BUNKERVILLE | God, Guns and Guts Comrades! by Mustang
“That all men are by nature equally free and independent and have certain inherent rights, of which, when they enter into a state of society, they cannot, by any compact, deprive or divest their posterity; namely, the enjoyment of life and liberty, with the means of acquiring and possessing property, and pursuing and obtaining happiness and safety.” —Virginia Declaration of Rights (1776)
The roots of such thinking was John Locke’s Two Treatises of Government, wherein he argued that political society existed for the sake of protecting property, which is to say, life, liberty, and estate. He also argued that a magistrate’s power must be limited to preserving an individual’s civil interests, which he reiterated as life, “liberty, health, and indolency of body and the passage of outward things.”
So the phrasing of Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence relied upon this thinking to proclaim these goals on behalf of British colonists demanding (well, at least a third of them) their independence from the British Crown.
Through the years, Americans conclude that we are, therefore, entitled to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness … happiness being to acquire and maintain property, which was back then, the source of all material wealth.
There are no absolutes, however. We may be entitled to pursue happiness, but the government has the power to take away our happiness for its own purposes. In law,eminent domain is the power of government (local, state, federal) to seize private property while offering the landowner fair compensation —the word fair meaning “according to the government’s determination”[…]
Mustang has other great reads over at his two blogs – Thoughts from Afar
with Old West Tales and Fix Bayonets
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