Don't cry for me, ChristianaWritten 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 is historic community of New Harmony, near Evansville. Prior to 1850, it was site of two of America's great utopian communities, which had unusual impact on science, industry, architecture and public education.
Harmonie on Wabash was first established in 1814 by Harmony Society, a communitarian separatist group from German Lutheran Church, led by charismatic George Rapp. In 1825, Harmonists sold 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, community introduced vocational education, kindergarten and other educational reforms.
In contrast, one of Europe's most unique and special attempts at utopia is free community of Christiana, in Copenhagen, Denmark. Since 1971, when Danish hippies squatted in 18th century navy fort on abandoned state property and then declared themselves immune from laws of Denmark, Christiana has been one of 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 or 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, Liberal-Conservative government elected in 2001 is trying to shut it down. Will this happen?
In 1987 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 to defense ministry. They also contribute to paying for community's own postal service, trash collection and children's nurseries.
An expert opinion about governmentWritten 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 and son of a former Indiana Democratic Party chairperson. I received 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 in 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 and 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 to exercise of our natural rights is to refrain from violating same rights of others.
We don’t ask government’s permission to eat, breathe, drink, use 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 without permission of government.
As well, we have right to exchange our talents for value, called 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 at expense of 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 from will and tyranny of those more powerful. “(T)o secure these Rights,” says Declaration of Independence, “Governments are instituted among Men.”