Saturday, June 4th, 2011 at 11:50am

Natural Rights and the Constituted Government.

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What made the United States different and better than other societies? 

…Note: Quotes in Blue are from Thomas Paine – "Rights of Man" meaning everyone. At that time, the man was considered the head of the family. By convention, the word "man" was considered to include the rest of the family too. 

Natural and Civil Rights

"Natural rights are those which appertain to man in right of his existence.  Of this kind are all the intellectual rights, or rights of the mind, and also those rights of acting as an individual for his own comfort and happiness, which are not injurious to the natural rights of others.  

Civil rights are those which appertain to man in right of his being a member of society.  

Every Civil right has for its foundation some Natural Right pre-existing in the individual, but to the enjoyment of which his individual power is not, in all cases, sufficiently competent.  Of this kind are those which relate to security and  protection."  Thomas Paine – Rights of Man

All rights arise from Natural Rights and are retained by the individual.  The only rights pooled in Society or "deposited in the common stock of Society" are the rights pertaining to safety and protection that an individual needs the help of others with.  

"Society grants him nothing.  Every man is proprietor in society, and draws on the capital as a matter of right." 

"Every Civil right grows out of a Natural right; or, in other words, is a natural right exchanged."

Civil power is produced from the aggregate of Natural Rights that are insufficient in power in an individual alone.   Civil power can not be applied to invade the Natural rights retained by the individual in society.

The people produce a government

"Individuals themselves , each in his own personal and sovereign right, entered into a compact with each other to produce a government: and this is the only mode in which governments have a right to arise, and the only principle upon which they have a right to exist… Governments must have arisen, either out of the people [by Constitution] or over the people [by Conquest or Theocracy]. "

there is no such thing as the idea of a compact between the people on one side, and the government on the other… To suppose that any government can be a party in a compact with the whole people, is to suppose it to have existence before it can have a right to exist.  The only instance in which a compact can take place between the people and those who exercise the government, is, that the people shall pay them, while they choose to employ them. 

Government is not a trade which any man or body of men has a right to set up and exercise for his own emolument, but is altogether a trust , in right of those by whom that trust is delegated. and by whom it is always resumable.  It has of itself no rights; they are altogether duties.

A constitution is a thing antecedent to a government, and a government is only the creature of a constitution. The constitution of a country is not the act of its government, but of the people constituting a government.

It is the body of elements… which contains the principles on which the government shall be established, the manner in which it shall be organized, the powers it shall have, the mode of elections, the duration of parliaments [legislative branch]  or by what other name such bodies may be called [Congress]; the powers which the executive part of the government shall have; and in fine, everything that relates to the complete organization of a civil government, and the principles on which it shall act and by which it shall be bound. 

 A constitution, therefore, is to a government what the laws made afterward by that government are to a Court…  The court… does not make the laws, neither can it alter them; it only acts in conformity to the laws made: and the government is in like manner governed by the constitution. " – Thomas Paine – Rights of Man

A Declaration of rights is, by reciprocity, a Declaration of duties also.  Whatever is my right as a man, is also the right of another; and it becomes my duty to guarantee, as well as to posses. 

It is a problem if Congress, which allocates the spending of funds, also possesses unlimited power to tax and create new types of expenditures rather than the power to tax only for specific purposes as the Constitution says.   The 16th Amendment and the Federal Reserve gave Congress unlimited ability to confiscate your wealth.

"If those who vote the supplies are the same persons who receive the supplies when voted, and are to account for the expenditures of those supplies who voted them, it is themselves accountable to themselves… a body of men holding themselves accountable to nobody, ought not to be trusted by any body." 

The idea of hereditary legislators is as inconsistent as hereditary judges, or hereditary juries; and as absurd as an hereditary mathematician or an hereditary wise man; and as ridiculous as an hereditary poet-laureate. "

Why society only needs a limited government

There is a natural aptness in man, and more so in society, because it embraces a greater variety of  abilities and resources, to accommodate itself to whatever situation it is in.  The instant formal government is abolished, society begins to act.  A general association takes place, and common interest produces common security.

