Thursday, January 12, 2012

Reclaiming Our Sovereign Autonomy

Patrick Henry: 'Give me liberty or give me death!'

The right to speak and publish freely is currently under assault in all Western democracies.

In some countries, and especially in the European Union, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is now interpreted to mean that religious freedom includes the right not to be insulted by statements about one’s religion. At the instigation of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, national constitutions are being rewritten or reinterpreted to allow exceptions to the right to free speech when the “defamation of religion” is involved.

Free speech is being actively suppressed in Western Europe, where those who criticize immigration and Islamization are frequently harassed, fired from their jobs, arrested, charged, prosecuted, convicted, and fined. In the near future we can expect that someone in Europe will go to prison simply for expressing his opinion about the Religion of Peace. Britain, Sweden, the Netherlands, France, and Austria are actively vying to see who can be first to incarcerate a Counterjihad dissident.

Notwithstanding the protections afforded by the First Amendment, the United States of America is well on its way down the same evil path. Christians who proselytize on the streets of Muslim neighborhoods have discovered to their dismay that existing statutes concerning incitement, intimidation, disorderly conduct, and breach of the peace can be utilized to arrest and remove infidels who insult Muslims, even if the charges are later dismissed.

To make matters worse, a direct assault on the First Amendment is on the horizon, with Hillary Clinton’s promise to the OIC that the United States will work to implement the UN resolution requiring member states to pass laws that criminalize the “defamation of religions”.

An end run around the Constitution may also be available in the recently-passed National Defense Authorization bill, which permits the president to order indefinite military detention of American citizens, even within the United States. The rationale is that we are in a “time of war”. The war, however, has never been declared, and the enemy is unnamed — except, of course, as “extremism”. And we all know who Barack Hussein Obama considers to be the “extremists”. The NDAA does not bode well for tea-partiers, Islamophobes, Ron Paul supporters, and other “right-wing extremists”. If nothing else, the feds will be forced to detain a few of us just to prove they are not engaging in “profiling”.

This is the state of free speech in the Western world ca. 2012. The current plight of free expression, like so many other rights, is a reminder of the old admonition: Use it or lose it.

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Free speech is the most important of a constellation of rights that also includes the following, among others:

  • The right to keep and bear arms.
  • The right to be secure in one’s person and property.
  • The right to assemble peaceably without hindrance.
  • The right not to be detained without due process in an open court of law (habeus corpus).
  • The right, when accused of a crime, to be tried by a jury of one’s peers.

These rights form the collective basis for what we generally consider the Rule of Law. They serve to check the excesses of the power-hungry State. In the United States and the rest of the British diaspora, these rights ultimately derive their legitimacy from the ancient precepts of the English Common Law.

They are not granted to citizens by the state, nor to subjects by the monarch. They are God-given rights. They are the gift of the Creator to His Creation. They may be — and often are — usurped by a tyrannical State, but such usurpation can never gain legitimacy, no matter how long it persists.

It is the right — and even the duty — of conscientious and morally aware individuals to band together and overthrow any system that revokes these rights, and re-establish the Rule of Law. This is what the Declaration of Independence proclaimed in 1776, and what the Constitution attempted to secure in 1788.

It is clear that we are moving into an era in which the Rule of Law no longer applies to citizens of the Western democracies who have long been accustomed to its benefits.

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The denial of any or all of the rights described above is a violation of what I call the sovereign autonomy of the individual.

The genius of European Christianity lay in its identification of the individual as an autonomous source within God’s creation. From this insight arose the concept of Natural Law, whose precepts explicate and codify the rights of the individual within a secular polity. The individual may be said to possess a sovereign autonomy, since he recognizes no one but his Creator as a source of permanent authority. While exercising their sovereignty, individuals may grant their government authority over themselves, but only on a temporary and contingent basis.

We who are experiencing the current usurpation of the Rule of Law would do well to keep our sovereign autonomy in mind.

