Utah Constitutional Militia  




Subordination of Society to Moral Law

No free society can remain free without the education necessary to understand freedom and the vigilance to secure it. That understanding is most important to those committed to its security.

THE AMERICAN FORM OF GOVERNMENT

At the time of the Revolution, the Founding Fathers believed a government’s primary role should be to safeguard Liberty and subsequently stated, in the Constitution’s Preamble, the People’s will to “secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity,” and thence establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare; and do ordain and establish this Constitution.

Basic Forms of Government: A short primer of world political systems and what sets America apart; why we are a Republic and not a Democracy and why it matters.

The Framers determined the United States to be a Republic; its government constitutionally framed as a free state and its “public matter” circumscribed to safeguard Individual Rights.

The Constitution was crafted to both limit the government’s power and restrain its predisposition for expansion. The Framers constituted a “separation of powers” between three branches of government to furnish the “checks” and “balances” necessary to ensure a rigorous accountability in accordance with the Constitution.

They also provided two additional pillars which safeguard liberty — the militia of the several states; and the states themselves, a union of free states conceived in liberty, preserved by Article 6 as part of the Republic, and secured from federal overstep by the Tenth Amendment of the Bill of Rights.

The most profoundly revolutionary achievement of the United States of America was the subordination of society to moral law.

The principle of man’s individual rights represented the extension of morality into the social system — as a limitation on the power of the state, as man’s protection against the brute force of the collective, as the subordination of might to right. The United States was the first moral society in history.

All previous systems had regarded man as a sacrificial means to the ends of others, and society as an end in itself. The United States regarded man as an end in himself, and society as a means to the peaceful, orderly, voluntary coexistence of individuals. All previous systems had held that man’s life belongs to society, that society can dispose of him in any way it pleases, and that any freedom he enjoys is his only by favor, by the permission of society, which may be revoked at any time. The United States held that man’s life is his by right (which means: by moral principle and by his nature), that a right is the property of an individual, that society as such has no rights, and that the only moral purpose of a government is the protection of individual rights.

The concept of a “right” pertains only to action — specifically, to freedom of action. It means freedom from physical compulsion, coercion or interference by other men.

The Declaration of Independence stated that men “are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights.” Whether one believes that man is the product of a Creator or of nature, the issue of man’s origin does not alter the fact that he is an entity of a specific kind — a rational being — that he cannot function successfully under coercion, and that rights are a necessary condition of his particular mode of survival.

The Declaration of Independence laid down the principle that “to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men.” This provided the only valid justification of a government and defined its only proper purpose: to protect man’s rights by protecting him from physical violence.

Thus the government’s function was changed from the role of ruler to the role of servant. The government was set to protect man from criminals — and the Constitution was written to protect man from the government. The Bill of Rights was not directed against private citizens, but against the government — as an explicit declaration that individual rights supersede any public or social power.

— Ayn Rand, The Virtue of Selfishness

CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS

The United States Constitution does not exist to grant you rights; those are inherent within you. Rather, it exists to frame a limited government so those natural rights can be exercised freely.

The right to keep and bear arms is such a right, yet the White House website states, “The Second Amendment gives citizens the right to bear arms.” The use of the word ‘gives’ instead of ‘protects’ is a subtle convolution on the Second Amendment that dictatorially implies that the government grants the right as a gift; one it could take away. Contrarily, the Second Amendment’s text recognizes the right as pre-existent, declaring only that it “shall not be infringed.” Like other freedoms including those in the Bill of Rights, that right was already there. It protects a right granted us by our Creator, as described in the nation’s charter,
The Declaration of Independence:

The Framers regarded those “certain unalienable Rights” to be man’s natural rights and independent of any particular religion or personal belief. They are fundamentally man’s right to his own life and “Liberty,” a moral principle defining and sanctioning a man’s freedom of action in a social context. This liberty is often clarified as individual freedom.

Man’s natural rights are also known as inherent, non-negotiable, or inalienable rights but are more commonly called individual rights to avoid confusion from free government entitlements mistakenly called “rights.” The individual rights listed in the Bill of Rights are a few from countless others. How any managed inclusion in the Constitution is historically recounted:


Both James Madison and Alexander Hamilton expressed grave reservations about Thomas Jefferson’s, George Mason’s and others insistence that the Constitution be amended by the Bill of Rights. It wasn’t because they had little concern with liberty guarantees. Quite to the contrary they were concerned about the loss of liberties.

