Saturday, February 19, 2005

The Franchise

Theres a great discussion going on over at Francis Poretto's Eternity Road about the franchise, and it's potential limitation.

Let me say right now, I hold an opinion contrary to most libertarians, but in concert with Heinlein; I believe that the franchise must be earned.

My comment on why, from the comments on eternity road in the extended entry ...

"Ok, the question of service to the state.

I draw a HUGE distinction between service to state, and service to the nation.

If you need me to explain that, then there’s too much philsophical background we’re going to need to get into first, because the difference is fundamental.

And yes, I do favor a restriction of the franchise. Very simply, that which is unearned, is unvalued.

This gets back into the difference between rights, and priviliges (philosophically not legally). A privilege is something which is granted, a right is something that is inherent to a man by virtue of his existence.

Rights are not granted by the constitution, they are inherent to man, the constitution defines how those rights can be restricted by our government.

The franchise is not one of those rights.

One could say that there is an inherent right to participate in the government you live under, and I think that argument has merit; but as privileges are earned, rights must be defended.

The defense of these rights is what I am talking about when I invoke service to the nation. If you are unwilling or unable to defend those rights, you are not deserving of them.

As there are some people who are mentally, emotionally, or morally unable, or unwilling to serve in a military capacity, there are other forms of national service which are just as much a defense of our nation.

Again if I need to explain how this is true, there’s a lot more background we need to go into before we have a useful discussion.

Hardcore libertarians might say this is slavery to the state. I contend it is something entirely different, it is duty to the nation, and ultimately duty to your fellow man, and to your self."