These are the principles of liberty that our forefathers ascribed to. They were used in the creation of the Declaration of Independence, The Constitution, The Bill of Rights, and other established instruments of our Republic and U.S. freedom and liberty. The idea that a free people could start a republic from scratch and be able to endeavor to achieve the full potential that freedom and liberty could provide for those people was a novel idea in that time. Today it would be like an oppressed population yoked by the government, building a city under the deep sea, and establishing a republic from that melting pot of people using a controversial set of principles. Few would think to do it. Few would think it could be done. Free thinkers could do it. Here are the principles of liberty.
Individual Liberty: The principle that individuals have an inalienable right to act in their own interest with complete control over themselves and their property, and are the sole arbiters of what is best for themselves so long as their actions do not infringe upon the liberty or property rights of others.
Personal Responsibility: The principle that individuals who are free to determine their own course of action have the responsibility for the consequences that ensue from that action. Actions have consequences. Personal Responsibility means owning the results of those actions, good or bad.
Property Rights: The principle that the right to determine one’s own actions (liberty) extends to one’s production. Production comes from an individual’s mind and efforts and is as unique to that person as any other aspect of that person. As such, production (and, subsequently, property acquired through voluntary transaction between parties) is the sole dominion of its creator.
Free Markets: Free markets spring from property rights and liberty. Property rights dictate a free market economy in which one may exercise the liberty to use and dispose of property in the manner that the owner determines is in his best interest. It is not the role of government to create barriers to entry, disturb free market mechanisms such as price signaling, compete with private enterprise or distort the markets through regulation or other intrusions to advance a social, political or any other end.
Limited Government: To quote Jefferson, “The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground.” The premise of this statement is that for liberty to be preserved, government must be held in check.
State vs. Federal Balance of Power: The principle that the powers of the federal government are few and enumerated, while the powers left to the states or the people are broad and undefined. The nation’s founders made their case based largely upon the premise that state governments would always hold the limited powers of the federal government in check.
Fiscal Responsibility: Government cannot “provide” anything that it has not first taken from the people. This means that we must always evaluate the opportunity cost of the government’s takings from the people. The private markets are subject to competitive pressures on price, services, products, quality and profitability; the government is not. Government has a moral and a fiduciary duty to be responsible and accountable to the people for that which it has coercively taken from the people.
Equal Protection / Rule of Law: This is the principle that all citizens receive equal protection under both federal and state law, and that no groups of people receive either favorable or unfavorable treatment from government. It is not the role of government to create a special group or class of citizens for protection or punishment, special treatment or penalties. The force of government is only legitimate if it is limited and applied equally for the protection of the rights of all.
Uphold The Constitution of The United States: This principle is based upon the concept that the constitution is the essential basis of a social contract between the people and their government, guiding the voluntary delegation of power from the people to the government for specific purposes. If the constitution is found to be lacking or needing change, there is a specific process to effect that change, but until such change might be made, the constitution is to be upheld.
These Principles of Liberty are republished here courtesy of: www.principlesofliberty.org