If good compromises with evil, evil wins. Evil can handle having good sewn into it and still live on. Good cannot live on intertwined with evil; it becomes something else, corrupted, sullied, not pure good, just less evil.
If rights are compromised with security, do we still have rights? We may have the appearance of rights in some instances, and we may be secure at times, but if a right is contingent on arbitrary circumstances and erratic individuals, it cannot be called a right. In this sense many of our rights have already been compromised, and therefore lost. Do you have the right to defend yourself against any aggressor? Yes; if you are on your property, if you have attempted to retreat, if you believe your life is in danger, if the attacker doesn’t have a blue uniform and a shiny badge. So do you have the right to defend yourself against anyone who initiates force against you?
Many in power today balk at the idea of natural rights, and Charles Kesler explains the reason: rights “endanger the ancien [sic] regime, which in our time is liberalism”. Liberalism here is really modern or social liberalism, which espouses the idea that government is necessary to promote social justice and intervene in the economy for that purpose. Obviously following this doctrine means government has a central and enormous role to play in regulating everything that is perceived to cause inequality. That’s a big tent, by design, because the people in power who keep modern politics liberal are the ones who get to choose where the next intervention for social justice takes place. Without getting into the corrupting effects of being in such a position, I would like to point out that virtually all Democrats and the vast majority of Republicans today promote a social liberal system.
If natural rights are compromised with social equality, do we still have natural rights?
You cannot support inalienable rights (the kind that don’t change depending on the circumstances and people involved), and modern liberalism, because this liberalism says that the highest ideal is social equality. The flip side is a system that defines laws objectively, and recognizes natural rights of individuals. So even though everyone would be treated equally under the law in the latter system, the results of individual circumstances would not be equal, highlighting the difference of perspective. The founding fathers said that individuals have the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness; modern liberalism says it is the government’s job to provide happiness, even if liberty takes a back seat.
In a country run on modern liberalism, those who promote the founding fathers’ ideals are called extremists, because by a modern liberal definition, anything non-liberal is extreme. If you do not believe the government has a central role in regulating economics and individual behavior in order to promote social equality, you are extreme, because liberals get to define what extreme is. The Constitution is the enemy of liberalism, because it limits government, thus limiting how much social and economic engineering can take place. The Constitution defines some individual rights, without claiming to be an exhaustive list, which limits how far the government can go in terms of promoting equality at the expense of the individual.
Liberalism says that if one person has more money, then the government can intervene to spread the wealth. The Constitution says that a person’s property cannot be taken unless in response to force, and even then, there is a process which needs to be the same no matter who it is being accused of initiating the force. Because the Constitution does not allow free-reigning liberalism, liberals claim the document is “living”, meaning open to interpretation depending on the needs of the era. But this idea opposes the ideas in the Constitution, because the document speaks of natural rights, which do not change depending on circumstances and people.
The Constitution itself is dysfunctional—full of institutions like checks and balances, bicameralism, the separation of powers, and federalism designed to temper hope and to slow political change, to force time for deliberation and due process, to conserve the people’s loyalty to the Constitution and laws.
Some people believe the human race amounts to a bunch of children in need of parenting. I disagree. I think that humans are problem solvers who respond to their environment in a way that allows them to gain the most personal benefit at the lowest personal cost. I think that if people are treated like children they will act like children. I think that basing society on humanity’s natural way of life will yield a more stable, productive, and beneficial society, based on the types of problems they will be presented with, and the solutions for those problems. When the government sets up a system where the easiest way to survive and gain the most comfort is to find your next victim, this changes the way humans work to survive. Instead of producing to provide essentials and more comfort, humans will find ways to take what others have produced.
In the beginning humans essentially agreed without knowing it, that there were natural rights, and that the way to survive was to solve problems in their environment. Hunger and exposure were a problem, so humans hunted animals to eat, picked food from the forest, and built shelter. They used their problem solving skills to manipulate their environment in order to survive, and if there was energy left over, add to their comfort. Another problem presents itself: one tribe of humans called “The Founders” has already hunted, gathered, and built shelter, and now another tribe, “The Liberals” is attempting to take those things. Naturally, the group which is being attacked defends itself in order to survive, and keep what they have earned through their brainpower and labor.
Unfortunately, liberalism–with the blank check it gives to government to “solve social inequality” through whatever means necessary–sets up a system where the easiest way to survive and gain comfort is to initiate force against others. Since this force is seen as a good thing which promotes social equality, defending against that forces becomes a bad thing. The right to defend yourself against any aggressor is at odds with government promotion of equality through force. Never-mind that the people promoting “equality” usually make society less equal by keeping most of the plunder for themselves and their friends.
So let’s go back to our tribes that are fighting over the products of “The Founders’” labor. Modern liberalism would say that “The Founders” should give away some of their food and shelter to “The Liberals” in order to promote the equality of all tribes. But “The Founders” are natural rights people, so they are not going to give up so easily. “The Founders” will defend their lives against those who would murder them to take their necessities. They will defend their freedom to produce without other tribes taking that for which they labored. They will defend their property which nourishes them and keeps them warm, allowing them to live a happier life than if they were hungry and cold. Should modern society not afford people the same rights that tribe naturally exercised?
The only difference is that today the tribe of “The Liberals” is much greater in number, and therefore the tribe of “The Founders” often fails in exercising its natural rights, just as the possibility existed for “The Founders” to be overrun, killed, and robbed by “The Liberals” tribe. Not only has liberalism allowed force to be monopolized so that you must seek the majorities’ approval to exercise your rights, but liberalism also uses that force for ends which are contradictory to natural rights, and the natural way humans survive, by solving problems posed by their environment. Liberalism says that some people will solve problems, and some people won’t, but regardless, everyone should have the same comfort. However this means the problem most people strive to solve is how to become part of the group that does not have to solve any other problems. The group providing solutions to problems (food, clothing, shelter, comfort, transportation, medicine) therefore dwindles.
The way for the human race to grow and mature is to not be treated like children where the parent must make everything equal, but instead be treated as human, free to respond to their environment in the best way for them–an environment that does not reward force. Since initiating force is not a right, the natural order of human interaction will trend towards a system that benefits everyone who produces without using force to the highest extent. Production is rewarded and force is punished under natural law, it only makes sense that human constructions of society should replicate and encourage that paradigm.