"[T]here are, at bottom, basically two ways to order social affairs, Coercively, through the mechanisms of the state -- what we can call political society. And voluntarily, through the private interaction of individuals and associations -- what we can call civil society. ... In a civil society, you make the decision. In a political society, someone else does. ... Civil society is based on reason, eloquence, and persuasion, which is to say voluntarism. Political society, on the other hand, is based on force." ~ Ed Crane
You Have No Rights
The US Constitution is a worthless inkblot. It is a meaningless document that ceased to be morally relevant about 1810 and remains so to this very day. All arguments about constitutional rights are as pointless as arguments about your right to do anything at all. You have no rights, and neither did your father, grandfather, and so on, as far back as you wish to go.
The concept of 'rights' is a memetic construct that people and societies make and nothing more. 'A right is claim of entitlement,' says the Oxford American Dictionary. Your 'right' to have firearms, speak freely, practice a religion, and the rest of your 'guaranteed' rights are actionable only if your immediate neighbors agree and allow you to so act, or if a state entity is extant that will enforce your claim of a right. A 'right' as such is the license by a state entity or societal hierarchy, whether formal or informal, to do or refrain from doing a particular action.
This does not mean, however, that you have no freedom. Liberty is a choice, not a gift or a license.
As an example of what I mean, consider what Thomas Jefferson wrote to his friend James Madison in a letter from Paris on September 6, 1789 .
Jefferson wrote to Madison that, ''no society can make a perpetual constitution, or even a perpetual law. The earth belongs always to the living generation. They may manage it then, and what proceeds from it, as they please, during their usufruct. They are masters too of their own persons, and consequently may govern them as they please.
But persons and property make the sum of the objects of government. The constitution and the laws of their predecessors extinguished them, in their natural course, with those whose will gave them being. This could preserve that being till it ceased to be itself, and no longer. Every constitution, then, and every law, naturally expires at the end of 19 years. If it be enforced longer, it is an act of force and not of right.'
Jefferson clearly saw through all the bunk and nonsense about the paradigm that was promoted by the ruling classes of that day and their courtiers, apologists, and ass-kissers. Rule by nobles and clergy was nothing more than accident of history. Their rule was based on force, and justified morally only by a morbid obsession with tradition, which was based on the authority of God's expressed Will as interpreted and decreed by religious leaders who in turn had their own stake in that system of governance.
This so-called 'natural order' of human society then extent was not ordained by God, but was a social construct held in place by the armed might of the rulers and justified by a preoccupation with tradition and appeals to the authority of the deity.
Why in the hell are generations long dead able to decide for us the living what the laws shall be and on what they shall be based upon? The Constitution of the United States that was written and ratified by men long dead and is not Holy Writ that can only be obeyed and never questioned. I find the very idea of that notion as irrational and as unworthy of belief as Jefferson apparently found the Divine Right of Kings.
I never had a chance to vote on the Constitution, either in person or by elected representation, yet I am assailed and denounced often as one who would prefer chaos when I question the ruling document's ultimate validity. This is not so, however: I prefer liberty, always.
In my view, the Constitution and the laws and misrule that derive from it are a system of oppression that is imposed upon me and held in place by armed force. That is as plainly as I can say it. All of this is defined as treason or blasphemy against the state religion of democracy as is evidenced by the reaction of statists of all sorts. I am indeed a traitor though, using their terminology and definitions. However, I accept their scorn and misunderstanding as a badge of honor.
Constitutional Statists are just as deluded as to the rationality of their ideal system of governance as the Priest and Kings of Egypt, Greece , the Roman Empire , and Middle Ages were in their day. The ancients believed in the rule of Kings and a God-ordained clergy. The Constitutional Statists view themselves as the new gods of political philosophy who can, with intellect and perseverance, design and execute the perfect societal construct and commit it to paper for presentation to the masses in the manner of Moses delivering the Ten Commandments to the Hebrews.
History shows that any kind of state entity no matter how minimal, circumscribed, or respectful of rights, always morphs into a Leviathan in time and without exception too. Expecting otherwise is as absurdly ignorant and delusional as imagining that a pup will somehow not grow up to be a dog.
'But wait a minute Ali,' I am told, 'isn't using Jefferson 's letter an Appeal to Authority Fallacy of logical argument?' No, I do not think so, and here is why.
' Liberty ,' said J.L Wilson, 'is more important than mythology. If George Washington was right about foreign entanglements, it is because he was right on that topic, and not just because he was George Washington. The same goes for the opinions of Jefferson, Madison, Mason, or anyone else. It is to the extent that they were right about liberty that we should heed them, but we shouldn't bow before their words on the basis of their names and legends.'
People have no rights, natural or otherwise. For how can someone assert a claim against nature? To assert a claim of right from people, you must accept a state. The remedy is therefore worse than the illness.
Laws, customs and traditions are morally time-limited to the generation that adopts them and are in no way binding upon those who did not voluntarily consent to abide by and obey them. To do so is unnatural and again requires that a state be extent. Tradition and stability are good, but not if they mean perpetual slavery to those long dead.
We should emulate what is best from the past because it wise and just, not because it is old. The earth belongs always to the living generation. It cannot rationally be any other way.