Alexander Hamilton expressed his concerns in Federalist Paper No. 84, “[B]ills of rights . . . are not only unnecessary in the proposed Constitution, but would even be dangerous.” Hamilton asks, “For why declare that things shall not be done [by Congress] which there is no power to do? Why, for instance, should it be said that the liberty of the press shall not be restrained, when no power is given [to Congress] by which restrictions may be imposed?” Hamilton’s argument was that Congress can only do what the Constitution specifically gives it authority to do. Powers not granted belong to the people and the states.

Alexander Hamilton added that a Bill of Rights would “contain various exceptions to powers not granted; and, on this very account, would afford a colorable pretext to claim more [powers] than were granted. . . . [it] would furnish, to men disposed to usurp, a plausible pretense for claiming that power.”

To mollify Alexander Hamilton’s fears about how a Bill of Rights might be used as a pretext to infringe on human rights, the Framers added the Ninth Amendment. The Ninth Amendment reads: “The enumeration in the Constitution of certain rights shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.” Boiled down to its basics, the Ninth Amendment says it’s impossible to list all of our God-given or natural rights. Just because a right is not listed doesn’t mean it can be infringed upon or disparaged by the U.S.Congress.

— Walter E. Williams, Jun 2000

Though the Founders had a broad view of liberty, they also recognized the distinction between liberty and license. In other words, liberty is without the license to abuse the rights of others. An individual right is always limited by a social construct that defines it: free speech is “free” as long as it doesn’t create a victim. The same is so with the Second Amendment and endless number of rights not addressed in the Constitution. There’s no need for Congress to impose restrictions on freedoms already restricted implicitly to respect the rights of others.


INDIVIDUAL RIGHTS

Capitalism is purely the free market but often delineated as “laissez-faire” or “free market” capitalism since, without liberty, the adulterated market exhibits the “crony” capitalism experienced today. Capitalism can only exist in a free state; and so too, a free state cannot survive without it.

Because capitalism is autonomously self-regulated by consumers—whose choices are substantially more effective than any external regulatory interference, the United States Constitution can grant its government no power to interfere. To do so not only violates the individual rights guaranteed in the Constitution, but it removes the most direct and efficient method by the People for a cleaner environment, cheaper healthcare, and a better education.


If one wishes to advocate a free society — that is, capitalism — one must realize that its indispensable foundation is the principle of individual rights. If one wishes to uphold individual rights, one must realize that capitalism is the only system that can uphold and protect them.

“Rights” are a moral concept — the concept that provides a logical transition from the principles guiding an individual’s actions to the principles guiding his relationship with others. Individual rights are the means of subordinating society to moral law.

Every political system is based on some code of ethics. The dominant ethics of mankind’s history were variants of the altruist-collectivist doctrine which subordinated the individual to some higher authority, either mystical or social. Consequently, most political systems were variants of the same statist tyranny, differing only in degree, not in basic principle, limited only by the accidents of tradition, of chaos, of bloody strife and periodic collapse. Under all such systems, morality was a code applicable to the individual, but not to society. Society was placed outside the moral law, as its embodiment or source or exclusive interpreter.

Since there is no such entity as “society,” since society is only a number of individual men, this meant, in practice, that the rulers of society were exempt from moral law; subject only to traditional rituals, they held total power and exacted blind obedience — on the implicit principle of: “The good is that which is good for society (or for the tribe, the race, the nation,) and the ruler’s edicts are its voice on earth.”

This was true of all statist systems, under all variants of the altruist-collectivist ethics, mystical or social. As witness: the theocracy of Egypt, with the Pharaoh as an embodied god — the unlimited majority rule or democracy of Athens — the welfare state run by the Emperors of Rome — the Inquisition of the late Middle Ages — the gas chambers of Nazi Germany — the slaughterhouse of the Soviet Union.

All these political systems were expressions of the altruist-collectivist ethics — and their common characteristic is the fact that society stood above the moral law, as an omnipotent, sovereign whim worshiper.

The most profoundly revolutionary achievement of the United States of America was the subordination of society to moral law.

The principle of man’s individual rights represented the extension of morality into the social system — as a limitation on the power of the state, as man’s protection against the brute force of the collective, as the subordination of might to right.

All previous systems had regarded man as a sacrificial means to the ends of others, and society as an end in itself. The United States regarded man as an end in himself, and society as a means to the peaceful, orderly, voluntary coexistence of individuals. All previous systems had held that man’s life belongs to society, that society can dispose of him in any way it pleases, and that any freedom he enjoys is his only by favor, by the permission of society, which may be revoked at any time. The United States held that man’s life is his by right (which means: by moral principle and by his nature), that a right is the property of an individual, that society as such has no rights, and that the only moral purpose of a government is the protection of individual rights.

