In my last post, I explored the topic of tyranny of the masses. This has often been the downfall to democratic societies throughout history. It is due to this that some anticipated the eventual failure of the American experiment at its outset.
In a society where you have “government of the people, by the people, for the people” (see Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address), the government possesses no rights except those that are delegated to it by the free individuals that make up the society. Any right the individual does not possess cannot be delegated to the collective government.
This means that government — us collectively as a society — has two strict limitations. First, it has no rights beyond those of the individuals in the society. Second, those rights are limited to those that the individuals in the society have actually delegated to the collective government.
Government simply has no legitimacy beyond these two limitations. Whenever government exceeds these limitations, it engages in tyranny.
For example, the individual does not have the right to murder, but an individual does have a right to protect life and property, even to the extent of taking the life of another in certain situations. An individual does not have a right to rob or steal, but an individual does have a right to require that contract obligations be met. An individual has no right to require that others submit to his/her demands, except as specified under agreements freely entered into.
Likewise, a government does not have a right to murder, but does have a right to protect life and property, extending in some instances to the taking of life. A government does not have a right to rob or steal, but it does have a right to enforce contract obligations. But does government have a right to require others to submit to its demands outside of freewill agreements?
The following 8-minute video clip entitled the Philosophy of Liberty explains the basis and limitations of our individual and group rights.
In my next post I will discuss various disagreements that exist with the world view of the creators of this video.