Liberty Is Not for Wimps

By Walter E. Williams
Editors Note: AmmoLand News welcomes Walter E.Williams to our growing list of the best and brightest conservative commentators.

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Liberty Is Not for Wimps
Walter E. Williams
Walter E. Williams

USA – -( Most Americans, whether liberal or conservative, Democratic or Republican, do not show much understanding or respect for the principles of personal liberty.

We criticize our political leaders, but we must recognize that their behavior simply reflects the values of people who elected them to office.

That means we are all to blame for greater governmental control over our lives and a decline in personal liberty.

Let me outline some fundamental principles of liberty.

My initial premise is that each of us owns himself. I am my private property, and you are yours. If we accept the notion of self-ownership, then certain acts can be deemed moral or immoral. Murder, rape and theft are immoral because those acts violate private property. Most Americans accept that murder and rape are immoral, but we are ambivalent about theft. Theft can be defined as taking the rightful property of one American and giving it to another, to whom it does not belong. It is also theft to forcibly use one person to serve the purposes of another.

At least two-thirds of federal spending can be described as Congress' taking the rightful property of one American and giving it to another American, to whom it does not belong. So-called mandatory spending totaled $2.45 trillion in 2015. Thus, two-thirds of the federal budget goes toward Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security, food assistance, unemployment and other programs and benefits that fall into the category of taking from some and giving to others.

To condemn legalized theft is not an argument against taxes to finance the constitutionally mandated functions of the federal government; we are all obligated to pay our share of those.

Many say that government spending guarantees one right or another. That's nonsense. True rights exist simultaneously among people. That means the exercise of a right by one person does not impose an obligation on another. In other words, my rights to speech and travel impose no obligations on another except those of noninterference. For Congress to guarantee a right to health care, food assistance or any other good or service whether a person can afford it or not does diminish someone else's rights — namely, their right to their earnings. Congress has no resources of its very own. If Congress gives one person something that he did not earn, it necessarily requires that Congress deprive somebody else of something that he did earn.

Another area in which there is contempt for liberty, most notably on many college campuses, is free speech. The true test of one's commitment to free speech does not come when he permits others to say things with which he agrees. Instead, the true test comes when one permits others to say things with which he disagrees. Colleges lead the nation in attacks on free speech. Some surveys report that over 50 percent of college students want restrictions on speech they find offensive.

Many colleges have complied with their wishes through campus speech codes.

A very difficult liberty pill for many Americans to swallow is freedom of association. As with free speech, the true test for one's commitment to freedom of association does not come when one permits people to voluntarily associate in ways that he deems acceptable. The true test is when he permits people to associate in ways he deems offensive. If a golf club, fraternity or restaurant were not to admit me because I'm a black person, I would find it offensive, but it's every organization's right to associate freely. On the other hand, a public library, public utility or public university does not have a right to refuse me service, because I am a taxpayer.

The bottom line is that it takes a bold person to be for personal liberty, because you have to be able to cope with people saying things and engaging in voluntary acts that you deem offensive. Liberty is not for wimps.

About Walter E.Williams

Walter E. Williams is a professor of economics at George Mason University. Williams is also the author of several books. Among these are The State Against Blacks, later made into a television documentary, America: A Minority Viewpoint, All It Takes Is Guts, South Africa's War Against Capitalism, More Liberty Means Less Government, Liberty Versus The Tyranny of Socialism, and recently his autobiography, Up From The Projects.

  • 16 thoughts on “Liberty Is Not for Wimps

    1. She’s a troll who doesn’t understand what she’s repeating. Been through the government school’s probably on a voluntary free dime stolen from tax fraud Ignore her. Go see if you can find your utopia.

    2. Your personal consent is not required. Living in this country subjects you to it’s laws.
      Then the issue becomes one of which laws are within the scope of the Constitution, as written and intended.

      Public schools are not among them, at least on the Federal level.

      But courts, military, and a couple of others are. Those are the things that taxes legitimately pay for.

      1. “But courts, military, and a couple of others are. Those are the things that taxes legitimately pay for.”

        Why should that theft be legitimate? Do you not understand the incredible death and destruction brought to individuals by that means? Take a look at this:

        Governments and their courts, military have murdered many millions of innocent people just in the 20th century. All paid for with stolen goods from other innocent people. Sounds like a bad plan to me.

