST. I don't care who has a passive interest
in my affairs, I only want to know who has the ULTIMATE authority if
there is a conflict in that interest. If the state has the ultimate
authority, then I possess no rights--only a PRIVILEGE granted me by
the government, as long as it doesn't need what I am using.
EMINENT DOMAIN: I am so concerned about the subtle and slow
erosion of ownership rights, that after long and careful deliberations,
I have concluded that legitimate ownership to property and assets must
be held as near to absolutely inviolate from forced confiscation as
possible. The concept of "eminent domain" is very dangerous,
and almost presupposes that government has the highest, or most "eminent"
claim on property. This must not be allowed. At best, the government
can be given very limited and specific powers of taking, but never general
powers of taking for the ever-expandable "public good". Now,
before you go into a frenzy of questions about how we could possibly
have such orderly roads and bridges without the power to 'TAKE' property
by force, albeit with compensation, let me state the basic danger.
What difference is there in FACT (not degree) between the full subordination
of private property to "public needs", and a little bit
of taking? There is none, really, except the voluntary willingness
of government powers to be "reasonable"--which is dangerous
to rely upon.
There is simply no way to distinguish, in law, the progression from
a little bit of "taking" for "reasonable" purposes
and a lot of taking of property for unreasonable purposes. As long as
government possesses ultimate authority to declare some taking by eminent
domain as "reasonable", there are no ultimate rights reserved
to the owners of property. It is just that simple. The 1984 Supreme
Court decision upholding the Hawaii statutes providing for the forced
transfer of private land holdings to other PRIVATE owners for the "public
good" is an ample demonstration of this inevitable progression
from selective use of "eminent domain" to total eventual confiscation.
Do not be dissuaded from the danger inherent in this situation by
some small, historical view that local leaders have heretofore been
reasonable. That isn't the point. First, the leaders legally do not
have to be reasonable at all, as long as they at least declare that
what they do is in the "best interest" of the public. Almost
anything can be justified by the "public interest" or "reasonable"
standard if the judicial system becomes packed by political "yes-men."
Second, even if leaders are fully accountable to the majority of citizens
as to their reasonableness, it is not even within the rightful purview
of the majority to determine what is the "reasonable" taking
of another's property. That is for the owner to decide either by initial
unanimous consent to constitutional provisions for taking or in a voluntary
form of contractual citizenship where they specifically cede some limited
Without entering into a necessarily long treatise explaining how an
orderly transportation system can be derived through a system of inviolate
property rights, I would encourage you to consider that the development
of the so-called "order" in which we now live took place not
at any single time, in a stroke of a master planner's pen, but one decision
at a time, mostly by free choice, as man made a conscious attempt to
harmonize what went before with the future. For that matter, there is
still a lot of order to be worked out. Though the free market always
takes longer than the power of arbitrary government edicts, the results
are always more just.
With all that said, I am fully aware that there are not a few greedy
people that would see that their property is the key piece necessary
to finish a long highway project--perhaps one that passes through a
narrow canyon, where no other route is possible--who would set the price
astronomical high sufficient either to deny the viability of the project
or even worse to have their price acceded to and set off simultaneously
a wave of hatred all property rights, or even a contagious fever of
greed on the part of others hoping to do the same in the future. One
solution is to make some carefully controlled concessions to public
taking with compensation in the citizen covenant, whereby all signers
agree to yield property rights in exchange for market value compensation
for a very specific list of things (such as major transportation and
utility corridors, as narrowly defined as practicable, with the burden
of proof upon the government to demonstrate that they have selected
the route with the least infringement upon existing developed property).
I would never suggest any broad "public purpose" language
as a compromise. Property rights are simple too critical to liberty.
This same type of restricted taking of property with compensation could
be written into a constitution, but it would be a more dangerous compromise
since once you crack open the door of government takings, it is nearly
impossible to restrain it from constant erosion. Certainly, placing
it in a constitutional framework with stiff amendment requirements (at
least 2/3 majority), rather and in ordinary statutory law will help
hold the line.
While we, the living, have trouble looking at what exists and envisioning
how it could be reproduced without the coercion of property rights,
it can be done, with only few exceptions--where the terrain is so unique,
and where it leads to few or no alternative transportation and utility
route, or where critical water rights, are concerned. The secret of
resolving much of the current planning problems involving critical resources
is found partially in the necessity of all citizens and officials to
know IN ADVANCE the strict limits of public takings of property,
and the full nature of compensation required. Thus all levels of government
are forced to plan further ahead and choose with greater foresight optimum
areas for critical public works and other areas for alternative development
when the costs or the obstacles of an ideal area are too high.
In roads for example, I would limit the power of taking to only major
highways. These are the only ones where fast speeds and zig-zags around
property holdouts would be very difficult to implement efficiently without
the power of taking with compensation. In the case of smaller, slower
roads, those who won't ever sell rarely hold up progress since there
are very few instances where only a single route is possible, or when
the road can't wait to go through later on after the person holding
out passes away or moves on. Even in such cases, if the cause is just,
do not forget the power of persuasion generated by wide public support
for community projects that do not involve wrongful taxing authority.
Nothing adds insult to eminent domain injury more than having to pay
through increased taxes and bonding for the taking of your own land.
WATER RIGHTS: In the delicate area of water rights, I feel it is a
general necessity to make water rights highly divisible and flexible
so as to accommodate the maximum use of critical water supplies to the
most users that increasing technology can apply them to. This is particularly
applicable to dry locations where water is a scare resource. But I feel
it important to restrict these public controls of water rights to the
very minimum required to deal with drinking and crop irrigation functions.
First, when a river crosses numerous different property boundaries,
the water rights of the flow at any given time should be equally distributed
among the properties along the entire length of the river combined with
some factor involving the amount of agricultural land physically connected
to the river, out to a specified limit. When such a rule is applied
uniformly and equally to all adjacent river owners, they are then free
to sell unused portions of their water rights to other users not directly
connected to the river. Distant cities would either have to own some
river property or negotiate with river property owners to secure water
from such a source.
Second, when a water source does not exit a property, except on rare
overflow conditions, the water rights should be not subject to any public
allocation. Natural lakes should also be in the full control of the
property owners without public say. However, man-made lakes should be
subject to approval of the structural elements of the dam in order to
protect the rights to life and property of the landholders downstream
of such a dam. In any case, no government body overseeing a 'public
safety' issue such as this should have the right to prevail in a dispute,
when all of the other owners downstream (whose rights would be affected
by a breakage) agree in writing to allow the dam above them. This is
based on the universal principle that people should always have the
right to accept agreed upon risks without government interference.
Third, fish and wildlife rights should be limited in their ability
to impinge upon property rights. A case can be made for the public right
to maintain "free passage" for fish and other aquatic wildlife
up and down a river or lake to which their were native. But their should
be no "free passage" allowed for members of the public who
wish to hunt or fish. This would allow excessive access of the public
to private property and would make it nearly impossible for an owner
to secure his property against unwanted intrusion. Thus the public would
be free to fish and hunt by contractual agreement or by the public purchase
of access (if done with an appropriate use fee and no general tax funds).
Naturally, since barriers would not be allowed to be erected that prohibited
fish movement (dams without fish ladders, for example), the public would
still have fishing privileges, though more limited than present.
WELL WATER: Well water, where it was drawn from a water table that
can be demonstrated to affect other well water users, would have to
be controlled by either a contractual association of well users or a
representative body of such users. It is never proper for a broad based
public regulatory body to regulate something that can be controlled
by a legal association of the property owners directly affected. I understand
that no one is perfectly able to determine the limits of an underlying
water table, but certainly there are situations where it could be determined
without a reasonable doubt that a certain well or well would not have
adverse affect beyond a certain general range. For example, a ranch
that occupies an entire valley with its own aquifer table should not
be subject to state or county well permits. For a ranch the size of
the King ranch in Texas (hundreds of miles square) an unlimited well
access would be appropriate, we may presume within 25 miles of its boundaries.
This would generally ensure that other adjacent owners would not be
adversely affected by the unlimited water use within the larger ranch's
core area. Border areas would be subject to regulation as to number
of wells and amounts pumped. The burden of proof in taking regulatory
control of well use should be on the agency--not on the well user to
prove he isn't affecting someone else.
TAKINGS BY CONTROL and REGULATION NOT ALLOWED: Note carefully the
completeness of the ownership statement in the statement of property
rights and principles. It is not enough to have title alone. One must
have the control of the property and the right to dispose
of it. Many land-use laws today have violated the value of property
by allowing someone to maintain title and pay the taxes but deny the
owner the right to build on it, farm it, mine it, or sell it. Even those
land-use laws that allow such uses still require prior approval, with
the land-use authority holding the ultimate authority. Not infrequently
such ultimate authority results in outright denial of use--the same
as if the property had been taken--only THE OWNER STILL PAYS THE TAXES.
Obviously, ownership is a liability under those conditions, not an asset.
Such actions are totally prohibited by the foregoing statement of rights
except where the use of property would infringe on another's right.
For example, burning noxious or hazardous materials on one's own property
could be a direct violation of another's property rights if harmful
fumes were to travel across property lines and cause illness or air
pollution. The same would apply to toxic chemical or fertilizer leakage
into a stream that passes through other's property or into the water
NO SUCH THINGS AS "VISUAL RIGHTS". On the other hand, unsightly
visual uses of construction on property would not be a violation of
another's rights, since no one can possess a right to a particular view,
whether scenic or otherwise. The reason is simple. A view can be seen
by numerous separate property owners at once. Each person cannot possess
the same rights to that view simultaneously with the others. There is
no way that the law can arbitrate between differences of opinion on
the relative merits of a shack, for example, on someone's property.
