Monday, June 05, 2017

Marxism, Natural Rights, and Personal Ownership

By Douglas V. Gibbs
AuthorSpeakerInstructorRadio Host

The Democrat Party will tell you that if something is a right, a blessed constitutional right, it is the job of the federal government to guarantee that right, no matter what.  And if you can't afford that right, government must subsidize that right.  Therefore, healthcare is a right, so it must be created, provided and paid for by government.

I have a right to keep and bear arms, too.  Is it government's job to buy me a gun if I can't afford one?

Government leftists have chosen to deny the existence of the right to keep and bear arms.  You don't have a right to own a gun, we are told, unless government lets you after you jump through all of their hoops and prove that you can be fully trusted to own one.  And then, your gun must be of a certain type, with a limited number of rounds provided by a magazine limited in its size, and you have to lock the gun away from the ammunition so that nobody gets hurt. . . which completely nullifies the whole reason for owning a gun in the first place.

You have a right to gay marriage, we are told, and that right should not be limited in any way by any government, business, or person.  You can't even say you disagree with homosexuality, because verbalizing opposition to the right to homosexuality and gay marriage is discrimination against that right to do as one pleases.

So, while healthcare is fully government offered and paid for, the right to a gun is not; and while the right to force the gay agenda upon society is a full and unfettered right with no restrictions whatsoever, if you dare say anything against it the government will place restrictions on your religious liberties and your freedom of speech.  Those two rights somehow rank lower, and must be fully controlled by government, and the guarantee of a right only applies if you follow government imposed rules that have been defined by a government that grants no restrictions to homosexuals when it comes to their rights, but plenty of restrictions when it comes to the rights of everyone else.

The Black Lives Matter crowds, and liberal left college snowflakes burning and pillaging, we are told, are also well within their constitutional right to protest and disagree, despite the fact that their riots and violent protests are in complete opposition to the First Amendment where the enumeration of the right to a freedom of assembly comes with the caveat of doing so "peaceably."  However, as a Tea Party group, Republican club, or citizens in support of President Trump, you don't have the same unfettered rights the rioters have.  You, the right-wing rally crowd, must obtain permits which must be approved, and abide by limitations on where and what you can do at your rallies.  In short, if you are a leftist, you have an untethered right to violently assemble, but those seeking to peaceably assemble are restricted to the government's rules, and government defined parameters (while being accused of being violent extremists who can't be trusted by the mainstream media and Democrat politicians).

You have a right to education, we are told, as well.  So, the leftists provide indoctrination centers called public schools, but home school programs and private school programs are under great scrutiny, and in places like Washington D.C. where vouchers allowing school choice was once available (and a very popular program), the Democrats in charge took it away.  In short, you have a right to their education, not yours.  The message seems to be "Hand over your children, shut up, and we might let you visit the classroom if you ask nicely.  They are there to learn what we want to teach them.  You can't be trusted to teach them properly, so forget about any blessing by the government regarding school choice."

In my local school district the time a parent is allowed to visit the classroom while it is in session has been reduced to almost no time, and the navigation for approval is extensive.  My son once received a letter from the District Attorney regarding truancy because the vacation he pulled his children out of school for was considered too early in the school year, and had been unapproved by school officials.

What we are experiencing is not what the Founding Fathers meant when they established the concept that proclaimed that we have natural rights.  There is no such thing as Constitutional Rights.  We have Natural Rights that are given to us by our Creator.  Our rights are a part of the "Laws of Nature of Nature's God," as it is provided in the Declaration of Independence.  So, while I agree we have a right to something like health care, that does not mean it is government's job to provide it, or guarantee it.  In fact, any involvement whatsoever by the federal government is unconstitutional, and by that, I mean illegal.

Health care can also be considered a privilege.  Health insurance and health services are products. You have a wonderful privilege living in a place like the United States where healthcare services are available to you, and you have the wonderful and free-from-government-interference opportunity to pursue those services should you desire to do so, or at least that is the way it is supposed to be.  If you commit fraud against the system, are too high of a risk, or choose not to partake in the system, it is possible that you won't be able to access some parts of the health care system, such as insurance, or reasonably priced services, but that is just common sense, right?  Those situations are the reality of living in a free market system.  Your right to care for your injuries or illnesses, however, should not be impeded by government because you have a right to those services no different than that you should have a right to purchase a firearm without government obstruction.

The Democrat narrative ignores the whole idea of what a natural right is supposed to be in the first place.  The Framers of the U.S. Constitution believed that government is the greatest threat to our rights, so why would we want government officials and ruling elitists defining our rights, guaranteeing our rights, or administering our rights?

It is not the job of the government to guarantee your rights, and it never has been. The 14th Amendment doesn't say so (though it has been interpreted to by activist judges and big government politicians), and the Framers of the Constitution never even dreamed of considering government to be there to guarantee your rights.

Your rights are naturally given to you by your Creator. They belong to you, not government.  They are your personal possession.  While governments are instituted among men to secure our rights (through the existence of law enforcement and emergency services), the actually job of protecting and guaranteeing our rights belongs to us because they are our own personal possessions.

