First, I want to thank Mr. Hales for reminding me that government role is not to determine what is permitted, but to restrict that which is harmful. As a planning commissioner in Ferron, I will need to keep that more in mind. Thanks.
Newell Hales Letter to the Editor (Progress, April 20, 2010, regarding the loss of personal rights is right-on, except he missed an extremely important concept. When we acquiesce to the idea that rights are granted by government as promoted by Karl Marx, and adopted by the power hungry, we instantly lose all our rights, since they are revokable and a right that is revokable is not a right, but a privilege granted by some bureaucrat. "Yes, you have our permission to put wind generator on your own personal property." I can appreciate that they may need to have a maximum height for safety and aesthetic reasons. You can't put one of those monster wind generators like they have at the entrance to Spanish Fork Canyon in your back yard. But there is no logic in why you can't put one of those little ones in.
The idea of rights are granted by the state flows from Hegel's idea that the state is God walking on Earth. Hegel's call for an anti-democratic authoritarian state that has absolute right [God power] over its component members [you and me] precisely in order to attain some imaginary maximal freedom is an oxymoron. They are not rights if they are revokable. They are privileges. There are no rights if the government can give and can revoke them. Rights are not revokable. For example: you have the right to remain silent-sort of-unless the government changes its mind in your case and they beat the tar out of you to get what they want. You see, it is no longer a right if they can change their minds. There are no rights under the idea that rights are granted by government. It's ridiculous. That's reminiscent of the ancient doctrine of the "divine right of kings", but now they want the divine right of the state. We fought a Revolutionary War for the freedom to get away from that idea, and the powers that be have resented it ever since.
"Granted permission" from the state is "privilege". Karl Marx's whole underlying premise is that there should be an elite class with the whole rest of mankind below, much the same as in serfdom, only much worse. There was a hierarchy is serfdom, but not so under Socialism/Communism. As practiced, we are all to be equally poor under Communism/Socialism while the elite lives a comfortable life. That has been demonstrated over and over again as Communists demeaned whole populations while the elite lived well. I just returned from Romania. Their revolution was only 20 years ago.They know first hand the poverty of the people and they are terrified for us at our path toward where they just came from.
During the 60s there was a leftist slogan on the college campuses, "Power to the people." Wrong. It should have been "Poverty to the people." That is the true promise of socialism. It always has been and always will be. Socialism has no redeeming social value that cannot be better achieved some other way.