The most important fact to remember is this: The State may harass you and impoverish you. It may incarcerate you. It may even kill you, but it cannot take away your sovereign autonomy.

Many courageous souls have borne witness to their sovereign autonomy, even amidst the horrors of imprisonment in Nazi concentration camps. Committed dissidents such as Andrei Sakharov, Alexander Solzhenitsyn, and Vaclav Havel endured Communist tyranny and the gulag by refusing to surrender their sovereign autonomy. Whether copying out samizdat literature, or helping other dissidents escape the agents of the state, or simply speaking out clearly when to do so could mean torture and death — these brave people remind us that our God-given rights are always present, ready to be exercised, until the moment our lives are extinguished.

Sovereign autonomy cannot be taken away from any conscious individual — it can only be given away.

It is difficult to affirm one’s sovereign autonomy when the vast majority of one’s fellow citizens are passively surrendering their own. Being the first to speak out is a thankless task, as Geert Wilders, Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff, and Jussi Halla-aho have discovered. Although a majority of the rest of the population may secretly support a vocal dissident, its silent passivity makes his dissent a lonely occupation.

These conditions are slowly changing, however, as the forces of repression converge with global economic hardship. The more people who feel they have nothing left to lose, the more who are likely to speak up. The harder the repression, the greater the public awareness of what has been lost.

The habit of free speech has been ground out of us over the last forty years. It will require a conscious act of will to reassert it. We must have the presence of mind to say, “I am endowed by my Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are…”

Over and over again. In as many ways as possible.

It is understandable that many people may decline this option. There is so much to lose — wealth, employment, friends, freedom — and so little to gain. Those with small children or aging parents will rightfully choose the more pressing imperative to take care of their own.

Yet some dissidents may be willing to risk everything for the sake of preserving their sovereign autonomy. For the sake of the cause, some of us may decide to “pledge to each other our lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor” to the struggle for freedom of speech.

There comes a time when one’s own integrity requires taking a stand, no matter the consequences. As Christ reminds us (Matthew 16:26):

“For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?”

The usurpation of the Rule of Law is a soul-destroying process for all who decide to submit to it.

Those who refuse to submit must speak up loudly, clearly, and frequently.

Those who decide to reclaim their sovereign autonomy must also be mentally prepared to bear the temporal consequences for their actions.

They may have to surrender the world, but in doing so they will regain their souls.

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In closing, some words of wisdom from Lao Tsu (Tao Te Ching, Chapter 13):

Accept disgrace willingly.
Accept misfortune as the human condition.
What do you mean by “Accept disgrace willingly”?
Accept being unimportant.
Do not be concerned with loss or gain.
This is called “accepting disgrace willingly.”

What do you mean by “Accept misfortune as the human condition”?
Misfortune comes from having a body.
Without a body, how could there be misfortune?

Surrender yourself humbly; then you can be trusted to care for all things.
Love the world as your own self; then you can truly care for all things.


Henrik Ræder said...

These rights form the collective basis for what we generally consider the Rule of Law.

Let me add to that the forgotten civil liberty:

Honest money

A monetary system where government institutions arbitrarily can create more 'liquidity' to bail out the banks or the basketball clubs, will invariably grow away from any checks and balances that originally existed.

It is hard to overstate how important this is.

Anonymous said...

Hear him, hear him! An excellent article on what our democracies SHOULD be about. How shameful that many of our countrymen and women have forgotten about or are actively against their own interests.

Sagunto said...

Henrik -

You beat me to it ;)

I'd like to add with regard to the Baron's statement about "free speech" being the most important among a whole set of rights, that I beg to differ. The closest to the cardinal point of Natural Law is the right to self-ownership, which loosely translates into the "right to be left alone". So I'd say that "the right to be secure in one’s person and property" is more prominent than free speech. In real life people care more about the inviolable nature of their own person and property (which includes the fruits of their labour), than about free speech which is of course important, but really only a minority interest of the chattering classes ;)
John Stuart Mill, still regarded by many as the king of free speech, advocated it as part of his agenda to undermine tradition.

