In 1776 Thomas Jefferson courageously offered in his Declaration of Independence certain fundamental, timeless principles regarding all men and their coexistence with one another: each individual’s inalienable right to his own life, to his own liberty, and to the pursuit of his own happiness. This historically unprecedented declaration inspired the establishment of a nation based on the recognition of individual rights and, as their necessary corollary, property rights, wherein property is privately owned. Tragically, many of Mr. Jefferson’s successors have ignored that an individual’s rights are inalienable — that is, that nothing in the universe ever supersedes them.

Tragically, many of Mr. Jefferson’s successors have ignored that an individual’s rights are inalienable — that is, that nothing in the universe ever supersedes them.

These successors helped inculcate in Americans and enact into their government an anti-rights philosophy. One that regards the individual’s liberty as not a birthright nor inalienable, but that which government permits him to possess and which he must dutifully give recompense for through his sacrificial service to others. Allegedly, his life belongs to his “community,” “society,” America — anyone but himself.

It is this morality of self-sacrifice that tribal chiefs, kings, religionists, philosophers, and dictators demanded of people, from the dawn of man to the Pharaohs to Attila to King George III to Stalin, Hitler, Mao and to those who rule today in Bosnia. It is the enshrinment of this morality that is the fundamental cause of all the injustices and horrors committed by these and lesser power-lusters, and of the erosion of America’s liberties.

And you too sanction this morality whenever you explicitly or implicitly uphold that Americans must “give something back” to their communities, to society, to America, for the “privilege” of liberty and the opportunities it has created. In other words, individuals must sacrifice for others as payment for liberty and the opportunities made possible — by whom? By America’s producers; by the money government taxed, i.e., coerced, from them.

These successors helped inculcate in Americans and enact into their government an anti-rights philosophy.

Americans must understand that each individual’s life, liberty and property are that which no other person has any moral claim on. When government uses its legal monopoly on coercion to force individuals to be a means to the ends of others, whether it be for children, “the poor,” embryos and fetuses, businessmen, religionists, farmers, “the environment,” minorities, majorities, or any other group or entity, that then violates the inalienable individual rights of all Americans in favor of a slave system.

Liberty is each individual’s right; a necessity to life that is inborn — not a “privilege” permitted to him by an allegedly benevolent government. Liberty is that which a proper government must protect and secure — not force individuals to sacrifice for in order to keep. Government’s only proper, objective function is to protect each individual from physical force or fraud, so that they are secure to *pursue* their life’s requirements. It is not to be the initiator of these injustices, as when it forces some to pursue and provide the happiness of others.

Liberty doesn’t grow on trees, nor is it to be taken for granted. Its price is to learn, uphold and practice consistently the universal, timeless principles that form and strengthen it: individual rights, individualism, and rational self-interest. Even trees rot and die if they’re not properly kept; thus, these essential, priceless nutrients of liberty must never be mixed with the poisons of sacrifice and statism.

Liberty is each individual’s right; a necessity to life that is inborn — not a “privilege” permitted to him by an allegedly benevolent government.

Independence Day must henceforth be the primary day to demand a return to America’s original, fundamental principles. Within such an individual rights- respecting nation I have a rational self-interest in voluntarily financing the military, the police, and courts that uphold objective laws, with their purposes being to protect my rights from foreign and domestic initiators of physical force and from defrauders and violators of contracts. Government services such as roads, libraries, parks, post offices, for example, must all become privately owned and subject to the laws of supply and demand, i.e., laissez faire capitalism. Thereafter, I will voluntarily pay for services I need and be free from the government coercion that forces me to finance those that are useless to me. All Americans will be free of any legal duty to finance what others value and be free to voluntarily trade with (or give their property to) whomever and/or whatever they value.

Every individual’s life, liberty and property belong to themselves; no one has a moral claim on them. Our government must reestablish this philosophy. America is perishing from an orgy of self-sacrificing.

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Joseph Kellard

Joseph Kellard is a journalist living in New York. To read more of Mr. Kellard's commentary, visit his website The American Individualist at americanindividualist.blogspot.com.

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