Friday, August 25, 2006

Ayn Rand and Property 'rights' Vs. THE FIRST LAW OF NATURE....

Ayn Rand had written:
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"Without property rights, no other rights are possible."
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And it is a statement that I've always disagreed with. In my honest opinion, Rand was incorrect in use of natural reasoning in that statement. Sure, you may own a piece of property, at least here in the U.S. you can, if you have the money. However, if you have not the means of protecting it, can it not be readily taken from you? What would you have then? Are you not back to being only in possession of that which is truly yours and yours only - your life? So then, logic would thusly dictate that the first priority is life. Along with the means of defending that which is yours by right, which includes not only life, but liberty and property.
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To illustrate the point;
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It has been reported that Jesus of Nazereth had said "When a strong man armed, keepeth his palace, his goods are in peace” in Luke 11:21. Do you suppose Jesus was speaking of a physical palace? Or could He, as so often He had, been employing the use of a parable? Consider when He had stated "If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him." And "For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also."
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The point is clearly made by Samuel Adams and Benjamin Franklin when they had noted, in their collaborative work titled 'The Rights of the Colonists';
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"Among the natural rights of the Colonists are these: FIRST, a right to life; SECONDLY, to liberty; Thirdly, to property; together with the right to support and defend them in the best manner they can. These are evident branches of, rather than deductions from, the duty of self-preservation, commonly called the first law of nature."
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It should be quite evident, that without the first two, the last is either unattainable. Or, cannot be retained for long without the means of effective defense. For, as in the realm of nature, where only the strong, fast or wise survive. Is it not altogether possible that one which is stronger than you, can come at their will, and take what is yours? (Including government, whose actual duty it is to secure our liberties?). Unless of course you have the means and will-power, to defend that which is yours. And this is where one of the true intentions of Amendment II of the Bill of Rights enters the picture....
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Here is the PERFECT description of the original intent of Amendment II:
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"Knowing of the war when she left Jamaica, & that our coast was lined with small French privateers, she armed for her defence, & took one of those commissions usually called letters of marque. She arrived here safely without having had any rencounter of any sort. Can it be necessary to say that a merchant vessel is not a privateer? That tho' she has arms to defend herself in time of war, in the course of her regular commerce, this no more makes her a privateer, than a husbandman following his plough, in time of war, with a KNIFE or PISTOL in his pocket, is thereby made a soldier?"
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- Thomas Jefferson, letter to Gouverneur Morris, 08/16/1793.
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Now, since the U.S. Constitution was founded on "the great principle of self-preservation; to the TRANSCENDENT law of nature and of nature's God..." - James Madison, Federalist #43
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What is of more value in the eyes of God? A plot of dirt with a building on it? Or, a persons life?
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Think Jesus answered that one as well;
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"For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? - Matthew 16:26

2 comments:

Strehlem said...

I'll take a shot at this Ayn Rand quote...I've always thought she was the Anne Coulter of her time! I know she was not hot on God, but I think this'll work if we substitute "nature" for "God."

One possesses the life granted unto them by God. What one does with that life is a choice; thereby inferring ownership of one's self, one's work and/or the property generated therefrom; and ownership of the life begat from that life - at least until the age of maturity. If one is denied those choices and that ownership, then one's "life" no longer exists, with mere survival ensuing - not a "Human" condition.

"To Survive is Not Enough!"
-Ronin, Bladesman of Freehold -
From The Sunset Warrior by Eric Van Lustbader

Bastiat posited that life, property, and liberty did not exist because of law; rather, it was precisely because these things already existed that law came to be.

In any event, my life does not exist until I choose to own it, and exercise property rights over my existence - self-determination, creation, acquisition of power, knowledge, fame, or the reverse...as my ("my" denoting ownership and responsibility) choice!

Scripture suggests that God owns us all, but until we avail ourselves of the "Choice" to receive him, we have not accepted the opportunity to live a full and "Human" life...

Sorry, got a little long-winded, but thought it was worth it...

E. David Quammen said...

No reason to be sorry at all bud. It is good to take in different angles of view.

When I write, it is almost always in the form of what I perceive to be the ideal. Have been somewhat of an idealist my whole life. Not that I've come even remotely close to living up to the ideals that I espouse, mind you. Although I do try to follow them. (Which is a whole other topic in itself).