by Ricardo Calvo MD

To live rationally in society, man requires only one thing from his fellow men: freedom of action. Freedom of action does not mean freedom to act by permission, which may be revoked at a dictator's, or a democratic mob's whim, but freedom to act as an absolute--by right.

Man requires rights to those actions necessary to support his own life, the most fundamental right being the right to life and private property from which all other rights, including the right to liberty, derive.

Rights are moral principles sanctioning a man's freedom of action in a social context. They are inalienable--may not be morally infringed upon. Rights are not guarantees to things, but only guarantees to freedom of action (right to liberty)--and a guarantee to the results of those actions (right to property).

In practice, in order to protect rights, a government requires three things: an army--to protect against foreign invaders, a police force--to protect against domestic criminals, and a court system--to settle honest disputes that arise, enforce contracts, and to punish criminals, according to objectively predefined laws.

In a free society each and every man lives under a rule of law, as opposed to a whim-ridden rule of men. Such a rule of law has only one purpose: to protect the rights of the smallest minority that has ever existed--the individual.


Ricardo Calvo

June 2000

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