Thursday, February 01, 2007

The necessity for undestanding the true nature of government was brought home by the recent dictatorship of Hugo Chavez.

He is instituting a socialist dictatorship. What they call a dictatorship of democracy. People are losing property and liberty. What does that mean for us? There are people over here trying to lead us down the path of giving up our property rights. Like a salesman giving us a free gift, they want to tell us that our lives will improve at no cost for giving up some of our rights for their notion of the common good. In reality, most of us will lose out in the long run.

I must say that more evil has been done in the name of the common good than we would like to admit. As strongly as I believe in the common good, I cringe when I hear it used in a political context as much as I do when a salesman says he is going to give me a free gift. Why?

The common good is based upon individual rights. It is just the collective representation of those rights. Like Hugo Chavez, most government planners and regulators seem to see the common good in opposition to the individuals rights.

The keys to a free society are tolerance, respect, equal access to protection, and self determination.We have to distinguish between what we don’t like and what hurts us. I did not like the glow worm green a neighbor painted his house, yet I would fight for his right to paint it whatever color he wants. If my neighbor wanted to paint burn the n–r’s house down, that would be different. Why? One is just differing tastes and the other is a threat of violence. The duty of government is to protect the individual so we have a consistent standard and not the changing emotionalism of mob rule or vigilante justice.

Government has a duty to allow you exercise to your rights because that is the reason we formed it. Government was not formed to force a uniformity of lifestyle. It was formed so we could all live our lives based upon mutual respect and self determination.

The law has no power but that which the individual can concede to it. I have a right to protect my life, liberty, and property. By social contract, I have hired the government to be my agent for that job. I do not have the right to tell my neighbor how big his house should be (unless it crosses my property line or is unsafe) or what color his house should be. The government does not either.

If we remember that the government is a collection of individuals to protect themselves, their rights, and their property, we will be more likely to let it stay on purpose. The government is a most wonderful tool if we use it for its purpose.


Anonymous kavips said...

I disagree with some things, for instance you say that " The law has no power but that which the individual can concede to it"M This may be valid in conservative think tank'sversion of democracy, but it flies in the face of history. Except for Athenian and early Roman experimentsin people's rule, Democracy did not exist until America was founded in the 1700's. Up until that time, individuals had as much rights as a spoon in our cupboard. They were used when the time and place required it.

Chavez is resorting to the historical defintion of state's rights. Just like the glow worm green painted house, it is his country and he should, in your own words, have the right to do with it what he sees fit, especially if he has the blessing of his subjects.

Unfortunately he will soon nationalize the petroleum industry within his boundries. This is due in part to the juxtaposition of immense wealth, against abject poverty. His citizens need to feel that the oil business is in their best interest. Otherwise, they will attempt to sabotage and interrupt the flow. By nationalizing it, Chavez captures more of the profits for himself, and undermines all justification for sabotage by individual extremist groups.

9:04 AM  
Blogger David said...

Thanks for contributing to the discussion. You always add valuable points even when you are wrong. :)

You are correct that individual rights as we know them were not in vouge in most of history. They did exist and always have. Most governments were not powerful enough to take away property and life style choices. The first government with a people ratified covenant of governance was acient Israel. They operated under Law not a King and had a great deal of autonmy. Acient African tribes seemed to often have a free market approach to economy as did the Chinese.

Do you think that we have freed the human spirit by or injured it by freeing it from oppressive government? That is the question of the 21st century.

1:59 AM  
Blogger Nick said...

I don't see much disagreement with what you're saying. It doesn't seem to conflict with universal health care.

Also, your argument about Chavez seems to paradoxically say that Chavez can paint his country however he wants, but yet, that is bad. I don't get it.

2:50 AM  
Blogger David said...

Nick, I love your blog. Like K's it is a favorite of mine. Universal access to health care is a must. Doing it the wrong way does more harm. How do you get there?

As for Chavez, you guys miss the point that it is not his house. Every individual has rights. He is ignoring the rights of 1/3 of that nation.

8:51 AM  

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