A shack to one person may be another's "historical relic."
Furthermore, even if all other surrounding owners could agree on the
merits of a view, to be given the power to control the view, would require
the power to control the physical elements constituting that view--meaning
the private property itself. That would give every property owner control
rights to every other property around him, within view, which would
be an impossible situation of interminable conflict.
That is precisely why, in the relatively new area of law dealing with
protecting scenic areas, no rights are really afforded either to the
surrounding property owners or the public. All effective powers go to
the arbitrary, appointed commissions (panels of laymen and "experts")
who make the final decisions. Do not be fooled by the environmentalist
promotion that the "public" controls the view under scenic
protection laws. The "public" may have input to the authorities,
but only the ultimate authority has any power. Such a commission or
panel has full power to totally disregard the public input, which is
never uniform anyway. For purposes of political justification, however,
these panels can always find or induce someone to provide "public
input" which matches whatever outcome the commission wants to enforce.
There are no scenic rights except to he who owns the property on which
the scene exists. To state otherwise would give every traveler conflicting
rights with every other traveler over every piece of land deemed too
pretty for private ownership.
The ultimate result of the absolute protection of property rights
is that new property buyers would make their purchases with the full
realization that whatever view surrounds them can change, and that they
cannot control that change without either outright purchase or restrictive
covenants signed beforehand by all area property owners. The restrictive
covenant is nothing less than a partial form of a covenant society,
covering little more than aesthetic aspects of property rights.
In the final analysis, remember that without ownership rights, few
other rights exist. How can one act with any autonomy if he does not
own or control the property upon which such action rests? How can one
contract if nothing is owned? Without ownership there is no way of establishing
or maintaining the concept of just possession. Without a sense of possession,
men lose the incentive to work.
COROLLARY RIGHTS to FREEDOM OF ACTION that are dependent uponproperty rights:
INTRODUCTION: There are many corollary rights relating to the freedom
to act, which are limited to participation in property rights. Throughout
the following discussion of corollary rights, you will note the use
of the word "contractual property." This simply refers to
property which, by either verbal or written contract or permission,
you have use or control.
Under these principles, "public" property would refer to
the property owned by the association of all the citizens who have formed
a certain government entity, whether city, county, state, or nation.
Each level of government can, like any other association, purchase and
hold property as long as it is done without coercion, and only by the
use of the funds of the covenant members themselves.
Under this contractual concept, public property is not free, nor is
it able to be used in an uncontrolled manner. Since it is governed like
an association, there are rules and by-laws which establish some type
of representative majority rule. That body, in accordance with the bylaws,
can set rules pertaining to the use of that property, including limits
to any of the following rights, which are always dependent upon property
To BE FREE FROM BEING ACTED UPON or involuntarily influenced,
in a harmful manner, when on one's own or contractual property and
not directly and harmfully affecting the rights of others.
This conditional right, which is the reciprocal expression of the
freedom to ACT--declares one's freedom from being ACTED UPON when not
interfering with others. In this fundamental right is found the essential
justification for all laws prohibiting aggression and compulsion by
either individuals or government when one is acting within his own sovereign
area of ownership or control, and other's rights are not infringed.
It is carefully worded so as to preclude the false interpretation
which would lead one to believe he has the "right" to make
all other human beings disappear from the face of the earth "because
they are influencing me." Such influence must be harmful, and against
your rights (not will or desires alone) while on your own, or contractual
In the case of public property, one does not have all the same
rights that may be possessed on one's own private property. When on
any contractual property (including public property or in any activity
governed by the rules of an association or contract) one has only as
many rights as have been contracted for, or retained while under that
For example, under a proper governmental association, public roads
could exist as long as they were developed by voluntary contractual
principles (using user fees and specific road taxes). Those paying the
appropriate individual toll or yearly fee, to use the roads, would be
considered contractual owners, and would have the right to not be involuntarily
and harmfully influenced from such a vantage point, as long as the contract
for participation in the public system did not preclude such rights.
Here is how this would work in a few specific areas: This principle
could prohibit the showing of outdoor drive-in movies where persons,
not contracting to view the show, could accidentally view material that
would be directly harmful to them, or their children. An objection could
be lodged against a theater showing sexually explicit material since
it can be demonstrated to be harmful to the proper moral development
of children, and even harmful to adults who wish to maintain a mind
free from corrupting thoughts or memories. Even if it could not be "proven"
to be harmful, property rights include the protection to be free from
acted upon adversely by other's actions. Certain sexually explicit material
is acting adversely upon those who do not wish to view it. This is especially
an appropriate objection when the offender can easily avoid or ameliorate
the unwanted intrusion.
JUDGMENT ON CERTAIN MORAL CONFLICTS: It is not my intent to delve
here into the difficulties of determining in law what constitutes "explicitly
harmful sexual material." As in this case, there are aspects of
prosecution such as the determination of "harm" and "intent"
which must remain in the realm of judgment, since they cannot be explicitly
defined in words alone. It is true that such concepts can be guided
by legal criteria, but the ultimate judgment will probably always remain
in human hands, imperfect as they are. That is why we still have to
have judges in law, though we try to avoid giving them wide discretion.
If sexually explicit material could not be legally shown to be harmful,
those objecting, or who still believe it harmful even in the absence
of legal proof, would have to seek the protective exclusion found only
in a smaller covenant society, were high levels of protection
from voluntary influence can be had by mutual agreement
Liberty can best be preserved in these areas requiring human judgment
if the specific determination of what is harmful influence is made at
the local level, by an elected judge, and where those judgments are
not given any judicial weight outside the local jurisdiction, and where
private viewing of such materials is not infringed. This allows a majority
in a local community, through the exercise of their franchise (voting
for a judge), to indirectly influence a portion of the rule of law (the
determination of "harm"), without being subjected to uniform
federal or state interpretations, other than general constitutional
restraints on the protection of private actions.
This is not to say that LOCAL majorities should be given unlimited
license to make any law, as if it possessed some virtue by being only
local in scope. As I expressed earlier, there are many types of law
which are violations of fundamental rights whether they occur at the
local or national level. Here we are referring to those areas of law
(such as judgments on "harm") which are valid exercises of
majoritarian law, and recognize that certain aspects of those laws cannot
be totally defined by words, thereby necessitating human judgment by
local courts of law.
As long as the majority and minority opinions do not become excessively
divergent, communities do tend to coexist in peace without falling back
on the more exclusive covenant societies. The latter are more protective
of uniform beliefs but are more difficult to form since they require
initial unanimous consent.
Certain minorities will "vote with their feet" (that is,
move away) if they have serious disagreements with the standards constituting
what is harmful, and if they are unsuccessful in gaining the assent
of the courts selected by the majority. Thus, the ultimate protection
of liberty is gained by the freedom to set up a unanimous covenant society
for the absolute protection of certain non-compulsive moral values not
held by the society at large.
This concept provides the least conflict between different moral values
since each major group representing different moral values would tend
to seek their own local autonomy rather than compel others to meet
their own particular standards. When conflict is reduced and free
competition is encouraged, the several groups are more inclined to cooperate
in areas of common concern--if a national structure exists that allows
for fair and proportional representation on national issues.
The foregoing discussion of control over an outdoor theater is not
a contradiction with the discussion on scenic "rights", wherein
I concluded that no one can "own a scene" not on his own property.
In the "scenic pollution" conflict of a neighbor building
a shack, no rights are violated since there is no right to a view, nor
was there any direct damage to the person himself, moral or otherwise.
Now, there are those who claim he has been directly damaged by lower
property values. But the so-called "damage to property values"
argument is fallacious since there is no right to a certain value of
a property. Values are matters of opinion, not fact. They are determined
by the free negotiations between other prospective buyers and the owner.
The potential buyer is a third party, may or may not see it as a detraction
of value to this or other neighboring properties for sale. And it cannot
meet the test of being both direct and harmful to any victim, even the
prospective buyer since the third party buyer doesn't own the shack
or the property next door. If he doesn't like it, he can buy property
elsewhere, or lower his bid to reflect his poor assessment.
There is no way to determine fixed property values in law--therefore
they are not adjudicable. However, in the case of the drive-in theater,
the damage is direct since sexually explicit material can adversely
and directly affect the development of a child, and even the emotional
stability of some adults. If the offending shack had obscene words painted
on it, one might have cause to declare it directly harmful, but not
the shack itself, since the relative beauty or lack thereof of a building
cannot be shown to be adversely damaging to the neighbor's mind.
In a similar manner, billboards can be regulated--but not on
the normal basis that they are "ugly". Even if that were the
case, nothing can be regulated because of beauty--as subject far too
subjective for public judgment. But when billboards can be seen and
read beyond property boundaries they touch upon the right of others
not to be unduly or adversely influenced or acted upon on their own
or contractual property. So morally offensive materials would be subject
to regulation. Size or placement would only be an issue of traffic safety.
Potential distraction of certain types of lighting, or wild movements
could be regulated if an adverse threat to contractual obligations of
the roadway could be proven.
