Monday, April 18, 2005

Column on FDR's Phony Rights (updated)

Roosevelt?s Phony Rights
Tibor R. Machan
April 12th was the anniversary of FDR?s inglorious death, from ailments
largely hidden from the public in a pattern of deception that has now
become all too closely associated with America?s political leadership. But
that?s nothing compared to the deception perpetrated upon the American
people via Roosevelt?s list of phony rights, a list that forever corrupted
the ideas of the American Founders.
Roosevelt unhesitatingly referred to this list as "a second Bill of
Rights under which a new basis of security and prosperity can be
established for all regardless of station, race or creed." Here is what
was part of the list simply cannot be upheld as true, as a list rights
that makes good sense:
"The right to a useful and remunerative job in the industries or shops or
farms or mines of the nation.? Well, if we do have such a right, then
others must be forced to employ us, thus subjecting them all to
involuntary servitude.
"The right to earn enough to provide adequate food and clothing and
recreation.? Once gain, such a right would require it of government, which
the Founders identified as having been instituted so as to ?secure? our
?unalienable rights to life, liberty, etc.,? to violate those very rights.
Instead of leaving us be free, having such rights means government must
coerce us into laboring for others.
"The right of every farmer to raise and sell his products at a return
which will give him and his family a decent living.? This, too, means the
farmer must be provided with customers, willing or unwilling. But that
means the customers are not free to choose what they will buy for
themselves but must do the bidding of the farmers.
"The right of every businessman, large and small, to trade in an
atmosphere of freedom from unfair competition and domination by monopolies
at home or abroad.? By claiming a right to ?unfair competition,? FDR
insisted on a cadre of market supervisors, a squad of police state
officers empowered to decide for people in the market what is or is not
fair, which is simply an impossible task and gives those police state
officers vast arbitrary powers over other people.
"The right of every family to a decent home.? OK, so this decent home, if
it is everyone?s right, will have to be secured on the backs of other
people who may have other projects they choose to pursue instead of
providing decent homes for the rest of us. Free men and women ought never
to be made to produce goods or services for other people, not if that?s
not what they choose to do. That is their own task, however difficult it
may be.
"The right to adequate medical care and the opportunity to achieve and
enjoy good health.? No way to do this without enslaving a great many of us
to serve other people, to do so against our own free will, thus once again
violating our right to liberty.
"The right to adequate protection from the economic fears of old age,
sickness, accident and unemployment.? This, too, is something all of us
ought to provide for ourselves, not extract at the point of the gun from
others. Our right to liberty is, in part, to be respected and protected so
that we may all strive to provide for ourselves and if we are unable to
do, to seek help from others, not by forcible but peaceful means.
"The right to a good education." It is our parents, who chose to bring us
into this world, who should be securing our education, and after that we
ourselves by either paying for or investing in our education or by
convincing, not coercing, others to do this for us if we cannot. Yes,
Virginia, public education is itself a forcible transfer program of
resources and services unbecoming of free men and women.
The plain truth is that all these phony rights of FDR and his supporters,
many of them going very strong today in law schools and political
philosophy departments across the country, indeed all over the world via
the UN?s adoption of the list, have helped to systematically abrogate our
genuine, bona fide unalienable rights, rights that are the conditions of
our freedom and of a free society.
No, Roosevelt?s phony rights must be given up for what they are, a
nightmare of political privileges which made it OK for government to grow
into the Leviathan it now is.

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