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acpatagnan
02-24-2008, 03:50 AM
The ONE and ONLY proper function of the government is the protectin of each individual citizen against coercion and force from others. In a fully free society, this is the most reasonable and objective function of the government. The military is to protect us from foriegn invasion. The police is to proctect us from criminals. The courts of law as an arbiter between disagreements among its citizens. Adding any other functionns will make or turn the government dysfunctional-corruptions and briberies.
Along with the above function, the moral principle are the separtion of the Church as well as the economic activities from the government.
Since the government is the only institution that monopolizes the use of force, or the only institution that handles the arms and guns, it is logical to say that their only function is to be used against to those who initiate or start the use of force and coercion.
If the church and the econmic activities are not separated from the government (as a moral principle) then the force (arms and guns) that the government have can be used to control and or against to those who do not follow religion (whatever religion that dominates then) and the economic activities are no longer free. (Free market is based on persuasion and reason). The evidences are clearly seen in our history-during the spanish era. The society suffers poverty, stagnation, dictatorship and all the evils.
Today, there is no dictatorship, we elect our govenment officials but we have always this corruptions,scandals, and bribery as a way of life or culture. The only reason for all of this is misconceptions about the ONLY PROPER FUNCTION OF THE GOVERNMENT. This is only the symptoms or the effects of much more deeper or root cause. And that is the philosphy, the dominant philosophy of the whole society.
If we Filipinos really want reforms, LET US START IN OUR EDUCATION and in our own individual life. What kind of philosophy de we have? You have to define it clearly, explicitly and objectively.
Religion is a kind or form of philosophy. It has been accepted in our society for so long without any questions and challenge. Is there an alternative? Yes, there is an alternative from religious philosophy. That alternative is OBJECTIVISM. The philosophy of objectivism. The philosophy is objective, reality based kind.

agta
02-26-2008, 04:26 AM
Yes, protection of its citizens is a function of the government. But not only citizens. Even foreigners who sojourn in this country are also to be protected by the government. And it is not only to protect against coercion. The government must do positive acts that would promote the general welfare. It builds roads and bridges to facilitate the economic activities of the people. It builds schools and provide teachers to educate its citizens. We cannot limit its function to protection alone.

The separation of church and state is guaranteed in our constitution. The framers of the constitution may have thought as you do that the cause of corruption is the union of church and state. So they separated the two. And what do we have now that the two are separated. Still rampant corruption. What therefore can we say? We can therefore say that the union or separation of church and state has nothing to do with corruption.

I don't believe that religion has long been accepted in our society without question. The facts prove otherwise. The presence of so many "religions" in our country today is evidence of that. People have been questioning religion and in the process built their own kind of religion. Materialism has become like religion itself. Men look at matter or money as their god. This attitude is what is bringing this country to the pigs. That is one effect of misconceived objectivism.

Obectivism is good. But only if it is understood in its true and comprehensive sense.

acpatagnan
03-12-2008, 12:09 PM
Yes, protection of its citizens is a function of the government. But not only citizens. Even foreigners who sojourn in this country are also to be protected by the government. And it is not only to protect against coercion. The government must do positive acts that would promote the general welfare. It builds roads and bridges to facilitate the economic activities of the people. It builds schools and provide teachers to educate its citizens. We cannot limit its function to protection alone.

The separation of church and state is guaranteed in our constitution. The framers of the constitution may have thought as you do that the cause of corruption is the union of church and state. So they separated the two. And what do we have now that the two are separated. Still rampant corruption. What therefore can we say? We can therefore say that the union or separation of church and state has nothing to do with corruption.

I don't believe that religion has long been accepted in our society without question. The facts prove otherwise. The presence of so many "religions" in our country today is evidence of that. People have been questioning religion and in the process built their own kind of religion. Materialism has become like religion itself. Men look at matter or money as their god. This attitude is what is bringing this country to the pigs. That is one effect of misconceived objectivism.

Obectivism is good. But only if it is understood in its true and comprehensive sense.

Do you think, our government activities are separated from the church? Just observed what we have in Malacanang-a catholic mass being held where in a priest giving lots of idea about government, what is should do. Can you call it separation of church from state. If you are a government officials or employees, religion must be put aside as a personal thing or point of view. Don't you heard the statement of our president Gloria Arroyo that she is president because of the will of God. Is this not a very dangerous idea? Marcos, Cory and many others stated that kind of idea also. Anything they do is also God's thing that the people must acknowledged and obey!!!