A “right” is a moral principle defining and sanctioning a man’s freedom of action in a social context. There is only one fundamental right (all the others are its consequences or corollaries): a man’s right to his own life. Life is a process of self-sustaining and self-generated action; the right to life means the right to engage in self-sustaining and self-generated action — which means: the freedom to take all the actions required by the nature of a rational being for the support, the furtherance, the fulfillment and the enjoyment of his own life. (Such is the meaning of the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.)

The concept of a “right” pertains only to action — specifically, to freedom of action. It means freedom from physical compulsion, coercion or interference by other men.

Thus, for every individual, a right is the moral sanction of a positive — of his freedom to act on his own judgment, for his own goals, by his own voluntary, uncoerced choice. As to his neighbors, his rights impose no obligations on them except of a negative kind: to abstain from violating his rights.

The right to life is the source of all rights — and the right to property is their only implementation. Without property rights, no other rights are possible. Since man has to sustain his life by his own effort, the man who has no right to the product of his effort has no means to sustain his life. The man who produces while others dispose of his product, is a slave.

Bear in mind that the right to property is a right to action, like all the others: it is not the right to an object, but to the action and the consequences of producing or earning that object. It is not a guarantee that a man will earn any property, but only a guarantee that he will own it if he earns it. It is the right to gain, to keep, to use and to dispose of material values.

To violate man’s rights means to compel him to act against his own judgment, or to expropriate his values. Basically, there is only one way to do it: by the use of physical force. There are two potential violators of man’s rights: the criminals and the government. The great achievement of the United States was to draw a distinction between these two — by forbidding to the second the legalized version of the activities of the first.

The Declaration of Independence laid down the principle that “to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men.” This provided the only valid justification of a government and defined its only proper purpose: to protect man’s rights by protecting him from physical violence.

Thus the government’s function was changed from the role of ruler to the role of servant. The government was set to protect man from criminals — and the Constitution was written to protect man from the government. The Bill of Rights was not directed against private citizens, but against the government — as an explicit declaration that individual rights supersede any public or social power.

America’s inner contradiction was the altruist-collectivist ethics. Altruism is incompatible with freedom, with capitalism and with individual rights. One cannot combine the pursuit of happiness with the moral status of a sacrificial animal.

It was the concept of individual rights that had given birth to a free society. It was with the destruction of individual rights that the destruction of freedom had to begin.

A collectivist tyranny dare not enslave a country by an outright confiscation of its values, material or moral. It has to be done by a process of internal corruption. Just as in the material realm the plundering of a country’s wealth is accomplished by inflating the currency — so today one may witness the process of inflation being applied to the realm of rights. The process entails such a growth of newly promulgated “rights” that people do not notice the fact that the meaning of the concept is being reversed. Just as bad money drives out good money, so these “printing-press rights” negate authentic rights.

Potentially, a government is the most dangerous threat to man’s rights: it holds a legal monopoly on the use of physical force against legally disarmed victims. When unlimited and unrestricted by individual rights, a government is men’s deadliest enemy.

The term “individual rights” is a redundancy: there is no other kind of rights and no one else to possess them.

Those who advocate  laissez-faire  capitalism are the only advocates of man’s rights.

— Ayn Rand, The Virtue of Selfishness









Understanding American Liberty

Our legislators are not sufficiently apprized of the rightful limits of their powers; that their true office is to declare and enforce only our natural rights and duties, and to take none of them from us.
– Jefferson, 1816






Government of Laws, Not of Men

Understanding the difference between laws and legislation, or as Adams put it, “a government of laws, not of men,” is critical in the fight for a free society.





In Defense of Capitalism:
Capitalism means the free market



Enough Crony Capitalism:
The free market must be defended



The Free Market

It is not so much a social system but the natural result of a society wherein individual rights are respected, where businesses, families, and every form of association are permitted to flourish in the absence of coercion, theft, war, and aggression.

Capitalism protects the weak from the strong, granting choice and opportunity to masses who once had no choice but to live in a state of dependency on the politically connected and their enforcers.

. . . The hatred of markets must be countered by defenses of freedom in every generation. Our lives depend on it.”
– Llewellyn H. Rockwell Jr.




New York 1911 prior to personal income tax: No nation ever taxed itself into prosperity




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