22A021 Freedom's Firm Foundation by Jim Davies, 5/24/2022
Underlying every edition of this Blog is, I hope, the premise that each human being is the rightful owner of his own life. Since it can not be refuted, that premise is properly called an "axiom" - hence, the Self Ownership Axiom, or SOA.
Can it be refuted? No. Reason: the instant you engage the brain and prepare to speak or reach for the keyboard to attempt a refutation, you implicitly grant the truth you are hoping explicitly to refute. If you are not the owner of that brain, those vocal chords, those fingers, how dare you employ them for that (or any other) purpose, without the express permission of the owner? And since you can't obtain such permission or even determine who your owner is, that's impossible.
Further, if hypothetically there were some such external owner, how did he acquire title to you? Given that he denies he even owns himself, how can he possibly become owner of anyone else? Hence again, the SOA. It's rock-solid, irrefutable. The implications are vast.
So, the right to own and operate your own life is the one fundamental right that you and I and everyone else, individually, possesses. It's priceless. And implicit in it is its single limitation: the one thing we cannot do is to interfere in the life and choices of anyone else, because that right belongs to him. This is not an external limit of some kind; but implicit; it follows directly from the SOA itself.
Nor is it transcendental (as I once mistakenly believed) or a matter of faith in some way; it is objective, because it cannot be refuted. You are human, so you own your own life by right.
So, you (and everyone else) are the sole owner of your body and all its components; your brain, your voice, your muscles, etc etc; and so, of your labor, which takes place when they are put into action. Nobody may (by right) invade or take away any part of you, and you may not do so with anyone else. It's a perfect, rational basis for ethics. It happens to conflict very little with Commandments 5 thru 10, but no god is required to form them.
Consider a few implications. First, because you own exclusively your labor, you also own whatever you may choose to exchange it for; wages, payments in contract, etc. Hence no third party may (by right!) intervene and take away any part of those earnings; they are yours, just as your body is yours.
That doesn't mean you have no obligations - but it does mean you have none that you did not willingly choose to undertake; so it means that all taxation is theft. In turn, that means that it's impossible for government to exist... by right; for it can only do so if funded by that theft.
Notice, this is not an opinion or just a debatable idea; it's axiomatic. By reason derived from an irrefutable premise, all government is invalid. Its very existence, whether harsh, mild, Left or Right, grossly violates human nature itself.
Since your voice (and fingers on a keyboard, around a pen...) are exclusively yours, nobody may rightfully limit what you say; speech is therefore 100% free. Nobody is obliged to listen, but nobody can rightfully limit your expression.
Since the whole of your body is yours, nobody may rightfully compel a female to bring a pregnancy to term, or not. That sometimes agonizing decision is hers alone. Until the fetus is outside a body, it is part of that body - as much as an arm or leg.
Since your mind is exclusively yours, nobody may rightfully control it with compelled indoctrination at their "schools" or other places of "education." You alone are entitled to enhance it with increased knowledge and understanding, and as a child you may well choose to accept parental advice about that; and as a parent, you alone are entitled to form that advice and choose how to help.
Since your physical strength and attributes are yours alone, you may choose to use them in defense of yourself or others in need, but nobody has any right to compel you to employ them to fight for them or their causes. The notion that any kind of military "duty" exists is pure humbug. You owe the world nothing, and the world owes you nothing - not even a living. Sorry about that; but you don't owe anyone else a living, either. You may choose to donate one, but you have no such obligation.
Do we have the right to property, to own things? - of course; they were exchanged for your labor, and your labor is yours, so the property is yours.
All this is hornbook human nature. It's what we are. It may in the present badly distorted culture be unfamiliar, but it's very simple. Where it conflicts with that culture and "official" viewpoints and laws, those viewpoints and laws are wrong, and we are right. You or I might be the only one of a hundred who can see it, but the other 99 are wrong; because the SOA is irrefutable.
The graphic nearby comes from The Philosophy of Liberty, a short video well worth watching.
From kindergarten up, the culture bombards us all with ideas that deny the SOA. No man is an island, we are told. We are our brother's keeper, we are told. Our identity is keyed to our skin color, we are told. Together we can do anything, we are told. Acts of kindness, which of course any self-owner can take as often as he wishes, are sometimes said to be obligations, even required by law! With punishment if neglected! Such compelled charity is of course not charity at all, because charity (caritas) is one of the great aspects of love, and if love is obligatory it isn't love.
The notion that everyone is responsible for the care of everyone else is impossible nonsense, yet it permeates most of what government and media thrust upon us every day. The great philosopher Ayn Rand called it "collectivism." In that view, each of us is merely a cog in the great machinery of the State. The über-Fascist Mussolini proudly proposed “All within the state, nothing outside the state, nothing against the state.” His Nazi pal to the North favored (as plank #24 of the NSDAP program) "THE COMMON INTEREST OVER INDIVIDUAL INTEREST" with caps in the original. Marxism is based on the same idea; we meet it everywhere. And it's dead wrong, for the SOA is irrefutable.