Kind regs from Amsterdam,

Anonymous said...

For the sake of love that gives life meaning, truth that sets us free, and the pursuit of happiness with all the responsibilities of Liberty, first was The Word. Free speech must exist or there is no free choice expressed, God's gift to Creation, our unalienable right as American Citizens.

Matthew 10:39 or Luke 17:33
Whosoever shall seek to save his life shall lose it; and whosoever shall lose his life shall preserve it.

Yes, Franklin had been the realistic skeptic, "A Republic, if you can keep it." Reading some Jefferson thoughts in correspondences following his administration, he envisioned American civilization to evolve through improved citizenry, anticipating us to be better people than his own generation, given the effects subsequent to the American Revolutionary Great Cause of Liberty and our most beloved homeland from which to prosper through our own labors and hence to grow in sensibilities. Yet since our Independence was won through the ultimate sacrifices of working men who starved, bled and went without clothing and shoes marching through the worst Winter, we have allowed the beautiful Constitutional construct of LIMITED and balanced powers that our Founders established as the American Legacy to become the most powerful den of thieves and brutes in the world. As if, so long as it isn't me taken away at night, all is, feigning ignorance is certainly not bliss.

Matthew 12:
43“When an evil spirit comes out of a man, it goes through arid places seeking rest and does not find it. 44Then it says, ‘I will return to the house I left.’ When it arrives, it finds the house unoccupied, swept clean and put in order. 45Then it goes and takes with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there. And the final condition of that man is worse than the first. That is how it will be with this wicked generation.”

maverick muse

Anonymous said...

Honest money, Henrick Raeder, certainly not through mercantilism, enriching the abusers, impoverishing those actually performing the labor and paying the taxes to bail-out the unscrupulous globalist debt-investment bankers and "insurers".

Some years ago, Hollywood (DeCaprio flick) illustrated the bloody savagery in the diamond mines. That knowledge made zirconia all the more attractive. Today, we read of Microsoft Gates legacy industrial slavery in China, as iBox laborers -- despite signing labor agreements to not commit suicide at work -- AGAIN are abused to the point that they prefer suicide to slaving away in "dormitory" prison circumstances denied the wages contracted and earned. And what was the response from Christian boys and girls on their lists addressed to Santa?

In as much as ye have done it unto the least of these...

All the more reason to manufacture stateside.

Anonymous said...

Take it from an Egyptian

One Egyptian interviewed by Walid al Qubaisi, says that the freedom of expression is the most important, as all other freedoms are depending on the freedom of expression

Qubaisi's documentaryQubaisi's documentary on the Brothers is rounded up with Norwegians waving their flags in the traditional celebration of the Norwegian constitution of 17 May 1814, the day when the Grunnloven was signed and sealed.

"Are we still willing to defend this freedom?" asks Qubaisi.

- How much longer will the Norwegians be free to celebrate their independence in their own country?

- How much longer before some claim they are offended by the celebrations?

Anonymous said...

Ironically, some of the forefront defenders of free speech before 1973, in particular for Turkish authors, now are siding with the Turks, against Western sivilization.

One even works to establish in Norway, an official Saladin day

Since they haven't gotten just there yet, they have still managed to establish a play financed by taxpayers, via Støre's department, praising Saladin as a hero. They even call it "the international Saladin days". Nothing less!

And the persecuted Turkish authors..what happened to them? Not so interesting any longer?

senatortombstone said...

I wonder if there has even been one case of an OIC nation prosecuting a Muslim for denigrating another, non-Islamic religion. Do you think that Hillary Clinton believes there will be reciprocity, or does she truly accept that she is embracing a law to protect Islam from criticism while leaving every other religion open to, especially from Islam.

Pleistarchos said...

Hear, hear,

I believe that the time is near that we must consider "Committees of Correspondence".

