Monday, July 25, 2016

Subject Vs Citizen

The difference between a Subject and a Citizen is that Subjects just obey the laws of their government, while Citizens make the laws of their governments (as well as obey them). 

One of the things I have noticed, particularly among the more conservative subjects (not citizens), is the tendency to say "you can't make a law that says that because their is no inherent right to...".
The thing is there is no such thing as 'inherent rights'.  Rights are things we grant each other via laws.

When we talk about making, amending, changing, or removing laws we are talking about making, amending, changing or removing rights.

We are talking about how we want people to act in the future, and how government should respond to their actions.

There is nothing that is sacrosanct except what we declare such.  If we are despicable, we could make laws requiring crimes (rape, murder, theft, torture, all the evil stuff).   That is in fact what many of the evil empires of our world have done and still do  (NAZI Germany, Stalin's USSR, the current state of Daesh).

Or we can make laws that allow crimes, but not requiring them.  This is what happens when we do not act, when we try for the laissez faire form of libertarianism.

Or we can choose to do our best to out unethical actions, encouraging and promoting ethical actions.

This is not government over-reach, it is the appropriate actions of a government.

Government over reach is when it stops and prevents ethical actions for one of three reasons:
  1. People in power are hurt by those ethical actions and dislike it (corruption)
  2. People in power are trying to stop real unethical actions, but have written a law too broadly so it catches innocent people (incompetent use of power)
  3. People in power have a personal/religious belief that certain actions are unethical, despite the general consensus disagreeing (abuse of power).
Here are some examples of this type of activity:

When certain states try to stop Tesla's 'no-dealer' business strategy because it hurts the dealers in their state, that's corruption.  It's not government's job to help one business over another.

When the government uses "civil asset forfeiture laws" to take the money of honest, law abiding citizens without any evidence of illegal activity, that's incompetent use of power.

When state legislatures try to prevent legal abortions via abusive regulatory requirements (such as requiring doctors to have admitting privileges or that abortionists meet the requirements of a surgical center) , that's abuse of power.

But when you pass a law to prevent fraudulent/cheating behavior that is designed with loopholes for ethical actions, that's not government over reach.

Citizens have the right to create appropriate laws.  If you think a law is inappropriate, then you need to show how it will either benefit those in power, catch innocent people, or  how the actions it intends to prevents are really ethical.  Simply claiming that 'people have no right to fairness' is not a valid objection.

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