The laws defending fundamental rights should be uniform throughout
the nation, being set by the constitution, but individual localities
are free to make more explicit or restrictive standards in the area
of non-coercive values if done by initial unanimous consent of all citizens
in the local community. Lacking unanimous consent, legislation by lawmakers
and judgment by the courts is limited to defining and restricting harmful
acts to individual and family rights. We must remember that judgment,
in the absence of any unanimous local citizen agreement, is strictly
limited to protecting fundamental and contractual rights, determining
whether direct harm or intent to harm has occurred, and providing just
consequences for the guilty and restitution to the victims.
This potential conflict between liberty and harmful influence upon
others is one of the difficult areas in law to properly resolve. By
deferring toward liberty when in doubt, and only exercising legal judgment
where harm is clear, we hopefully avoid any real substantive conflicts
in an open, majority ruled community. What moral value conflicts still
remain are then best resolved by smaller subdivisions of the community
being formed, under the unanimous consent provisions of the law, to
clearly prohibit undesired conduct within areas under the new subdivision's
THE RIGHT NOT TO BE ACTED UPON (continued):
SELF RESPONSIBILITY FOR RISK
To be solely RESPONSIBLE for one's own health, life, education and
safety. It is, therefore, not the right or duty of other men, whether
by individual or government force, to coerce men to act in any way
they may deem BENEFICIAL for another's welfare, when failure or refusal
to so act will not directly or harmfully affect others' rights outside
covenant and contractual relationships.
In this principle we find one of the simple "self-evident"
truths about life. Almost everyone would agree that we should all be
free to accept responsibility for our actions. /But there are many well-meaning
individuals who have taken it upon themselves to act as the almighty
protectors of mankind. In this, I am not referring to those who desire
to protect people from the compulsion and aggression of others, but
those who arrogate to themselves the power to protect people from themselves--using
the coercive power of government.
They busy themselves in attempts to keep people from doing things
which they may deem unwise and foolish--which is commendable, but only
in the voluntary sector. However, when voluntary awareness programs
fail, or a major accident happens, they often go to government crying
for a new law mandating that people be forced to do something that presumably
would ensure such an accident never happens again.
Worse yet, when government agencies hire a full time employee as a
fire Marshall or safety officer, for example, each fire or accident
in the community becomes a reflection on his job performance. Thus the
nature of the responsibility induces the officer to go before elected
officials and request additional codes and regulations to control what
he feels are unsafe private actions. Freedom becomes the code enforcer's
"enemy" and he, unknowingly, becomes freedoms worst enemy.
Laws such as motorcycle helmet requirements, mandatory seat belt use,
and building codes are all violations of this principle. Conservatives
have a most difficult time seeing the evil in these laws, simply because
they involve safety habits which most of us do voluntarily anyway. Besides,
they appear so "beneficial."
We tend to confuse one fundamental aspect of law when we support health
and safety legislation that we view as beneficial. We confuse our feelings
of support for the beneficial action being mandated, with the
fact that it is IMPROPER TO MANDATE such actions BY
People say, "I wear seat belts, and I think everyone should,"
which may be true. But there is a distinct and very real difference
between saying everyone SHOULD versus MUST, UNDER PENALTY
OF LAW. We fail to remember that the artificial penalties for
transgressing a law inflicts pain and suffering and very real damage,
in the form of fines or even potential imprisonment if one resists on
Thus, we must never use law as a means of coercing people to do
things that we simply feel are beneficial for them. Once we enter
that arena, where we give government the power to determine what is
BENEFICIAL for people, we have opened the floodgates for virtual total
control of our lives--all in the name of health, life, safety and good
judgment--all violations of the fundamental right to be responsible
for our own safety.
Remember that being responsible for our own safety means the requirement
of accepting the CONSEQUENCES of one's own poor judgment, and as a society
of having the courage to see people's bad judgment hurt them without
rushing to the legislature to stop personal freedom to fail.
That means, frankly, that mistakes will occur and that it is our own
responsibility to accept those consequences. The presence of occasional
consequences is what causes most people to learn by their errors. Judgment
increases and people become more wise. The more that government intrudes
to "ensure" private safety, the more non-thinking people depend
on that supervision, and the poorer their judgments become. Do not take
lightly this concept of deteriorating personal judgment in the face
of excess codling. It is similar to the unarrestable evil that comes
upon society as it shield's people's bad judgment in health and financial
matters with welfare and disability payments.
In all of this, I am not denying the legitimate role of government
in restricting those private actions which damage other people's rights.
That is the proper role of government. But, as a general rule, I prefer
deterrence for private bad judgment through letting people suffer the
consequences without a government safety net, or "a priori"
restraint upon liberty. Additionally, the same restrictions upon government's
intrusion upon family risks apply here as well in order to keep a clear
demarcation between family sovereignty and government delegated powers
protecting fundamental rights. Some suffer of wives and children must
be tolerated in society to shield liberty as a whole from the "ought-a-be-a-law"
crowd who would eventually attempt to "license" parents according
to some "pristine" sociological model.
My final point on this right is to clarify the language which says
that it is not the right or duty of men to coerce others to do what
they deem beneficial WHEN REFUSAL OR FAILURE TO DO SO WILL NOT HARM
OTHERS OUTSIDE OF COVENANT AND CONTRACTUAL RELATIONSHIPS.
The emphasized wording provides the essential test that restricts
a group of citizens, even if in a majority, from imposing their will
upon others. Simply put, if refusal to do the recommended or mandated
action does not directly and harmfully affect members of that majority,
they have no right to mandate such action.
Fluoridation of water supplies provides an ideal example. In
this case, if I fail to fluoridate my teeth, and I get additional cavities,
this in no way harms another or affects the rights of any other person.
Since failure to fluoridate does not directly affect other members of
the majority, the majority has no right to legislate its view of what
is beneficial for my water supply. This is properly done under voluntary
contract rights in a association of private water users, or by unanimous
consent of public system users.
Do not be tempted to rely on the flawed argument that government
welfare services are increased as people neglect to take care of themselves.
Because government illegally improperly attempts to use tax money to
give health care to certain persons, in no way gives government the
power to start regulating everyone. A one-sided contract, however
well intentioned is not binding, nor gives that person control over
another. It's like a person who, on his own volition, starts
paying for your health insurance, and then tries to control everything
you do because he is paying for something which you never solicited!
In a court of law, you could be free to accept his largess for as long
as you wanted and he would still never have any power to control you--simply
because it is a one-side offer.
To carry the benefit argument to further extremes, giving government
the power to mandate "beneficial" conduct would also
allow government to mandate that everyone drink three glasses of milk
a day--simply because it may be deemed beneficial. Again, government
can only defend against the infringement of rights, it cannot mandate
positive benefits or mandate beneficial actions.
Motorcycle helmet laws fall into this same category. Failure
to use a helmet only direct affects the user, and thus the majority
has no right to mandate its use. If they did have such a right then
safety requirements could be expanded in unlimited ways to include
special boots, anti-skid brakes, armored clothing and a host of very
expensive additions to an inherently unsafe vehicle.
Safety experts can sometimes get indignant when citizens complain
about the costs that must be borne to satisfy their demands. "How
can one put a PRICE on safety?" they retort. Actually, the price
is irrelevant to the fact that even a "free" mandatory safety
item would be a violation of the right to be self-responsible in areas
which do not affect others directly. But in another sense the price
is relevant in that mandatory safety equipment represents a "taking"
of property (money). The bigger the cost, the bigger the violation
of the property right. While most safety experts are considerate of
costs, they are under no legal obligation to act with such restraint.
Reasonableness is only a reflection of their desire to keep people from
rising up against this type of benevolent tyranny.
Why not ban motorcycles altogether, as some have suggested? The reason
is simple: it is each person's fundamental right to take risks and assume
the consequences for his own "unsafe" actions as long as others'
rights are not infringed. Using a vehicle recklessly in the presence
of other innocent bystanders is infringing on others' rights, but refusal
to wear a helmet is not.
This area of legislative action I have just described is the most
insidious type of lawmaking because most Americans, especially those
who use seat belts, and wear helmets, and build homes properly, see
nothing WRONG with the law. They fail to realize that what is PROPER
FOR THE VOLUNTARY ARENA is NOT PROPER FOR GOVERNMENT to mandate
by law. We are dealing here with mandating "beneficial acts"
wholly outside the limits on government power.
For the pragmatists who are always asking, how would we protect ourselves
against houses and buildings from collapsing and other effects of poor
judgment, simply look back into history. The US capitol building was
designed and built by unlicensed architects and builders--the free market.
At least four of our US presidents, including George Washington, had
no formal education--no credentials. Houses are still being built today
without any building codes, and they have no greater incidence of problems.
People in Oregon and Maryland (as of 1990) don't get annual safety inspection
on their cars, and have no higher incidence of safety-related accidents
than states with rigid laws.
Most importantly, when the market is free, and people rely less on
government to restrict their liberty to fail, personal judgment increases
(through going through the school of "hard knocks") and people
become better at seeing competency. When people find themselves in situations
where they do not feel competent, experience will eventually induce
them to hire an outside expert to check it out, to use good contracts
to ensure quality, and to assess liability if errors should occur. Granted
there will always be those in society who will fail to exercise caution,
fail to hire experts, and fail to get self taught about a subject where
they can't afford an expert. But there is little excuse for this slothfulness.
Let them pay the consequences, I say. Fortunately, there are still enough
examples of the proper use of freedom to prove my point. It is imperative
that we learn to distinguish between a good idea (safety) and the evil
of letting government enforce it by penalty of law.
