Saturday, April 11, 2009

It's Your Life

Your life is your property. It's not mine. It's not your neighbor's or your spouse's. It's not your God's, your preacher's or your governor's. It does not belong to Barack Obama any more than it belongs to Kim Jong Il. And if it doesn't belong to Obama, it surely doesn't belong to Sarkozy or Brown or Medvedev or any of the other supposed leaders of this world who keep yapping at our heels to give more and more, to sacrifice ourselves to the lowest common denominator, to abandon our independence and enslave ourselves to a self-proclaimed new world order which seeks only to compound the problems of today by magnifying them tomorrow.

The argument has always gone that we haven't done enough. What if we've already been doing too much? What if the smug certainty of our politicians is actually misplaced? After all, are they economists? Are they historians? Are they philosophers? How deeply have they thought about the current crisis? Or are they simply parroting what their economics advisors, steeped in Keynesnianism have told them? Are they simply parroting what their philosophy teachers steeped in Kant have told them? Are they simply parroting what their law professors steeped in moral relativism have told them?

The root issue, the key, the crux upon which the entire scope of the major problems in the world today hinge is one pivotal issue: Do you have the right to your own life? Ask any proponent of central banking. Ask any advocate of public education. Ask any idealogue who advocates any social program where the fundamental and underlying premise is that your life belongs not to you, but to the state and that the state has the right to your life, that they have the right to do anything they want to you as long as they have the blessed "mandate of governance". Ask these people, "Do you have the right to your own life?" Ask them. And they will evade and dodge, and badger, and become indignant. But if you can actually get them to answer that question straight out, the answer will be "No". I've seen this many times, the desperate scramble to evade answering a simple yes or no question. Also, the horror of that single-syllable answer.

Because what does it mean if you do not have the right to your own life? It means that noone does. It means that anyone can be dealt with by others in any way. It means, in effect, that there is no objective standard by which to conceive of justice. It means, in effect, that there is no objective standard by which to conceive of morality.

But there is an objective standard of morality: your own life. What makes it harder to survive as is befitting a human being--this is the evil. What makes it easier to survive as is befitting a human being--this is the good. Life and Death are the simplest moral choices at the base of one's morality. Do you want to live? Or, do you want to die? If you decided to live, then all the things which make that life worth living become values to you. Your children, your family, clean air, and water, working hard to reap the products of that work to gain food and clothes for your family, so that they can live and generate life and so on. Life is an end in itself. Happiness is the consequence of a moral life in that the moral life optimizes one's realization of life. As one philosopher put it, "Happiness is enough to make life desirable and lacking in nothing." But the same philosopher also said, "The unexamined life is not worth living."

Happiness is not achieved by range of the moment actions, based simply on the arbitrary desires of the moment. Happiness is only attainable by examining the consequences of a plan of action over the span of one's entire life. It does not mean a state of prolonged and constant euphoria. It means self-esteem, self-respect, and the contentment that comes from honest living.

But implicit in the realization of happiness is that you are free to decide how your life shall be lived. Implicit in the realization of morality is that you be free to be moral. If you are not free to decide what ideas to support, to dispose of the fruits of your labor as would best suit your personal self-interests, if, in short, you are not free to work for your own good, then you are not free. If you are not free, you cannot be happy. If you are not free, you cannot be moral or immoral. If you are not free, then you are only a slave. If you do not have a right to your own life, then you are only a slave. If nobody has a right to their own lives, then everybody is a slave to the majority opinion holder of the moment and everyone must live in fear that the next majority wave of opinion will target them as the scapegoat to be sacrificed to the mob.

The founders of the United States of America understood this interconnectedness of happiness, freedom, morality, economy, and politics. The one failing was that they compromised on the moral principles and sought to justify the American system on altruistic grounds, on the principle that the justification for such a system is the good of the many. The true justification of the American system is that it rests not on the good of the many, but on the good of the one--you and what is good for you, yourself. Human rights cannot be held by any collective, because any collective is simply a group of individual human beings. If individual human beings do not have rights, then the group also has no rights. Human rights are inalienable, they are independent of the will of the mob, or of individual power holders. Thus, in the American system, political power holders must subordinate their actions within the limits proscribed by the doctrine of human rights. Conversely, American citizens should be free to do whatever they like unless it is expressly prohibited by a doctrine of human rights.

To adhere to a doctrine of human rights is to constrain the politicians and to liberate mankind. To reverse this is to turn politicians into Gods and humanity into slaves.

Your life is your property. If there are no property rights, there is no right to life. If you surrender your right to life, it is the same as committing suicide, a long slow suicide where the killing stroke will come at an arbitrary time and an arbitrary place. If you surrender your right to life, you surrender all the values that come with it. Justice, Freedom, Security....you cannot have one without the others.

Don't surrender your right to life any longer. Demand that the government commit to a doctrine based on the rights of the individual as opposed to the right of mob rule. Instead of forming increasingly expansive world governmental organizations, demand that the governments at home recognize individual rights and act to preserve them. There is too much lip service to rights, and too much sacrifice of them on the altar of a vague and unspecified "good" which we will never see, and our children are expected to slave to pay for. Enough of the political expediency of cake today, and poverty tomorrow. Enough of the sacrifice of the generations to come for some unseen benefit today. Demand your freedom and your rights. Demand the right to hold property, to dispose of it as you will. Demand the right for you to run your own life. Demand that your life is your own and noone else's to arbitrarily dictate to. Demand your right to yourself.

And if you hold that you do not have the right to your own life....kill yourself, and get out of the way of those who want to live.

3 comments:

Sandra Miller Linhart said...

Thank you for sharing your words and thoughts. Excellent article.

Greyproc said...

Sandra made me read this. I'm glad she did. Well-written.

Personally, though, I'm pushing for forced euthanasia. Sometimes, people just need a bit of help to do the necessary thing.

American Anti-theist said...

Thank you both for your support. Believe me, I understand your frustration. But all joking aside, I should perhaps emphasize that I don't actually advocate that people should die to enact change, simply that people look at where their values will lead them & hopefully that will motivate them to change their values. After all the point in writing is to say, "Wait a minute, you're killing yourself, stop it!" not that people who think differently should die. I'm sure you already understood the spirit in which I meant the article, but I wouldn't want other viewers to fixate on the wrong message. I look forward to your future comments.