Thursday, August 19, 2010

Only By Permission

"A right is the sanction of independent action.
Only a slave acts on permission."
Ayn Rand

"Under a proper social system, a private individual is legally free to take any action he pleases (so long as he does not violate the rights of others), while a government official is bound by law in his every official act. A private individual may do anything except that which is legally forbidden; a government official may do nothing except that which is legally permitted."
Ayn Rand, The Virtue Of Selfishness (The Nature of Government)
In a totalitarian state the government monitors and controls all actions. No citizen may do anything unless permission has been granted, unless the action has first been proscribed as legal by the state.

We living in Canada and"the west" are truly and rightfully horrified at the prospect of this kind of control. But are we just evading our own reality?

No, we may not be subject to jack-booted special police or the watchful eye of shadowy men in trench-coats on the street corner, but more and more we are subject to the petty tyrannies of a multitude of bureaucracies.

From the grand machinations of our Federal government which acts more and more like an elected tyranny once the required votes have been secured, to the perfidious tentacles of the Canada Revenue Agency. From Provincial politicians pushing their "father knows best" agenda's at the expense of individual choice and freedom, to municipal councils passing ridiculous by-laws and forcing compliance for compliance sake.

This is what Ayn Rand meant by the ultimate inversion. Freedom isn't a permission granted by "societies" to individuals, when and if they feel like it. It is an unalienable right, possessed only by individuals, and that right extends to absolutes, to the extremes of taste, action, and speech.

The limit to our freedom is force. Our right to do anything is absolute so long as it does involve the initiation of force or fraud against another person.

Just as it is no indication of the right to freedom of speech when the speech itself is banal, it is no indication of property rights when your "rights" are limited to certain "approved" activities on your own property.

More and more in this country and others we, the individuals are restricted. More and more we act only by permission, and as benevolent or humane as that insipid control may be it is still tyranny, it is still evil.

Two examples from this week...
Liberty Seminar Shut down
Toronto Bans Kite Flying

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