Right to Privacy: An Outmoded Concept?

on . Posted in Articles by Brent Johnson

by Brent Johnson

It seems almost taken for granted that as an American Citizen you may expect to encounter government officials armed with demands for information about your personal life. You are expected to reveal the most private and confidential information about yourself to any official, government agency, or business that asks for it, and you are expected to do so willingly and without question.

When you go to a retail store to return a defective product, are you asked for personal and private information, including your address and telephone number, social security number, etc.? Why do you answer such questions? Did you have to give that information when you first purchased the product? No, of course not. Then why should you give it in order to get your money back?

Am I alone in thinking this to be an invasion of privacy? Am I the only American who thinks that my private life is nobody else's business, that I have the right to withhold personal information from anyone, especially from the federal or State government, if I so choose? Am I unique in considering myself to have an absolute right to privacy? I strongly doubt it. Rather, I suspect tens of millions of Real Americans feel as I do. Perhaps you are one of them.

The socialist rationale given by government officials and agencies is that in today's society we have to consider ourselves to be "citizens of the world," discarding as obsolete the antiquated principles of national or personal sovereignty. We are told that we must - individually and collectively - sacrifice portions of our God-given rights "for the good of us all." This is the cry of the communist, the plaint of the socialist, the declaration of the enemies of everything it means to be an American. However, before condemning any system of thought outright, you should objectively and honestly examine the principles behind that position, comparing them to the standards established by our Founding Fathers through the Declaration of Independence and secured by federal and state constitutions. You should look at the reasons you are asked to surrender your privacy.

You are told that your desire for privacy interferes with the efficient efforts of law enforcement officials to fight the "War on Drugs," illegal immigration, terrorism, counterfeiting, etc. But do even these so-called "crises" justify infringement of your basic right to keep private information about yourself, to yourself? Many law enforcement officials have made statements such as, "You shouldn't mind our questions if you have nothing to hide." If you ever encounter such an official you might ask him if he would mind your conducting a thorough investigation into his private life?

Regarding official suggestions that severe methods requiring unprecedented intrusion into your private life are needed to combat illegal immigration, I draw your attention to the fact that every American (except Native Americans) is an immigrant through ancestry. How many of you would object if each new immigrant started a farm, ranch or other business, hired people, and contributed to the economy of our great country? Would any of you object? Probably not. The real problem existing today is that people are emigrating to our country, then the federal government - a foreign government with respect to the Union states - is taking your property and giving it to these immigrants. That is called socialism and it represents the antithesis of the American way of life.

You are told that we are living in a new world, a modern world in which the needs of the planetary population are such that Americans must sacrifice their rights in order that these undefined needs may be met? But what exactly are the problems facing people in our world today? Hunger, disease, health concerns, etc. These problems have existed on our planet for thousands of years. Thirty years and a waste of trillions of dollars on the so-called "War on Poverty" has proven that they cannot be eliminated by government programs. They cannot be corrected by a redistribution of wealth. (Even if they could, who would decide whose wealth should be redistributed, and to whom?) The problems facing people today are the exact same problems which have faced people throughout recorded history. