This, I believe
Copyright © 2001 By Ray Thomas
I AM AN INDIVIDUAL
As an individual, I was born possessing certain rights, not necessarily granted by God or by any government or other individual. These rights are mine by the mere fact of my birth and cannot legally be taken from me by any group or individual. They are the same rights I would have if I lived alone on a desert island. No one has the right to take from me a single one of them, individually or collectively. To do so as an individual would be theft. To do so as a group (as government) would also be theft although it would be called "redistribution of wealth" (mine) and they would make laws or "regulations" to con us into believing it was legal.
I BELIEVE: That I have the absolute right to live my life unmolested by the wishes and demands of others who think their "need" is a "demand" upon my earnings or my property and that they have the right to tell me what I may or may not do "for my own good." They are no better than I and no more intelligent. It is not anyone else's right to tell me what I may do.
I BELIEVE: That I am capable of, and have the absolute right to make my own decisions about all things pertaining to me and I do not abdicate my right to do so to anybody or any group.
I BELIEVE: That I have the absolute right to do anything I wish, any time I wish, so long as in doing so I do not interfere with any other individual's rights, damage his or her property, or cause harm to any innocent person. Any law or (unlegislated) regulation that denies me that right is illegal under natural law and thus has no existence.
I BELIEVE: That nobody, including the government, has the right to take what I have sweated and earned and give it to someone who has not earned it. Conversely, I believe that I do not have the right to make a claim on the earnings of others because of my own "need." My only right in this case is to earn my own way. To keep what I've earned so that I may trade it for those things I need with someone who wishes to have what I can provide and is willing to offer equal value in return.
I BELIEVE: That no one has the right to loot my estate when I die, to steal my legacy from my loved ones, taking a large part of what I have spent my lifetime earning so they can give it to those who will not earn their own.
I BELIEVE: That no one, not the government, nor any individual, has the right to a minute of my time without payment, nor to a single possession of mine without having traded equal value for it.
I BELIEVE: That I have the absolute right to practice my profession without being forced to pay "tribute" to anybody. That right is mine and I should not have to pay someone else to secure rights that are nor theirs to grant. The right to work and earn one's living unencumbered by the demands of others is one of the most basic human rights. The power to withhold that right (to license it) is to hold the power of life or death over me by refusing me the right to earn my own way. No one should have such power over another.
I BELIEVE: That I do not live to serve the government or any other individual. The government exists to serve me and every other individual within its borders. It is subservient to those individuals under the Constitution. When we want to cut taxes they always ask: "How are we going to pay for it?" as if all the money belonged to them. But when they want to raise taxes they always say: "It's only a penny or two more," and never ask how we're going to pay for it.
I BELIEVE: That the money I work so hard to earn and the products and services such work produces do not belong to the government to dispose of as it chooses. They are my property. They are mine to dispose of as I please, and for my own benefit. Anybody (government or individual) who takes this money or property from me without offering equal value in return is stealing from me.
I BELIEVE: That is it my decision whether or not I will volunteer my time and/or money in the service of others. To think otherwise is to advocate slavery. I will volunteer for those causes which I (and I alone) agree are good ones and will contribute to those charities I believe to be doing good work. It is no one's right to demand that I do so for those with which I do not agree. "Mandatory volunteerism" is a contradiction in terms. I will not be told to "volunteer."
I BELIEVE: That I have the absolute right to defend myself against those who would harm me or steal my possessions. I further believe that I have the right to own and use those tools that are required for me to be able to do so and to use them against all those who attempt to harm me or those I hold dear, or to steal my belongings by whatever means. These birthrights are recognized (not granted) by the Constitution of the United States.
I BELIEVE: That I have the absolute right to control the dissemination of personal information about myself and that no government has the right to keep a file on me so long as I have not been convicted of a criminal act. For any government agency to do so is to violate one of the most basic of my birthrights.
I BELIEVE: That I have the absolute right to do those things that others believe might harm me in spite of their wish to "protect me from myself." I'm a big boy now and I am capable of making my own decisions. I don't need a "nanny" to keep me from hurting myself and no one has the right to be my "nanny" without my permission. If I hurt myself it is no one's concern but my own. And don't give me that garbage about "higher medical costs" because of my "wrong decisions." If I kill myself through my own ignorance that'll be that much less the government will have to pay me out of that Social Security or Medicare pyramid scheme. Besides: the government has already stolen much more from me than I could ever recover in higher medical costs paid by them.
As an individual with certain absolute birthrights I also have certain responsibilities to others. Among them are:
THE RESPONSIBILITY to produce more, in my lifetime, than I consume. In doing so I will have created additional wealth to the benefit of society as a whole rather than be a drain on society as are those who will not work to support themselves and insist that we do so for them.
THE RESPONSIBILITY to treat others with respect and refrain from demanding that others to supply me with things I am capable of providing for myself.
THE RESPONSIBILITY to recognize the same rights as belonging to others.
There are many more rights and responsibilities than I can list here. But these are the basic ones and should be the same for you --- unless you covet what is mine and wish to have it without the necessity of working to earn it. In that case I say: "You can't have it. It belongs to me."