Washington, DC — “War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength.”—George Orwell, 1984.
What is freedom? Where do our rights come from?
Those may seem like easy questions, but as Orwellian doublespeak hits a fever pitch those have become the most important questions one can ask in this day and age.
This month, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) tweeted: “Far from compromising them, vaccine mandates actually further civil liberties. They protect the most vulnerable, people with disabilities and fragile immune systems, children too young to be vaccinated, and communities of color hit hard by the disease.”
The ACLU wrote a piece for The New York Times encouraging more mandates to take the shots. In New York, the data shows that only 13.8 percent of blacks, 14.7 percent of Asians and 20.5 percent of Hispanics/Latinos have taken at least one dose. To the ACLU, forcing the “communities of color” it so claims to want to protect to submit to medical experimentation they do not want to submit to actually furthers their civil liberties.
The same case was made last month by medical “ethicists” Arthur Caplan and Kyle Ferguson for MedPage Today in a piece headlined: “Don’t COVID Vaccine Mandates Actually Promote Freedom?— Those who oppose cracking down on the unvaccinated are getting it all wrong.”
“Freedom-based opposition rests on flawed view of freedom itself. Passports and mandates are hardly ‘strong-arm tactics.’ These strategies are better seen as liberty inducers. They bring about freedom rather than deplete it,” the so-called “ethicists” wrote.
Now, of course the ACLU is a leftist organization which doesn’t promote freedom in the first place while Caplan and Ferguson are part of a medical community that no doubt loves the authoritarian power our government has handed them over the last year and a half.
But it doesn’t stop there. Robert Levy, chairman of the “libertarian” think-tank Cato Institute, wrote for The Hill a “liberty-minded” case for vaccine mandates.
“Punishing aggressive acts that have already caused damage is a routine government function. But it’s more complicated when government compels conduct that might minimize or alleviate future harm. That’s an area of the law — endangerment — where rights theory is difficult to apply. How much increased risk do I have to endure before your potentially malign failure to act can be redressed? When rights theory doesn’t provide adequate guidance, defenders of liberty often look to utilitarian, cost-benefit trade-offs,” Levy wrote.
OK Levy, where does that end? When do utilitarian arguments ever give you authority to usurp the rights of others?
As Ron Paul writes, the slippery slope down that “utilitarian” approach has no end.
“An important objection is that, if government can force people to take a potentially dangerous vaccine to protect against a hypothetical harm to others, the same reasoning would support the imposing of many additional liberty violations,” Paul wrote. “These could include, for example, ‘red flag’ laws and other forms of gun control, restrictions on access to ‘extremist’ ideas, or a system of mass surveillance to prevent possible future acts of violence. The argument that government can use force to prevent hypothetical harms renders restraint on government power meaningless.”
Paul added: “It is imperative that we support the growing resistance to vaccine mandates and vaccine passports. We must also expand the resistance to covid authoritarianism to resistance to all forms of government infringements on liberty.”
So, back to those original questions. The answer is your freedoms are yours because you were created in the image of an Almighty God. Your freedom is the ability to live your life unmolested by others, both from the government and other individuals, so long as you don’t interfere with the freedoms of others. Your rights are given to you by God. If you submit to the idea that your freedoms and rights come by doing what the government or corporations tell you to do, you’re a slave. Freedoms and rights are for the individual, never for collectives. There is no such thing as collective rights.
“Life, faculties, production — in other words, individuality, liberty, property — this is man. And in spite of the cunning of artful political leaders, these three gifts from God precede all human legislation, and are superior to it. Life, liberty, and property do not exist because men have made laws. On the contrary, it was the fact that life, liberty, and property existed beforehand that caused men to make laws in the first place.”—Frédéric Bastiat, The Law.
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