Remember also, that the ultimate force behind every law is the taking
of life and property. One should ask himself, before supporting any
law, is the violation of this law worth taking away a man's life or
property should he object to it? In most safety laws, we must come to
a negative conclusion. As law moves into mandating landscaping and beautification,
the answer is even more emphatically negative--but those laws are on
the books in certain cities today because well meaning people failed
to see the danger in allowing government to mandate that which they
Probably the biggest single motivator towards intrusion into this
area, despite sound arguments is when little children are adversely
affected by the bad judgment of their parents. This is indeed tragic.
But it really isn't any different when an adult gets killed by some
unwise decision of another. Both are tragic, but neither can be stopped
by "a priori" regulation. Even if you could demonstrate that
less house fires are caused by building codes--you could never show
that on balance the net cost to society is less. When you total
all the additional costs involved with compliance with building codes,
(increased housing and rental prices, material costs, compliance costs,
litigation, liability trials, bureaucracies, designer's and builder's
time and cost keeping up with the code, etc., etc.,) the costs far,
far exceeds the outright loses from fire or safety that would have occurred
in the absence of codes. These are the hidden costs to society. And
for all these billions in hidden costs, there are thousands of jobs
that aren't created and small businesses on the margin that don't make
it because money is siphoned off into safety areas. These hidden victims
are never counted by the "safety" cheerleaders.
Safety does have a net benefit when implemented carefully and voluntarily
within the restraints of good business practice, but those net benefits
quickly disappear when mandated nationwide, or statewide by broad brushed
bureaucracy and enforcement divisions--as the number of horror stories
from small business can attest since the establishment of the Federal
Occupational, Safety and Heath Administration (OSHA).
The right to take PERSONAL RISKS without prior restraint as long
as others, not bound in a voluntary contractual relationship, with knowledge
of those risks, are not involved
Simply put, this principle restrains lawmakers from PROHIBITING dangerous
risk taking, including financial risks, when each person involved has
a knowledge of the potential harm and has voluntarily accepted those
risks. This effectively would prohibit such government agencies like
OSHA from interfering with employees who voluntarily chose to work under
hazardous circumstances. The allowances of this principle would induce
workers to be more careful in the contracts they signed, and to exercise
due caution themselves. It would also put government financial regulators
like the SEC out of the interference business, except to investigate
fraudulent practices upon actual evidence or complaint.
Again, as in all areas of freedom, there are those people who may
choose to not exercise due caution or properly scrutinize investment
or employment conditions where risk is involved. We must not let such
failure to make good choices lead us to take away all men's right to
take risks, and turn over such judgments to government bureaucrats.
Employers who failed to openly warn workers of certain hazards when
they were known by the employer and where the employee had requested
to know all hazards subsequent to the contract, could and should be
prosecuted for fraudulent practices.
Note that these rights of self-responsibility make reference to being
free to take risks as long as OTHERS OUTSIDE OF COVENANT AND CONTRACTUAL
RELATIONSHIPS are not involved. This simply means that one's risk taking
(which infers some danger) cannot involve non-contracting parties. Parties
who are joint partners with the risk taker, by contract, with a knowledge
of those risks, cannot claim to be involuntarily harmed by the effects
of the risk taking.
But what about children and family members? These are the COVENANT
relationships referred to, since the act of having children engenders
an automatic covenant for child care until the child reaches an ability
or desire to be self-sufficient. Almost every major decision that parents
make involves not only risk to themselves but to their children. Simply
getting in a car and driving somewhere is an example. But the mere
presence of risk is not sufficient reason to give the state the power
to easily intervene in the decisions of parents relating to their
children--all of which involve some risk. The risk taking by the parent
must be imminently threatening to the life of the child,
or represent grossly negligent conduct, that clearly presents a physical
risk (starving a child qualifies, but failure to use an "approved"
government feeding formula would not) for external intervention by government
to be justified. It must also be pernicious in nature, that is, a reoccurring
problem, with bad intent, more than a mere one-time case of poor judgment.
For example, driving on public streets and highways cannot qualify
as imminently threatening to a child. It is POTENTIALLY life threatening,
like most things in life, but not IMMINENT since there is such a low
percentage of accidents per miles driven. Even if it did become imminently
threatening, it would not be appropriate for government to enter with
piecemeal regulations like child restraint laws. Such "least restrictive"
doctrines only invite constant government intervention until parents
find themselves without ultimate authority for child care. It is better
in the long term to provide for government custody intervention only
at the most pervasive and abusive end of the scale in order to make
the line of demarcation between parental and government authority as
clear as possible. The potential of total loss of custody plus other
heavy penalties will generally serve as a strong deterrent to gross
For example, if a parent had a habit of taking a non-consenting, young
child with him on a dangerous stunt car circuit, where there were numerous
fatal accidents, that could be judged as imminently threatening,
it may be appropriate for government to intervene and at least threaten
to transfer the custody of the child to another more responsible person
if such life-threatening conduct does not cease. If, however, the child
was older and more knowledgeable of the risks and desirous of taking
them, the state could not intervene, no matter how dangerous.
To engage in voluntary CONTRACTS, written or verbal, without restriction
or regulation except where direct and harmful non-contractual consequences
to others occur; and to enforce such contracts, where real consideration
in the form of labor, assets or other property is given.
The right of contract is one of the most important of our fundamental
rights. It does have certain conditions by which it is properly exercised.
The right to contract is an extension of our fundamental right to act,
as long as both parties are acting voluntarily, and where fraud or deception
is not present. Contract rights are also linked to ownership rights,
since one cannot contract with that which he does not own or control.
I prefer a very free approach to the rights of contract, with strict
penalties and restitution for breaking contracts, despite the fact that
many people will, through ignorance and lack of caution, enter into
contracts that will cause them regret and suffering.
The question arises as to when a contract is valid. The above language,
stipulating the conditions surrounding contract rights, indicates that
a contract is binding only when "consideration" is given (meaning
something of value), whether in the form of labor, or assets, from both
In other words, a promise to give someone a gift is not a binding
contract, because the intended receiver has not exchanged anything in
value, for which he could claim damages, should the giver change his
mind. When a person promises to marry someone, and that person spends
money on preparations for the marriage, many states consider this a
valid contract. I do not, unless written--and if it has to be written,
it's a bad marriage to start with. In dealing with marriage, both parties
should realize that nothing is settled until it is really settled. Making
marriage preparations should always be done modestly and at each party's
own risk. I would not support forcing any couple to marry if one did
not want to, but certainly it would be appropriate to require financial
responsibility if a child was engendered by the couple.
The presence of fraudulent or deceptive statements would certainly
tend to negate the validity of a contract. The only major question that
arises is whether the presence of a very minor deceptive statement should
invalidate the entire contract--especially if it would result in greater
harm and damage to either one of the parties. One would not want to
entice people to search for a tiny exaggeration of a claim and turn
it into a "fraudulent" contract. While lack of honesty should
generally be a good reason to back out of an agreement, damages or settlements
should be awarded according to the principles of fairness, each being
restored as much as possible to his original position.
. Generally I favor a fairly harsh approach to contract enforcement
which puts the maximum burden upon the one signing the contract to ask
the proper questions and read and understand the entire document. Although
it is the contracting party's responsibility to ask pertinent questions,
it is the primary obligation of the more experienced party offering
the service to explain all of the risks and complexities involved. These
complexities should be part of enforceable contracts. Any withholding
of major factors that would have affected the judgment of either party
involved could be grounds for abrogation of the contract. But it should
be a significant factor, which, of course, would be a matter of judgment
that a judge would have to decide. I grant that this is difficult territory.
Once we allow a judge to decide what each party should have told the
others, it becomes difficult to enforce a contract. No one can possibly
remember everything about every detail that may be someday involved
in a contract, but certainly the most critical issues can be determined
by a specialized judge, using experience judicial criteria.
The greater danger is in the contract that is made ignorantly by people
of low intelligence without wisely inquiring into all the pertinent
details. Everyone has the right to take the document to a more experienced
person for clarification and review. But as a practical matter, this
costs money and the poor, the aged and infirm or the ignorant of low
intelligence, would either be ignorant of where to find help or would
be unable to afford it. I think there is a very real possibility of
charitable legal services emerging to help the poor with free advise.
But in any case, we need to address what to do with those who intentionally
prey upon ignorance and get older people, for example, to sign away
their homes for insurance annuity contracts of little value, etc. I
would only favor the invalidation of contracts where it could be determined
that a clear imbalance between mutual benefits was engaged without having
that disadvantage clearly explained in writing and initial. Much as
doctors can be required to explain to patients the risks, so the risks
of contracts ought to be part of a binding contract. I also think a
3-day cooling off period is productive. With many people, who sign something
on the spur of the moment, conscience successfully begins to get through
to them those nervous feelings about impending error, only as they think
about it later. A 3-day abeyance of contract validity goes a long way
to help people back out of bad deals. As long as all parties are aware
of such delays in validity, business can properly plan ahead. In all
cases of contract set-asides, however, I would favor having the side
backing out have to pay for any actual bone fide use they derived from
such a contract before abrogation. Expenses of the pusher of the contract
should not be allowed, however, unless the abrogating party made the
first approach without being invited to do so by the other.
