RIGHTS OF MAN
pursuit of happiness is really an aspect of
liberty and so does not need stating except
for one very important point.
the reason why man requires liberty.
specific reason stated is the pursuit of happiness.
That is, a person's own goals, his or her own life.
It is a statement that man lives for his own sake,
not for the sake of others. This was
a very profound recognition by the founding
fathers of America.
the pursuit of happiness it could be argued that
yes, man needs to have
life - that's obvious; yes, he needs more
freedom - nobody would deny that. Why? So that
he may more easily engage in altruism and sacrifice
to others of course!
the rights of life, liberty and property were
not just plucked out of the air - a floating
set of demands. Firstly notice what they all
have in common.
place no demands on others. They
do not insist that others sacrifice themselves
to satisfy your rights.
they are little more than injunctions to be left
I were to be asked by the government what they
could do to improve my life, I would
please, please just
leave me alone. Get out of my life, get your
tentacles out of my business, get your prying
eyes, your spies, your enforcers, your bureaucrats
and your monitoring systems off my case. Stop
looting me, stop regulating me, stop interfering
three rights also have one other important thing
in common. All three things (life, liberty and
property) are nothing more than a statement of
the fundamental requirements for a man's survival,
as man. They reduce to the following statement:
need my rational mind in order to survive
as a man. My alternative is to survive as
animal, or half-man, half-animal. I
have a right to survive as a man, using
fundamental right is the right to use your rational
mind, which is your primary tool of
survival. It is your right to survive, not just
like a brain-dead vegetable, but as a person,
and it is this right which statists will attack
by any means at their disposal.
The practice or doctrine of giving a centralized
government control over economic planning and
attack on any one of the three basic rights is
an attack on your right to exist as a man or
woman, through using your rational mind.
of your life is the ultimate act of destruction
against your rational mind. After death, no further
action is possible.
must be free in order to exercise your rational
mind. If force is used against you, then you
are immobilised until the force is removed. Partial
force immobilises you partially, making you less
than human. If you are imprisoned, restrained
or your life-efforts looted then your rational
mind is constricted down to a smaller version
of what it might be.
product of your rational mind is wealth. If you
are not allowed to keep your own property, then
the efforts of your mind become pointless.
is little point in allowing Einstein his life
and his liberty but confiscating and burning
each page of his notes as he completes them!
rational person can operate like this because
in order to survive, man's goals must be
long-range. Unlike an animal, he cannot simply
survive from meal
Long-range goals imply freedom
of thought and action.
imply the accumulation of property,
possessions and money to act as a buffer
against life and to fulfil man's primary directive
- to be happy for himself, for his own reasons,
for his own ends.
are several important things about rights - real
rights, as described above.
You either have rights or you don't.
there can be no watered-down half measure in
which sometimes you are allowed your own rights,
but at other times you are not; such occasions
to be determined by government whim.
you believe that man has the right to exist as
or you believe he is a worker ant in a socialist
colony to be used and disposed of by the current
masters. You are either a free man,
or a slave. Being whipped by the master only
on alternate Tuesdays, does not make you a
The function of the government is
to protect "individual rights". That
should be its only function.
word "individual" means one solitary man or woman.
Therefore in such a society (which we do not
have) there can be no such thing as "group
"aboriginal rights", "womens
rights", "gay rights"
or "ethnic minority rights".
would be redundant terms.
If every individual's
rights are protected, you have no need of group
What more could they achieve? It would be
like saying: "All people have a right to eat
food of their choice", and then having achieved
right, starting a movement demanding that
lesbians be given the right to eat the food of
choice too. This is already covered by the
"group rights" activists are either campaigning
for the basic human rights listed above (in which
case they should be campaigning on behalf of
all men and women) or they are screaming
for the unearned - the extortion of
loot, favours, values or special treatment from
one hard working, value creating section
of the population, to be given, unearned, to
the campaigning minority. Most often it is some
mixed up mess containing both.
Because force is the most basic way of violating
rights, any civilised society renounces
the use of individual force, and hands this power (the
ability to initiate force) over to a
power - the power of destruction - should be
there solely to protect
the rights of individuals.
government that uses this force to harry, cajole,
and oppress individuals is a force for pure
are beyond mere evil if they use this weapon
to destroy man's basic rights by, say:
Looting property through force without recompense,
b) Arbitrarily passing laws to limit man's reasonable
pursuit of happiness.
c) Restricting liberty by passing thousands of
it will come as no surprise to you to learn that
the government is your deadliest enemy
in your pursuit of wealth.
bandit, no robber, no hoodlum will ever inflict
one thousandth of the damage
on your wealth which the government will inflict
will not change the system. That is not the point
of this discussion. The point is that you
need to recognise the anti-life, anti-business,
society you inhabit and then to discover your
own internal set of principles which allow you
to carry on the struggle.
must hold a firm moral belief in your own
such a belief, you will be crippled by the current
destructive philosophy which surrounds you. You
cannot hope to escape this philosophy - the philosophy
of altruism - because it is everywhere. Every
news article, every TV programme, every film
you watch will espouse one or other version of
this. Your only hope is to recognise it for what
it is, and then to hold the contrary opinion
firmly in your mind, if not in public.
importantly, if you sign up for any version of
socialism in your mind, then you are a dead person,
financially. Your beliefs will undercut your
wealth-creating efforts. In effect you will be
engaged in an activity which secretly you despise
and think is evil on some level. This cannot
continue and you will find yourself sabotaging
your own efforts. You need to decide, right now,
what your philosophical position is.
succeed, you need to be right up the Laissez-faire
Capitalism end of the spectrum and as far away
as possible from the Communist end.
above is an excerpt taken from Chapter 1, "Seven
Secrets of the Millionaires" by Stuart Goldsmith.