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Don't be confused: Government has no rights

When government clearly goes too far, someone may ask whether or not government has the right to do what it did.

The honest answer is always “no.”

Government has no rights. It's not that government has no extra rights; government has no rights of any kind.

Individuals who work for government have rights. They have the same rights anyone else has. Rights equal and identical to the rights everyone else enjoys, but no more. These individuals don't magically get extra rights made up out of thin air because they work for government or wear a badge. If they have the right to do something, so do you. If you have no right to do something, they also don't have this right.

Government really hopes you forget I said this, or that you don't believe me. It's 100% true, though.

All rights are individual rights. They are never collective; collective rights don't exist. A group has no rights beyond those each and every individual has. Rights don't multiply or expand when individuals join together. Since government is a collective -- a group -- it has no rights of its own. It never did, it never will, and it never can.

Even if you want government to do something you know you wouldn't have the right to do on your own, it's not possible. You can't give government the right to do something you don't have the right to do. You can't delegate rights you don't possess.

What government has is power. The power to do things it has no right to do. Things those working for government or calling themselves government have no right to do. And the power to get away with it. Doing something they have no right to do is a way to know someone is committing evil.

Government has no right to tax you, it has the power to steal your property and call it a "tax," and when it does this it is doing wrong. It doesn't matter if government couldn't function without the power to tax. Anything that relies on someone's power to do wrong shouldn't be done at all. It doesn't matter how many have been fooled into believing it is necessary.

For this reason, even when government does something each of us has the right to do, it does it wrong by funding it with stolen money. This is how to turn a right into a wrong: do it through government.

Farwell’s Kent McManigal champions liberty. Contact him at:

[email protected]