I don't think many people accepted religion by means of reason. Many accepted and joined religions by FAITH. Yes it is true there lots of religion today. The only difference is the ritual on how to pleased the alleged God or the ways. The common denominator is the belief on the existence of God without any proof or evidence to support that claim. Religion is appealing to many because of promise they give. In Islam, terrorist or those who die for the sake of Allah, will have virgins in heaven when they executed the bomb. In Christianity, Jesus promised an everlasting life-thought you suffered today here on earth for Christ sake, you will be rewarded life and "crown of glory". Religion actually caters on your feelings or emotion and that whats exactly faith is.

Jeff
03-12-2008, 03:27 PM
Sad to know that politics monopolize or use some religious sect on their cause, and vice versa some religious sect visibly, audibly allow herself to be use not knowing who is the real true liar or saint. Give to ceasar what is due to ceasar.

acpatagnan
03-23-2008, 06:08 AM
The only proper function of the government is the protection of the right of each individual person (man). The constitution is a must be charter to protect the people from the government and not the other way around-that is protecting the government from the people.

What is the RIGHT OF MAN? Rights is a concept that we must understand fully. It is the Americans during the renaissance or the rebirth of reason that they created a government based on the idea of protecting the rights of man. Rights means right to live my own life by my own effort, to seek my own happiness by my own way. Rights is inseparable with each individual person that is RIGHT TO LIFE and the corollary is right to its own property. The ONLY function of the government is to protect that. In what way? Military, police, and court of law.

Now observed what our government is doing. They are controlling your life!!! By creating laws that are not objective but irrational and not conducive to living your own life.

acpatagnan
03-23-2008, 08:08 AM
Sad to know that politics monopolize or use some religious sect on their cause, and vice versa some religious sect visibly, audibly allow herself to be use not knowing who is the real true liar or saint. Give to ceasar what is due to ceasar.

The reason is that IT IS WHAT HAS BEEN TAUGHT IN our SCHOOLS-Christian ethics-the christian morality of government. Don't you know what is the idea of christianity with regards to government? If christianity or any kind of religion is the belief in supernatural being they call God, then this alleged God must have controlled your life, your government as well. According to the Bible it is God who chooses government official, and they are the representative of God. This is similar to the head of the Roman Catholic church which is the POPE-the holy one!. The political mental attitudes of the Vatican is similar to the mental attitude we have here in the Philippines. This is because of the dominant religion. Recall our history during the Spanish era. Lots of corruptions!!!

Governments are man-made institution. We must understand what is its ONLY proper function. This idea is based on REASON, objective reality. This is not taught in our school. It is contrary to christian ethics. REASON IS AGAINST FAITH. You have to understand that. But it is difficult to understand that because of the blinding faith you have since your birth taught by your parents, church and schools.

There is a MORALITY BASED ON REASON, science, reality!!!

agta
03-23-2008, 10:49 AM
What is the RIGHT OF MAN? Rights is a concept that we must understand fully. It is the Americans during the renaissance or the rebirth of reason that they created a government based on the idea of protecting the rights of man. Rights means right to live my own life by my own effort, to seek my own happiness by my own way. Rights is inseparable with each individual person that is RIGHT TO LIFE and the corollary is right to its own property.

But on what principle or truth is the RIGHT OF MAN founded? In other words, what is the basis for man's claim that he has "a right to live my own life by my own effort, seek my own happiness by my own way." ? Can you show empirical proofs that man has that right?

acpatagnan
04-01-2008, 10:56 AM
But on what principle or truth is the RIGHT OF MAN founded? In other words, what is the basis for man's claim that he has "a right to live my own life by my own effort, seek my own happiness by my own way." ? Can you show empirical proofs that man has that right?

"Right" are a moral concept--the concept that provide a logical transition from the principle guiding an individual's action to the principles guiding his relationship with other--the concept that preserves and protect individual morality in social context--the link between the moral code of a man and the legal code of a society, between ethics and politics. INDIVIDUAL RIGHTS ARE THE MEANS OF SUBORDINATING SOCIETY TO MORAL LAW. (From Ayn Rand)

The basis is reality. The proof is reality. Study the nature of man, study his relationship with reality or existence, and study his relationship with other man and you will find and discover that rights is inalienable or unseparable from man.

