Don't cry for me, Christiana

Written by Kurt St. Angelo

Don't cry for me, Christiana by Kurt St. Angelo @2005 Libertarian Writers' Bureau

One of Indiana's most unique and special places to visit isrepparttar historic community of New Harmony, near Evansville. Prior to 1850, it wasrepparttar 113453 site of two of America's great utopian communities, which had unusual impact on science, industry, architecture and public education.

Harmonie onrepparttar 113454 Wabash was first established in 1814 byrepparttar 113455 Harmony Society, a communitarian separatist group fromrepparttar 113456 German Lutheran Church, led byrepparttar 113457 charismatic George Rapp. In 1825,repparttar 113458 Harmonists soldrepparttar 113459 entire town of 30,000 acres to businessman and social reformer Robert Owen of Scotland, who sought to create a community without social classes and personal wealth. Along with Scottish geologist William Maclure,repparttar 113460 community introduced vocational education, kindergarten and other educational reforms.

In contrast, one of Europe's most unique and special attempts at utopia isrepparttar 113461 free community of Christiana, in Copenhagen, Denmark. Since 1971, when Danish hippies squatted inrepparttar 113462 18th century navy fort on abandoned state property and then declared themselves immune fromrepparttar 113463 laws of Denmark, Christiana has been one ofrepparttar 113464 world's great experiments – and success stories – in libertarian self-governance.

Its minimal straightforward approach becomes readily apparent to all lucky visitors. Signs just inside its entrances read in English: No photography or hard drugs allowed.

In Christiana, little is asked of either its small government orrepparttar 113465 big expensive one of Denmark. Christiana is peaceful, sane and self-sustaining. And now, because it is on such valuable property less than two miles from Copenhagen's business center,repparttar 113466 Liberal-Conservative government elected in 2001 is trying to shut it down. Will this happen?

In 1987repparttar 113467 Danish government recognized Christiana as a "social experiment" to be tolerated. Since 1991, its 800-or-so residents have assumed costs for water, electricity and rent torepparttar 113468 defense ministry. They also contribute to paying forrepparttar 113469 community's own postal service, trash collection and children's nurseries.

An expert opinion about government

Written by Kurt St. Angelo

An expert opinion about government by Kurt St. Angelo @2005 Libertarian Writers' Bureau

When we have a plumbing problem, we call a plumber. When we have a problem with our government, we call someone who studied government. Right?

I majored in government in college. I am an attorney andrepparttar son of a former Indiana Democratic Party chairperson. I receivedrepparttar 113452 highest grade in my public high school class of 1,250 students in a standardized government exam. I have government, politics and law running through my veins, but does anyone ever call me with their government problems? Heck no! Everybody’s an expert on government, some just more than others. Very few government experts, except some Libertarians, seem to know anything about our unalienable natural rights. These rights are referred to inrepparttar 113453 Declaration of Independence (1776) and in both of Indiana’s constitutions (1816 and 1851). The former reads: “WE hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty andrepparttar 113454 Pursuit of Happiness …”

Unalienable rights are natural choices – choices that Nature or our Creator gives us as our birthright, and that we cannot give up, waive or “lien” away. They are choices for which we would not naturally ask government’s permission, nor for which we can rightly be punished. The only moral and lawful limit torepparttar 113455 exercise of our natural rights is to refrain from violatingrepparttar 113456 same rights of others.

We don’t ask government’s permission to eat, breathe, drink, userepparttar 113457 toilet or sleep. Nor do we call our favorite bureaucrat to think, pray or recreate. We also have natural rights to possess property, to contract with one another and to defend ourselves – all withoutrepparttar 113458 permission of government.

As well, we haverepparttar 113459 right to exchange our talents for value, calledrepparttar 113460 right to work. This natural right does not mean that we have a right to a job or a certain wage. Those “rights” are actually government-bestowed privileges, called civil rights. All civil rights benefit one special-interest group atrepparttar 113461 expense ofrepparttar 113462 natural rights or choices of others.

Natural unalienable rights are rights or choices that our ancestors exercised long before any governments (and their civil rights) were conceived. What made this country’s various governments different from all others before them was that they promised to protect these rights, free fromrepparttar 113463 will and tyranny of those more powerful. “(T)o secure these Rights,” saysrepparttar 113464 Declaration of Independence, “Governments are instituted among Men.”

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