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Thomas M. Miovas Jr.

Independence Day Special 2012 -- Losing the Battle

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http://www.appliedphilosophyonline.com/independence_day_special_2012.htm

Independence Day Special 2012

Losing the Battle

By Thomas M. Miovas, Jr.

07/04/2012

I’m hesitant to write much on this Independence Day due to the fact that I think we are losing the battle for individual rights on two fronts: domestically and internationally. On the domestic front, The Supreme Court, through the Chief Injustice, re-affirmed what the anti-rights proponents have wanted all along – the unbridled ability to force us into doing anything they command us to do, so long as it is done through the tax code; internationally, the re-affirmation that individual rights are not the proper standard from which to form a new country, expressed in the positive sanction by our own government that Muslims in the Middle East have a democratic right to form a suppressive government based upon Islamic Sharia Law that subordinates rights to religious edicts. In a more rational time, the Chief Injustice would have been impeached for abrogating rights in such a manner, while the President of the United States would have been put on trial for treason for ensuring that our enemies abroad will win the war.

Some people might think that I am exaggerating on both accounts, that insofar as we still have a system of checks and balances in our government that ObamaCare and the rest of the tax hikes going along with it can be repealed, while the War on Terror and seeking out specific terrorists in the Middle East will win the day in the long run. But I think taking this sort of stand obliterates the primary cause of both troubles. That is, by stating that the damage done can be undone, without taking the specific causes into account, will only bring more rights violations, not less. If the proper cause has not been identified, then how can these efforts lead to anything aside from more rights violations?

I think the cause of both issues – domestic usurpation of rights and international sanctions of rights violations on Americans – stems from the same source: The refusal to think in terms of rational principles according to objective methods of thought. Individual rights, properly understood, stem from the fact that man is the rational animal, and that he is the rational animal by choice, and that this rationality – of thinking about the facts with man’s life as the standard – can only be suppressed by one means: by the initiation of force; and that a proper government would outlaw the initiation of force or fraud against the individual, giving rational individuals the green light to live their lives as they see fit according to their own self-chosen standards, so long as they do not use force to appropriate their values.

Arguably, the United States of America was founded upon such sound principles as elucidated above, though it wasn’t made quite this explicit in the founding documents of this country. The Declaration of Independence set the terms for breaking free from Great Britain, but unfortunately considered the issue of rights to be self-evident, requiring no proof or foundation, and therefore did not need to be expressed as a guide for the formation of new laws in the United States Constitution. Hence, over the centuries -- and while rationality as a guide was swamped with Kantian collectivism and non-reason -- many laws were considered proper, so long as the politicians and the Legislature jumped through the hoops of the Checks and Balances set up to insure that individual rights would be maintained as the proper standard of governance. In other words, the advent of bad philosophy made it possible for law-makers to put forth whatever they wanted, with no standards whatsoever aside from collectivism, so long as they followed the proper procedure outlined in the Constitution.

So, on this Independence Day, take a few moments to realize that the proper role of government is to secure your individual rights -- NOT to impose upon the individual whatever the majority deems necessary -- and that if we are to have many more Independence Days to celebrate, then this truth must be re-learned via a new philosophy more explicitly upholding reason and reality as the proper guides to human thought and action. I highly recommend reading the works of Ayn Rand and her philosophy of Objectivism to more fully understand the proper underpinnings and support of individual liberties and proper government – before it is too late.

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Moderators: What happened to my link to Onkar Ghate's essay regarding egoism versus altruism and the founding of the United States?

I highly recommend this essay by Onkar Ghate regarding the fuller meaning of America's founding as expressed in Atlas Shrugged as a good antidote to those things seeking to destroy America at the very root of her existence:

Atlas Shrugged: America’s Second Declaration of Independence

by Onkar Ghate

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