Thecuriousmail’s Weblog

A Note On Free Agency

Posted in Uncategorized by thecuriousmail on June 15, 2017

Reason must be our last judge and guide in everything-John Locke

Free agency is a natural right. The state has no justification to intervene in any arrangement between adult free agents exercising their reason and common-sense and in good faith, or the decision of a free agent exercising their reason and common-sense and in good faith, provided that arrangement does not deleteriously affect the experience of other free agents. The full expression of reason and common-sense means this provision should not arise, but there may be unforeseen or untoward consequences. Free agents acting in good faith can and do resolve issues and arrive at a consensus.

It is not the state’s right to otherwise intervene or to approve. The state may make procedural requirements, but the arrangement stands and is inviolable. Governments need the consent of the governed; free agents do not need the consent of the government. State intrusion into free agency has become so widespread that many think the social contract is now made null and void.

According to, for example, John Locke, when the government fails to secure our natural rights, free agents can withdraw their obligation to obey, and use any means, including, when necessary, violence, to re-assert their primacy.

Locke affirmed an explicit right to revolution in Two Treatises of Government: “whenever the Legislators endeavor to take away, and destroy the Property of the People, or to reduce them to Slavery under Arbitrary Power, they put themselves into a state of War with the People, who are thereupon absolved from any farther Obedience, and are left to the common Refuge, which God hath provided for all Men, against Force and Violence. Whensoever therefore the Legislative shall transgress this fundamental Rule of Society; and either by Ambition, Fear, Folly or Corruption, endeavor to grasp themselves, or put into the hands of any other an Absolute Power over the Lives, Liberties, and Estates of the People; By this breach of Trust they forfeit the Power, the People had put into their hands, for quite contrary ends, and it devolves to the People, who have a Right to resume their original Liberty.”

Addressing a couple of contemporary issues:
1. People with an incurable disease wanting to end their own lives.
The state may make minimal procedural requirements, eg two doctors must be consulted, there must be a 7 day delay between decision and action, or such like, but the free agent can make such an arrangement without either the approval of, or hindrance by, the state.
2. A woman choosing pregnancy termination.
Being a free agent, a woman’s body is her own, and she is soley able to decide on such matters, The state may make minimal procedural requirements, eg to be performed by a doctor in a hospital or clinic, or such like, but the free agent can make such an arrangement without either the approval of, or hindrance by, the state.
3. Same sex marriage.
In regards to a community recognized relationship commitment, ie marriage, with its explicit responsibilities and obligations, any adult free agents are able to make that commitment to each other, same gender or different gender. Free agents can make such an arrangement without either the approval of, or hindrance by, the state.

We are fast approaching the stage of the ultimate inversion: the stage where the government is free to do anything it pleases, while the citizens may act only by permission; which is the stage of the darkest periods of human history, the stage of rule by brute force.
Ayn Rand.