90 Miles From Tyranny : Principles of Constitutionalism: Negative Rights versus Positive Rights

Friday, April 10, 2015

Principles of Constitutionalism: Negative Rights versus Positive Rights

It has previously been shown that constitutionalism, by which is meant the general proposition that government should be restrained by well-defined principles and structures under which it operates (whether written or unwritten), depends up a recognition of the rule of law as reflecting natural law.

From this natural law arises the recognition, in turn, of the natural rights of individual citizens, which ought to be acknowledged and protected by just government, but which are not granted by any government.  These principles, perhaps, find their purest distillation in the American Constitution, a short and simple document which provides a succinct summation of both the natural rights it affirms and a structure of government designed to preserve liberty. 

This basis in natural law explains one of the greatest divides between the broad Left and Right, and shows us why one side (the Right) fights to hold onto our Constitution, while the other (the Left) fights to destroy it. 

In many ways, what it all really comes down to is whether the rights that every individual has, and should enjoy, are “negative” or “positive” in nature, whether they are primarily “defensive” or “proactive.”

Those of us on the Right – liberty-lovers, traditionalists, conservatives, and...
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