Your life is your own to live. It is right for you to live according to reality. In order to live you have to use your mind. And this is right. For man to function properly his mind, he needs freedom-from from coercion, from force. The only role of the government is to protect that right.

But according to religious ethics, your life do not belongs to you. It belongs to supernatural being called God, Allah, Karma, Bathala etc. It means logically to live your own life by means of your own mind by your own effort is against the will of God. What the christian ethics teaches is to obey whatever the wishes of God-selfless, sacrifice. To accept it by faith without any question for its proof or reason of evidences. Compare this idea to socialism, communism and totalitarianism. There is similarity.:)

Thus there is a connection about the function of the government (politics) with ethics. There is a morality of faith and the morality of reason(science). The dominant ethics reveals the kind of government the society have.

According to the morality of reason, the ONLY PROPER FUNCTION OF THE GOVERNMENT IS THE PROTECTION OF THE INDIVIDUAL RIGHTS. CAPITALIsM is the form of political system based on that idea.:)

agta
04-01-2008, 09:11 PM
"Right" are a moral concept--the concept that provide a logical transition from the principle guiding an individual's action to the principles guiding his relationship with other--the concept that preserves and protect individual morality in social context--the link between the moral code of a man and the legal code of a society, between ethics and politics. INDIVIDUAL RIGHTS ARE THE MEANS OF SUBORDINATING SOCIETY TO MORAL LAW. (From Ayn Rand)
What guiding principle is Ayn Rand talking about? If there is really that guiding principle, let him show proofs that such principle is real, truly exists, and is not simply a product of his whims.


The basis is reality. The proof is reality. Study the nature of man, study his relationship with reality or existence, and study his relationship with other man and you will find and discover that rights is inalienable or unseparable from man.
Have you yourself sincerely done such study? If you did, what did you discover? Show proofs that rights exists, and show proofs that such rights are inseparable from man.


Your life is your own to live.
Where is your proof to that statement of yours? Show to all of us here that it is not only a blah blah blah.


It is right for you to live according to reality. But what should be the basis of reality? Do not tell me that "reality" are those only that measures up to your experience. Others have experiences which you may not have experienced, and their experience certainly is reality to them. But their experience you would not accept as "reality" unless you yourself would experience them. So, again, what should be the basis of reality?


But according to religious ethics, your life do not belongs to you. It belongs to supernatural being called God, Allah, Karma, Bathala etc. It means logically to live your own life by means of your own mind by your own effort is against the will of God. What the christian ethics teaches is to obey whatever the wishes of God-selfless, sacrifice. And you, what do you obey, yourself alone? You also obey the government from whom you expect protection. Therefore, your life is not yours alone to live. Your life is subject to the laws of the state!


To accept it by faith without any question for its proof or reason of evidences. Compare this idea to socialism, communism and totalitarianism. There is similarity.:)
Only fools have their minds separated from their existence. In normal and natural course of things, the mind is inseparable from existence. When something is presented to us, the mind takes cognizance of it and see if it is true. And when the mind is satisfied of its truth, then and only then does he accepts it as truth. Faith is not without the same process occurring.

acpatagnan
06-14-2008, 05:54 PM
The only function of the government is to protect its citizen from force. Force can be direct or indirect, meaning the use of force can be direct physically like the use of guns against your will. An indirect way use of force can be in a form of deception.

The use of force is a total violation of rights. The government was instituted to protect us from the use of force. It is the only institution that has the monopoly of force. Meaning an institution where the guns are holding in (the police and the military) for the use to control force.

When you say right, it means your right to live, your right to your own life, your right to pursue your own happiness. You have your life therefore it is right to live it. To live is to think. You cannot think under the threat of force. You cannot live properly under the threat of a gun from criminals.

Properly speaking we do not obey government, they protects us. Government obeys us to protect us while we engage in the pursuit of our own happiness. While we are engage in our productive works, the proper government is there ready to protect us of any harm from criminals. They are like a security guard.

Killers take your life, take your right to live. Parasites, looters, robbers, take the value of the productive effort of your life. The government was form and instituted to protect us from them. This is new and modern concept of government that was established by the original founders of the United States of America. The basis and the proof is man's right to life, to his own life. Today, that idea has been corrupted and distorted.


