Mental Lever Page Description

Mental Levers are mini-articles. They answer key questions and present important libertarian and voluntaryist ideas in bite-size chunks that are easy to share. They are grouped in the following Collections:

How do libertarians view Constitutional rights?

Pre-Constitutional Rights
All human rights are pre-constitutional

The Declaration of Independence announced a universal principle…

Human beings have inalienable rights.

Some of these rights are named in the Constitution’s Bill of Rights, but the Ninth Amendment concedes that no such list can be complete. The rights that governments must honor are innumerable. As empathy evolves and expands, we discover more rights.

This concept of rights was not original to the Founders, but building a government based on it was. Please notice that the idea came first, and the government second. Therefore…

You do NOT get your rights from the Constitution.

Your rights existed BEFORE the Constitution was written. Human rights are “pre-constitutional rights.” If you believe these rights require governments to obey the Zero Aggression Principle, please work with us. Start by subscribing to our email newsletter.

Perry Willis

About the Author

Perry Willis

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Perry Willis is the co-founder of the Zero Aggression Project and Downsize DC. He was the National Director of the Libertarian National Committee on two occasions, and ran two Libertarian Party presidential campaigns. He has an extensive background in marketing and fundraising, and has ghost written direct mail appeals for numerous luminaries, including Karl Hess, Ron Paul, Charlton Heston and Harry Browne.

Jim Babka

About the Author

Jim Babka

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Jim Babka is co-founder of the Zero Aggression Project and President of DownsizeDC.org, Inc. He’s an author and former talk show host.
Previously, he was the President of RealCampaignReform.org, Inc., defending free press rights all the way to the Supreme Court. He and Susie are the proud, home-schooling parents of three teenagers. He enjoys theology, UFC, target practice, and Tai Chi.

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Show Comments 4

 

  1. Many libertarians see the U.S. Constitution as a Hamiltonian grab for power on behalf of a strong central government. The Bill of Rights were appended to it later in the form of amendments to guarantee liberties that the revolutionaries had fought with the British government to secure.

  2. While the Declaration of Independence was among other things,a recognition of existing universal rights, the Constitution was an attempt to shackle the inevitable growth and totalitarian urge of government. The first was successful because its purpose was feasible; the later failed for the opposite reason. It is no blemish upon the brilliance and good intentions of the founders that they failed to foresee how terminology such as “the general welfare” would be fashioned like a wax nose to introduce and justify all manner of evil.

  3. *Sigh* isn’t that the truth, David. If you read Patrick Henry’s reasoning behind not endorsing the Constitution, as well as Samuel Adams and John Hancock’s reasons for wanting a Bill of Rights, you can see how prescient they were. Patrick Henry’s words are practically prophetic. He warned about all three branches of Government and the potential for even the ‘checks and balances’ to be ineffective against Big Government:
    http://www.theimaginativeconservative.org/2017/03/patrick-henry-constitution-thomas-kidd-timeless.html

  4. Thanks for the link. I will pass it on. I don’t know about you, but when I suggest that the Constitution is a seriously flawed document, not a binding contract, and consequently I feel no obligation to honor it as such, I get a good deal of blowback from people who normally appreciate my support of freedom and individual liberty. Cheers

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