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The Rights of Man

What are the inalienable rights of man?

Briefly, they are life, liberty and property.

Scroll down to learn who is your deadliest enemy in the pursuit of freedom, happiness and wealth.



The pursuit of happiness is really an aspect of liberty and so does not need stating except for one very important point.
It describes the reason why man requires liberty.

The 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.

Without 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!

Now 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.

They place no demands on others. They do not insist that others sacrifice themselves to satisfy your rights.

Ultimately they are little more than injunctions to be left alone.

If I were to be asked by the government what they could do to improve my life, I would unhesitatingly say:

"Please, 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 with me."

These 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:

"I need my rational mind in order to survive as a man. My alternative is to survive as an animal, or half-man, half-animal. I have a right to survive as a man, using my essential, given nature."

The 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 physically, like a brain-dead vegetable, but as a person, and it is this right which statists will attack by any means at their disposal.

[stat·ism: The practice or doctrine of giving a centralized government control over economic planning and policy.]

An 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.


Removal of your life is the ultimate act of destruction against your rational mind. After death, no further action is possible.


You 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.


The 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.

There is little point in allowing Einstein his life and his liberty but confiscating and burning each page of his notes as he completes them!

No 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 to meal.

Long-range goals imply freedom of thought and action.

They 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.

There are several important things about rights - real rights, as described above.

1. You either have rights or you don't.

Philosophically, 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.

Either you believe that man has the right to exist as man, 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 free man.

2. The function of the government is to protect "individual rights". That should be its only function.

The 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 rights", "aboriginal rights", "womens rights", "gay rights" or "ethnic minority rights".

These would be redundant terms.

If every individual's rights are protected, you have no need of group rights. What more could they achieve? It would be like saying: "All people have a right to eat the food of their choice", and then having achieved this right, starting a movement demanding that lesbians be given the right to eat the food of their choice too. This is already covered by the concept of individual rights.

Most "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 sort of crazy, mixed up mess containing both.

3. 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 dispassionate government.

This power - the power of destruction - should be there solely to protect the rights of individuals.

Any government that uses this force to harry, cajole, intimidate and oppress individuals is a force for pure evil.

They are beyond mere evil if they use this weapon to destroy man's basic rights by, say:

a) 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 victimless laws.

So it will come as no surprise to you to learn that the government is your deadliest enemy in your pursuit of wealth.

No bandit, no robber, no hoodlum will ever inflict one thousandth of the damage on your wealth which the government will inflict upon you!

You 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, anti-wealth society you inhabit and then to discover your own internal set of principles which allow you to carry on the struggle.

You must hold a firm moral belief in your own goodness.

Without 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.

Most 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.

To 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.

The above is an excerpt taken from Chapter 1, "Seven Secrets of the Millionaires" by Stuart Goldsmith.

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