Liberty or Laws? – Natural Rights versus Civil Rights

Liberty or Laws?
Natural Rights versus Civil Rights

Gary Hunt

Outpost of Freedom
January 22, 2017

We must understand the difference between Natural Rights, those inherent in the people, and Civil Rights, those given to the People.  If we fail to do so, we participate in our own demise.

The concept of rule by those chosen by God, as claimed by the royalty of the past, where the royalty of Europe claimed to be descendants from God, and ruled by virtue of that sovereign nature.  When the United States of America declared their Independence from that concept, to the philosophical concept of the right of man to rule himself evolved, they moved into a Great Experiment.  Though this political philosophy had existed for hundreds of years, our Founders were the first to put this new form of government into practice.

Natural Rights are based on the concept that every man has a right to the fundamental necessities of life; those being Life, Liberty, and Property.  Thomas Jefferson, in writing the Declaration of Independence, chose to be poetic, substituting “pursuit of Happiness” for Property, though the many declarations that preceded the eventual Declaration of Independence were based upon Property, as defined by Locke and other early political philosophers.  Happiness is a consequence of possessing Life, Liberty, and Property.  It is not a tangible right, rather, a derivative, of those Natural Rights.  Jefferson, as Locke, had recognized that the purpose of government was to secure those rights.  It was no longer the rights of the king, From July 4, 1776 on, those rights became, truly, the Rights of the People.

The Constitution began the process of securing those rights, though few are mentioned in that Document.  Let’s look at those so secured:

  • “Authors and Inventors [have] the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries.”  {I:8:8}
  • An Accused has the right to the “Trial of all Crimes…  [which] shall be by Jury”.  {III:2:3}
  • Finally, “The Privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in Cases of Rebellion or Invasion the public Safety may require it.”  {I:9:2}

Now, some might question whether the third, Habeas Corpus, is a right.  The word “Privilege”, as used in the Constitution, is a right that can, under certain circumstances, by revoked.  Those circumstances are clearly stated, being “Cases of Rebellion or Invasion”, and no other.

Many of the Founders felt that it was insufficient not to protect those Rights, further.  Two states, North Carolina and Massachusetts, did not ratify the Constitution until after the Bill of Rights was submitted to the States for ratification.  Massachusetts would not ratify the Constitution until after the Bill of Rights was ratified.

In fact, the protection of those Natural Rights was so important that it was presented to the States for ratification complete with a Preamble, indicating the reason why the proposed amendments were being presented to the States:

The Conventions of a number of the States, having at the time of their adopting the Constitution, expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added: And as extending the ground of public confidence in the Government, will best ensure the beneficent ends of its institution.

So, let’s look at the Rights secured by that document intended to “prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers“:

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First Amendment.  Congress could make no law:

  • respecting an establishment of religion
  • abridging the freedom of speech
  • abridging… the freedom of the press
  • abridging the right… of the people peaceably to assemble
  • abridging the… right of the people… to petition the Government for a redress of grievances

Second Amendment.

  • the right of the people to keep and bear Arms

Fourth Amendment.

  • The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated
  • no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Fifth Amendment.

  • No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury
  • nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb
  • nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself
  • nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law
  • nor shall private property be taken for public use without just compensation.

Sixth Amendment.

  • In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed
  • the right… to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation
  • the right… to be confronted with the witnesses against him
  • the right… to have compulsory process for obtaining Witnesses in his favor
  • the right… to have the assistance of counsel for his defence.

Seventh Amendment.

  • In Suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved
  • no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise reexamined in any Court of the United States.

Eighth Amendment.

  • Excessive bail shall not be required
  • nor excessive fines imposed
  • nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

Ninth Amendment.

  • The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

Tenth Amendment.

  • The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

By the Ninth Amendment, we see that those not enumerated are to be retained by us.  In addition, by the Tenth, we see that if the government is not given an authority, that the state or we retain authority.

Other rights granted by subsequent Amendments include: The Fifteenth Amendment, granting the right to vote, regardless of “race, color, or previous condition of servitude”; The Nineteenth Amendment, granting women’s suffrage; The Twenty-Fourth Amendment, assuring the right to vote not be restricted by “any poll tax or other tax”; And, the Twenty-Sixth Amendment, setting the age at which one could vote to eighteen years of age.  None of these, imposed upon another’s Natural Rights.