The foregoing has been only a cursory view of a multi-faceted and
complex area of law. My intent is to accentuate the basic principles
of human action which avoid litigation and place the maximum incentive
on the individual to improve judgment. As in the area of risk, the more
responsibility placed upon the enforcement of contracts, generally,
the more careful people will become. A heavy reliance upon government
to protect people from their own ignorance, will only result in greater
incompetency and dependency, not less.
However, where a particular promoter shows a history of high pressure
tactics designed to induce ignorant persons to sign contracts without
a full understanding of the results, a court should have some discretion
to designate such tactics as "intent to deceive" and prosecute
accordingly. The legal criteria for such judgments would be difficult
to determine, but should be carefully designed to deter savvy lawyers
from devising ways to break contractual agreements for cursory, or dishonest
CONTRACTUAL RIGHTS, continued:
1. To engage in any ECONOMIC ACTIVITY desired as long as such activity
does not involve compulsion upon others or the assistance of an enemy
of these fundamental rights.
a. To unrestricted SELECTION and PURCHASE of all available goods and
services desired, whether deemed good or bad by others, whether domestic
or imported, except where such purchase, possession or use will infringe
upon the rights of others, or assist an enemy of these rights.
b. To circulate and negotiate any tangible asset or sworn evidence
thereof as money or a MEDIUM OF EXCHANGE as long as it is voluntarily
accepted by another and fraud and misrepresentation are not present.
The foregoing language asserts the basic economic freedom which has
been so totally emasculated by the US Supreme Court. This language allows
natural monopolies (meaning one company that dominates the market because
it is so efficient and unanimously popular), and cut-rate competition,
as long as all actions are voluntary. The only "unfair advantage"
in the market place is the advantage government grants to some and not
to others. This is the only type of monopoly that would be prohibited.
This is not to say that a contractual government, like any other association,
cannot set up some type of business, school or service, like the postal
service. But it must not use general tax funds to do so, and it must
act as a free enterprise, charging user fees, and allow all others to
However, the right of people to protect themselves against an enemy
supersedes this economic right. No one has the "right" to
aid and trade with an enemy. This must be construed very specifically,
however. The enemies are often the LEADERS of a nation, not the individual
people. Unless government could demonstrate that the transaction will
assist specific enemies, a merchant should be free to trade with specific
individuals, just as he would be free to assist them in their cause
of gaining freedom.
This same principle applies to the purchase of goods. As long as the
results of certain purchases cannot be shown to be supporting an enemy
of freedom, one would be free to buy such products. The burden of proof
should be upon the government. There is a gray area here in determining
at what level of mixed free-enterprise and socialism does a government
become enough of an enemy to warrant prohibition of trade in the name
of self-defense. That would be another judgment call to be made by one's
elected leaders and the courts.
Also, just as there is firm support in the principles for prohibiting
the importation of goods made with slave labor, there is some justification
for prohibiting the distribution of foreign goods made with government
subsidies. Subsidization represents a partial enslavement of a people
living under a socialist regime. They are being partially coerced into
producing something against their will, by having a portion of their
tax funds involuntarily transferred to an industry or to wages.
In both cases, however, the national government could not prohibit
such trade unless the totalitarian actions of the foreign government
against their own citizens were a real threat to our own freedoms. In
the case of Soviet slave labor, this is not difficult to establish,
on two counts: first, they have openly stated their intent to enslave
us, and the partial enslavement of their own population is in furtherance
of that goal. Second, there are or have been at least 5000 Americans
in Soviet slave camps.
In the case of subsidized goods, it would be hard to make the case
that such subsidization is a direct threat to our freedoms. If it could
not be determined that such a threat existed, then the boycott of those
goods would have to be voluntary, or be made part of the unanimous citizen
contract, wherein all agree not to buy subsidized goods.
The right to negotiate anything as "money" is a simple extension
of the right to contract. As long as the other person willingly accepts
one's medium of exchange, and no deception is present, who is the government
to say it is not "good" money. This language on free money
prohibits any government activity in the control of money except to
prosecute for fraudulent practices. Ironically, governments have always
been the biggest perpetrators of fraud in issuing paper currency, without
backing--the same thing they condemn as "counterfeiting" in
the private sector.
People complain about the potential problems of lots of different
"funny money" floating around, if everyone had the freedom
to issue their own. That view does not match history, nor does it consider
the beneficial example of personal checks issued from a variety of banks.
The paper issued is only as strong as the buyer views what the paper
promises to pay upon redemption. The best and most valuable money becomes
the standard of ease in exchangeability. That is why people select credit
cards that have near universal acceptance. We note that no one company
has a monopoly, but all of the top contenders meet a relatively high
and uniform standard of service and acceptability in the marketplace.
The existence in the markets of millions of personal checks is strong
evidence that non-government money works, even with the potential of
fraud and insufficient funds. The presence of high penalties for issuing
a bogus check is sufficient to deter most. Where "big risks"
are present, smart businessmen require more SECURE forms of money than
personal checks. Such a hierarchy of surety money would quickly form
in a free money society. As in most free market problems, the advantages
far outweigh the disadvantages, and experience in the market place usually
keeps most people out of trouble. Also characteristic of everything
in the free market, ignorance is penalized and skill and trust are rewarded.
In the final analysis, there are absolutely no arguments that one
can give for government monopoly of currency that cannot better be handled
by the free market, as long as government does a proper job of prosecuting
for fraud. All the current proposals about taking the printing power
of money away from the Federal Reserve and giving it to Congress are
woefully flawed. The nation's politicians are certainly the last that
we can expect to be fiscally responsible. We need only look to the spiraling
national debt and the indiscriminate spending by government for evidence.
This is not to say I favor a continued role of the Federal Reserve.
Neither are the arguments valid that the supply of money must be increased
each year to match the growth of the economy (as indicated by the Gross
National Product (GNP) or other indicator). That's more bad economic
theory that most conservatives have ignorantly accepted. Actually, one
could freeze the existing supply of money, and prices would simply begin
to fall as the GNP increased. The economy can be operated on nearly
any quantity of money, as long as prices are free to change relative
to the demand for that money, and if sufficient numerical subdenominations
of the unit of currency exists to accommodate a high value for scarce
By freezing the present supply of paper currency (replacing only worn
out bills), its value would gradually increase, except where it had
to compete with "real money" like gold, silver or some other
valuable commodity. These latter types of money have both intrinsic
value AND certification value (meaning the money implies or certifies
that the holder had previously exchanged something of value in order
to possess it). Paper money only has certification value, which is only
as good as people's confidence in its relatively fixed supply. As people
see excess dollars entering the market place (by way of rising prices),
they begin dumping dollars (rapid buying) in order to beat the next
price rise, or natural devaluation of the dollar. Gold is much more
resistant to such devaluation because of its relative scarcity and intrinsic
FREEDOM OF ASSOCIATION:
The RIGHT To ASSOCIATE with other persons without coercion as long
as that association is desired by all parties, does not constitute a
direct and harmful threat to another's rights, and where such association
is not in violation of the desires of the property owner.
Here, the right to associate with other people of mutual choice is
stated, with one important limitation: such association must not be
a direct threat to the rights of others. Thus, groups associating together
for treasonous purposes could be enjoined from doing so. The actual
prosecution would have to be on the treason charge, rather than on the
association itself, which could not be a crime. But, if there is substantial
evidence of treason, further association could be enjoined during the
process for determination of guilt. This would prevent military or even
mob groups from using freedom of association to mask their intent to
gather and strike.
The following are some limiting conditions about the nature of associations.
Like other rights in this section, they are corollary rights to property
rights. Even on contractual property, you only have the rights you were
allowed under the voluntary conditions agreed upon.
Associations possess all the fundamental rights of individuals,
but never exceed individual fundamental rights by virtue of being an
This concept keeps government (a citizen association) from assuming
it has more rights than individual citizens by virtue of its association
power. Even the defense function of government is possessed simultaneously
by each citizen. The notion that the state has been given a "monopoly"
on the use of power is not true. It is given the first priority in the
use of power to defend universal rights, but the citizen never should
relinquish his ultimate right of personal self defense, nor the right
to join in general self-defense against tyranny. In the citizen contract,
each citizen agrees not to exercise his defense rights except in an
emergency when recourse to government defense is not immediately available,
or when the government ceases to be the servant of rights and becomes
a tyrannical extension of majoritarian rule. The governmental association
may possess more POWER than an individual, by greater numbers and resources,
but that must not be confused with greater RIGHTS. The government is
always the employee, not the master, except over those who violate other's
Individuals may PEACEFULLY ASSEMBLE in groups without criminal
or treasonous intent as long as private property rights and free movement
on public (association) property are not infringed or impeded.
This doctrine essentially solves the problems of public demonstrations
which, in a busy metropolis, can disrupt all other activities. Obviously,
people are free to assemble on private property with the permission
of the owner. But properly understood, public property is nothing more
than a large neighborhood association that owns a park, for example.
People using the park, members of the association, are limited by what
the rules and regulations set by the elected ruling body. In like manner,
government has the right to regulate conduct on public property, by
virtue of its charter to establish rules and regulations of conduct.
In other words, no one has full set and use of all fundamental rights
except on his own property. When he moves, voluntarily, on to another's
property (even the association's) he moves into a tacit agreement to
abide by some else's rules or covenant restrictions. Obviously, men
would be foolish to give total and arbitrary powers to government in
establishing rules of conduct, but that is, in fact, what often happens
out of a mistaken trust in democratic processes--the failure to envision
the potential corruption of the majority, and the subsequent misuses
of majority rule to deny fundamental rights of the productive class.
