"It is embarrassing to have to remind people of this in the United States of America. In the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson singled out three natural rights: life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. The last phrase, appearing instead of "property," has prompted much discussion. I cannot say what Jefferson was thinking. But here's a plausible theory: Property is already implicit in liberty. If you are free, you can use your belongings as you see fit. But by specifying the pursuit of happiness Jefferson might have been pointing out that the blessing of liberty need not be justified through selfless service to others. One's life and happiness on earth are justification enough."
by:
Sheldon Richman
Editor of The Freeman, author, journalist
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Reader comments about this quote:
I like it, a lot ! What is embarrassing, by extremely terse example is: when liberty does not extend to youngsters selling lemon aide in front of their house, when secular government makes religious sacraments illegal without god / government / theocracy requiring privilege to break such law, when a court says living off grid is illegal, when legislators say it is illegal to collect rain water for personal use, when the executive acts in unlawful usurpation at tyranny (compelled compliance, license, victimless crimes, larceny with impunity), when propaganda claims a lie (such as serve and protect when, by court canon, no policing agency has any liability, job description or responsibility to We The People but, to the god/government only), etc., etc., etc.
 -- Mike, Norwalk     
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     -- jim k, Austin      
    Those that have lived an Independent's life, are ever aware of the noose of oppression. It has slowly tightened over time. It is not theory that property already is a right within Liberty. Doctrines of such point out that fact ! Socialism imposed by way of, threat and force, tyrannical taskmasters of the worst kind. The blessings of Liberty need not be justified through forced selfless service to others. Cuff money to keep suits in power.
     -- Ronw13, Yachats Or     
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    I agree!
     -- Robert, Somewhere in Europe     
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    Hear, hear!!
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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     -- Warrdoc, Elk Grove,      
     
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