Four Questions for the Rulers

1. In what way(s) have I violated your natural rights?

2. If I have not violated your natural rights (as I believe to be the case), thereby prompting you to retaliate against me in defense of them, why are you violating my natural rights in such a great variety of ways?

3. If you regard natural rights as intellectually incoherent—as Jeremy Bentham pronounced them, nonsense upon stilts—what justification, if any, do you have for your unprovoked abuse, punishment, and plunder of me and countless others subject to the exercise of your power?

4. If you have no morally defensible justification, but are simply plundering and bullying me and others to gratify your own ravenous greed and unprincipled maliciousness or, perhaps, in the service of an intellectually bankrupt notion such as the aggregate utility or welfare of society, will you be surprised if I and others respond to you as we would to the attack of a wild animal?

Robert Higgs is Senior Fellow in Political Economy at the Independent Institute, author or editor of over fourteen Independent books, and Editor at Large of Independent’s quarterly journal The Independent Review.

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