I posted the following on Goodreads on October 3, 2009 (message 10 here):
1. This is the rationale for the existence of the US government: To remove the use of force from citizen interactions so that individuals may deal with each other only by reason and persuasion, citizens delegate their right to self-defense to their government.
2. The USA's fundamentals:
----the individual's life belongs to him (individual rights)
---- the government’s only function is to ensure every individual’s freedom
3. A right is that which can be exercised without anyone's permission. Rights are rights to action, not to man-made values.
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — …"
"Rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add 'within the limits of the law' because law is often but the tyrant's will, and always so when it violates the rights of the individual." - Thomas Jefferson4. The entity that has a monopoly on coercive power must not intervene in any other realm (e.g. moral & intellectual (e.g. production & trade)) because this defeats the purpose of the self-defense delegation:
---- it injects the use of force into interactions, and only one party has the legal power of "Do what you're ordered to do, or else": the government
---- the rights-protector must, at all times, be an impartial referee; thus it cannot be a player and a referee at the same time
5. The principle of individual rights mandates the:
---- separation of church and state
---- separation of state and economics
---- separation of state and education
---- separation of state and science
---- separation of state and arts
6. What independent equals delegate to their government is their right to self-defense - this means that the government has no right to interfere in the intellectual and moral life of its citizens. It is not the government's function to protect a citizen from himself or from nature.
The Declaration of Independence mandates absolute freedom in all realms not involving the use of force delegated to prevent, counteract, defeat, and punish fraud and the initiation of force.
The Police Force and Criminal Courts prevent rights-infringers from defrauding, robbing, or physically harming citizens; they apprehend and prosecute rights-infringers; the Civil Courts resolve civil disputes; the Armed Forces prevent, repel, and defeat foreign aggression. Government functions other than these subvert the Declaration of Independence because they involve using force against innocent citizens.
Men are independent equals with inalienable rights to pursue happiness. Having no slaves, each man is responsible for sustaining his own life. The government has no right to extort in order to provide goods or services for its citizens’ sustenance. The government has no right to infringe the inalienable rights of citizens who do not attempt to defraud, rob, or physically harm other people.
7. Citizens cannot delegate a right they do not possess – hence, the government has no right to regulate inherent inalienable Rights, including the rights of individuals who hold that selfishness is a virtue.
Wealth has to be created or earned. If an individual does not share his creations or earnings, he is not infringing anyone's rights. No one has a right to one's property except the owner. A law mandating its disposition is a stick-up. A government could call it taxation, regulation, or nationalization, but any honest man recognizes its nature: it is legalized armed robbery. Honesty shines light on the fact that as it is a crime for an individual to rob or loot, it is a crime for a government to expropriate the property of any of its citizens.