Post to another forum...Right to healthcare debate - Piparskeggrsbok
Jun. 27th, 2009
03:46 pm - Post to another forum...Right to healthcare debate
Bear with me, please, I tend to long answers in this sort of discussion.
My understanding is that a Right preexists any government, as a gift of Nature's God under Nature's Laws; our Constitution acknowledges this part of our human condition, it does not grant these Rights.
From your words, which seem thoughtful to me, I believe you are familiar with this point of view. I am stating this position for our mutual audience.
However, the acknowledgment of the universality of Rights, and protection thereof by those we put in authority over us as citizens, has evolved over time, especially for those amongst us who have a "lesser voice" (so to speak). Also, the idea of who is a Citizen has broadened over man's development; ancient Rome's concept thereof and the changes therein are a good case to study, especially as it developed from kingdom to republic to principiate.
The idea of Human Rights being a separate category from Civil Rights is also a fairly recent philosophical development in the history of mankind in my view. For me, Rights are Rights; what come into play in the Civic arena are virtues, morals and ethics.
The ethics of my worldview are fairly simple. I strive to do that which is right for family, friends and community, with wisdom, generosity and personal honor. Admittedly, helping strangers outside of my community does not enter into this, as to do so would slight my ability to help those to whom I am most fully obligated. And yes, my military service would be an aberration under this ethos as it involves helping (in a way) millions of strangers.
Government will restrict our liberty, sometimes for good reason, to exercise our rights as freeborn men and women. These areas, which are licensed or regulated, then become privileges.
Constitutions and laws are set up by us (or our trusted representatives) as a communal set of strictures upon government, and upon ourselves.
Governments are also instituted to do things that smaller subdivisions of society cannot do for themselves.
My hometown could not have pulled off a project in the scale of Boulder dam; a much larger pool of resources is needed.
I am well aware of poor houses, my father's uncle Jack died in one back in the 1930's, along with his wife. It was a time when the family was unable to afford to help them. It was a hard time for everyone. But, it was still the family's responsibility to try and help them, something in which we did fail. The poorhouse was supposed to be a drastic measure of last resort supplied by the community at large (or, in this case, by the Church), which it was.
Much of my suspicion of government claiming that they are here to help is colored by a few pieces of family history: I had ancestors on Daniel Shays side of that fracas, ancestors coming to America due to help by the British during the Potato Famine years, my maternal grandfather having witnessed Fascism in Italy and my mother-in-law's family having seen Communism, both in Russia and in Greece.
I am at heart, an Anglo-Saxon freeholder, who looks upon family and community as the largest, workable, social units. Larger entities are needy, and get greedy; for money, power...look at how the Church and State grew bloated with both over the history of Europe.
I also grew up under the New England Town Meeting form of local government, a very democratic form of republicanism. =)
Any bureaucracy, no matter how benign in original intent, will tend towards consolidating its control over its sector of policy and polity; mission creep also tends to move in...justifying the bureau's existence by claiming more and more areas of responsibility, building new agencies where none need to exist at a federal level, keeping their "clients" in a sort of bondage to the conditions that bring them to the "helpers" in the first place.
Health care reform is needed, but I think any fixes need to come from the bottom up, not the top down.
Be well - Pip