LIFE – LIBERTY – PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS!…repeat in a loud authoritative voice, preferably with a cymbal crash to accent the exclamation point.
Inalienable rights according to our hallowed document…inherent…endowed…God given. However, the discussion gets mushy due to lack of definition. Let’s skip the last two for now because, they seem to be more subjective.
My thoughts are that if one has a right to his life, that must mean he has ownership of his life. Further distilling that, it means the right to survival…the right to do what it takes in order to survive. Immediately, the devil’s advocate will find a thousand complexities. So maybe, we will have to add a clause of the libertarian bent and say, one has the right to do what it takes to survive without committing violence or aggression toward others. That seems workable as long as there is enough food and material for shelter around. And some bits of compassion and benevolence would surely help. Basics.
If there is not enough food and means for shelter, one would be best served to move on. i.e. the right to travel. That’s a huge question, does ownership of your life, the right of survival include the right to travel?
Remember that airline ad that says “You are now free to move about the country”? In truth, it would be more like “You are now free to move about some defined and regulated borders as long as your papers are in order and you have enough of the currency that is mandated by the State”. Now, if you do some research in to the “right to travel”, you will find stuff going back to English, Common Law that has to do with individuals having the right to move along public thoroughfares or highways and, it’s often used in Freeman/Sovereign Citizen arguments. But, if we are entertaining the thought that someone has an inalienable right to survival and thus, a right to travel, it would preclude constructs (man made intangible entities) such as English Law and even borders.
This is all relevant because of all the news and hysteria about the Exodus that is impacting Europe right now. Speculation grows feverishly on a daily basis that emigration may destroy the E.U., thrust Germany in to civil war or anarchy and root causes such as unstable oppressive governments, American intervention, drought and natural disasters (due to climate change) foreshadow that the problem will only grow exponentially.What to do what to do?
Many nations, of course, uphold long standing open arms policies to immigrants that are seeking to escape oppression as a means of survival (the compassion/benevolence component). However, when the perception is that the influx is too great or the imminent threat is that it will all get way out of hand, on the Draconian side the answer is to totally close the borders, less so would be to appoint an arbitrary entity to declare whether the prospective immigrants make a valid case…in other words “these people surely could survive in their homeland, maybe not in the manner that they would like but, they can survive” (and another way would be declaring emigration as a security threat which, is either and/or both).
Now right here is where we get in to some interesting stuff. If we refer back to those alleged inalienable rights, we also have the right to Liberty and to Pursue Happiness (I realize that on one hand I’m talking about Europe and the EU and on the other, invoking our hallowed document but, “inalienable” implies an across the board theory) . The theory is that these rights are not granted by the State, my State or your State, they exist inherently for every individual. Both liberty and the pursuit of happiness imply that one not only has the right to do what it takes to survive, they also have the right to better their life. Can a State deny the right to travel if, that right includes the right to better one’s life?
We are also, when we speak of a right to improve life, getting in to areas like the right to acquire property and exchange property, goods and labor (a market). Ironically, the State, by closing a border or arbitrarily deciding the validity of an individual’s right to survival, is doing so on a property rights basis…”this is our property and we deny your infringement”.
Going further down that path, in reality, property rights appear to be for States rather than individuals. For instance, in the U.S. the government is by far the largest landholder, your deed lists you as tenant and, if you don’t pay your rent (tax), your property gets repossessed.
The crux of this discussion is, if inalienable rights exist, they exist for all. It could be that, if these emigrants had the rights to liberty and the pursuit of happiness, they wouldn’t be exercising the right to travel en masse. It must be pointed out, as a friend so deftly pointed it out to me the other day, we must address the reality of megalomania. To that end, we must not only look at the regimes these people are fleeing, we must also look at American intervention, Global intervention (including the IMF, World Bank and UN) and the notion that we are supporting coercion. Or, if it’s more pleasant for you, just believe in the stupidity of FaceBook meme type of thinking that promotes the notion that more than a million people, so far, have decided to put themselves in harm’s way by traveling hundreds/thousands of miles on foot, exposing themselves to the elements in order to impose Sharia law.
It seems as though blogging peaked in the mid-aughts for, no doubt, a variety of reasons.
I personally feel restricted by the social media options…like my thought process needs to include constant editing in order to participate.
So, I’m going to give this another shot, a fresh start.
I see this as a place to expound my thoughts, not a place to optimize smart phone user experiences, shill products, aggregate links, drive traffic or, to specialize content within a narrow topic range in order to place higher in search engines.
I’m not making it a goal to furiously update and post daily.
Just a place to expound.
Feel free to join me and expound as well. Commence.