        If you want to support that, you certainly can. But don’t include me in your “we.”

    3. “To condemn legalized theft is not an argument against taxes to finance the constitutionally mandated functions of the federal government; we are all obligated to pay our share of those.”

      Total BS… Theft is theft. No person has any obligation to pay for anything against their will. To justify one, leaves the door open to any other.

      I will not knowingly initiate force. I am a self owner, self governor.

      Let the record show that I did not consent to be governed by others. I did not consent to any constitution. I did not consent to any president. I did not consent to any malum prohibita law. I did not consent to the police. Nor any tax. Nor any prohibition of anything. Nor any regulation or licensing of any kind.

      1. Way to go Mama! Well written! I can only find fault in one thing you wrote. The U.S. Constitution, which evidentially you do “not consent to”, is a template for the protection of the individual right to self-govern. Nowhere in its text does it restrict the people’s liberties (freedom) in any way. To the contrary, it only restricts those we hire (elect) and their underlings (bureaucrats, from encroaching upon the people’s “natural rights”. Anyone that truly knows and understands the Founder’s intent, which was for a self-governing society, must stand in solidarity with the U.S. Constitution.

        1. Except it doesn’t work that way. For example, the “constitution” includes provision for government confiscation of private land – and don’t fool yourself that the land owners are compensated. If they resist, they will be captured, caged and even killed. Lots of other such provisions in that document – from the beginning. The “bill of rights” is a toothless thing, with zero real sanctions for government abuse of them. Remember “shall not be infringed?” What government entity is really concerned about that? NONE.

          Anyone is perfectly free to agree to it, of course. But those of us who don’t want anything from the non-voluntary government are held hostage to those who do. The constitution and all of the federalist writings clearly assume that individual liberty is SECOND to central government interests. And the gradual destruction of individual liberty is glaring, conclusive proof of that.

          1. Yes, I agree with you there. But the reason it’s like you correctly point out, is that the federal government, states’ governments and the judiciaries have all bastardized the Founder’s/Constitution’s intent in order to aggrandize and/or enrich themselves and gain power over us. You mention “eminent domain” powers. Yes, the Constitution does allow this in Article I, Sec 8, but for only the following reasons: “To establish Post Offices and post Roads;” and “… for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards and other needful Buildings;”. The only other place in the Constitution it mentions the federal govt. possessing land is too to establish a seat of government “(not exceeding ten Miles square)” in Washington, D.C. All other federal government land holdings are unconstitutional, but for the past century+ we’ve just allowed them to do whatever they want, constitutional or not. We The People have been asleep at the wheel all that time not holding them to their sworn constitutional mandates. They all swear to protect, uphold and defend the Constitution, it’s about time we started making them do it! Sooner or later that will happen. As for the Bill of being “toothless”, it is not. The problem we face there is that lawyers are “officers of the court” and do not represent our best interests any longer. But this I guarantee you: if you can stand up in court for yourself and possess the knowledge to cite the Constitution and SCOTUS case-law (stare decisis) in an action in which no other person has been harmed by your action(s), the court will have to drop any charges against you and pay for wasting your time defending a such frivolous charge. And if they don’t, we all have remedy and recourse in the United States Code (USC) for just such cases.

            1. No liberty is protected by a 240 year old piece of paper. It is foolish to think so. The Leviathan is unrestrained and hungry. The most brutal dictatorship will arise from the smallest of governments. We are living this history as we speak. Prepare accordingly.

      2. All taxation is theft because it is involuntary and enforced with the muzzle of a gun. Only virtuous relationships are characterized by free and voluntary trade. The relationship the U.S. Government has to its citizens is the relationship a parasite has with its host. The Constitution is not fit to be used as toilet paper!

    4. Did you read the article Gil? Tax-payer funded schools would be obligated to admit…..think it through Gil, you can do this.

      1. Not necessarily. If there are separate schools for White and non-Whites then they can still stay desegregated as Blacks aren’t being denied an education.

      1. Spot on …..And freedom of association should apply to all taxing districts. Should you not want, need or use the service and can provide for yourself and family. It is called LIBERTY…..the Free Market

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