Inalienable rights and wrongs

Should I be allowed to sell my children into slavery? Should I be allowed to sell myself into slavery? (Libertarians and slave traders, you are not allowed to vote.)

If you say no, what principle do you base that on?

If you say no, then why am I allowed to sell away my right to free speech or my right to due process of the law?

If you settle a damage or injury suit with British Petroleum or the General Public Utilities Corporation (owners of the Three Mile Island nuclear plant) or any similar corporate entity, you will have sold off your freedom of speech and your ability to tell your own personal story in the public square. The non-disclosure terms of your settlement will gag you from telling the truth, not just about the corporation’s legitimate trade secrets, but about its criminal acts, your own injuries, your public witness, your right to even warn your neighbors of a threat to their health or their lives. Is that a right or a wrong?

If you buy a car, a house, or just about any other purchase involving a written contract, in the fine print of the contract you will have signed away your right to sue the seller in a court of law for any wrong or injury you may suffer as a consequence of the sale. You will no longer have the right to a fair hearing in the public judicial system. If the brakes fail on the way out of the car lot and people are killed, or the house falls down when you slam the door, you will be limited to seeking help from some unregulated private arbitrator, someone with unknown competence and bias, on somebody’s private payroll. Is that a right or a wrong?

Corporations have long held that an employment contract supersedes the employees’ constitutionally protected rights. The US Supreme Court, whose task is to uphold the constitution, has often sided with employers, suspending the civil rights of employees while extending and defending the same civil rights for the non-human, amoral legal fiction called a corporation. Is that a right or a wrong?

Who says that corporations can buy our civil rights and discard them, and turn around and claim civil rights for themselves and have them defended by the constitutional officers of our government?

Contract law does not allow parties to contract for murder or anything else that is against any other law on the books. So why does it allow parties to violate, void, and alienate our constitutionally protected civil rights?

Now speak up, people. Is that a right or a wrong? What am I bid?

Poor Richard

Poor Richard's Almanack 2010


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