So far is it from being true, as has been pretended, that the abolition of any formal government is the dissolution of society…

The more perfect civilization is, the less occasion has it  for government, because the more does it regulate its own affairs, and govern itself .

It is but few general laws that civilized life requires, and those of such common usefulness, that whether they are enforced by the forms of government or not, the effect will be nearly the same. 

All the great laws of society are laws of nature. Those of trade and commerce… are laws of mutual and reciprocal interest.  They are followed and obeyed because it is in the interest of the parties so to do, and not on account of any formal laws their governments may impose or interpose.   But how often is the natural propensity to society disturbed or destroyed by the actions of government.  When the latter… acts by partialities of favor and oppression, it becomes the cause of the mischiefs it ought to prevent.  

In those associations which men… form for the purpose of trade, or of any concern… in which they act merely in the principles of society, we see how naturally the various parties unite; and this shows, by comparison, that governments, so far from being always the cause or means of order, are often the destruction of it.

government is nothing more than a national association acting on the principles of society… and the object of this association is the good of all, as well individually as collectively.  Every man wishes to pursue his occupation, and enjoy the fruits of his labors, and the produce of his property, in peace and safety, and with the least possible expense.  When these things are accomplished, all the objects for which government ought to be established are answered.    

Assumption of power vs. Delegation of power

Prior governments violated every sacred and moral principle.  Bandits overran a country and forced the people to contribute to the rulers.  They changed their name from robber to Monarch and the people were considered their property. Once the bandits parceled out the world they fought each other;  taxes, borrowing and conscription fueling their wars.

Government on the old system is an assumption of power; on the new [America’s Constitutional Republic], a delegation of power, for the common benefits of society.  The former supports itself by keeping up a system of war; the latter promotes a system of peace, as the true means of enriching a nation.   The one measures its prosperity, by the quantity of revenue it extorts; the other proves its excellence, by the small quantity of taxes it requires.    

What inducement has the farmer… to lay aside his peaceful pursuit, and to go to war with the farmer in another country?  Or what inducement has the manufacturer?… Does it add an acre to any man's estate, or raise its value?  Are not conquest and defeat each of the same price, and taxes the never failing consequence?

Man has no authority over posterity in the matter of personal right; 

Republican government is no other than government established and conducted for the interest of the public, as well individually as collectively. It is not necessarily connected with any particular form, but it most naturally associates with the representative form… 

What is the best form of government for conducting the RES-PUBLICA, or the PUBLIC BUSINESS of a nation, after it becomes too extensive and populous for the simple democratical form?  

Not Monarchy or any form of centrally planned government because one person or even a small group does not have sufficient knowledge or intelligence to run a country.  

It is possible that an individual may lay down a system of principles on which government shall be constitutionally established to any extent of territory [ or population].  This is no more than an operation of the mind, acting by its own powers [which are sufficient for this effort].   But the practice upon those principles, as applying to the various and numerous circumstances of a nation, its agriculture, manufacture, trade, commerce etc., requires a knowledge of a different kind, and which can be had only from the various parts of society.

It is an assemblage of practical knowledge, that no one individual [or group] can possess; and therefore the monarchial form , is as much limited in useful practice,  from the incompetency of knowledge, as was the democratical form from the multiplying of population.  The one [democracy/majority rule] degenerates, by extension [of population] into confusion; the other [Monarchy/Dictatorship or Aristocracy/Socialism] degenerates into ignorance and incapacity [of knowledge].

As to the aristocratical [socialist] form, it has the same vices and defects with the monarchical [dictator, great leader, guru, Ayatollah], except that the chance of abilities is better from the proportion of numbers, but there is still no security for the right use and application of them.

Retaining, then, democracy as the ground, and rejecting the corrupt systems of monarchy and aristocracy, the representative system naturally presents itself; remedying at once the defects of the simple democracy as to form, and the incapacity of the other two with respect to knowledge.     

By ingrafting representation upon democracy, we arrive at a system of government capable of embracing and confederating all the various interests and every extent of territory and population… It is on this system that the American government is founded.  