The proof of man's right is man himself. His nature is the proof that it is right to live his life. It is wrong not to. In order to live, man has to think. He has to think how to produce material values to sustain his life. And that is proper and RIGHT. To do otherwise is wrong and evil.:D:)

agta
06-16-2008, 02:16 AM
The government is protector of the rights of the citizens but only if that government derived its authority from the free and honest will of the citizens. But when a government derived its authority from Garci, from Bolate, from Bidoll, from Espearon and from ZTE, then such government is not accountable to the citizens but to Garci and company. The citizens have no right to demand anything from that government, but the citizens must pay back the millions that that government paid the citizens just to be there.

acpatagnan
06-17-2008, 08:58 AM
The government is protector of the rights of the citizens but only if that government derived its authority from the free and honest will of the citizens. But when a government derived its authority from Garci, from Bolate, from Bidoll, from Espearon and from ZTE, then such government is not accountable to the citizens but to Garci and company. The citizens have no right to demand anything from that government, but the citizens must pay back the millions that that government paid the citizens just to be there.


The protection of the rights of man does not derived from the specified person you mention. It is derived from the nature of man's right.

The constition is a written charter or document that explicitly stated the exact function of the government. It is a document to protect the citizen from the govenment.

What about the morality(ethics) of those people in the government. Do they have the morality in their mind about the moral function of the government? Who educate them? The answer is very obvious religion base educational system.:D

agta
06-17-2008, 08:58 PM
The protection of the rights of man does not derived from the specified person you mention. It is derived from the nature of man's right.

The constition is a written charter or document that explicitly stated the exact function of the government. It is a document to protect the citizen from the govenment.

What about the morality(ethics) of those people in the government. Do they have the morality in their mind about the moral function of the government? Who educate them? The answer is very obvious religion base educational system.:D
Only a person can protect man, not a document or a constitution. A document can never protect man.

Why do you speak of morality? What reason is there for man to strive to be good? Might is right, so they say.

acpatagnan
06-20-2008, 02:30 PM
Only a person can protect man, not a document or a constitution. A document can never protect man.

Why do you speak of morality? What reason is there for man to strive to be good? Might is right, so they say.

To Agta,

The reason why we have government, why we instituted it is to protect us, to protect our right to our own life. That is the only proper function. That is the only proper action of government. Morality or code of ethic is a set of principle for man's guide of choices and action. The only moral function of the governmet is the protection of man's right. Morality or ethics is a set of code of what is right or wrong, good or evil? Why do man needs morality or the knowledge of right or wrong, good or evil? You can read in full detail in my thread in Objective Ethics.

What is good? What is evil? What is right or wrong? What is true or false? These are the questions that is dealt with morality or ethics. The foundation of ethics is metaphysics and epistemology. Ethics is the technology of metaphysics and epistemology.

To know the ONLY function of the govenment is to trace it to ethic, to epistemology and to metaphysics. This is an integrated knowledge. Knowledge has to be acquired. It is not given to us by nature automatically. Reason is the only tools.:D Why? The ultimate value is LIFE. We need to know what will be our action towards the end-which is life. Life is an end itself. :D:D

agta
06-21-2008, 10:43 PM
To Agta,

The reason why we have government, why we instituted it is to protect us, to protect our right to our own life. That is the only proper function. That is the only proper action of government.
Yes, protect us our right to life. But our right to life is not in a limbo! Our right to life includes our right to choose who should occupy the offices in government that we want to run such government. When that right to choose is corrupted by Garci, Bidol or Esperon, then we do not speak of rights. We speak of violation of rights. A government that violated the rights of citizens cannot be expected to be protector of the right to life of the citizens.

acpatagnan
06-24-2008, 12:59 PM
Yes, protect us our right to life. But our right to life is not in a limbo! Our right to life includes our right to choose who should occupy the offices in government that we want to run such government. When that right to choose is corrupted by Garci, Bidol or Esperon, then we do not speak of rights. We speak of violation of rights. A government that violated the rights of citizens cannot be expected to be protector of the right to life of the citizens.


You are right. The potential violator of man's right is the government. What I am saying here on this thread that the only function of the government is to protect the rights.

