My philosophy is based on the principle of self-ownership. You own your life. To deny this is to imply that another person has a higher claim on your life than you have. No other person, or group of persons, owns your life nor do you own the lives of others.You exist in time: future, present, and past. This is manifest in life, liberty, and the product of your life and liberty. The exercise of choices over life and liberty is your prosperity. To lose your life is to lose your future. to lose your liberty is to lose your present. And to lose the product of your life and liberty is to lose the portion of your past that produced it.
Jones hires Smith to build a fence for $1,000. Smith voluntarily consents to using the near future (life) and present (liberty) to build a fence for Jones in exchange for $1,000. After the fence is complete, Smith has used a portion of his life and liberty to voluntarily build the fence. Jones then gives Smith $1,000 for the product of Smith's life and liberty.A product of your life and liberty is your property. Property is the fruit of your labor, the product of your time, energy, and talents. It is that part of nature that you turn to valuable use. And it is the property of others that is given to you by voluntary exchange and mutual consent. Two people who exchange property voluntarily are both better off or they wouldn't do it. Only they man rightfully make that decision for themselves.
In the previous fence example, we can see that the fence Smith built was a fruit of his labor. It was the product of his time, energy, and talent for fence making. Smith took wood, nails, a shovel, and concrete to create something of value for Jones. Smith wanted $1,000, Jones wanted a fence. Their voluntary exchange was mutually beneficial.At times some people use force or fraud to take from others without willful, voluntary consent. Normally, the initiation of force to take life is murder, to take liberty is slavery, and to take property is theft. It is the same whether these actions are done by one person acting alone, by the many acting against a few, or even by officials with fine hats and titles.
When Jones pays Smith for the fence he had built, in the eyes of the IRS, this is a taxable event. The IRS uses coercion to force Smith to pay $200 (20%) without his consent. Smith pays the IRS $200 to avoid having his wages garnished (future-life), to avoid imprisonment (present-liberty), and to prevent the IRS from seizing his assets (property-past). If the IRS did not use the threat of coercion to collect taxes, Smith would not pay the income tax. If you believe the IRS has a right to collect $200 from Smith, then you believe the IRS has a higher claim on the life of Smith. Income taxation is a denial of self-ownership.Frank Chodorov expounds this point further: "It is told -1 Kings, Chapter 12 - that the people of Israel petitioned their new king, Rehoboam, son of Solomon, to relieve them of the "yoke" his father had suffered them to bear. The "yoke," we learn from the story, was the cost of maintaining the political establishment; it was an income tax. The designation of a levy on one’s production as a "yoke" is interesting; it shows how keen is the mind unencumbered with erudition. The yoke symbolizes the beast of burden, who, of course, has no right of property. When the human is similarly deprived of what he has produced-which is the essence of income taxation-he is indeed degraded to the status of an ox. The Israelite, who maintained that he was made in the image of God, sensed the indignity; he wanted none of the "yoke."
You have the right to protect your own life, liberty, and justly acquired property from the forceful aggression of others. So you may rightfully ask others to help protect you. But you do not have a right to initiate force against the life, liberty, or property of others. Thus, you have no right to designate some person to initiate force against others on your behalf.This is the essence of our government. We the people, have consented to ask other people, through election, to help protect us. Every human being has the inalienable right to defend themselves from the forceful aggression of others. The Constitution is the means whereby the people ask their elected leaders to help them do what they have the right to do themselves. It is theft if I use coercion to take away the justly acquired property of someone else. No rational person would believe they personally have the right to take $200 from Smith. If you do not have the right, then how can you bestow the right on the government to do that which you do not have the right to do? If you believe otherwise, I seriously urge you to reconsider your mind set. Our government is built of people elected from amongst ourselves. If you believe the government (made up of human beings) has the right to take the product of a person's life and liberty, then you would have to logically conclude that you have a right to go to your neighbor's house with a gun and demand they pay you a portion of their income.
You have a right to seek leaders for yourself, but you have no right to impose rulers on others. No matter how officials are selected, they are only human beings and they have no rights or claims that are higher than those of any other human beings. Regardless of the imaginative labels for their behavior or the numbers of people encouraging them, officials have no right to murder, to enslave, or to steal. You cannot give them any rights that you do not have yourself.Consider this: If someone approaches you on the street, pulls out a knife and begins to attack you, and you kill them in self-defense, it is not considered murder. You have the RIGHT to defend yourself. The same applies to police officers. The people have consented, asked the police to do what they themselves have a right to do, defend themselves from attack. The operative word is DEFEND. If I attack someone in any act other than self defense and kill them, it is murder. Therefore, I do not have the right to ask the police, elected leaders, or anyone, to kill another person on my behalf in any act other than self defense.
If we the people ask our elected leaders to kill other people in anything other than self defense, and the leaders do it, we then are accessories to murder. If a war other than self defense is begun, and you know it is a war of aggression, and not self defense, you are supporting murder. Remember, ours is a government of the people. You cannot bestow rights on elected leaders to do things that you do not have the right to do. If you disagree with this view, please, I beg you to reconsider the logic upon which our government was conceived.Since you own your life, you are responsible for your life. You do not rent your life from others who demand your obedience. Nor are you a slave to others who demand your sacrifice. You choose your own goals based on your own values. Success and failure are both the necessary incentives to learn and to grow. Your action on behalf of others, or their action on behalf of you, is only virtuous when it is derived from voluntary, mutual consent. For virtue can only exist when there is free choice.
This is the basis of a truly free society. It is not only the most practical and humanitarian foundation for human action, it is also the most ethical.Problems that arise from the initiation of force by government have a solution. The solution is for people of the world to stop asking officials to initiate force on their behalf. Evil does not arise only from evil people, but also from good people who tolerate the initiation of force as a means to their own ends. In this manner, good people have empowered evil throughout history.
Please read and study the Constitution. Please study in depth the people whom you will be voting for in this November's election. Do they believe in the Constitution based on their acts (not their words)? Do they advocate principles that will restore dignity to all human beings who live within the United States of America? Liberty is precious, human beings are precious, become active in your conversations with people regarding these principles of liberty. Liberty can only be preserved by diligence! People can make a difference. The Founding Fathers are proof that people can make a difference! I will close with the last paragraph of the Philosophy of Liberty:Having confidence in a free society is to focus on the process of discovery in the marketplace of values rather than to focus on some imposed vision or goal. Using governmental force to impose a vision on others is intellectual sloth and typically results in unintended, perverse consequences. Achieving the free society requires courage to think, to talk, and to act - especially when it is easier to do nothing.