Unfortunately, America's government is now overrun with bandits who have assumed power.  It is the old government once again.  The people are treated like property. Plunder is called revenue. Bandits fight with each other through banks.

What the USA used to be

The whole expense of the Federal Government of America… extending over a country nearly ten times as large as England, is but six hundred thousand dollars, or one hundred and thirty thousand pounds sterling.  Yet in France, and also in England, the expense of the civil list only,  for the support of one man only, is eight times greater than the whole expense of the Federal Government in America.

To assign a reason for this… the representative system diffuses such a body of knowledge throughout a nation, on the subject of government, as to explode ignorance and preclude imposition [of excessive taxation].   In the representative system, the reason for everything must publicly appear.  Every man is a proprietor in government and considers it a necessary part of his business to understand it.  It concerns his interest, because it affects his property.  He examines the cost, and compares it with the advantages; and above all, he does not adopt the slavish custom of following what in other governments are called LEADERS.

It can only be by blinding the understanding of man, and making him believe that government is some wonderful mysterious thing, that excessive revenues can be obtained.   Monarchy [and Socialism] is well calculated to ensure this end.  It is the popery of government; a thing kept up to amuse the ignorant, and quiet them into paying taxes.  

The government of a free country, properly speaking is not in the persons, but in the laws.  The enacting of those require no great expense; and when they are administered, the whole of civil government is performed–the rest is all court contrivance [propaganda].

Representative government is not possible when the government operates in secret and is a mystery.  Propaganda is the popery of government today.

A constitution is not an act of a government, but of a people constituting a government; and government without a constitution, is power without a right.  All power exercised over a nation, must have some beginning.  It muse be either delegated [from the people] or assumed [by conquest].  There are no other sources.  All delegated power is trust, and all assumed power is usurpation. Time does not alter the nature and quality of either.

When the several state governments were formed, they proceeded to form the Federal Government, that acts over the whole in all matters which concern the interest of the whole, or which relate to the intercourse of the several states with each other, or with foreign nations.

(and that's it.  All else is usurpation by conquest.) 

What the Supreme Court became – Government by precedence without principal

"Government by precedent, without any regard to the principle of the precedent, is the vilest system that can be set up.  In numerous instances, the precedent ought to operate as a warning, and not as an example, and requires to be shunned instead of imitated; but instead of this, precedents are taken in the lump, and put at once for constitution and for law.    

Laws… must be from the justness of their principles, and the interest which the nation feels therein, that they derive their support; if they require any other than this, it is a sign that something in the system of government is imperfect.  Laws difficult to be executed cannot generally be good.

government… ought to be so constructed as not to be disordered by any accident happening among the parts; and therefore, no extraordinary power, capable of producing such an effect, should be lodged in the hands of any individual. 

Government powers must be limited.

When extraordinary power and extraordinary pay [income tax] are allotted to any individual [or congress], he becomes the center round which every kind of corruption generates and forms.  Give to any man a million a year [from taxation power], and add thereto the power of creating and disposing of places [congressional allocation power], at the expense of a country, and the liberties of that country are no longer secure. …the corruption of the state… is made up of a band of parasites, living in luxurious indolence, out of the public taxes.

When once such a vicious system is established, it becomes the guard and protection of all inferior abuses… the last… to  promote a spirit of reform… all the parts have such a common dependence, that it is never expected that they will attack each other.  

Though I think it mean in any man to live upon the public, the vice originates in the government; …  it is the master fraud which shelters all others.

… man were he not corrupted by governments, is naturally the friend of man, … human nature is not of itself vicious.    

Government ought to be as much open to improvements as anything which appertains to man, instead of which it has been monopolized from age to age, by the most ignorant and vicious of the human race.   Need we any other proof of their wretched management, than the excess of taxes and debt with which every nation groans, and the quarrels into which they have precipitated the world?  

Progressive taxes are a European notion for redistribution of Monarchial and Aristocratic wealth that was stolen by conquest and passed down by inheritance.  It is inappropriate in America.  Except perhaps if applied to rich politicians, the equivalent of aristocracy lol.