If there are grievance with regards to election, there is and must be a court to handle that. Also part of government. Do you have to use arm or force to complain? (Demonstration, rallies, coup de tate etc)

To see the general eye view, the Philippines is called the christian country, but one of the corrupt. Is christianity the caused? Christianity is part of the culture of the majority. What is the christian view of govenment? You can find that in encyclical "Populorum Progressio."

agta
06-24-2008, 09:53 PM
You are right. The potential violator of man's right is the government. What I am saying here on this thread that the only function of the government is to protect the rights.

If there are grievance with regards to election, there is and must be a court to handle that. Also part of government. Do you have to use arm or force to complain? (Demonstration, rallies, coup de tate etc)

To see the general eye view, the Philippines is called the christian country, but one of the corrupt. Is christianity the caused? Christianity is part of the culture of the majority. What is the christian view of govenment? You can find that in encyclical "Populorum Progressio."
No. Christianity is not part of the culture of the majority. Open your eyes to the truth. Many around you, for their own agenda, just ride on with the name of Christian. But look at them. They rebel against the teachings of Christianity. Abortion here and there, use contraceptives. Steal and kill. It is not the teachings of Christianity that the majority follow! It is the enemy of Christianity that the majority follow. And undoubtedly, you are one of that enemy of Christianity.

acpatagnan
06-28-2008, 09:50 AM
No. Christianity is not part of the culture of the majority. Open your eyes to the truth. Many around you, for their own agenda, just ride on with the name of Christian. But look at them. They rebel against the teachings of Christianity. Abortion here and there, use contraceptives. Steal and kill. It is not the teachings of Christianity that the majority follow! It is the enemy of Christianity that the majority follow. And undoubtedly, you are one of that enemy of Christianity.

What is exaclty christianity? Is not the followers of Christ teachings? What is in brief the teaching of Christ? Is it not ALTRUISM-sacrifice of value to non value?

Life is the ultimate value. Each individual man is right to his own life by his own effort by the use of his own mind. And the role of the government is to protect it from violations. What is the christian view of the role of the government? Is it not to control each individual every aspect of his life? Even his right not to have a baby voluntarily by the use of contraceptions and enjoy the pleasure of sex? :D

Jeff
06-28-2008, 01:20 PM
The ONE and ONLY proper function of the government is the protectin of each individual citizen against coercion and force from others. In a fully free society, this is the most reasonable and objective function of the government. The military is to protect us from foriegn invasion. The police is to proctect us from criminals. The courts of law as an arbiter between disagreements among its citizens. Adding any other functionns will make or turn the government dysfunctional-corruptions and briberies.
Along with the above function, the moral principle are the separtion of the Church as well as the economic activities from the government.
Since the government is the only institution that monopolizes the use of force, or the only institution that handles the arms and guns, it is logical to say that their only function is to be used against to those who initiate or start the use of force and coercion.
If the church and the econmic activities are not separated from the government (as a moral principle) then the force (arms and guns) that the government have can be used to control and or against to those who do not follow religion (whatever religion that dominates then) and the economic activities are no longer free. (Free market is based on persuasion and reason). The evidences are clearly seen in our history-during the spanish era. The society suffers poverty, stagnation, dictatorship and all the evils.
Today, there is no dictatorship, we elect our govenment officials but we have always this corruptions,scandals, and bribery as a way of life or culture. The only reason for all of this is misconceptions about the ONLY PROPER FUNCTION OF THE GOVERNMENT. This is only the symptoms or the effects of much more deeper or root cause. And that is the philosphy, the dominant philosophy of the whole society.
If we Filipinos really want reforms, LET US START IN OUR EDUCATION and in our own individual life. What kind of philosophy de we have? You have to define it clearly, explicitly and objectively.
Religion is a kind or form of philosophy. It has been accepted in our society for so long without any questions and challenge. Is there an alternative? Yes, there is an alternative from religious philosophy. That alternative is OBJECTIVISM. The philosophy of objectivism. The philosophy is objective, reality based kind.

