“As ye sow…” by Robert Gore
The United States’ founding documents pay tribute to individual rights and private properly. Some of the founders may have thought they were establishing a government subordinated to protection of individual rights, which would have been an historical first. However, none thought such a government would be easy to maintain, and their fears were borne out.
The US government places prominently on the inglorious list of governments claiming ownership over everything within their dominion, defined as any place where they can exercise their coercive power.
To those who say the institution of inviolate private property still exists in the US, what asset can the US government not seize? The income tax gives it first claim on income. No real estate is exempt from eminent domain. Intellectual property claims are at the sufferance of the patent, trademark, and copyright authorities. Financial assets held within the banking system can be “bailed in,” and plans are afoot to ban cash. The already extensive range of assets subjected to civil asset forfeiture continues to expand. More ominously, assets can be seized from parties never adjudicated guilty. Conscription grants to the government the lives of the conscripted. The US government is no exception to the general rule, nothing is inviolate expect perhaps a person’s thoughts, and undoubtedly it’s working on that.
Individuals who assert the right to initiate aggression against whomever they choose are philosophically unhinged, candidates for an asylum or a penitentiary. Rejecting the first principle that must guide human interaction—that no one may rightfully initiate force against another person—such individuals have no rational foundation for their thoughts or actions. The “garbage in” of their philosophical premises produces “garbage out” emotional states, mental processes, and ultimately, lives. Having abandoned reason for coercion and violence, reality becomes a chaotic, incomprehensible void.
Governments’ coercive power allow them to take: might makes right. A philosophy that recognized a right of some individuals to steal from others fails on first principles; there is no logical distinction possible between the privileged and the subjugated. Does the aggregation of individuals into a unit which calling itself a government give them a right which none of them have individually? One could say that the aggregate was for the protection of its constituents’ persons, property, and rights, but a government so limited is acting as their constituents’ subordinate agent, exercising and enhancing their right of self-defense. Efforts have been made, notably the American experiment, but no government has ever been restricted in this manner.