Perhaps in the blogospshere are the stirrings of such a movement.

Anonymous said...

A wonderful and stirring call to exercise the responsibility we bear to properly use the gifts of intellect and conscience with which God has blessed us.

For my part, "Freedom of Speech" is useful because it allows truth to be decided in a marketplace of ideas where the ideas that best explain the experiences of most people and offer them meaningful ways to improve their lives have a chance to gain a following rather than relying on the threat of violence to force everyone to accept a single, government approved notion of truth.

Honesty is necessary to truth, and truth is necessary to intelligence. Intelligence may be defined as the ability to predictively adapt to a situation before it occurs or while it is still in the process of developing (as opposed to the "trial and error" approach of evolution, in which 'adaptation' occurs as a simple result of unfit responses being killed off). Truth is the set of concepts that allows prediction of future events, a proper exercise of intelligence is dependent on truth as much as it requires the innovative faculty to create an adaptation. And we can only access the truth by the ethical application of honesty, careful distinction between truth and falsehood and elevation of the former as the proper basis of all pragmatic mental actions.

Thus the value of honesty, because it serves the value of truth, which serves the end of intelligence, which may be considered (from a cybernetic perspective) the ultimate end for which God has entrusted to humankind all the faculties of autonomous mental capability, is the reason for valuing freedom of speech, which subjects various conceptual assertions to the testing by all and allows them to be accepted or rejected based on the pragmatic utility in helping people to understand their past and become better adapted to future events.

Every use of force to uphold a particular concept (always touted as "truth" by those threatening all who disagree with it) reveals a deep insecurity in the ability of that concept to hold sway in a true open marketplace of ideas. Those who are willing to kill others to prevent questioning and testing of the ideas that they claim to be truth are essentially admitting that experience and reason will not bear out their "truth". Thus no one who advocates the elimination of freedom of speech can be trusted as an honest proponent of truth, instead they are an exploiter of the idea of "truth" as a justification for their own violation of the autonomous faculties of others.

Whether we regard the exercise of this autonomy as being "sovereignty" or "self-ownership" or "obedience to the divine purpose of human existence", it must be upheld above all else, for without it life itself is nothing more than the disgusting facility of the cockroach and pathogenic microbe to spread contagion without limit. Some have imagined that the human faculty to be distracted from the "real business of life" by seeking out truth and beauty is a weakness to be exploited rather than evidence of the native superiority of the mind (which can exist forever) over the needs of the mortal body.

But to me, it is the very willingness to use mortal life as a means in service of the life of the mind which demonstrates respect for the essential quality of sentient existence which elevates mortal life with a purpose beyond the concupiscent desire to consume everything else until we must choke on our own excrement.

Chiu Chun-Ling.

Anonymous said...

"Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it." -- Thomas Paine: The American Crisis, No. 4,1777

Eternal Vigilance is the price of liberty. -- Wendell Philips


laller said...

I think it's great You're taking a stand against the NDAA, but i wonder why all this talk of freedom of expresion hasn't led to any mention of the Stop Online Piracy Act(SOPA) and the Protect IP Act(PIPA). Both of those acts could lead to this site being taken down(if not the entirety of blogger) as well as sites like memri, and the one vlad uses to host his videos(as well as any site linking to them).
You have a fight on your hands "over there", and I just wish I knew if the same was happening "over here".


imnokuffar said...

I think that was the most inspirational and lovely thing I have read in a long time.

Papa Whiskey said...

The right to keep and bear arms. ... Use it or lose it.

Roger that. Accordingly, while it is still possible, acquire proper armament and training in its use. This means, principally, a handgun in 9mm Parabellum or a more powerful caliber. The handgun has two advantages over any other arm: it can be concealed from view and it can be on your person always. Should you be set upon by the ill-disposed, whether a state or a non-state actor, it will be ready to hand instead of in your car trunk or your closet.

sofa said...