Yan ba pagka intindi mo sa role ng pamahalaan? napaka babaw ata. Better look for another topic, sawang sawa na kami sa pabalik balik mo na topic.

agta
06-28-2008, 06:56 PM
Life is the ultimate value. Each individual man is right to his own life by his own effort by the use of his own mind. And the role of the government is to protect it from violations. What is the christian view of the role of the government? Is it not to control each individual every aspect of his life? Even his right not to have a baby voluntarily by the use of contraceptions and enjoy the pleasure of sex? :D
You are absolutely wrong! Christian view of the role of government is not to control each individual every aspect of his life"!This is not a topic for jokes, so don't think this is a joke!:mad:

acpatagnan
07-01-2008, 06:50 PM
Yan ba pagka intindi mo sa role ng pamahalaan? napaka babaw ata. Better look for another topic, sawang sawa na kami sa pabalik balik mo na topic.

Hindi ito mababaw kundi ang pinakamalalim na rason kung bakit tayo may gobyerno na hindi maunawaan ng nakakarami. Ang alam ng nakakarami ang gobyerno ay takbuhan ng mga simpleng pangangailangan ng tao gaya ng pagkain, edukasyon, at iba pa. Libreng edukasyon, libreng gamot, libreng ospital, libreng punla sa pagsasaka. Hindi ito ang tungkulin ng gobyerno ang mamigay ng mga ito.

Kaya nagsasawa dahil hindi maunawan ang mga bagay na ito. Ito ay dapat maunawan ng isang taong nag-iisip.:D

acpatagnan
07-01-2008, 06:58 PM
You are absolutely wrong! Christian view of the role of government is not to control each individual every aspect of his life"!This is not a topic for jokes, so don't think this is a joke!:mad:

Really? Or only you do not understand the essence of the teaching of christianity. The source document of christianity comes from the Pope that issued encyclical.

Tell us what in christianity is the role of the government in the life an individual? This is not a joke but of great importance in the life of every man. How do you know what you know? :D

acpatagnan
07-01-2008, 08:03 PM
The topic is about the proper function of the government.

The basis of the only proper function of the government is man's nature. (Read the thread: Nature of Govenment).

How about on the side of religion?
If you know it then tell us and justify your statement. If you say what I stated is wrong then prove it or support your statement or give reason why?:D

acpatagnan
09-07-2008, 07:40 AM
This article is from TOS Vol. 3, No. 3.

McBama vs. America

By Craig Biddle

As the 2008 presidential election nears, and while John McCain and Barack Obama struggle to distinguish themselves from each other in terms of particular promises and goals, it is instructive to observe that these candidates are indistinguishable in terms of fundamentals.

On the domestic front, McCain promises to “take on” the drug companies, as if those who produce and market the medicines that improve and save human lives must be fought; he promises to ration energy by means of a cap-and-trade scheme, as if the government has a moral or constitutional right to dictate how much energy a company may purchase or use; he promises to “battle” big oil, as if those who produce and deliver the lifeblood of civilization need to be defeated; he promises to “reform” Wall Street, as if those who finance the businesses that produce the goods and services on which our lives depend are thereby degenerate; he seeks to uphold the ban on drilling in ANWR, as if the government has a moral or constitutional right to prevent Americans from reshaping nature to suit their needs; and so on.

Obama promises to socialize health care (under the tired euphemism of “universal health care”), as if insurance companies, doctors, and patients have no right to use or dispose of their property or to contract with one another according to their own judgment; he promises to increase the minimum wage, as if employers and employees lack those same rights; he promises to pour taxpayer money into “alternative energy,” as if the government has a moral or constitutional right to confiscate money from productive citizens in order to subsidize tilting windmills; he promises to force oil companies to fund government handouts to Americans, as if the owners of oil companies have no right to their property or profits; he promises to bail out homeowners who cannot pay their mortgages, as if the government has a moral or constitutional right to make some people pay for the financial mistakes or hardships of others; he promises to “incentivize” students to do “community service” by offering them taxpayer-funded college tuition, as if the government has a moral or constitutional right to do so; and so on.

