Philosophical Musings

Philosophical Musings

Friday, February 17, 2012

Laws & Liberty

I don't believe in a set of rules or laws that change with the weather or the administration, voted on by the majority. The us is a republic, based on law. We have determined that the role of our govt should be to secure our rights to 'life, liberty, & the pursuit of happiness.' We do not want to be exploited by powerful agents, foreign or domestic. We do not want statists to creep into power, diminishing our freedoms & piling rule upon rule until no one knows what is legal or not.

But to secure these self evident rights, we have instituted a govt that derives it's powers from our consent. We give it power to protect us. ..not to sell us to the highest bidder.. not to plunder our property & give it away in lavish gifts or social experimentation.

Most of the time, laws, regulations, or whatever you want to call them are definitions. Sometimes things need to be well defined to have clarity. The bill of rights clarified & expanded upon the 'life, liberty & pursuit of happiness' clause. That means we have free speech, religion, right to trial, arms, etc. There is nothing wrong with clarifying our rights & responsibilities.

The problem we have is not regulations themselves, but the chipping away at personal liberties. We have allowed the statist ideology to become dominant in our govt. They want more & more control, & don't mind sacrificing our liberties to get it.

Here's some of my ideas for 'fair regulations', or reasonable laws..

1. Unless something is a basic right.. an amendment guaranteeing a personal liberty or responsibility, put a sunset on it. This law will expire in a period of time. Then it can be reviewed & determined if it protects us or exploits us.

2. Consider laws with the following criteria: Does this promote & protect the individual's liberty, or limit them?

3. Does the law protect one individual without putting undue hardship on another? Safe working regulations can be made without putting a business in financial difficulty.

4. The people should be the beneficiaries of the laws, not a special interest or lobby. The current system is flawed, & is being used to exploit, not protect. Unions, industry sectors, & other special interests have too much influence on something and someone that is supposed to represent the people.

The bigger danger seems to be when the branches of govt do not follow the constitution & their basic mandate to protect us. Activist judges limit, infringe, or outlaw our basic rights. Executive orders are given which are not provided for by law, yet the executive branch gets away with it. Congress whimsically passes laws that have no constitutional authority or provision. These are are the real dangers to our freedoms. We need to insist on elected officials who will follow the constitution. If they want to change it, fine. Do the work & change it. But this slithering behind the scenes & whittling away at our freedoms is unacceptable.

"The Constitution is not an instrument for the government to restrain the people, it is an instrument for the people to restrain the government -- lest it come to dominate our lives and interests." ~Patrick Henry

Men naturally rebel against the injustice of which they are victims. Thus, when plunder is organized by law for the profit of those who make the law, all the plundered classes try somehow to enter -- by peaceful or revolutionary means -- into the making of laws. According to their degree of enlightenment, these plundered classes may propose one of two entirely different purposes when they attempt to attain political power: Either they may wish to stop lawful plunder, or they may wish to share in it. ~Frederic Bastiat

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