The right to trade freely is a natural right

American conservatism is many things but everything that makes up American conservatism is contained within the concept of free trade.

Free trade is built around a belief in property rights; that you have the right to own property and the right to control it. It is fundamental that the right own and control property is the right to improve your property and to benefit from it.

These are the very foundations of the social order on which the United States was built. The idea that you have the right to property and the right to benefit from its use and gather its fruits is fundamental to American conservatism.

Free trade is the acceptance of property rights and the right to dispose of property freely and without government interference. Its support by government is government support for the general welfare. Its obstruction by government, on the other hand, is the crony capitalist protection of special interests and monopoly.

The right to trade with our fellow man is a natural right that precedes the existence of government. Restrictions on trade by kings, princes or presidents undermine this God-given natural right.

When government promotes free trade it promotes individual liberty and the rights of man. Restrictions on trade are, by definition, corrosive of this fundamental natural right.

Trade that can only occur with permission of a sovereign is absolutely, positively hostile to the rights of man and American conservatism.

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25 Responses to The right to trade freely is a natural right

  1. C. L. says:

    I like the quote. You must have been feeling the need for some red meat this morning. 🙂

    Aside from trade, I have always been angry (angry may not be the right word) that the government has totally destroyed our right to real property through the ability to take that real property from you if you do not pay taxes on it that they have no right to impose. With that system in place, they have stolen our natural right to property.

  2. rj says:

    Amen and Amen,

    CL I agree, just the thought of owing govt over 6k a year to continue occupy and enjoy the benefits of a bought and paid for with sweat and blood farm an home sets my blood to boil.

    How the hell can a man enjoy the fruits of a lifetime of labor if he continues to owe govt just to keep his roof over his head.

    • R.D. Walker says:

      I have always said that income tax is far better than property tax. At least those with no income pay no income tax. You must pay property tax whether you have income or not.

      There should be a primary home exemption below a set amount.

  3. Uke says:

    There’s quite the flap going on in the last couple days over a Blaze contributor, Tomi Lahren, and her coming out on The View as being pro-choice.

    Now, whether her stance comes as a result of lengthy evaluation and careful contemplation, or just a way to to get belly rubs from the leftist gals on The View, who the fuck knows.

    But it has revealed an interesting rift in the conservative movement. It’s not an evenly divided split, mind you; the vast majority of conservatives seem to be giving Tomi hell over going rogue on stance that many see as a fundamental tenet of conservatism.

    (The split, incidentally, was between traditional conservatives and the alt-right. Straight up, the alt-right was defending pro-choice on the interwebs the last couple days. Can you think of why that might be, ladies and gentlemen?)

    Which is to say, you can have varying views on many issues, but there are a few that are foundational to being a conservatism, and if you don’t hold them, you are “something else.”

    Abortion appears to be one of these points, and possibly the most firmly held of them.

    Getting to the point of the article…

    I would say that free trade should also be one of these points. If I were a king and could wave a magic wand–or at least had the power of William F. Buckley to excommunicate people from conservatism–I would make it so free trade was absolutely something members had to abide by, and not allow it to be a bargaining chip in our ideological war with the left.

    But I feel like it is some degree less than a “mandatory stance,” unfortunately.

    The benefits of free trade are often too diffuse for an individual to feel, but the free market can certainly be blamed for its few, very visible drawbacks. Someone that has a passionately held position on abortion may simply not be educated enough to carry an informed opinion on free trade. Economics is simply a far more complex issue. Furthermore, economics relies on understanding that some of the truths are seemingly counter-intuitive, and lie beyond the seen.

    • Uke says:

      (I’m not meaning to turn this into an abortion or Tomi Lahren thread. I simply saw a common thread to a contemporary event.)

      • Ben says:

        Not to continue to derail this, but I disagree about abortion being a necessary tenant. For several reasons

        1. Abortion has existed in some form since prostitution has (forever)
        2. With #1 in mind it as at least understandable that allowing it with limits i.e. first trimester can be less evil than purely black market.
        3. Free people, Free minds, Free markets Has nothing about morality and a free mind in a free market can certainly find people willing to perform an abortion for whatever reason.

        Personally I knocked up a girl when I was 15 she was 18 and her parents made her get rid of it. I will carry that stain for eternity. It is a terrible thing that I wish I could make far more rare.

        • Uke says:

          Free people, Free minds, Free markets Has nothing about morality

          Debatable.

          We believe that the mantra is good because it is most effective and practical toward achieving the best outcome possible for as many people as possible. The best ends, in other words.

          I’d also argue, though, that it is inherently good. It is good because it recognizes the greatest amount of dignity for the individual and grants him the greatest possible amount of agency that can be achieved in a system devised by mortal man.

          In other words, it is also good means as well as a good end.

          On abortion specifically, free people cannot exist if you don’t protect their lives to start with. So there’s that.