In regard to foreign policy, McCain promises to “respect the collective will of our democratic allies,” as if America has no moral right to defend her citizens according to her own best judgment; and he promises to finish the “mission” of making Iraq “a functioning democracy” even if it takes “one hundred years,” as if the U.S. government has a moral or constitutional right to sacrifice American soldiers to spread democracy abroad.1

Obama promises to uphold the idea that “America’s larger purpose in the world is to promote the spread of freedom. . . . dignity, and opportunity,” as if we have a moral responsibility to minister to the uncivilized and the unfortunate across the globe; and he promises to negotiate with jihadists who chant “Death to America,” as if Americans will be safe from these lunatics when the lunatics give Obama their word.2

Looking past the particular programs of McCain and Obama, and viewing their goals in terms of the purpose of government presumed by these goals, we can see that both candidates hold that the purpose of government is to manage the economy, to regulate businesses, to redistribute wealth, to bring freedom or democracy to foreigners, and to defer to the will of others on matters of American security.

But this is not the proper purpose of government. Nor is it the purpose that America’s founders had in mind when they formed this great country.

A government is an institution with a monopoly on the use of physical force in a given geographic area. The proper purpose of government is, as the Founding Fathers recognized, to protect each individual’s right to live his life as he sees fit (the right to life); to act on his own judgment, free from coercion (the right to liberty); to keep, use, and dispose of the product of his efforts (the right to property); and to pursue the goals and values of his choice (the right to the pursuit of happiness). The way government achieves this vital purpose is by banning the use of physical force from social relationships and forbidding foreigners to physically harm citizens or their property. And, crucially, because government is an agent of force, it too must be prohibited from misusing force, which is why the founders wrote the U.S. Constitution, the purpose of which is to limit the power of government to the protection of individual rights. A proper government does everything necessary to protect individual rights and nothing that in any way violates individual rights.

This is the kind of government that was and is the American ideal. But it is nowhere to be found in the campaign materials or speeches of McCain or Obama. Whatever their differences, these two men are soul mates in their disdain for this ideal.

Why do McCain and Obama embrace the notion that government should manage the economy, regulate businesses, redistribute wealth, bring freedom to foreigners, and defer to the will of others on matters of American security? The answer lies not in their politics but in their ethics.

What one advocates in the realm of political philosophy depends on what one regards as true in the realm of moral philosophy. Should a businessman be free to keep, use, and dispose of the wealth he produces—or should he be forced to hand some (or all) of it over to those who did not produce it? The answer one gives depends on whether one thinks a person is morally entitled to the product of his effort—or morally obligated to serve others.

Should doctors, patients, and insurance companies be free to contract voluntarily with one another—or should the government dictate the terms of their agreements? The answer one gives depends on whether one thinks individuals have a moral right to act on their own judgment for their own sake—or a moral “duty” to sacrifice for their neighbors or “the poor” or society.

Should a nation’s leaders rationally, self-interestedly decide, given all the relevant facts, how best to defend their country’s citizens from foreign aggression and then act accordingly—or should those leaders selflessly defer to the judgments of leaders of other nations? The answer one gives depends on whether one regards acting on independent judgment as morally correct—or deferring to a “collective will” as the right thing to do.

Both McCain and Obama hold that being moral consists in self-sacrificially serving or deferring to others; thus, both hold that the individual—whether a CEO, a plumber, a doctor, or a soldier—must either sacrifice or be sacrificed for the sake of the “collective” or the “greater good” or the world at large.

“Glory belongs to the act of being constant to something greater than yourself,” says McCain.3 We “must devote ourselves to causes greater than our self-interests.”4 And such causes are to be found wherever people are in need: “Every place there’s a hungry child, there’s a cause. Every place there’s a senior without life-saving prescription drugs, there’s a cause. Everywhere there’s a child without education, there’s a cause. Everywhere in the world where there’s ethnic, tribal or age-old hatreds, there’s a cause.”5 Obama agrees, and adds: “We may disagree as Americans on certain issues and positions, but I believe we can be unified in service to a greater good. I intend to make it a cause of my presidency, and I believe with all my heart that this generation is ready and eager and up to the challenge. . . .” Americans must focus on more than “the big house and the nice suits and all the other things that our money culture says you should buy. . . .”6 We have “obligations towards one another.” The “problems of poverty, racism, the uninsured, and the unemployed are not simply technical problems”; they are “moral problems”; they are “rooted in both societal indifference and individual callousness. . . .”7 We must heed the “call to sacrifice”; we “need to think in terms of ‘thou’ and not just ‘I.’”8 We must “reaffirm that fundamental belief—I am my brother’s keeper, I am my sister’s keeper—that makes us one people, and one nation.”9

