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The Declaration of Liberty

My good friend Tim O'Brien (TOBrien321@gmail.com) wrote this. I submit this as food for thought. Is today's world really more hostile to Ron Paul's task than the task given to George Washington in the winter of 1776? We're in a Marathon folks. And many of us have been in it a lot longer than you even knew a struggle was going on.

The Declaration of Liberty
From Autumn 1986, Page 2, of The Libertarian Party NEWS

Would You Sign This?

Sooner or Later, the time comes when people find it necessary to reject the government that rules over them and demand respect for the sovereignty to which they are, by their very nature, entitled. Consideration for everyone affected compels them to explain the reasons for the change.

It is obvious that every individual is free and independent and has certain basic rights -- for example; the right to live peacefully and honestly, and to pursue whatever ends he (or she) sees as being in his own best interests so long as he doesn't interfere with the equal rights of everyone else. The only legitimate purpose of government is to ensure that no one violates anyone else's rights. Therefore, a just government can only serve those people who voluntarily support it. Whenever any form of government exceeds its legitimate authority and begins destroying the very values it was instituted to protect, it is the right of the people to either change it or abolish it, and to set up a new government designed in such a way that its power is strictly limited to its proper functions. Of course, common sense says such drastic steps should not be taken except in extreme circumstances. And, historically, people will tolerate a great deal of oppression rather than change a system with which they have grown familiar and comfortable. But, when a long series of abuses, invariably pursuing the same goal, demonstrates a plan to reduce them to virtual slavery, it is their right (indeed, it is their duty!) to reject such government and institute a new system to provide for their future security. Such is the situation in which Americans now find themselves and the reason they must, once again, demand emancipation from a dictatorial government. The history of the present government is a history of insidious and incessant erosion of rights which has resulted in an absolute tyranny over the lives and property of the good people of this country. The evidence is overwhelming:

· It has made absolute the power of the majority to rule over individuals, and by legislation, executive order, and judicial decree has created and encouraged a system which rewards indolence and penalizes productive effort.

· It has redefined fundamental rights as privileges and required people by regulations and licensing restrictions to obtain its permission merely to be left in peace to trade honorably in the marketplace.

· It has outlawed numerous peaceful, honest activities and occupations and, in areas not entirely prohibited, required free citizens to give up some of their rights in order to enjoy others – rights which are priceless to honest people and a danger only to despots.

· It has created a massive bureaucracy with unending reporting requirements in order to bury our people in forms and paperwork and, thereby, wear them down and beat them into submission.

· It has harassed, jailed, and murdered individuals who bravely resisted its invasions of their rights.

· In single-minded pursuit of its goal to reduce free people to abject slaves, it has failed utterly in its responsibility to protect people from criminal aggression.

· It has severely restricted the freedom of individuals living under other oppressive governments to move here to seek refuge and the opportunity to be freely productive and, thereby, contribute to the betterment of all.

· It has caused the judiciary to degenerate into a kangaroo court of arbitrary powers that is a mockery of justice.

· It has made its own courts arbiter of disputes to which it is itself a party.

· It has created innumerable new offices and administrative and regulatory bodies sending forth swarms of officers and agents to harass our people and devour the fruits of their labor.

· It has maintained, even in times of peace, a standing military force of frightening and wholly unnecessary proportions.

· It has made both military and police forces superior to and beyond the control of civilian authority.

· It has imposed upon us laws and edicts which are abhorrent to a free people:

Maintaining large numbers of armed agents among us far beyond what is needed to assist individuals in their self-defense.

Imposing the doctrine of Governmental Immunity to insulate its agents from responsibility for their wanton and reckless acts.

Restricting our trade both among ourselves and with other people around the world.

Imposing taxes without our consent.

Undermining and finally destroying the jury trial – a free people’s last defense against a dictatorial government.

Conscripting free individuals into involuntary servitude in the military to have life and limb wasted in pointless foreign wars.

Abolishing the concept of private property and the rights implicit in self-ownership by arbitrary rules, regulations, ordinances, and codes in a relentless expansion of its domination and control over the lives of free people.

Taking away our most cherished freedoms including the rights to life, liberty, and the peaceful, honest pursuit of happiness.

Declaring itself invested with the power to legislate for us in all matters whatsoever, even including how our children shall be raised and educated.

· It has abdicated its responsibility by ignoring victims of aggression and, instead, naming itself complainant in criminal cases, all the while preying on honest people for its support by violence and extortion.

· It has plundered our wealth, corrupted our money, and far exceeded its income, creating a massive debt impossible to legitimately retire.

· It has raised up large armies of mercenaries to complete the works of death, desolation, and tyranny already begun with a cruelty and ruthlessness scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous age, and totally unworthy of the government of a civilized nation.

· It has employed our fellow citizens to bear arms against us, to become the extortionists and executioners of their friends and families, or to fall themselves to government intimidation.

· It has caused domestic discontent and has recklessly challenged other dictatorial powers (such as the government of the Soviet Union whose known method of conquest is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes, and conditions), threatening to bring nuclear annihilation down on us in defense of foreign governments.

