Truths to be self-evident ... unalienable rights
Posted Dec 9, 2005 9:58 UTC (Fri) by AnswerGuy
In reply to: Linux in a binary world... a doomsday scenario
Parent article: Linux in a binary world... a doomsday scenario
One observation I like to make when discussions of the U.S. Constitution are bandies about.
People speak far too often of the U.S. Constitution as "granting" certain rights. However, it's wise to read more this in the context of some words from the preamble of the Declaration of Independence:
Therein they describe certain truths as "self-evident" and certain rights as "unalienable."
In that context it seems self-evident that the framers of the constitution intended the Bill of Rights to be an enumeration of "unalienable" rights.
In other words this document should not be taken as "GRANTING" these rights. Rather they RECOGNIZED.
Of course this is a nitpick.
The Constitution is a flawed document. However, in practice it's alot better then what we've been using.
There have been numerous periods where the Bill of Rights have been trampled ... starting perhaps with the Sedition Act of 1798 (less than a decade after the U.S. Constitution took effect).
I'm no historian. However, I've read a bit and listened to those who've read alot more.
We seem to be slipping inexorably towards the sort of corporate totalitarianism that characterized the coal mining "company towns" that play such a significant and bloody role in the history of the labor movement.
This is relevant to LWN because computing devices are increasingly pervasive and necessary to modern life and there is a concerted effort to make them more capable of enforcing policies of a small number of conglomerates. The recent Sony DRM fiasco is one another little blip (not truly the beginning of this) along an alarming trend.
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