Thursday, May 7, 2009

The nature of freedom and liberty

We live in a great nation, conceived and created in the principles of liberty and freedom. I am not, however, convinced we know even what liberty, or freedom is. Absolute liberty, or absolute freedom is as destructive as absolute tyranny. Humanity, by its nature, has too many seeking power by any means, and the power of those people must be blunted.

This is the cause of liberty, blunting the power of those who would take our property, our lives, and our freedoms. Our government was created with the republican ideal of separation of powers, and a constitutional limitation on the powers of government. This preserves both liberty and freedom when followed, and establishes a duty upon the people themselves to follow it.

Freedom itself is often misunderstood, as is liberty. They are not the freedoms to do whatever one wishes. We limit our freedoms in many things to retain freedoms in others. To preserve the right to life, we give up the right to kill others gratuitously, to preserve the right to property, we preserve the rights of others. The federalist papers spoke strongly of the republican principles, and the limitations, checks, and balances involved in the nature of government, and also between the factions of the people, the necessity of restraining one part from taking the liberties, and properties of the other.

Rights themselves are property. The term 'inalienable' refers to the legal property process of alienation, or transfer of property between one entity and another. If our rights cannot be transferred, cannot be owned by another, how does it follow that they can restrict those rights? Is not restriction of use a power of ownership? Is not determination of use also a power of ownership? Are we then so completely owned by our government that we must request permission in all we do?

We request permission to marry, to drive, to work in the nation and pay our taxes, to bear the arms that are ours by right, and to use the money and property we work for. We must request permission to build, permission to own the land, and pay for that permission as a form of rent with seizure of the property for failure to pay. Do we then have a right to our property? Do we have that property in rights that James Madison spoke so clearly upon?

Or are we fooling ourselves into hoping our slavery will grow better as we grow more powerless? We are humans, with all the limitations, and grandeur inherent to the species. We are also individuals, powerful both in our own right, and in our role in society. It is necessary for us to maintain our liberty, and freedom, to protect the liberty and freedom of others in our society, else... are we not saying for an arbitrary status that our ownership of those rights can be transferred to another outside of our legal system?

Are we really so wise to enforce the rule of law... to enforce the ownership of the government over our minds, our spirits, and our bodies, and to transfer to them the right to protection, and exercise of our own will?
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