Thoughts, essays, and writings on Liberty. Written by the heirs of Patrick Henry.

“Capitalism and communism stand at opposite poles. Their essential difference is this: The communist, seeing the rich man and his fine home, says: 'No man should have so much.' The capitalist, seeing the same thing, says: 'All men should have as much.'”     Phelps Adams

November 17, 2009

We are not a Democracy, we are a Republic

by Chris

This is as succinct, and as masterful a description of the relationship between the rights of man, and the government of a free state, as I have yet seen.

“I cannot, and will not, consent that the majority of any republican State may, in any way, rightfully restrict the humblest citizen of the United States in the free exercise of any one of his natural rights,” which are “those rights common to all men, and to protect which, not to confer, all good governments are instituted.

John A. Bingham (Judge, Congressman, and the principal author of the 14th amendment)

As quoted in the Appellants brief in McDonald v. City of Chicago(my emphasis added).

All too often one hears men say ‘the constitution gives us the right” or even “the government gives us the right”.

This is simply false. Governments cannot confer rights on someone. Rights are those things that are common to all men. Those things that we have, and which cannot be taken away from us but by force, fraud, or willing consent.

Governments exist, for the sole purpose of protecting and furthering those rights; and no other.

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2 Comments

  1. I guess today that would be an extreme position. Therefore it should be dismissed without a 2nd thought. /s

    Comment by Norm — November 17, 2009 @ 10:20 pm
  2. Ah, would it be possible to return to those 19th century Democrats who followed Jefferson, instead of the 20th century Democrats who have found a home with Rousseau and Marx, as cited in THE CHANGING FACE OF DEMOCRATS on Amazon and claysamerica.com. The early Democrats were the first, real libertarians the world has ever known.

    Comment by Clay Barham — November 18, 2009 @ 10:33 am

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