So, we have a clear understanding of the Natural Rights, the basis of a life without submission, except where necessary, to the control of the government .And, of all of those Rights, only those that provide for a Jury o a Grand Jury, would impose on others to be secure for us.  However, they are reciprocal.  If I am imposed upon to serve on a Jury on your behalf, then you might well be imposed upon to serve on a jury, on my behalf.

So, we see that the general nature of Natural Rights is that they stand-alone.  They are ours, to do with as we please, so long as we don’t impose upon another — with the two exceptions requiring juries.

Now, let’s look at Civil Rights.  “Civil”, in the context of common usage when equated to Rights, is “of the nation”, or any lesser level of government.  In a proper setting, they may be a means of assuring or protecting, someone’s Natural Rights.  However, the government has opted to go one step, or often many steps, further.  Since the individual can exercise natural rights, we can look at those enumerated above.  They do not include the right to impose your right upon another, at the expense of another.  You do not have a right to a job.  A job is an agreement between two parties, where one offers, and another accepts.  It also has inherent to it the contractual “meeting of the minds”.  If I agree to work for $10.00 per hour, then, I must receive my $10.00 for every hour worked.  However, I must perform the tasks that I agreed to, or the contract is null and void — unless we meet with our minds, once again — effectively renewing a revised contract.  Likewise, if I think I am worth more than $10.00 hour, I can “meet minds” with the boss, and if he agrees, then we decide what I am worth.  However, if we do not agree, then, we remain at the rate previously agreed to, or I go elsewhere, establish a more satisfactory arrangement, and enter a new contract with another.

When the government says that the employer must pay me $15.00 an hour, they have denied the employer’s Natural Right.  They have extended my “right” beyond the realm of Natural, and by so doing, they have denied the employer his Natural Right to contract with whomever he chooses.

The government’s intrusion into “rights” began with the 14th Amendment, where federal authority was extended beyond those enumerated powers and authorities; those very same ones mentioned in the Tenth Amendment.

However, in the mid-1960s, a new era of “civil rights” was begun.  It was the beginning of an abandonment of the great gift, the Constitution, that the Founders intended when they wrote, “to secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity”, in the Preamble to the Constitution.  That same Preamble makes clear the purpose that our government was created for, to “establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, [and] promote the general Welfare.”  Now, if we look closely at the wording, it is to “provide for the common defence”, but limits the next phrase, to “promote the general Welfare”.  To “provide” is an authority to do something.  To “promote” is limited to encouragement, or providing the means by which it can be accomplished, well short of mandating something.

So, where does nature, say, grant the right to live wherever you want, if that property is owned by another who chooses not to contract with you?  Where does nature grant you the right to eat whatever you want, unless you work to the extent necessary, either by hunting or by exchange of services, to earn something that requires more effort to earn and eat?  Where does nature say that you deserve more medical care than you are willing to earn for yourself?  You can see that these are just a few of the “civil rights” that they government has foisted upon the workers, the doers, the earners, so that those unwilling to do for themselves can have “privileges” equal to the former.

If a “right” takes from one to give to another, if by direct imposition, such as a law requiring that one MUST contract when he chooses not to.  Or, by the government, through taxation of any form, taking from one to give to another, whether cash or goods, it is not a power or an authority that was granted to the government by the Constitution.

In more simple terms, “civil rights” are a poor excuse to justify socialism, and our Constitution grants no power or authority for the government to conduct such activity.  Such is well beyond the intent of the Founders, and, if continued, will ultimately lead to the economic demise of the government.

Unless we hold the government to obedience to the Constitution, rather than allowing the government to hold us to laws that are not within the authority granted by that Constitution, we become players in the demise of the country we profess to hold so dear.

One Comment

  1. Civil privileges are for people that have been made merchandise by men of ill repute and purposes.
    Well written ty.
    I myself am leary of pleaing for any other rights either,, I am too busy doing my Duties to and for God at least while in the midst of this crooked and perverse nation state,,
    And I am the one that Homeland could not arrest during The Malhuer Seven Trial because Multnomah county would not Process, photo or touch or hold me for them because neither State/county nor feds want me and My Attorney, The most Wonderful Counsellor in or out of this world to speak in their courts of record where Truth and Righteousness spoils their game and convicts them of worse sins than they accuse the sons of God of. Ambassador David.

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