Submitted by Mark J. Grant, author of Out of the Box,
Perhaps you have noted in your life, as I have in mine, that denial is often the preface to justification.
“They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.”
A government, any government, the American government, can justify its actions based upon national security. It is an often used tactic that is supposed to explain and rationalize the actions of those in power. It is not a Republican tactic or a Democrat tactic rather it is a tactic used by politicians who wish to control and contain its citizens where retention of power is a higher authority than individual rights. History has shown that only in times of extreme national duress, such as war, that is this a justifiable argument.
“As a man is said to have a right to his property, he may be equally said to have a property in his rights. Where an excess of power prevails, property of no sort is duly respected. No man is safe in his opinions, his person, his faculties, or his possessions.”
It is not often that my commentary concerns itself with the Founding Fathers of our country. I am afraid that most days I am concerned with the more mundane existence of markets and preservation of capital and even of making the occasional dollar when it can be done. I also generally, except as it defines the markets, do not enter into the fray of the right or wrong, the moral justification, of the actions of governments. This is quite a dangerous space where motivations and agendas can and should be called into question.
Having said this then I will state that I have no political agenda and that my sole motivation is what I consider fundamental to the country which is the individual rights ascribed to the people in the formation of America. One document is the Constitution and one is the Bill of Rights which protects the citizens from the intrusion of the government. This is the bedrock of America. This is the terra firma, the firm ground, of the United States.
“Of liberty I would say that, in the whole plenitude of its extent, it is unobstructed action according to our will. But rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add “within the limits of the law,” because law is often but the tyrant’s will, and always so when it violates the right of an individual.”
For the citizens of our country there is no justification, no national security assertion, that will dissuade us from the premise that our current government, in listening to every phone call and reading every transmission on the internet, is violating the fundamental Constitutional rights of American citizens. If you consider Wall Street; every strategy discussed, every potential business transaction written in an email has now been read by our government and the information could be released with great harm resulting to the involved parties. An order given by any institution on the phone or in an Bloomberg IB could be shared with people that could use the information for their own benefit. The potential impact on the financial industry has quite grave consequences!
As Americans we should say, “You have overstepped your boundaries Sir.” Citizens should stand and state, “No one has given you the authority to spy upon me and my fellow Americans and that you are violating the Constitution in this exercise and it should cease immediately.” It should be said to a Democrat. It should be said to a Republican. We should say this to any man that has undertaken to pervert the rights that we have ascribed to ourselves in the formation of our government.
This is where we should stand and we should make our voices heard to the best of our abilities.
“I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them.”