Friday, May 11, 2012

The Key To Continued Freedom and Individual Liberties...

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Liberty -vs- Tyranny

President Obama and the Occupy Wall Street crowd has succeeded in turning the nation's focus increasingly to the idea of wealth redistribution. This of course is allegedly to make things a bit more "fair", to use one of my favorite anti-concepts.

Recently thinking about this my mind turned to the concept of property rights. While I knew the framers of our Constitution were advocates for individual property rights and set themselves to the task of insuring their protection I went searching for some on line reference material to help put things in proper perspective. I found it at the National Center for Constitutional Studies.

Below is from the Center's front page. I encourage everyone concerned with the present day trend towards wealth redistribution and its cousin, collectivism to visit the Center. Protecting individual property rights is critical to protecting freedom and individual liberties.

Private Property Rights

A basic Premise Of America's Constitution

Tired of having the fruits of their labors confiscated by an overpowering British government, America's Founders declared themselves free and independent.

Most American schoolchildren can recite their claim that ". all men are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights ... to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." Less familiar, however, are these lines from their Declaration of Independence:

"He ( King George III ) has erected a multitude of new offices, and sent hither swarms of officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance .... He has combined with others to subject us, ... imposing taxes on us without our consent."

What, then, did the Founders consider to be the real cornerstone of man's liberty and happiness? On what basic premise did they devise their Constitution? Let them speak for themselves:

John Adams

"The moment the idea is admitted into society that property is not as sacred as the laws of God ... anarchy and tyranny commence. PROPERTY MUST BE SECURED OR LIBERTY CANNOT EXIST"

James Madison

"Government is instituted to protect property of every sort .... This being the end of government, that is NOT a just government,... nor is property secure under it, where the property which a man has ... is violated by arbitrary seizures of one class of citizens for the service of the rest."

Their guiding principle was that people come together to form governments in order to SECURE their rights to property - not to create an entity which wilt, itself, "take from the mouths of labor the bread it has earned." What was wrong for individual citizens to do to one another, they believed, was equally wrong for government to do to them.

The right to own property and to keep the rewards of individual labor opened the floodgates of progress for the benefit of the entire human race. Millions have fled other countries to participate in the Miracle of America.

We the People, in order to continue to enjoy the freedom and liberties guaranteed us by our Founding Fathers and the Constitution of the United States of America, must remain vigilant in our understanding the connection individual property rights has with our freedom and individual liberties.

Via: Memeorandum


  1. John Adams's comment provides the foundation: You cannot have liberty without property rights, or as the saying goes, "Libertarianism the the radical idea that each of us owns our own body."

    If we have no property, then we have no right of free action, and our every move is at the whim of petty statists.

  2. "If we have no property, then we have no right of free action"

    How so?

    "people come together to form governments in order to SECURE their rights to property"

    Not really. Civilizations, as we know them, with communities and governments, formed naturally for the collective protection of the people first and foremost, to protect their property as a matter of course.

    The citizen without any property is still a citizen, with the same rights and responsibilities as any other citizen.

    I never like the term "property rights." It should be "the right to protect property." After all, we do not have the right to possess property, lest we'd all demand it willy nilly. And property itself can not have rights, as property is a concept or an object, not a person (at least not after the ratification of the 13th Amendment).

    Of course, as with any right, there are limitations, exceptions, and responsibilities.

    Take the flower shop on the corner. That shop is owned by a lady, and it is her property. She has her rights as a citizen, and she has the right to protect her property, the flower shop. But she does not have the right to operate the business of her flower shop any way she chooses. That business operates in the public sphere. It is granted the public largess: police and fire protection, a safe and functional sidewalk and street, regulated and safe utilities, an educated and civil people to do business with. The public, in other words, the government, provides all that. Property is useless in a vacuum. If the flower shop was located in the middle of a deep woods, it wouldn't get any business. The flower shop makes money for the owner because it operates in the public sphere. Therefore it is only FAIR that the owner should pay her FAIR SHARE of taxes to enjoy the opportunity to do her BUSINESS in the PUBLIC SPHERE.

    That's what this is really all about.

    I'm not sure you guys get that sometimes.


  3. As usual jmj is in La- La land without a clue or a care. The typical collectivist victim mentality.

  4. Somebody should tell Mr. Obama that income and wealth maldistribution have at least somewhat been caused by liberal policies such as eminent domain, building restrictions, rent control, and the minimum wage. It isn't just the corporate boogie-man that's been wreaking havoc, in other words.

  5. Les, that was not an argument. Not even an attempt.

    If you can't at least acknowledge an argument, how can you grow as a proselytizer of your own?

    Look man, we're really talking about democracy here, and whether you or I or anyone else likes it, we do need some democracy in our lives, and we do have it.


  6. There is an expense for the government to ensure protection of property rights. Cutting the staff of police, fire, etc., etc.
    What kind of society do we want to live in, and how much are we willing to pay for that society?

  7. Any of the infringements on property rights you perceive have been instituted over the years since the founding of this country by the elected representatives of the American. It's not the government; it's the people--Americans who vote for the people who run the government--you're complaining about.

    And Jersey is absolutely correct. No one owns property or runs a business on that property in a vacuum. His flower shop example is terrific. And makes his point.

    1. Only those with a statist mindset and belief in an the all inclusive and powerful government who can resolve as well as solve all of society's problems subscribe to yours and jmj's position. One that when extrapolated to the possible and likely eventually consequences can and most assuredly will result in less freedom and fewer individual liberties for everyone.

      I recognize it is the people who have allowed a ever growing Leviathan to have ever increasing intrusions into our private lives. The lives of law abiding and hard working citizens. I really don't give a rat's arse whether it is the republics (think Patriot Act) or Democrats that infringe on my freedom or liberties. I am against both and carry no water fr either.

      If I have failed to make this crystal clear I just did. It is wonderful being able to see the forest for the trees. Something I am beginning to believe few republicans, and even fewer democrats are still able to do.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts Shaw, they are always welcome here.


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