In every stage of these oppressions we have petitioned for redress in the most humble terms. Our repeated petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A government whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a dictatorship, is unfit to rule over a free people.

Nor have we neglected to admonish our fellow citizens. We have warned them many times of attempts by this government to extend an unjustified jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the principles which formed the foundation of this republic. We have appealed to their sense of goodness and justice, and we have begged them in the name of our common heritage to disavow this renegade government that is leading us inexorably to our doom. However, they have been deaf to the voice of reason and fairness. We must, therefore, of necessity, hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, enemies in war, until such time as they renounce the initiation of force and, thereby, demonstrate their peaceful intentions so that we may once again consider them friends in peace.

We, therefore, as sovereign individuals living in the United States of America, together and singly, relying on the justice of our cause, solemnly publish and declare that we are, and of right ought to be, free and independent people; that we are absolved from all allegiance to the United States Government, and that all political connection between us and the Government of the United States is, and ought to be, totally dissolved; and that as free and independent people we have the full power to defend ourselves, make alliances, establish commerce, and to do all other acts and things which independent people may, by right, do. And for the support of this declaration, with a firm belief in the inevitability of a social order whose highest value is the non-initiation of force, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor.

[Editor’s Note: Karl Hess]
As you have probably guessed by now, the document you have just read is a faithful paraphrase of the Declaration of Independence of the colonial states of America. It was prepared by a libertarian activist and freelance writer, Timothy J. O’Brien, of Troy, MI (present address, Allen Park, MI). In past experiments, when the original text has been circulated to American audiences, the overwhelming response has been one of rejection. At an American airbase, for instance, most of the people who were asked to sign the declaration refused and gave as their reason their belief that the document was radical, revolutionary – and communist! The paraphrased version, using more modern language and omitting clearly dated references or bringing them accurately up to date, undoubtedly would strike many people as downright treasonous. And, of course, when the original was published it was treasonous. Yet, think carefully about it: Isn’t it a valid, if extreme, statement of the way many citizens could reasonably be expected to view their own government these days? Is not that government, in many areas, literally at war with its own citizens? To be sure, America remains the most free nation on earth. It remains for many people of the earth a steady and beckoning beacon of hope and freedom and opportunity. But, on balance, wouldn’t it be prudent to revive the spirit of our original Declaration of Independence? And isn’t that declaration most perfectly reflected, these days, in the positions of the Libertarian Party, and in the principles of the libertarian movement? How would your neighbors react to a request to sign the Declaration of Independence today – particularly our modernized version? Could this be a way to “feel out” politics in your area? Could this document be used as a support for your own libertarian statements if they are attacked as being too radical? It is offered here for whatever uses you can make of it – or simply to test your own politics. Would you sign this document? Would you have signed the original? And aren’t these truly basic questions for any American? Above all, this reminder of our American heritage is meant as a reminder also of the reflection of that heritage in the Libertarian Party and in the libertarian movement.

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equal rights of others...

..."doesn't interfere with the equal rights of everyone else."
-I've heard this wording floated around a lot, I think it is because of jefferson's quote.
-I don't like this statement because it implies a legislature has the power to determine and alter the rights of people. It enshrines protectionism, licensing laws, regulations, and other fiat that says what the rights of others is and is not.

-For example, if I want to work on my neighbors house, but I cannot because I don't have a contractors license.

I think a more accurate statement that does not imply such power is "so long as he doesn't injure another." a more nuanced and thorough phrasing would be "doesn't directly and proximately injure another"

Cyril's picture

Interesting this type of idea surfaces up again...

Interesting this type of idea surfaces up again...

I was calling for this, a while ago :

Enough is Enough...


"Cyril" pronounced "see real". I code stuff.


"To study and not think is a waste. To think and not study is dangerous." -- Confucius

Keep planting the seeds, ALL.

The water and fertilizer are on the way.

I think important is this question

from the comment:
"Is not that government, in many areas, literally at war with its own citizens?"
Isn't it indeed the government which is the traitor, insurgent, aide of the US Constitution enemies - because it betrays the people by not securing their rights but instead pursuing dangerous private interests often literally without any remorse, against own oaths, letter and spirit of the supreme law of the land - not the people who would sign this document because it is right and true?
Isn't it indeed the government which should be stripped from its powers using 14th Amendment sec. 3?

Very thoughtful work - well done.

I like the parallels with the original documents.

Sadly, the American government has become the new king of England complete with all the greivances which drove the founders to draw up those principles we were founded upon.

Certainly they would not recognize our government today as anything close to what they put in place.

"We have allowed our nation to be over-taxed, over-regulated, and overrun by bureaucrats. The founders would be ashamed of us for what we are putting up with."
-Ron Paul

Would I sign this. Put myself on the line.

In retrospect the answer is a clear Yes. But to set signature to a bold and unique document in the World. We who go in stealth to Conventions. What about me? I hope that I would, but what would I have done in those circumstances. I'll never know.

Free includes debt-free!