“The World is my country, all mankind are my brethren, and to do good is my religion.”
In stark contrast to the statist ethic, the liberty ethic rejects the entire notion of political authority over the noncoercive and nonviolent choices and actions of individuals, and positively asserts that there exists a right of the individual to be left alone by his neighbors, by his society, and even, as far as is possible, by his government. The liberty ethic is the based on individual autonomy within society and provides the framework for everything from private property and freedom of religion, to, most importantly, the right of political dissent.
Philosophically, the liberty ethic stands alone in a field of socio-political theories that force individuals to subject themselves to be ruled on the basis of nationalist agenda, the collective “need“, or a monarchial or dictatorial authority. What makes the liberty ethic unique among all political theories is it denies that class (or moral) divisions within society exist necessarily. The universal liberty ethic holds that every human being on the planet possesses the same moral rights and obligations (to respect the moral rights of others) as every other human being, from the mightiest king to the poorest peasant.
In practice, the principles of the liberty ethic imply 2 necessary antecedent ideas:
(1) no right enjoyed by one individual can be justifiably denied to another…
(2) no right exists to transgress on the fundamental rights of another…
Thus, for example, when a king claims sovereign ownership of a tract of land, citing divine right, or a socialist state seizes control of a tract of land, citing collective need, they violate the liberty ethic, in the first case, because any right of unchallenged ownership by one (the monarch) comes at the expense of all others (the commoner class) or, in the second case, because any right of unchallenged ownership by the state (the collective) comes at the expense of the citizen (the individual). In both cases, the threat of force coerces the individual to surrender their property against their will.
“A theft is when someone steals your money. You call the police, and they take the thief to jail. A tax is when the police steals your money or else takes you to jail.“
However, after a century of relentlessly being misrepresented by the mainstream media, misunderstood by the PopCon punditry, corrupted by the political class, and dumbed down for generation after generation of the poorly educated masses, the liberty ethic is in imminent danger of philosophical extinction. Even when self identified conservatives recognize the moral problem in the 2 classic cases of property right infringement described above, so dominant is the statist ethic in America, the same “conservatives” will malign those who question the veracity of taxation of private incomes as “anarchists” and “lawless“.
“But what about the roads?“
“But what about the schools?“
“But what about the police?“
“But what about Social Security?”
“But what about the military?“
“But what about the government?”
These hopelessly propagandized individuals can’t even imagine a society that doesn’t depend upon treating private citizens like piggy banks, to be shaken out at regular intervals to pay for every subsidy, entitlement, and agency passed by Congress in the last 100 years, and they do this as if the United States didn’t exist prior to the 16th Amendment was passed in 1913. It is exactly this inability to even conceive of an alternative that has handed the political discourse to the left.
The American right has conceded the central contention of the liberty ethic to the left, that civilization can afford a necessary and proper government without transgressing on the rights of the people. Without this contention, the question isn’t whether or not the government should take taxes from the people, it’s merely how much should they take, and, by making this concession, the American conservative has less in common with the Founding Fathers, who contended that the proper amount to take from the people was practically nothing, and more in common with Karl Marx.
This is why the left controls the culture and the political discourse. Americans have forgotten who they are. They have forgotten the liberty ethic.
“The mind once enlightened cannot again become dark.”
In a country born of the great conflagration of the age of liberalism, itself a child of the Age of Reason, lead by men who boldly tore asunder the shackles of tyrannical rule and the statist assumptions that made that rule possible in the first place, we now find that the fire of liberty has long since cooled, and the last dying embers of the age of revolutionary zeal grow dark and, one by one, go out. If this is not the fate we seek for our future and our children’s future, then we must being by rebuilding a new bonfire of liberty, so large and so bright, that its light and warmth will shine through the centuries and generations to come.
To build this fire, we must relearn what has been lost and unlearn that which the statists have told us we must fear. Cowards do have what is required to fight for liberty, so they do not deserve liberty. The Founding Fathers understood that one must live in a home of the brave if one truly wishes to live in the land of the free. If not the government, who will build the roads? We will. If not the government, who will run the schools? We will. If not the government, who will police the law? We will. If not the government, who will look out for the elderly? We will. If not the government, who will defend our borders? We will. If not the government, who will rule us? We will.
Liberty is For the Win?