November 5th, 2008


Fundamental ignorance

Seen in a discussion about California's Proposition 8: "I'm talking about basic civil rights, and you're talking about your plane."

From the Department of State's web site:

At the Philadelphia convention that drafted the Constitution, John Rutledge of South Carolina reminded the delegates that "property was certainly the principal object of Society." They did not really need much reminding, because the Framers all believed that respect for an individual's property rights lay at the heart of the social contract. Not only did they build institutional safeguards into the Constitution to protect those rights, but the nation soon added important provisions through the Bill of Rights to buttress that protection. Moreover, the Founders did not intend that these protections extend only to land or discernible assets, but to all the rights inherent in property — real or personal, tangible or intangible. They believed that property was "the guardian of every other right," for without the right to own and use and enjoy one's property free from arbitrary governmental interference, there could be no liberty of any sort.

Or in the words of a president who could be eloquent even without a TelePrompTer, unlike some,

It is the eternal struggle between two principles, right and wrong, throughout the world. It is the same spirit that says 'you toil and work and earn bread, and I'll eat it.' No matter in what shape it comes, whether from the mouth of a king who seeks to bestride the people of his own nation, and live by the fruit of their labor, or from one race of men as an apology for enslaving another race, it is the same tyrannical principle.

Frederic Bastiat's The Law is too extensive to quote here, but by all means read it.

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