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IPFS News Link • Freedom

Ridiculing Liberty

•, By eric

But there are also a lot of people (I wouldn't call them Americans) who resent those who aren't servile – and applaud when such deviants are "taught a lesson."

One such lesson was meted out to a Florida woman who had the temerity to assert her right to travel freely. The right most Americans now consider a conditional privilege they must beg the government's permission to be allowed to do. Earlier generations regarded it differently. Thomas Jefferson did not need a riding license to travel by horse from Monticello to Boston. George Washington's carriage didn't have to have license plates, either. Both – and everyone else, back then – availed themselves of what was considered by everyone to be the public right-of-way.

Then along came the government. It paved it over what had been the rights-of-way and asserted ownership over them, rendering those who use them people who must do so according to the government's rules. And it's not even "the government"- as if such an entity had any real existence. It is nothing more than the relative handful of people who exert control over the roads and thereby assert ownership of them.

Americans – many of them – have been taught to believe they own a thing if they have a piece of paper saying it's "theirs." And, of course, it doesn't even say that. It says they have title to the thing – which is a very different thing. Unless you have absolute, legally respected control over something – more finely, if no other person has the legal power to exert control over the thing – then you don't really own it, do you?