"Perhaps in the blogospshere are the stirrings of such a movement."

And that's why the State needs 'internet kill switches' and 'internet ID'- To control the media and the rabble communicating via the media.

McMedic said...

The right to keep and bear arms will ultimately determine whether we keep all the others.

The rights of an unarmed man may be trod upon at will by armed authority.

Anonymous said...

An excellent statement, Baron. I’d like to address the point of the “slowly changing conditions.” The conditions have already changed in ways that make standard conservative points obsolete. People who buy a handgun and think that it will protect them from government tyranny have failed to observe the advances in the government’s domestic arsenal. Not even comparing the relative firepower of the average SWAT team and a random group of 2nd Amendment enthusiasts, the government is now able to subdue any such group without the use of any guns whatsoever. Think an armored truck-mounted 200-decibel loudspeaker, for one, and that’s just a peek into an array of exotica that a malignant government intent on maintaining an oppressive rule will pull out against its citizenry.
Second, the desire to take on the dangerous, unrewarding, arduous task of being the voice of protest against an oppressive government is usually motivated by the love of one’s people. But Western governments have already taken care of that one by their Eurabian gambit in Europe, and the 1965 Johnson-Kennedy gambit in the United States. Can one still sacrifice one’s life for the American people, when the American people is a multiculti Tower of Babel of 120 peoples?
We have been boxed-in by a clever overlord caste, and debilitated and debauched by the fun and games and free lunch that Joe Sixpack only now realizes wasn’t free. Only inspired, out-of-the box thinking may still save our liberties, somehow.
Takuan Seiyo

Anonymous said...

Agreed in full. I can imagine a point where the internet as we use it now will be impossible. What we'd have are these atomized individuals with no means to communicate and even if they did there is the trust issue. Perhaps there's a dif way to think of it however. That each "atom" is responsible for spreading this knowledge, such as contained in Baron's post, for example, to those within our circle of influence. I think we should acknowledge that the potential for this eventuality exists, of having to carry on individually in the event the net becomes unusable as a form of communication. It's thinking ahead in a worse case scenario treatment. I don't think it means organizing amongst ourselves. It means organizing others to us as individuals if you get me. In that way it continues to grow even if the net is done at some point -RoR

Anonymous said...

I think it would be wise to acknowledge that if, hypothetically, the net becomes unusable, it may not happen gradually. It may be immediate policy. You'll turn on the computer one day and realize "Bleep, I can't say anything on this machine anymore." So part of what we do now with our time is prepare ourselves for that. If you, like me, believe there's a possibility this could come to pass. There's a difference between being paranoid and being prepared for the worst. - RoR

Anonymous said...

A truck with a 200 decibel speaker mounted can be silenced by a single rifle round shot from a distance well outside the effective range of sonic-suppression.

The American people, outside of military and law-enforcement (oath-sworn to defend the Constitution against all enemies, including their own politicians) possess more firearms than all the rest of the world's military forces. Or, more relevantly, the American people have more firepower and explosive expertise at their ready disposal than the entire Middle-East.

I wouldn't discount that.

What is needed is not new thoughts, but a return to some very old thoughts, inspired and out-of-the-box both today as they were then.

Chiu Chun-Ling.

Anonymous said...

@ SenatorTombstone

"I wonder if there has even been one case of an OIC nation prosecuting a Muslim for denigrating another, non-Islamic religion. Do you think that Hillary Clinton believes there will be reciprocity, or does she truly accept that she is embracing a law to protect Islam from criticism while leaving every other religion open to, especially from Islam."

Has there ever been a case of an OIC country prosecuting a Jew for denigrating Christianity or suppressing the open practice of its customs?

An academic inquiry into the official version of the "Holocaust" history will get you in jail in several countries, including Canada and Germany.

Laws, regulations, unstated mandates, and extra-legal retributions were long ago embraced to protect Ashkenazim Judaism and global Zionism from effective criticism.