Observe that such paeans to sacrifice are not unique to these two candidates nor to this particular presidential race; they have been staples of every candidate, every race, and every president in recent history. George H. W. Bush sold his programs by trumpeting “an ethic of community service” and rhapsodizing about solving “pressing human problems” by means of “a vast galaxy of people working voluntarily in their own backyards.”10 Bill Clinton sold his agenda by telling America that “citizen service is the main way we recognize that we are responsible for one another” and by urging “every state to make service a part of the curriculum in high school or even in middle school” because “every young American should be taught the joy and the duty of serving.”11 And George W. Bush has accomplished his goals by telling us that “where there is suffering, there is duty” and that “Americans are generous and strong and decent, not because we believe in ourselves, but because we hold beliefs beyond ourselves” and that we must “seek a common good beyond our comfort” and “serve our nation” by “building communities of service.”12

American politicians [same with Filipino] trumpet the alleged virtue of sacrifice not only because they personally believe sacrifice to be a virtue, but also because doing so gets them elected—and because, once elected, it enables them to accomplish their corresponding goals in office.

Over the past few decades, Americans have consistently selected candidates and elected and re-elected presidents who call for self-sacrifice. Why?

Although America was founded on the principle of individual rights [not with the Philippines], Americans since the founding have increasingly embraced a moral code that is diametrically opposed to that principle: the morality of altruism, the notion that being moral consists in self-sacrificially serving others. We repeatedly hear: “Don’t be selfish”— “Put others first”— “It is more blessed to give than to receive”— “Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country”— “Volunteer to serve in your community”— “Sacrifice for the greater good”—and so on. This is the morality that surrounded all of us growing up—and that still surrounds us. It is the morality taught in churches, synagogues, and schools; offered in books, movies, and on TV; and encouraged by most parents. And it is the morality by reference to which our presidential candidates build political platforms, clinch nominations, win elections, and govern the country.

Although few Americans strive consistently to practice the morality of self-sacrifice—because consistently acting in a self-sacrificial manner is wholly contrary to the pursuit of happiness—most Americans have, to a significant extent, accepted this morality as true. And because Americans generally want to do what they think is right, their consequent striving for virtue in this regard—and their corresponding support for political candidates who call for sacrifice—has been and is leading to the demise of America.

If we want to see the day when a presidential candidate calls for returning government to its proper function—protecting individual rights—then we must understand and embrace the moral foundation of that political principle, and we must demand that the politicians we support also recognize and uphold it. We must grasp and uphold the principle that being moral consists not in sacrificing or giving up one’s values, but rather in pursuing and protecting one’s values while respecting the rights of others to do the same. This is the basic principle of the morality of self-interest—and it is the principle that underlies and supports the American ideal.

The notion that the individual should sacrifice or be sacrificed for the “collective” or the “community” or the “greater good” is not noble; it is evil. It is the very idea that gave rise to communism, Nazism, and fascism. The communists said, “from each according to his ability, to each according to his needs.” Adolf Hitler wrote:

This state of mind, which subordinates the interests of the ego to the conservation of the community, is really the first premise for every truly human culture. . . . The basic attitude from which such activity arises, we call—to distinguish it from egoism and selfishness—idealism. By this we understand only the individual’s capacity to make sacrifices for the community, for his fellow men.13

And Benito Mussolini championed

a moral law, binding together individuals and the generations into a tradition and a mission . . . a higher life . . . a life in which the individual, through the denial of himself, through the sacrifice of his own private interests . . . realizes that completely spiritual existence in which his value as a man lies.14

Yet this same idea is routinely championed by American politicians—whom Americans then elect to govern the country. This is why America is headed in the direction of statism.

It is time for Americans to denounce the morality of self-sacrifice as false, as anti-freedom, and as anti-America. It is time for Americans to discover and explicitly embrace the morality of self-interest, which is, in fact, the morality implicit in the American ideal of the right to life, liberty, property, and the pursuit of happiness. If enough Americans start now, by 2012 we may see presidential candidates begin to move in the direction of the American ideal. If, however, Americans fail to challenge the status quo, our future will be fraught with more McCains, more Obamas—and worse.

This November, I will skip what would be a meaningless trip to the voting booth and, instead, spend that time engaging in intellectual activism. I hope you will join me.

[inside the bracket are my comment]