The 9-12 Project of Central PA

"You Are NOT Alone!"

LIBERTY was the subject of the videos and discussion at our August 2010 meeting. I had prepared notes and discussions for that meeting, but time did not permit all of the information to be presented at the meeting. So, I am posting my notes and ideas here, for the benefit of everyone.



"Anti-Tyranny Rhetoric"

First I want to address the term “anti-government rhetoric”, used by the media today, when discussing the principles of the Freedom movement. As usual, they hope to brand us as a bunch of anarchists, for the purpose of marginalizing us, and reducing our influence. None of us are against government. Our principles state that government is necessary, and laws are necessary to protect the Lives, Liberty and Property of its citizens. Liberty cannot exist without these things.

We are against tyranny, by which I mean the use of government to force any individual to live by the standards of another, usually to the detriment of the individual being forced, and the benefit of the other. Thus, the term that should be used in the media, were they to be fair, is “anti-tyranny rhetoric”.



Introduction

Things seem to have become very complicated. We are faced with many levels of government. We are faced with laws that consume thousands of pages, and a court system which produces inconsistent rulings. We are taught about the balance of power between the three branches of government, but that balance never operates to restrain government. We are assaulted with myriad issues, and for every issue, we are presented with two sides each claiming to have the best solution.

There is one simple principle by which any action can be judged. By pulling us into endless arguments over the merits of their solutions, or how many other people agree with those solutions, both sides have diverted our attention from the principle that our government was founded on. Liberty.



Definition of Liberty

The complexity of government has hidden from us many truths about the founding of this country. What powers do the courts really have? What are rights? What does it really mean that here, the people are sovereign? Is our only power to control our government expressed through elections? What is Liberty? Is it really true that too much Liberty is a bad thing?

This complexity serves only those who wish to expand the power of government. If you do not know the answers to these questions, then the people in government can more easily control you.

In my opinion, Liberty is the most important concept. An understanding of the concept "Liberty" leads to an understanding of Rights, Responsibilities, and the role of Government. It leads you to realize that what we are taught in school is not entirely true, and that there must be more that has been hidden.

According to Webster's, the definitions of Liberty are: (1) The quality or state of being free. (2) The Power to do as one pleases. (3) Freedom from arbitrary or despotic control.

We can list many things that are clearly not Liberty: Slavery, Tyranny, Despotism, Theft, Oppression, Terror, Murder. In each case where you can think of something that is not Liberty, they all share one common property: Coercive Force.

A slave would not remain a slave without his master's use of Force. A Tyrant could not rule without Force.

Liberty is not complicated. It is really quite simple. This simple definition says it all:

Liberty is the absence of initiated Coercive Force.

From this simple statement, you can learn everything about Liberty.



Coercive Force and the Principles of Liberty

Coercive Force is the initiation of force, the threat of force, deception, or any other method to cause a person to act against his will, to prevent him from acting or to deprive him of his life or property.

If another person initiates Coercive Force against you, you are justified in using force to defend yourself from that person. Defense of yourself or others is the only justification for the use of force. Because Laws are necessary to protect everyone's Liberty, we extend to government our power to use Force in our Defence. But, in doing so we retain that power for ourselves.

It does not matter whether the person initiating coercive force is from another country, attempting to invade your lands, a fellow citizen acting as a criminal, or a member of your own government acting as a Tyrant. In all cases, the initiation of coercive force is the antithesis of Liberty, and any person attempting to do so is an enemy of Liberty. The use of force by government for any purpose other than to protect the Life, Liberty, or Property of its citizens is a perversion of power we have granted them.


Liberty is a principle. History has shown that the acceptance of that principle by any group of people results in the advancement of civilization, wealth, and technology. The rejection of this principle results in decline, poverty, and despotism.

Acceptance of Liberty means the recognition that many solutions may exist to a problem. You can argue or debate as to which is best – but no one, not even those in government, can force their view on others. The first person to use force has lost the argument.

Under a system based on Liberty, more than one solution to a problem may be tried. Nobody is coerced into participating in a solution they don't believe in. The solution that works best will attract more followers, who will accept that solution of their own free will. If every single person except one agrees that a particular solution is best, they are free to participate in that solution, and the one is free to ignore it. Anyone who claims that their solution requires the forced participation of anyone else is really saying that their solution will only work under Tyranny.

To force someone else's mind to conform to your own view is a cruel and immoral act. Taking one's property is theft. Forcing someone to work on behalf of another person is slavery. These facts remain true, whether the people doing these deeds are foreign invaders, criminals in the street, rulers born into the royal family, dictators who rose to power through force of arms and -yes- even if they are government officials elected by majority vote. There is no magic in any process of choosing a government that transforms these acts from immoral to moral, from evil to good, or that by some contortion of logic somehow make us more free.



A Country Founded in Liberty

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it,

The founders of this country believed that each of us, every human being on the planet today has an unalienable right to Liberty. Unalienable means inseparable – no person, law or government can take away that right. They fought and died so that their descendants could have that freedom.