          • Ben says:

            I am also not sure that is debatable. Free people with Free minds inevitably have different moral boundaries. The existence of a Free market would also inevitably have area’s that cater towards those different moral tolerances.

            Just because we think X is wrong doesn’t mean everyone will and if we mean our “mantra” then emergent market phenomena will create a niche for those that accept X. If the population that wants X to be in the market is to small for it to survive so be it the business will fail.

            Let’s call X gay porn. Or abortion or whatever you want.

            I would leave abortion like most things up to the states.

            • Uke says:

              There are certain boundaries that even a libertarian people establish.

              This is how a libertarian can still be pro-life. They see certain things as not simply a matter of personal choice.

              It is not merely a personal choice issue whether one wants to murder their infant offspring. It’s not simply a state’s rights issue on that subject, either.

              (Gay porn is not analogous. One does not kill people to watch gay porn, so far as I know.)

              Similarly, we do not feel that the 2A is an issue that can wholly be left to the states.

              IOW, you do not cease to be a good libertarian just because you put up boundaries of some kind. Being a good libertarian does not require one to be an amoral anarchist.

              • Ben says:

                Again putting up boundaries is not the same as out right banning and saying people who disagree flat out can’t be “conservative” I am pro-Life, but I live in the real world.

                We have boundaries already, porn isn’t available to minors. etc etc.

                A world that has had abortion, illegal drug use, Trannies and LGB for thousands of years.

                You aren’t going to eliminate it.

        • Uke says:

          With regards to #1, I’d suggest that just because something exists doesn’t mean we must necessarily condone it. Case by case basis.

          Re: #2, I’d simply say that I would not toss the baby out with the bathwater if I were presented with a solution that banned most abortion, but allowed some. I’d probably take that if I thought I couldn’t get more.

          But I’d recognize that as operating under political realities. I wouldn’t actually say those few abortions left are simply “okay.” They’re not okay. It’s just the best we could get.

          • Ben says:

            But I’d recognize that as operating under political realities. I wouldn’t actually say those few abortions left are simply “okay.” They’re not okay. It’s just the best we could get.

            This is more or less where I am. Getting rid of unwanted children has and will always be a “thing” limiting it to first trimester and any other limits we can pass would be great, but I would still prefer to have it done in a documented and traceable manner than by a herbalist/apothecary giving out pennyroyal tea like its the 1400’s.

            If I could wave a wand and make unnecessary abortion and unwanted pregnancy not exist I would, but I can’t so pick your battles.

        • R.D. Walker says:

          I would argue that, if you agree that the unborn are human beings and American conservatism is fundamentally about the protection of life, liberty and property, then pro-life is a foundational aspect of conservatism.

          I, of course, believe they are 100 percent human. The unborn have DNA that is distinct from their mothers. Their ancestry can be traced. Heck, half the time they aren’t even the same sex as their mothers.

          If protecting innocent life is a conservative principle – it is – and the unborn are innocents – they are – then protecting their lives is a conservative principle.

          Libertarian too. Libertarians who disagree can only argue that the unborn aren’t fully human or they can’t really call themselves libertarian.

          • Ben says:

            All I am saying is flat out saying that anyone that is not 100% ban abortion pro-life is not conservative is the same type of litmus test virtue signalling we make fun of from the left.

            It is a millennia old question with complicated moral and philosophical strands intertwined in Gordian knot.

            I personally would leave it up to the states. I think we would end up with far fewer abortions and an almost complete end to late term and partial birth abortions. In addition to an obvious end to federal funding.

            Yes California would likely still have on demand anything goes abortion, but I guess that makes me not a conservative or a libertarian.

            Maybe I’m just a constitutional classical liberal and neither of those other labels after all.

            • R.D. Walker says:

              I am not commenting on how conservative someone is or isn’t or applying a litmus test.

              I am commenting on an ethos that demands that life and liberty must be jealously protected. The logic of that ethos, it seems to me, would demand protection of unborn persons.

              • Ben says:

                I don’t disagree. This in my opinion closely parallels the trade argument.

                We can’t get free trade so we accept the freest trade we can.

                I accept that abortion has and will always exist because unwanted pregnancy has and will always exist.

                That doesn’t make me pro choice it makes me a realist.

                The fact of the mater is 40% of the population doesn’t care either way. Making this a requirement to be a “conservative” just irritates them because they don’t see it as black and white.

                I would rather see it sent to the states and have 45 states ban late term abortion and 38 require adoption counselling etc etc.

                Than to continue on the mostly failed track we have been fighting at the federal level.

  4. Uke says:

    A world that has had abortion, illegal drug use, Trannies and LGB for thousands of years.

    You aren’t going to eliminate it.

    Gay people and abortions are not analogous. At all. Who can honestly claim that gay sex in the privacy of one’s own home is harming 3rd parties? Probably Westboro Baptists and that’s it.

    An abortion, however, no matter how privately it’s done, is harming a 3rd party. It is literally snuffing out a human life.

