At LewRockwell.com, Judge Andrew Napolitano explains that freedom is under the threat of extinction, and what’s killing it off is government. He writes:
“Freedom is always just one generation away from extinction.”
— Ronald Reagan (1911-2004)
In December 1776, just six months after the Declaration of Independence had been signed and a year and a half into the Revolutionary War, Thomas Paine sensed a desperation throughout the colonies. It prompted him to write a candid and now iconic essay entitled “The American Crisis,” which began with the famous line “These are the times that try men’s souls.” He made a similar argument as Ronald Reagan would 188 years later.
The essence of that argument is that our personal liberties are fragile. Since government is essentially the negation of liberty, government is liberty’s greatest threat. So, we must exercise our freedoms with prudence and courage. We must also do so skeptical of what the government says and does.
Paine and Reagan, and those who risked all to sign the Declaration and fight against England, recognized that our freedoms are natural to us.
Freedom is the right to make personal choices — about religion, speech, association, self-defense, travel, privacy, money, property — without a government permission slip or anyone’s approval. A right is an indefeasible claim against the whole world that all humans possess. Our rights can only be extinguished or denied when we have been convicted by a jury of violating someone else’s rights.
That is, at least, the theory of the Declaration, the theory upon which the colonies seceded from England and the theory upon which the states created the American republic.
Today, our rights can be extinguished or denied and our liberty and property can be taken by politicians and bureaucrats, without a jury trial.
Read more here.
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