Unless careful restrictions are placed on citizen-government contracts,
all basic rights in a democracy can be limited by the elected officials
on public property, including speech, assembly and economic activity.
The only limiting factor in democratic law is the majority will.
In a normal, non governmental association, persons who cannot or do
not desire to abide by the association rules are free to go elsewhere--and
take their money with them. This would be a novel approach to local
governments--if people had the power to form competing government entities
for basic services, and pay their tax moneys to the one that performed
the best. This allows for maximum justice and plurality of belief and
action--the ultimate power to escape the oppression of the majority
and retreat to a smaller, separate unit of government for greater protection
or less personal restrictions. Naturally if competing local governments
were permitted, over time the best two or three would prevail. One alone
might prevail if it was good enough as compared to the competition.
Certainly it may not be practicable for the entire range of services,
but it does provide the possibility for the productive class to pull
out of local taxing authority that is becoming more and more engaged
in improper welfare services. Competing local governments would eventually
end up as user fee associations--and the ones who promised the most
improper benefits would go bankrupt the soonest.
It is interesting to note in this regard that regulations and restrictions
increase exponentially with the density of population in any given place.
The more people, the greater the friction and interaction that appears
to require government regulation. Also, voluntary cooperation decreases
in proportion to lack of personal acquaintance people have with others,
which is very low in large cities. For this reason, the creation of
smaller, more personal government entities is beneficial and more responsive
to the individual. The incentives to form unified smaller divisions
of government, as provided herein, tend to keep cities from becoming
excessively large. Voluntarism is increased due to a higher level of
personal acquaintance among the community and a higher level of uniformity
in values. Both of these factors, working together, tend to decrease
the propensity to demand socialist forms of intervention and regulation
in the community. Large units of government do just the opposite. They
foment a sense of futility about individual effort and induce citizen
dependency upon the "all powerful" state. Worse yet, individual
action tends to give way to class consciousness as minority groups clamor
The only real down side to smaller units occurs when overall military
defense is needed. Small factions tend to be very difficult to unite
until the crisis is so large and the threat so great that it is often
To DISASSOCIATE with other persons without public reason or
justification and to exclude all persons not desired from one's own
This is the basic right to exclude people, for whatever reason one
desires, but is limited to property controlled by you. This concept
runs at variance with present-day civil rights legislation, which prohibits
private discrimination. Private discrimination should always be legal.
To do otherwise is to say that government has the arbitrary power to
decide who you will associate with or who you will do business with.
There is no substance to the government argument that a business "open
to the public" is a public business. Making an offering to the
public to buy does not presuppose the loss of right to select with whom
one will do business--nor does it establish any legal linkage to regulation
and control. Regulation and control can only come at the threat to a
fundamental right. Since no individual has a right to force any one
to engage in business with him, there is no damage to fundamental
rights when someone declines to sell or offer you their services.
The invitation to the public is not a license to buy, but an invitation
to negotiate, and can be withdrawn or declined by either party at will.
The businessman, right or wrong, must have the power to limit the invitation
in any way he wants--even to race, color, creed, size, weight, or anything
at all. While I would not agree that there was such a need to be so
bias in most cases, I would defend his right to do so. Clearly there
are cases when gender, weight, or size can be significant factors that
an employer has to have the right to consider. While race is almost
never a valid criteria for private discrimination, once you allow government
to start making a prohibited list of discriminatory actions, what color
or law allows you to limit that process. There is no limit once you
allow government to enter this area--so we must never allow it to enter
and prohibit discrimination.
Remember, to limit a person's ability to discriminate (to make a class
judgment) is to violate one's right to act on his judgments, when such
judgments do not violate the rights of others. Remember, there is no
right to buy, only the right to accept an offer if tendered. There is
no right to not be judged, only to judge others and to act on
those judgment, within one's fundamental rights. A person's class judgment,
and subsequent desire not to deal with that class, is not violating
anyone's right--it is merely the restricted exercise of his own right.
The power to invite or not to invite is inherent in the right to control
entrance to one's property.
Congressional civil rights legislation of the current type is only
appropriate for matters of federal contract. Any association may choose
to limit their right to discriminate, but they cannot limit others by
majority rule--only by unanimous voluntary covenant. In like manner,
state legislatures could prohibit discrimination in state contracts,
but neither legislative body can rightfully prohibit private discrimination,
since that is a violation of the private citizen's fundamental right
of association, and disassociation.
FREEDOM OF SPEECH
To PUBLISH, or make any other written or VERBAL EXPRESSION, on
property within one's ownership or control, whether for personal or
commercial intent, without prior restraint or restriction of the distribution
thereof, except when acting so as to destroy or deny to others these
fundamental rights. All persons have the right to state anything labeled
as their own opinion or personal belief as long as such statements are
directly accompanied by such qualifying remarks.
The foregoing statement is the basis for free expression, both written
and verbal. Again, the basic condition of one's realm of ownership and
control applies. One does not have the right to say or publish anything
on someone else's property--this must be done by mutual agreement and
contract. Thus no one has "free speech" rights in another's
house, or on his property, or in another's business.
Even on "public property" (of a true, contractual government
association), one would be subject to the rules that had been pre-agreed
upon in the by-laws of the governing unit--which may or may not have
some limits on free speech. These regulations may be either open or
restrictive, but in any event, they would usually be dependent upon
some type of majoritarian control. If competing local governments were
allowed, and one didn't like the rules of the association, he would
be free to try to change the majority opinion, or withdraw from the
association and not participate in the benefits of public property,
nor pay any of the taxes. That is not, however, as simple a choice as
it sounds, as will be discussed in a later section--notably because
there are issues of territoriality involved in government. But in any
case, under this doctrine, one can always retreat to the private arena
to criticize government if there are excessive limits in the public
LIBEL AND SLANDER:
When we come to the sticky area of libel (written defamation) and
slander (oral defamation), I am in favor of allowing the maximum possible
freedom to state negative opinions about others--especially since such
criticism is essential for the preservation of freedom and justice.
But I would be reluctant to allow continued lying about provable facts,
with bad intent. I do not favor the establishment of a tenuous difference
between public servants and private people, as in present law, trying
to establish different rights for different groups. But I am cognizant
of the need to allow a person to prosecute others for lying about matters
of purported FACT which the purveyor knows are malicious and untrue,
which cause demonstrable harm --however difficult that may be to prove.
I believe that the resolution lies in the difference between matters
of fact and opinion. No one has a right to have a fixed value on his
true worth--that is a matter of opinion, and each is free to judge another's
worth as he sees it. No one has a "right" to be viewed by
all as "honest, upright, moral, or good." Those are all matters
of general opinion by others as they view another person and are subject
to change. Each person should have the right to make general--non fact-based
statements as his own opinion, as long as his comments are stated as
such. This disclaimer sufficiently weakens any statement and leaves
room for enough doubt to encourage others to reserve judgment.
Nevertheless, there are matters of fact surrounding a person's property,
which include himself, which are inseparable from the rightful use and
exercise of self and property. There is no conflict of rights in recognizing
the ownership of facts since all men can own truthful facts simultaneously
without being in conflict with one another. By definition, a truthful
fact is one which does not conflict with any other fact about the same
The key problem in libel and slander is in matters of opinion where
there is no DIRECT, physical attack on the victim, except perhaps in
the mind and intents of the perpetrator--which is hard to prove. The
effect of the negative comment is upon how OTHERS may view your reputation.
There is a difference between something being harmful to your reputation,
and being harmful to your rights. No right to a certain reputation exists--only
to provable facts of history surrounding your person or property. So
the only damages that should be allowed to be recoverable are those
which cause financial loss or loss of employment loss based upon the
promotion of falsehoods done with malicious and willful intent.
No one can prove he should be esteemed by others in a certain manner.
This must be determined by individual negotiation. It cannot be a right
since it would be in direct conflict with another's right to make a
free judgment about your true worth as he perceives it. Furthermore,
would you dare give government the power to regulate or determine how
others view you? Or worse yet, demand, as do the egalitarian socialists,
that all people are forced to accept all others at equal worth--and
therefore, equal pay. That is unjust as well.
In general, my purpose in seeking a means of attacking libel and slander
(without endangering free speech) is because these often constitute
acts generated by real malicious intent to destroy a person's reputation
or economic livelihood. Even true economic competition can exist without
malicious intent, and I think it can be distinguished from predatory
practices. So, if we can distinguish malicious intent without destroying
all beneficial criticism, or beneficial natural monopolies, then we
will have a more peaceful society. Allowing malicious intent to grow
under the protection of freedom is only tolerable in very minor amounts--especially
since bad judgment and actions always increase the demand for "another
law" to protect someone, which often in the end restricts everyone's
freedom. So, I believe there is a significant purpose in seeking ways
to target malicious intent while still preserving all essential freedoms.
One possible way of attacking the problem of libelous speech is to
differentiate between words that can never be accusations of fact (hence
are always opinions) and those that always imply factual knowledge.
For example, calling someone a rogue, a bum, ugly, amoral, stupid, or
unscrupulous would never be grounds for liable. These words are all
derogatory, but all unspecific. There is no way to know precisely what
the grounds are for such appellations. However, descriptions such as
immoral, liar, thief, and traitor, are words that underlie specific
actions or facts that can be discerned by law. One can challenge each
of these with a question seeking a specific fact: with whom and when
did the immoral act occur?....what was the lie?....what was stolen and
when? etc. These accusations are traceable and should be open to scrutiny.