The Bill of Rights uses negative language to put forth that message. The 1st Amendment begins, "Congress shall make no law." The 2nd Amendment ends, "shall not be infringed." The 3rd Amendment begins, "No soldier shall." In the middle of the 4th Amendment it states, "shall not be violated." In short, the Bill of Rights does not tell the government to guarantee our rights, it tells the government "hands off our rights". Don't touch. None of your darn business.  My natural rights are mine to keep, defend, and utilize; and government has no authority to interfere with my personal possession of my natural rights.
When something is a right, it means that you should have access to it without any central government interference, and that local governments, if they feel it is necessary, may put into place certain laws to ensure the right is provided in a manner that is good for the citizens, while maintaining an orderly society.
You have the right to go through an intersection. No governmental agency should be able to tell you that you can't unless there is a local safety reason that arises which creates a temporary or permanent closure administered by local government.  Nor should there be any laws saying that only certain people can go through the intersection.  There is not supposed to be any kind of preferential treatment.  Again, there may be exceptions, such as in the case of an entryway into a military base.  When you try to go through an intersection that is wide open, other motorists may interfere with your freedom to go through that intersection safely.  Your right to navigate the intersection stops at the tip of the next guy's bumper, so it is your personal responsibility to safely pilot through the intersection without unreasonably creating a situation where a collision may happen.  To ease motorists ability to traverse the intersection safely, local government often places stop signs, or signal lights, at the intersection so that everyone can cross through the intersection, but in a manner that is safe and orderly, not because local government wishes to take away your right to drive through the intersection, but so that you, and other motorists, may drive through that intersection safely.  This is how government "secures" our rights, as noted in the Declaration of Independence.  Also note that in the example regarding the intersection the federal government is not supposed to be in on the decision. It's none of their business.  The intersection is a local issue.  The federal government was established to handle external issues, and those issues concerning protecting, promoting and preserving the union.

The functions of the federal government versus State or local government, were spelled out by James Madison in Federalist Paper #45. He wrote, "The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite. The former will be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation, and foreign commerce; with which last the power of taxation will, for the most part, be connected. The powers reserved to the several States will extend to all the objects which, in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives, liberties, and properties of the people, and the internal order, improvement, and prosperity of the State. The operations of the federal government will be most extensive and important in times of war and danger; those of the State governments, in times of peace and security. As the former periods will probably bear a small proportion to the latter, the State governments will here enjoy another advantage over the federal government."

You have a right to access health care. You have a right to purchase it as you desire. It's like a gun. Our right to keep and bear arms does not mean the government should issue a gun to everyone. As a right, the federal government shouldn't be getting in the way of our access to securing a firearm at all.  If there are necessary local laws to ensure an orderly society (such as local laws that may prohibit purchase by minors without parental approval, or laws disallowing dangerous felons from owning guns), then the States, or your local government, may put such laws into place.  Laws restricting health insurance sales across State lines must be repealed because they are unconstitutional.  Plus, the Commerce Clause argument is an unconstitutional one, as well, too.  Some local laws may be necessary to keep the market reasonable, but in short, your right to purchase healthcare products and services should not be interfered with by the federal government in any way no different than your right to purchase a firearm.
If something is a right, it does not mean government must guarantee it, it means that government must not act as an obstacle when it comes to your right to have access to that right.
The reality of what our Natural Rights are, however, is a hindrance to the Marxist agenda.  The progressive narrative reads like a John Lennon song called Imagine.  They want you to imagine the world without possessions, without self-reliance or without personal responsibility.

Karl Marx, the father of communism, was dismissive toward natural rights.  He saw them as artifacts from the rise of the bourgeoisie as a dominant social force in the modern era, unshackling and promoting the emergence of the bourgeoisie ruling class and its world view, glorifying individualism, encouraging individual separation from the community.  A person with natural rights was considered by Marx to be withdrawn into himself, wholly preoccupied with his private interest and acting in accordance with his private caprice. Natural Rights serve individuals concerned only with their individual, asocial, self interest; promoting selfishness, and the gain and private interests of themselves, while not troubling about the common weal and the interest of all.

He wrote that rights find their realization in bourgeois justice. Property is a fundamental right spawned by the emergence of capitalism and sustained by it. Individual rights constitute a political framework compatible with the capitalist system. Marxists may, however, call for radical change in the language of rights, from unionization to civil rights. Individual human rights doctrines crowd out other worthy counter-doctrines that protect the collective rights of the community, however, like all instruments contrived by humans, human rights as a tool may be useful and be considered just when Marxists wield them.

In short, rights, like property and profit, were thought by Marx to be things of selfishness.  A demand or possession of rights, property, or profit was deemed by Marx to be a form of theft that takes away from the collective, of which all members have equal communal ownership.

If access to rights are to be allowed by government, the government approved access would have to be shared equally among the all members of the citizenry, and provided by the government in a manner as the ruling elite determines to ensure that equality is achieved.  Marx also believed that government interference would be a temporary condition, because one day the society would finally come to appreciate communism, at which point the government, and the power it wields, would naturally wither away, and society would live on without government, rules, possessions, or the shackles of money and profit.

-- Political Pistachio Conservative News and Commentary

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