I just wanted to throw this one out there. Bear with me, there is method to my madness.
I have seen a lot lately about natural rights. Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness etc. The thinking being that the Constitution/Bill of Rights simply codifies what the Founders believed to be natural rights. This is something that I happen to believe in: the concept that if someone, for example, went back in time, did something, and the Constitution never got written, that natural rights would still exist.
I consider myself a free man and will fight for that freedom.
However: are natural rights simply a belief system, or an absolute fact? Do they really exist, as anything other than a political belief in liberty and what is/should be right? Just a ‘nice to have?’
In something like Thomas Hobbes’ ‘State of Nature,’ life was “solitary, nasty, brutish and short.” Did natural rights exist then? When you were getting eaten by the sabertooth tiger, did you have a right to life? When the neighboring cavemen were attacking, or enslaving you, did you have a right to life and liberty? If you did, it made no difference in any practical sense, bleat though you may.
As Americans, we are fortunate to live in a country with a system of government that is (was) designed to codify such rights. But without that, what of such rights? Unless you create a defensible society and political system, of suitable law and rights, to codify such a thing, are there really any such rights? In any practical sense?
It is evident that all power is backed by force. Government power is backed by force, which means violence. A government must have the monopoly of violence in order to maintain power. If it does not, for example if the citizenry (who are supposed to be sovereign in the theoretical Constitutional Republic of the United States of America) have the monopoly or option of effective violence, then the government cannot maintain absolute power. If you choose to be free, and therefore defy laws or regulations that you disagree with, then you will suffer for that, as a result of the inevitable use of government force against you.
Moving on: if the government does not believe in your natural rights to such things as life and liberty, then you face a situation where you believe in those things in the face of a system that does not, and has the monopoly of violence to enforce that stance.
And thus to my point: it is obvious to me that regardless of whether natural rights are simply a political belief, or an absolute thing, in any practical sense they only exist if they can be defended.
If you cannot enforce your right to life and liberty, what is to stop anyone who has greater access to violence from taking it away from you?
All of this is somewhat obvious, I know. It is the point of the Second Amendment. Brighter minds than mine have commented. My point is really this: I see people banging on about natural rights, and I have to ask: what use is that if you do not have the will or capability to defend those perceived rights? If you took an oath to defend the Constitution, what use are you if you don’t? If you don’t ever intend to defend those rights, or die trying, then do they even exist?
Do you deserve those rights? Greater generations long past fought for those rights, to make them real, to carve them out of the state of nature and from tyranny. Now we live in an oligarchy of corruption. We have taken those rights for granted, and allowed them to be frittered away. Taken from us. We no longer deserve them, we probably have not earned them, nor have we prevented them from being taken away. We feel entitled.
If a tree falls in the forest, and no one is there to hear it, does it make a sound?
If you cannot defend freedom, ensure it persists, or die trying, then are you free?
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