General accusation with no traceable basis in a specific fact should
be open for use, without fear of having to back them up. It is true
that one can ask a person using unspecific, derogatory words to give
us some back up, but he should not be required by law to do so since
the answers could be valid, but still composed of general observations,
none of which could be traced to any specific illegal or morally reprehensible
But how can we distinguish between one type of negative attack that
is malicious and untrue, and another which is even more devastating
but true? Let us take the economic case first. We cannot say that a
reporter's negative (but true) criticism of someone's product is harming
the producer. Each has an equal right to true facts. If it is true,
the actions of the producer, which were sloppy or deficient, are causing
harm to himself. The reporter in drawing attention to the facts does
not create the harm. But if the statement is false, and stated as a
fact, then damages could be awarded if malicious intent is proven. In
the absence of malicious intent, but where one can prove the allegation
is false, the perpetrator should be required by law to make a correction
of equal publicity. The refusal to correct a proven falsehood would
be a strong indication of malicious intent.
How about the case where a reporter incorrectly, but without malicious
intent, maligns a product with a negative opinion, rather than fact,
and destroys sales? While no one's fundamental rights have been damaged,
financial damage has occurred in loss of returns on investment capital.
Should the plaintiff be able to recover damages? Probably not, as long
as the report was concerning opinions and not facts. Unless one can
show that untrue facts were presented, with malicious intent, not just
ignorance, we must rely here upon each person's right to campaign for
his own position.
One of the ways to show bad intent is for the offended party to send
by certified delivery facts, evidence and arguments refuting
the charges. If the perpetrator continues to publish the same falsehood,
without specifically countering each and all of the arguments and evidence
sent to him, he would be held liable for damages henceforth, if a
court of law found those facts provable. Obviously one would not
have to respond to fallacious arguments or evidence which would not
stand up in court. These procedures would not. in my opinion, have a
chilling effect on argumentation--in fact, it would enhance it--since
the perpetrator could not be "selective" in only choosing
the arguments he could easily challenge. If he left out some (of those
sent to him by certified delivery), that could be proven to be valid
in court, it would demonstrate bad intent, in the face of provable facts,
and damages could be awarded. This would effectively eliminate one
of the most common of all ways in which people obscure truth in public
debate--they simply avoid answering the critical issues and
avoid mentioning critical evidence that would deny or at least
shed unfavorable light on their position. The establishment media uses
this all the time, and would become liable for these knowing obscurations
of truth once they had been served notice. Under this new color of law,
there would still be almost unlimited freedom to speak one's mind--especially
the first time. But once served with notice of provable error, he or
she would be required to set things right, argue the issues, or disregard
them if they were sure they were without substance.
Of course, there would be greater protection in stating anything as
your own opinion, and the more general the opinion, the better the level
of protection. But, my present inclination lends me to favor even employing
the "Certified delivery of evidence" rule to specific attacks
by opinion. Making an accusing party (even under the guise of opinion)
responsible to air the counter evidence (with his rebuttals) if he deems
it provable in court is good for debate and places the burden of balanced
argument (not ultimate proofs--which belongs to the court) on the accuser.
On the other hand there are the types of attacks, usually on reputation,
that cannot be disproven by certifiable facts. For example, one could
not send any certifiable proof to counter certain types of charges like
"Mr. so and so has been unfaithful to his wife." But in such
cases, the accused could demand that the accuser provide the basis of
his evidence, or cease and desist. I would not favor prosecution for
the first statement--only the subsequent attacks where the attacker
could not produce evidence. I would be fairly lenient on evidence as
well in this regard. If one could name the source of the information,
he should be free to quote that source without having to prove its veracity.
The accuser would then have to go after the source. For matters of moral
turpitude, I would favor the source being free to stand upon anything
he claims he was an eye witness to, without having to prove it. However,
if at that point, the accused can prove that the claimed eye witness
was not present, he could claim damages from him for defamation of character.
The basis in rights, is not that anyone has a right to be esteemed in
any certain light, but that he has a right to defend an truth
about himself, when that truth is specifically attacked by another
for malicious intent. Malicious intent mean the will to do harm--even
if it is not physical, and therefore damages of a fairly limited amount
(but enough to be a deterrent) should be allowed.
Books are a little different than television, or even newspapers since
it takes a lot more time and money to get something in print. The burden
of having to make corrections or retractions would be a costly one.
If, therefore, it became law that publishers would be responsible for
attacks of fact against another, habits would naturally evolve to avoid
unnecessary correction expense. Accusers of people or products would
probably have to send their manuscripts for comments to the accused
parties in order to avoid having to publish a later clarifying work.
As long as the accusing party addresses all issues presented to him
by the accused, and avoids attacking provable truth, he should be free
to proceed without fear of damages. My initial feelings are that this
system or something similar offers the best balance between being about
to present some forms of hearsay evidence, which one believes to be
true without having to prove it in court at the same degree of evidence
that apply to criminal law.
It is sad to be unable to remedy every area of damage because the
injustice cannot be proven to exist, when bad intent is not visible.
The interesting alternative that I present in this new proposal is that
one doesn't concentrate on proving the past malice, but one provides
new certified evidence upon which future malice can be proven if the
accuser proceeds to attack in light of provable facts or evidence. The
present alternatives seems to be a worse--allowing unlimited attacks
on everyone regardless of provable truth, or the making of every speaker
or publisher liable for every statement he makes, with the burden of
proof on the accuser. The latter would have an extreme chilling effect
on free speech. This would not only place a severe restriction on one's
ability to speak (since few things we ever say are fully provable),
but it would also destroy our ability to criticize tyranny or malicious
conspiracy in government.
For example, suppose you know something about a government official
that is improper and dishonest. You saw it with your own eyes and are
sure of what you saw. However, there were no other corroborating witnesses,
so it is your word against his--you cannot prove your charge under a
court's rules of evidence, other than to serve as your own witness.
Under the criteria of having to prove one's statement as true, or be
subject to someone's libel or slander charge, one would be unable to
warn others without suffering unjust damage from the other's libel suit.
But being free to stand on one's own testimony without being forced
to prove it allows for an open attack against evil. The opposition could
only stop you from saying subsequent statements if they were
capable of proving you were not present and had no other evidence. Even
then, the maximum penalty would be a cease and desist order.
So, under these principles, there is a simple solution. The man possesses
a fact, by right, since he saw it himself. As long as a person can claim
to be an eye witness, he must be free to declare those facts, and no
one can charge libel or slander, unless they can prove he is lying.
An eye witness has a right to the facts--they are part of him. He can
only be prosecuted if the other party can prove he is lying, not simply
mistaken. This alternative allows for the maximum freedom to criticize
known facts, without placing the burden of proof on the speaker--which
would be an intolerable burden to free speech since so few things in
life are provable even when seen by an eye witness.
I would also apply the same standards of free speech to leaders in
government. They would not be able to attack individuals or legislation
without having to respond to arguments and evidences of truth presented
by the opposition.
FREEDOM OF THE PRESS
As to the freedom of the press, I think it is sufficient to look at
published material as a free and voluntary contract between publisher
and subscriber. Today, we erroneously think of the newspaper as a public
medium. It is not, as long as every paper is sold on a private contractual
basis--without use of tax funds. All aspects of the news media, as well
as private television should be considered private communication, despite
the fact that it may be available for sale in open areas. The only thing
that would be subject to prosecution would be a violation of the fundamental
right NOT TO BE INVOLUNTARILY ACTED UPON IN A HARMFUL MANNER. This would
entire an attack upon character (after demand for evidence or the sending
of certified evidence to the contrary) or visible material on the cover
or screen, open to public view that would be morally offensive and harmful
to children. In other words, one could only petition for a cease and
desist order and damages if you could view objectionable material from
a public sidewalk or from your own private property. You could not claim
harm or damages, however, if you chose to go inside a private bookstore
or viewing area, since you entered the domain of someone else's rights.
Where there is an open invitation to enter a business, some appropriate
warning of the presence of offensive materials could be required.
FREEDOM OF BELIEF
Any person is free to believe anything he wants, good or evil, without
restriction. In fact, there is no way, known to man, of knowing what
a person believes unless he expresses such beliefs. Generally, limitations
may be placed upon the exercise of belief, only when actions,
based upon such beliefs, violate the rights of others. That is fairly
straightforward. But what about the expression of beliefs that are viewed
as an INTENT to violate others rights?
I believe that it is within the defense rights of all persons to apply
prior restraints to those who intend to harm others, or in other ways
violate their rights. The problem arises in finding clear and distinct
evidence that such intent is real, imminent, and potentially dangerous
to rights--not simplybecause you dislike or disagree with
Those are not easy criteria to satisfy. Generally, one would have
to rely upon witnesses, which presents difficulties about who is telling
the truth. But neither is it sufficient to wait until the person strikes
and does his damage. Prosecution is of little consolation to one that
has lost his life or been permanently damaged. Restitution is insufficient
in areas where no restoration is possible. Concerned for justice, as
we may be, this is one of the gray areas of law, which unfortunately
cannot be satisfactorily written in statute. In general, the issues
of intent to do damage must be left to the judgment of a jury. Juries
can usually sense when a witness is lying, and must be given sufficient
freedom to declare such. But there is a troubling trend in jury selection
now--the picking and choosing of dumb, emotional, manipulable people
and screening out all of those capable of critical analysis. I'm not
sure if such juries are reliable anymore.