The principles I describe here continue to echo to this day, in the pledge we all recite to our flag:

“One Nation, Under God, with Liberty and Justice for All”

We pledge allegiance to the flag, and in turn, we expect our Nation to fulfill its promise of Liberty!

And, the principle of Liberty is heard in our National Anthem:

“Oh say! Does that star-spangled banner yet wave, over the land of the free, and the home of the brave!”

Are we still the land of the free? Do we citizens still have the bravery to defend our freedom?



How are we to defend our Liberty?

It has become clear to me that the mechanism to defend our Liberty does not lie in the political process or in the Supreme Court. People have voted for Republicans, Democrats, or third-party candidates for their entire lives. They have written, phoned, and emailed their representatives, and even confronted them personally, yet the country continues its relentless march toward totalitarianism.



Will the Supreme Court protect our Liberty?

Case after case is heard before the Supreme Court, who continues to churn out decisions, that share no consistent principles. The Supreme Court has inadvertently become an ideological battleground, with each side trying to get more of their own appointed to the court.

The Supreme Court created this problem for themselves. Our founders, who believed in the concept of unalienable rights, never intended that those rights would be subject to the opinions 5 out of 9 politically-appointed judges. If this were true, our rights would not be unalienable – all the government would need to do to suppress our rights would be to wait until the correct set of 5 people are on the court, and then start passing laws that restrict speech, gun rights, or anything else they want!

If anyone tries to challenge such laws in court, the government can remain confident that their 5 appointed judges will rule the laws "constitutional", in the process adding a veil of legitimacy to something that is really an unjust and criminal act.

Once this is done, even a change in the make-up of the Supreme Court would not serve to protect our rights. The opponents of freedom will hide behind the concept of Stare Decisis, which says that judges must respect the decisions of their predecessors.

It makes no sense that the court would have the power to rule that a law is "constitutional". Such a power is clearly inconsistent with the concept of unalienable rights.



Can we protect our Liberty by electing the right people?

The founding principles of this country state that your Liberty belongs to you, not to the political process. As hard as we work through that system, hoping to bring about Liberty, the collectivists will work to continue to use that system against us. We will never win, because collectivism appeals to a greater number of people. The majority will always vote themselves bread and circus at the expense of the minority, and our Republic is supposed to protect us from that. The best we can achieve through the existing system are temporary victories, followed by a long-term erosion of our rights.



Can we protect our Liberty through force?

The solution also does not lie in the initiation of force. Remember that the initiation of force is the antithesis of Liberty. People who love Liberty are a peaceful people who wish no harm to anyone, and will use force only in defense.



So how do we defend our Liberty?

Successful attempts to reduce the power of government, and to claim liberty for the citizens have occurred in history. The Roman monarchy was replaced in 509 BC with a Constitutional Republic. In 1215, King John's subjects forced him to sign the famous Magna Carta. And, of course, in 1776 freedom-loving Americans signed our own Declaration of Independence from the King of England.

In every case, the common thread was that the subjects made it clear to their rulers that they were prepared to use force, if necessary, to defend their rights. In every case, a despotic government was replaced with a structure of law, designed to limit the powers of government, and thus expand the liberty of the citizens.

And, finally, in every case, that structure was slowly eroded over time, as government slowly abandoned those principles of that structure that were inconvenient to the rulers. The Roman Republic lasted 376 years, the Magna Carta was virtually legislated out of existence 645 years later, and the US Constitution is hanging by a thread, 223 years after its adoption.

We are living through a cycle that has repeated itself many times throughout history. This cycle leads only to one place. Out of all of these historical cases, America's story is closest to the ideal of Liberty. If we allow this cycle to continue, we have only ourselves to blame, as we watch Liberty fade from the pages of history.

The solution will come only when we reclaim our powers – when freedom-loving people stand up and make it clear that we will no longer allow these abuses of government, and that we will defend our Liberty with every mechanism at our disposal, including Force. When I say Force I do not mean violence. I mean force justly used in defense of our Liberty, our Property, and our Lives.

I sincerely hope that such force will not be needed. And I did say “every mechanism at our disposal”. I also mean other mechanisms – in the past we have discussed the powers of Jury Nullification, Grand Juries, and of the Sheriff that exist to protect your liberty. We are working to educate people about these powers, and we need your help! However, even if we are successful in our efforts, these powers will lie, unused and useless, unless one other thing happens – Americans start openly disobeying unjust laws. Civil disobedience, backed by an understanding of the mechanisms that exist to defend your rights, by the willingness to defend yourself and others, and by a willingness to challenge your own comfort zone are the way to defend our Liberty. History, and the words of our founders, show that this is true.

When this happens, it will be an event that will be recorded in history as a turning point – equivalent to the Magna Carta, or our own Declaration of Independence. It will be recorded as the moment when the United States of America rediscovered Liberty.

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