    It’d be far more apt to compare abortion to murder. Murder has existed since Cain killed Abel. Yet we see fit to have laws against murder. Should we get rid of them simply because murder continues despite those laws?

    • Ben says:

      Here is the thing. Up until the last 50 years when science progressed to where we could see with in the womb “human life” started when the mother felt the first movements inside of her.

      For thousands of years doing something to end a pregnancy before you felt the child stir and before it developed limbs was at most a minor offense.

      People still debate when a baby is a baby and when it isn’t you can look up philosophical treatise by Aristotle or St Augustine or 100 others that simply state. We as men do not know, but we all agree its certainly a person once it moves and has limbs.

      If we could even revert to that definition it would be a win in my book.

      What you are missing is that people who are not evil can come to different conclusions about that whole snuffing out a human life part.

      You are failing to acknowledge that other opinions can exist and may be valid.

      • Uke says:

        You are failing to acknowledge that other opinions can exist and may be valid.

        I’m simply stating fact.

        Whether the human fetus at early stages is a human life is not a matter of opinion. It’s a factual debate. What one chooses to do with that human life is a matter of opinion, but not whether that life is a living human in the first place.

        That prior behavior and cultural standard was based on scientific ignorance. Because of relatively new medical technology, we now know that the fetus, even in the first trimester (itself an arbitrary, made up delineation created during Roe v. Wade, btw) is alive and clearly human. Moreover, it is a separate being from the mother, and not merely an appendage or some such.

        Biologically speaking, even a fetus prior to the quickening (which you’re talking about), or the first heartbeat, is still living. It’s still a human. It’s just early in the lifecycle.

        Finally, I am not saying that anything more moderate than a total ban on abortion is evil. My 80% friend is not my 20% enemy.

        But we do not need to be meek about saying with certainty that a truth is a truth, even if we can’t get 100% of the way there due to the nature of politics.

  5. C. L. says:

    “(I’m not meaning to turn this into an abortion or Tomi Lahren thread. I simply saw a common thread to a contemporary event.)”

    Well, that worked out. 🙂

    I usually get a little too personal/emotional on the subject of the natural right to life, right down to the flash of light that happens at the moment of conception. Some subjects can’t be discussed using logic alone, especially when a miracle is involved in the subject. The right to life is one of those. You either believe that life begins at that moment, or you don’t. It’s not a matter of logic; it’s a matter of belief.

    I am always happy when anything happens that brings us closer to the ideal, but the end goal should always be to protect all of the most innocent all of the time.

  6. R.D. Walker says:

    Everybody agrees to the benefits of free trade when it occurs within a nation. As a matter of fact, the success of the US Constitution as compared to the earlier Articles of Confederation was in large part due to the Constitution’s embrace and support for free trade principles. It put an end to government-imposed trade barriers between states.

    What is it about international borders that causes people who understand the benefits of intra-national trade to lose all perspective when trade is international?

    • C. L. says:

      A good question. I don’t remember a great number of people having a problem when a lot of things were made in Japan and Korea when I was a kid. When you got something made in Germany or Italy or Finland, that was very cool.

      China made things different for a lot of people, I think. I don’t think it’s the free trade, itself, that is the problem so many have with China. I think it has more to do with the timing of the boom in trade with China. It happened at a time when governmental regulations and unsustainable union benefits hit a tipping point. Suddenly there were a lot of companies who could not make a profit if they continued to make their products here, so they moved their manufacturing to China. That hit a lot of people right where it hurts, their wallets. On top of that, there were the stories about how Chinese Labor was able to be so inexpensive. People resented losing their jobs, and, it was just salt in the wound that a “slave” might have taken their place and no one seemed to give a damn about the moral “wrongness” of that.

      Then, we had stories of toys with lead paint, toxic dog treats, American patents and licenses blatantly and regularly stolen, cheap materials and poor workmanship, etc.

      That’s what I saw and heard from the trenches, for what it’s worth. I picked on China because that’s when the perception changed, IMHO.

      • R.D. Walker says:

        There is a lot of stuff I would never buy from China. Any food product, for example, for pets or humans. Anything that I would depend on for my life. That sort of thing.

        Yes, China has a few advantages over the US in trade. The US has dozens of advantages over China. As I point out, it isn’t really a bad thing that Florida has advantages in oranges over Iowa. It doesn’t hurt Iowans at all. Iowans have advantages of their own.

    • Uke says:

      “Fear of the Other.”

      We’ve already established that people are tribalists by nature. Their default setting.

      Similarly, mercantilism is a default economic view. People–or at least not enough people–don’t really view economics as win-win situations. They view economics from a mercantilist standpoint by default because mercantilism is evaluating economic decisions on the basis of the seen, but not the unseen; it’s easier to comprehend.

      They only break out of that with education on the matter.

      We see the Japanese, the Taiwanese, the Bolivians and even the Brits as “The Other” in a way we don’t about Oklahomans, Virginians and New Hampshirites.

      And I suspect that’s pretty much all it is.

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