Some thoughts on Independence Day
Good Thoughts from Van Harvey
(off "the thread")
It's good to see that everyone seems to be focused on defeating the 'Voter Protection Act". But with all these terms flying around... Rights, human rights, goldfish rights, direct democracy, pure democracy, citizens initiatives, rejection initiatives, republic, representative republic... it's worth taking a moment to refocus on fundamentals.
As Ron said, Madison made an excellent description of the structure of a republic in FP#39, but John Adams nailed the purpose of a Republic best in his "Defence of the Constitutions of Government of the Inutes States'.
"...It signified a government, in which the property of the public, or people, and of every one of them, was secured and protected by law. This idea, indeed, implies liberty; because property cannot be secure unless the man be at liberty to acquire, use, or part with it, at his discretion, and unless he have his personal liberty of life and limb, motion and rest, for that purpose...."
What Adams (and many others) realized, was that without solid support for property rights, no other rights are possible. From the same http://oll.libertyfund.org/?option=com_staticxt&staticfile=show.php%3Ftitle=2104&chapter=159890&layout=html#a_2827031
"The moment the idea is admitted into society, that property is not as sacred as the laws of God, and that there is not a force of law and public justice to protect it, anarchy and tyranny commence. If "Thou shalt not covet," and "Thou shalt not steal," were not commandments of Heaven, they must be made inviolable precepts in every society, before it can be civilized or made free."
If property rights go, you no longer have rights of any kind, only favors... if you keep those with the power to bestow, or withdraw, those favors, sufficiently flattered, that is.
And the only source of Rights, comes from, no matter how you source it, is the nature of man as 'endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights', so whenever we hear people speaking of 'human rights' what we should immediately be focused on is that they presume that somehow there are other rights... and when they assume that, sure enough, we're sure to see the crazies piping up about cow rights and so forth... but those are only distractions.
When Cass Sunstein is speaking up for 'animal lawyers', that's simply one of his nudges, what he is nudging you towards is what he has always been entirely focused upon - obliterating property rights - because the erosion and eventual eradication of property rights, is the path to total power.
Cass Sunstein's "The Second Bill of Rights", in it's fundamentals, seeks to end property rights, and liberty itself would follow, and the smooth skill with which he twists seemingly reasonable sentiments to that purpose, his radicalism makes Alinsky's rabble rousing seem quaint. If you want to know your enemy, his book is a primo good place to look.
It's good, and necessary, for us to argue back and forth on the mechanics of running and maintaining a Republic, but we'd we should keep in mind it's purpose, as well as the benefits of it, and where the biggest threats to both are coming from.
Celebrate Independence Day tomorrow... and remember to defend it.
I got a big reminder about this this morning. If someone brings up 'puppy rights' or 'human rights', remember that people are listening - to what is said, and to what goes unsaid. Always speak up, even and especially amongst family and friends, you never know who's listening, even with the ones nodding for the other side, you've no idea how that seed might blossom later on.
You don't need to win, and you don't need to be rude, we just need to state what is true and expose what is false. Have faith that reality will take it from there.
Happy Independence Day!