Principles, Not Coercion, Are the Source of Unity

I am re-posting this because it’s a reminder that opposition to medical tyranny stands on certain universal moral principles grounded in European Enlightenment thinking (which itself flows out of a fruitful synthesis of Greek philosophical thought and the ethical values of Judeo-Christianity): namely that there are inalienable rights that apply equally to all human beings, and upon the basis of which we are all equals and deserving of equal consideration.

We find it expressed in many of the constitutions of the world in Commonwealth countries – in the U.S, the Constitution, and in Canada, the Charter of Rights & Freedoms, and in the jurisprudence of the more enlightened nations, through the principle of equality before the law and the right to a fair trial.

Locke and Kant are two philosophical titans of the idea of rights. Kant’s expression bears repeating: “Any action is right if it can coexist with everyone’s freedom in accordance with a universal law.” This is “the moral law within” which is a formal rational expression of what we often feel as conscience, and as the knowledge of the difference between right and wrong.

When we have this feeling in the face of injustice, it is the moral law within speaking to us. To have codified this as the idea of rights was one of humanity’s great accomplishments. In other words, the feeling that underlies and informs the principle of rights is universal even if the expression of it originates in Western Europe and before that ancient Greece.

And by “rights” I do not mean the corruption of that idea to identity politics (as in the woefully inadequate Canadian and EU “human rights” commissions) or that which can be traded away. True rights guarantee the protection of everyone from harm (called “negative rights”) and to certain considerations such as freedom of speech and religion (called “positive rights”). Along with rights come duties that are implied by them.

Rights have as their foundational idea freedom and they are “inalienable” – meaning they cannot be traded away or compromised for any reason. Thus the so-called “emergency orders” that violated our basic rights of speech, assembly, religion, during the lockdowns, were morally wrong. They do not mean unlimited freedom to do whatever one wishes; rather, rights imply awareness of the duty to act in consideration of the rights of all others, as a responsible citizen within a free society.

When duties are forced they lose much of their moral value. A good and decent society strives to educate its citizens in the idea of rights of duties, not to impose them, but to help the citizens learn them for themselves. Implicit in this idea is that values and principles are not merely learned or conditioned, but exist within all of us a priori (prior to experience).

Kant again: “There is only one innate right. Freedom (independence from being constrained by another’s choice), insofar as it can coexist with the freedom of every other in accordance with a universal law, is the only original right belonging to every man by virtue of his humanity.” And as a formal rule or principle: “So act that you use humanity, whether in your own person or that of another, always at the same time as an end, never merely as a means.”

This is called The Formula of Humanity, which is the clearest rational expression against the instrumental use of others (e.g. slavery, exploitation), and as an expression of the inherent worth of individuals, by virtue of which all rational beings are equals, with inalienable rights, and deserving of respect. [I would agree with Tom Regan in extending that principle to all sentient beings — both on Earth and off it]

The Formula of Humanity / Moral Law (another version of which is The Categorical Imperative) has been violated by medical tyranny, on a global scale. We are being treated instrumentally, not as ends in ourselves, but as means to an end, which is the kind of society the new regime desire: a technocratic autocracy.

We are in the way of their plans for this new society (which is a global expression of Communism), so the idea is to deceive us into submission to their will. giving up what Kant terms “autonomy of the will” by submitting to their wills (called “heteronomy of the will” — from “heteros” (Greek for ‘other’). Vax mandates are a clear example of the heteronomy of the will.: forcing someone to do something under duress.

As stated earlier, the principle of universal rights is foundational for Western societies. It has produced the best system of governance in human history. Without we will plunge into a dark age of tyranny and conflict. So its value is worth repeating and defining.

peckford42

Barry Brownstein” /

October 23, 2021

Living in rural America requires my wife and I to travel several hours to make a major shopping trip. About 3 or 4 times a year, we head down the interstate to Costco, Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, and the Co-op. The bounty we are used to was less plentiful on a most recent trip. At the Co-op, many bulk bins were empty; their wholesale suppliers have been out of stock for over a month. At Whole Foods, Costco, and Trader Joe’s, staples we routinely buy were also unavailable.

Human beings desire order in their lives. We experience order, Friedrich Hayek explained in“Cosmos and Taxis,”when our expectations are proven to be correct. The world we experienced on that shopping day was unexpectedly less orderly; typically, our expectations are almost always 100% met.

Most of us think little about order until it is…

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"Enlightenment is man's emergence from his self-imposed immaturity ... the inability to use one's own understanding without another's guidance. This immaturity is self-imposed if its cause lies not in lack of understanding but in indecision and lack of courage to use one's own mind without another's guidance. Dare to know! (Sapere aude.) "Have the courage to use your own understanding," is therefore the motto of the [European] Enlightenment. "Laziness and cowardice are the reasons why such a large part of mankind gladly remain minors all their lives, long after nature has freed them from external guidance. They are the reasons why it is so easy for others to set themselves up as guardians. It is so comfortable to be a minor. If I have a book that thinks for me, a pastor who acts as my conscience, a physician who prescribes my diet [or vaccine], and so on--then I have no need to exert myself. I have no need to think, if only I can pay; others will take care of that disagreeable business for me. Those guardians who have kindly taken supervision upon themselves see to it that the overwhelming majority of mankind ... should consider the step to maturity, not only as hard, but as extremely dangerous. First, these guardians make their domestic cattle stupid and carefully prevent the docile creatures from taking a single step without the leading-strings to which they have fastened them. Then they show them the danger that would threaten them if they should try to walk by themselves. Now this danger is really not very great; after stumbling a few times they would, at last, learn to walk. However, examples of such failures intimidate and generally discourage all further attempts. "Thus it is very difficult for the individual to work himself out of the immaturity which has become almost second nature to him. He has even grown to like it, and is at first really incapable of using his own understanding because he has never been permitted to try it. Dogmas and formulas [e.g., Leftist ideology, identity politics] these mechanical tools designed for reasonable use--or rather abuse--of his natural gifts, are the fetters of an everlasting immaturity. The man who casts them off would make an uncertain leap over the narrowest ditch, because he is not used to such free movement. That is why there are only a few men who walk firmly, and who have emerged from immaturity by cultivating their own minds." - Kant, "An Answer to the Question: What is Enlightenment"

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