Saturday, December 26, 2009

Open Letter to My Fellow Americans

Dear Fellow Americans.

I have been presented with an interesting argument recently.  The argument's premise is that the government can sieze your property/income in the name of national defense, to fight wars.  Therefore, it is no less proper to sieze your property/income in the name of health care or bailing the nation out of a national crisis.

If you are a person who accepts this argument, I would like for you to consider some questions:
  • what are rights?  what is the relationship of rights to reason for the existence of government.
  • what is the relationship between rights/freedom (to life, liberty, property) and your ability to pursue your happiness?
  • what is the principle that prevents the government from seizing all of your earnings?  is it their good will?  is it that a majority would get upset?  do they have a right to do it?  
  • can the government do anything it wishes so long as a majority of the people agree?  can it choose to put people to death without due process of law?  can it choose to sieze all of the belongings of a person and enslave them?  if not, why not?  if so, what rights do you really have?
  • A war can have a clear definition.  If some so-called "war" can't clearly defined with clear enemies and boundaries (i.e. War on Drugs, War on Terror), can it really be said to be a war? 
  • An emergency, too, can be clearly or ill defined.  Who is to determine what constitutes an emergency?  a majority vote? what may the government do during a properly defined emergency that it may not normally do?  May fundamental rights be abridged or discarded?
Bottom line:  If you life and the product of your work your can be seized and redistributed to another person (no matter what their need) without your permission, you don't have a right to life or liberty.  If you don't have those, you exist by permission and by the arbitrary grace of those who control the machinery of government.  The term for this is tyranny.

What is the cure?  A government limited by principles (rights).  A system of objective laws (if it can't be clearly and unambiguously identified, it cannot be made law).  What is this system called:

Good day,

Francis Luong