*LIBERTARIAN is more a state of mind than a defined
philosophy. So the definition of LIBERTARIAN set forth on this
site is probably unique to this site. I have called this site the
"Libertarian Society in Australia" because I have not found another
site that seems to want to claim the title. And lastly, I have
not attempted to obtain the domain "libertarian.org.au" because the
bodies responsible for allocation of .au domains are the most illiberal
organizations that I have found anywhere administering the
Internet. ( 9 January 1999.)
"We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."A few years later the French codified the individual's rights in a document which translates to:
DECLARATION OF THE RIGHTS OF MAN (1789)Shortly after it's formation, the United Nations produced it's own document:
THE UN BILL OF RIGHTS (1948)The UN document is more than double the size of the "Declaration". It achieves this doubling by introducing greater detail. For instance consider Article 1 of the Declaration:
Declaration Article I Men are born and remain free and equal in rights. Social distinctions may be founded only upon common utility.The equivalent rights in the UN document are Articles 1 and 2
UN Bill Article 1 All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.It could be argued that the detail of Articles 1 and 2 of the UN document is implicit in Article 1 of the Declaration.
UN Bill Article 2 Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty.
However some of the rights set forth in the Declaration appear to have been attenuated or omitted from the UN document. Compare Article 2 of the Declaration with Article 3 of the UN Bill:.
Declaration Article II The aim of all political association is the preservation of the natural and imprescriptible rights of man. These rights are liberty, property, security, and resistance to oppression.
UN Bill Article 3 Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.Important rights have been abandoned. The right of "resistance to oppression" is particularly valuable. Where a conflict of interpretation about whether government actions towards an individual are oppressive arises, this right means that the onus of proof will lie with the state. (e.g.Waco)
Consider also articles 4 and 5 of the Declaration.
Declaration Article IV Liberty consists in the freedom to do everything which injures no one else; hence the exercise of the natural rights of each man has no limits except those which assure to the other members of the society the enjoyment of the same rights. These limits can only be determined by law.The very important definition of Liberty in Article 4 in the "DECLARATION of the RIGHTS OF MAN" does not appear in the "BILL OF RIGHTS". Article 5 of the Declaration which prohibits the infringement of Liberty by Legislative Law can be found, greatly attenuated, in the UN Bill.
Declaration Article V Law can only prohibit such actions as are hurtful to society. Nothing may be prevented which is not forbidden by law, and no one may be forced to do anything not provided for by law.
Somewhere between 1787 and 1948 the concept "Liberty-as-a-Right" was lost. Other "Rights" were lost. The reader is invited to look at the two documents and attempt to identify what else was lost. (Hint - look at Articles 14, 15 & 16 of the Declaration, the Articles about:
ESSAYS & QUIZ
ARE YOU A LIBERTARIAN? (Explanatory Quiz)
Structure & Institutions of a Libertarian Government.
Revenue & Expenditures of a Libertarian Government.(2003)
Sites promulgating Libertarian principles.