Tag Archives: rights

Rights That Aren’t

Or, “why a misformulation of Constitutional rights has restricted, rather than liberated, the natural rights of man”

Rights everywhere

Initially, the Founders formulated the Constitution not to delineate the rights of the individual, but to restrict the powers of government. Soon thereafter, it was decided that the Constitution indeed needed to list some individual rights, so greedy was government for power. Hence, the Bill of Rights promised the American public a certain set of rights. Unfortunately, this was a hodge-podge solution that failed to address the fundamental reasons behind those rights – the right to your body and property [1]. Moreover, the misunderstanding of these rights has led to supposedly pro-liberty people taking on some very strange positions. I address a few of these rights here and hope the reader can apply the logic elsewhere.

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Dear Egypt: Constitutions Are Not Magic

by Michael Eliot

https://i1.wp.com/i.imgur.com/uSvux.jpg

It is painful, as a libertarian, to watch the constitutional drama currently unfolding in Egypt, painful to watch a modern people make the same mistakes made by the Founders of America 225 years ago, painful to read of needless clashes and deaths and tortured struggle in pursuit of an impossible goal.

Americans began the modern obsession with constitutional government saying governments “deriv[e] their just powers from the consent of the governed.” That is, governments are legitimate if they have the consent of each individual they govern.

But what if some people do not give their consent, or later withdraw it? A government cannot justly govern those who do not give their consent.

There is another complication: the only powers governments can legitimately use are just powers.

So the question is, does government have any just powers?
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