I am not so concerned about the potential for leniency in these few
gray areas of the law, as long as strong measures are present to deter
the actual acts, if they should be proven to have occurred. It is when
we show excessive leniency toward the determination of criminal intent,
combined with permissive prosecution of the crime, and liberal parole
policies, as we now have, that evil criminal conduct fails to be deterred.
THE RIGHT TO PRIVACY
To act in PRIVACY, within one's own or contractual property, free
from search, seizure, regulation and internal surveillance except when
acting to infringe upon, or destroy another's rights.
In this section, the right of privacy is assured, with two conditions.
One, that the right only exists on one's own property, or on property
that he controls. However, it is incumbent upon the person to provide
his own shielding when he is in plain view of others who may be on some
else's property. Second, no one has a right to privacy when acting
and planning to infringe upon another's rights.
The issue of secret surveillance has an interesting result under these
principles. The implication of these principles is that the actions
and the thought processes OF THE PERSON CLAIMING PRIVACY determine whether
he possesses the right or not. If he is in the process of planning or
acting in a treasonous manner (defined as working to destroy others'
fundamental rights) he, at that moment, or in any subsequent actions
related to that intent, HAS NO RIGHTS TO PRIVACY.
In other words, if a government agent is eavesdropping on him and
discovers the intent to violate rights, his eavesdropping is valid.
If an agent is discovered by the owner and prosecuted for invasion of
privacy and cannot produce any evidence of infringement of rights, then
the officer could be held liable for a violation of privacy and property
rights. If there were external evidence sufficient to secure a time-limited
warrant from a judge to engage in the a search for evidence, the officer
could not be rightfully prosecuted since the probability of treason
had already been established by some evidence. The judge would be liable
for issuing any search warrant with insufficient. Officers of the law
should be held personally liable for falsify such evidence to a judge.
But none of these cases should be allowed to taint actual evidence of
a crime. They should be prosecuted as separate offenses.
Under this doctrine, both accidental discovery of evidence can be
used to convict as well as evidence by warrant issued under probably
FREEDOM OF RELIGION
To be free to WORSHIP God according to the dictates of conscience,
as long as any actions stemming from such worship do not violate the
rights of others or covenants individual members have made with government.
It is also the freedom not to be compelled to worship or give allegiance
to any deity, object, person or government except by voluntary covenant.
At issue here is the concept of ultimate sovereignty. But sovereignty
must always be stated relative to other claims to power. It is my personal
belief (which I do not desire to force upon others) that the Creator
of this earth possesses the ultimate sovereignty over earthly affairs--regardless
of man's recognition or lack of recognition of God's existence. Because
of my recognition of God as the Creator and ultimate sovereign over
the affairs of the earth, I can only give partial, conditional allegiance
to any earthly power.
There is a distinct propensity in evil man, especially those bearing
high earthly powers, to become enraged at the thought that certain religious
persons refuse to recognize the absolute powers claimed by government.
Throughout history, they have taken great delight in inflicting pain,
suffering, and even death upon innocent persons, trying to coerce them
into submission. This declaration is an open warning to such persons
that no such involuntary allegiance can be rightfully justified.
But neither are these professions of belief grounds for demanding
that all give allegiance to God. I believe that the grand Creator of
earth wants men to be free to choose whom they will serve. Thus, men
are free to give as much voluntary allegiance to earthly institutions
as they wish and, in contrast to the foregoing, religious men cannot
rightfully compel others to withhold such allegiance from earthly institutions
in deference to God.
Because of the temporary autonomy given to man on earth, and the potential
abuse of government power, I believe it is in the best interest of all
good men (including peaceable, but non-religious persons) to join together
in establishing good government for self-protection. In doing so, we
do not necessarily give such government total allegiance. It is perhaps
more prudent to look upon our allegiance to country and even good government
as conditional--that is, to the degree that government does not infringe
upon fundamental rights.
Such a government protecting every person's right to worship or not
to worship, as he or she may see fit, can and must allow for the free
expression of religious feelings by its elected leaders--with one limitation.
They must not use general tax funds to promulgate religious teachings,
symbols or prayers. A leader may pray publicly or privately, but it
would be improper to pay a minister to pray at a public gathering. He
could do so without pay, as long as the selection for the program followed
what the majority decided. Leaders have to be given full powers of free
speech in order to lead. But beyond that they cannot use general tax
funds to promulgate values. Values must always be competing, and the
only way to accomplish that in a free society is to make sure no one
has to subsidize anyone else's values with public funds. That's why
prayer and even "generic" religion is improper in public schools--because
the government schools improperly take everyone's money. Now, if government
schools were financed exclusively user fees, then if the majority
wanted to pray that would be acceptable. Those that objected would be
free to choose schooling elsewhere with no financial penalty.
SELF DEFENSE AND REVOLUTION
To DEFEND one's person and property against any overt and imminent
threat, and to use the minimum, appropriate force required, of the alternatives
immediately available at hand, to eliminate such threat, when no immediate
recourse is available to assistance or constitutional adjudication.
This includes the right to defend oneself against the aggression of
other persons acting unconstitutionally as a majority within a government
with the intent to take assets without prior consent or otherwise deprive
any person of these fundamental freedoms.
There are two inherent dangers involved in the fundamental right to
self-defense. First, it must not be viewed as a total license to kill
for small and petty reasons. But on the other hand, it must not be so
restrictive that it forces a person to calculate a myriad of legal alternatives
when he is under dangerous, threatening and uncertain circumstances.
As we discussed earlier, we join together to form governmental associations
in order to enhance our capability to deter and prosecute crime, and
to use large scale defensive military force when appropriate. We also
place voluntary limits upon our own powers of self-defense, by deferring
to the judicial process for prosecution rather than taking personal
retribution and revenge. The only exception is when the threat is so
imminent, dangerous, or uncertain that there is no safe opportunity
to summon law enforcement officers. In such a case each person is free
to rely on his fundamental right to defend himself.
Such self-defense should give every benefit of the doubt to the one
who is being threatened--not the aggressor. This principle is specifically
worded to not give the type of legalistic aid and comfort to criminals
as is presently provided by the myriad of legal restrictions surrounding
the use of "deadly force" by a citizen.
A homeowner who is threatened by physical force should be free to
select the best weapon, of that which is immediately available, that
HE or SHE determines is necessary to eliminate the threat. There
are circumstances that may well even justify shooting a violent
attacker as he is fleeing, under the very real presumption that he is
likely to come back and try again. It also means that a person isn't
restricted from using fast and deadly force against an attacker simply
because he cannot visibly see a weapon. In many circumstances, at dark
and at night, the presence of an intruder who refuses to respond to
your demands to identify himself or otherwise stop his approach
warrants the use of deadly force, from as safe a distance as possible.
The only weapon that is usually suitable under such criteria is a stand-off
weapon, such as a handgun, which demonstrates one of the prime reasons
why a citizen's right to self-defense is severely handicapped if handguns
The last part of the statement expands the self-defense role from
the individual threat to the more onerous threat of tyranny by improper
government force, as is quite common even in our society. In essence,
it defines the right of legitimate revolution against government tyranny.
Instead of reaching for a gun to go next door and rob people, when
in need, people have been enticed to believe it is appropriate to "reach
for their legislator" instead of the gun. The legislator, along
with a majority of the other representatives, performs the violation
or theft, but he does so in the name of the law and taxation. That is
why social welfare laws are improper and a violation of the fundamental
rights of ownership. Government asserts the power to do what the individual
citizen does not have the right to do--take from the productive and
give to those that claim a need. But government, like any other association
of men, cannot possess greater rights than those forming the association.
If individuals do not have the right to take money from another without
a voluntary exchange, neither does government.
Government has the power to tax, but only under contractual circumstances
where the citizens have agreed to pay for services they assign a government
to perform. The power to tax should be nothing more than an extension
of the individual power to contract. After receiving a contractual service,
the individual can be forced to comply with the terms, meaning "pay
up." Unfortunately, we have many types of government taxes which
are forced upon people who have never contracted for the service. This
is improper. In fact the entire formation of a government without initial
consent of all the governed is a violation of a major principle
When sufficient violations of this nature occur, and when there is
no further recourse to peaceful change, the people may well be justified
in exercising their right to revolution. Usually this is only necessary
when the majority of voters have begun to participate in the benefits
of government theft, and refuse to repeal the improper laws, voluntarily.
Only when an oppressed minority has lost, in whole or in part, its fundamental
rights and there no longer remains any ability to gain redress for grievance
by democratic means is it justified in disregarding the law (nullification),
leaving the government (secession), resisting compliance by armed defense,
and throwing the rascals out of power (by revolution).
Granted, this is a dangerous and unpleasant course, and as stated
in the Declaration of Independence, should not be done for "light
and transient causes." Nevertheless, it must be universally taught
and defended as the fundamental right that it is. (Such instruction
of citizen's rights should never be allowed to justify a mandatory government
school system--only that it may be view as a mandatory prerequisite
of understanding for each person applying for citizenship. Where and
how he learns it is up to the individual, as is discussed in the area
of contractual citizenship. The citizen contract is found at the end
of the Constitution.