Liberty or equality 139

We enjoy reading Mike Adams, and see eye-to-eye with him on many political issues.

Where we do not agree with him – as with the otherwise admirable Ann Coulter – is on religion.

Well, we’re atheist conservatives and they are Christians, so that’s no surprise.

Today in an article in Townhall titled ‘Liberty and Tyranny’ – well worth reading in full – Mike Adams criticizes statism, progressivism, and the left’s ideal of equality. We share his views on them. Then he comes to the question of ‘rights’.

He asks ‘a serious question: If rights are not bestowed by a Creator, then under what conditions do they exist? In other words, who bestows them?’

The answer is nobody unless the state. A right can only be granted in law. Because we do not believe in a supernatural lawmaker, a Creator of our universe and us, we do not accept the idea of ‘human rights’ at all, or of ‘natural rights’.

We prefer to say that we human beings are – or ought to be – FREE to do whatever we choose provided we break no laws. Law sets limits on our freedom, and should do so rationally and equally.

Nobody’s ‘right’ whether in sentiment or law should ever impose an obligation on another person, except the obligation of restraint. Whoever it was who said, ‘the freedom of your fist ends where my nose begins,’ expressed it perfectly. A list of rights according to Franklin Roosevelt – as quoted by Adams – includes: a right to a useful and remunerative job and a wage adequate to provide food and clothing and recreation; a farmer’s right sell his produce for enough to give him a decent living; everyone’s right to a home, medical care, pensions, education and more. It is an endorsement of the Marxist notion: ‘to each according to his need’. Those who hold to that creed believe that a man should receive in exchange for something he sells – his labor, an artifact, or whatever he offers – the payment that he wants.

But our wants are limitless, while the value of what we have to sell is not.

Only the free market can determine value. A buyer will pay as much as the thing he is buying is worth to him. The more buyers who want the thing on offer, the higher the price will be.

The only alternative to economic freedom is distribution by tyrannical government. A government that arbitrarily distributes the wealth of the people is by definition a tyranny.

You can never have liberty and equality. The choice is between freedom and equality. (By which we mean economic equality: equality before the law is essential to freedom.)

In freedom, if an individual wants to earn more, he can do so by providing more and better goods and services. That is to say, we assess our needs for ourselves and work as well as we can to get the money to pay for them: which could be summed up as ‘from each according to his need’.

Will we get as much as we want? That will depend on our individual ability.

So we reverse the Marxist tag ‘from each according to his ability and to each according to his need,’ and make ours, ‘from each according to his need and to each according to his ability.’

The market will decide the reward. All we can do is our best. We have no ‘right’ to demand handouts from others on the grounds that we ‘need’ what they have.

To put it another way, socialism is theft.

Posted under Articles, Commentary, Judaism, Muslims by Jillian Becker on Wednesday, May 6, 2009

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