One the French idea as in their 1789 Rights of Man. “The principle of all sovereignty resides essentially in the nation. No body nor individual may exercise any authority which does not proceed directly from the nation,” it states. “Law is the expression of the general will.”
An extension of this principal is the belief that liberals espouse. The purpose of the government is to make laws benefiting society.
The other idea came from the same era and was the founding idea of the formation of this country. John Adams said it best in the Declaration of the Rights of the Inhabitants of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, ratified in 1780. "All men are born free and equal, and have certain natural, essential, and unalienable rights; among which may be reckoned the right of enjoying and defending their lives and liberties; that of acquiring, possessing, and protecting property; in fine, that of seeking and obtaining their safety and happiness."
The extension of this principal is the belief that libertarians (and some conservatives) espouse. The purpose of the government is to secure these individual rights.
I believe if we continue to allow or government to make rules that benefit society at the expense of individual rights, we will have neither the benefit to society nor individual rights. The "great society" program of LBJ is a perfect example, instead of less poverty and better living conditions, we have more poverty, more broken families, and have had to throw billions more dollars then ever projected.
Look at all the state bills, resolutions, and laws that have been introduced in the past year, to support thier 10th amendment rights. Google search the news, CLICK HERE, and there are pages and pages of links to current references.
The States are starting to push back; the people are starting to push back. If rights are unalienable and people are free to pursue happiness and secure their own safety, where does the government get the right to force individuals to pay for the security of those who have chosen not to pursue their own safety and security?
“Life isn't fair, get over it.” ~ Bill Gates
The rule of law is applied equally to every individual, and all individuals have the right to better themselves to the best of their ability. Because everybody doesn’t have the same natural talents, abilities, circumstances the outcome of exercising liberty and freedom will not be equal. It’s not fair that I, a 5’7” 180# out of shape white guy and can’t get a job as a professional football player. Why should Warrick Dunn, who is a 5’8” 180# black guy, extremely athletic, and worked very hard every day to make himself one of the best at what he does, worked hard at marketing himself, worked hard at entertaining millions of people, be allowed to have a career I could never have? Why is it fair that he has better insurance, cars, housing, access to better education for his kids, than I do. Should Warrick Dunn have to give me his car, his house, pay for my sons to go to college? Of course that’s a stupid idea; what right do I or anybody else have to his property. Warrick Dunn has the riches, fame, and security that he earned for himself and his family in the pursuit of his own happiness by being allowed freedom and liberty.
He should be free to use the fruits of his labor the way he chooses. Like all liberty loving people who have been successful, Mr. Dunn knows and understands that the voluntary help and hard work of his mother, and of others who know it is best to voluntarily help their neighbors. Ask any of the single mothers who now have a fully furnished house because of Warrick Dunn if they would rather live in government housing. He personally does more to help society without government force than the government could ever do if they took his money and redistributed it. Warrick Dunn foundation
Every person should be free to pursue happiness, it is the choices people make in their lives that determine where they end up. If you don’t know Warrick Dunn’s story find it and read about it. His growing up and circumstances weren’t fair, but the choices he made, benefited himself, and through the pursuit of what he thought would make him happy has benefited all of society.
A government that secures individual rights will produce of Warrick Dunn’s, Bill Gates’, Henry Ford’s, Carnegie’s, and other successful people who will offer jobs, charity, and support for those less fortunate. There are hundreds of individuals in this country whose stories of generosity are world famous. Maybe it’s just my American naivety, but I can’t think of a French entrepreneur in recent history whose know for his generosity, nor a Cuban for that matter. Over and over again the people of this country have and do show their generosity, voluntarily, to those less fortunate. The private response after Katrina, the Tsunami, etc. shows that the people of this country will take care of those who through no fault of their own are in trouble.
A government whose purpose is to make laws that benefit society, socialism, like France, China, and Cuba results in death and suffering for all of society. France had tens thousands of people die from a heat wave, similar heat waves in the USA do not produce such death. China purposefully starved tens of millions of its people to benefit society. Cuba went from being one of the wealthiest islands in the Caribbean to being a poor, third world hole, whose people routinely try to escape.
I leave you with two fundamental questions. What do you believe is the purpose of government? and Do individuals have the right to protect their unalienable rights?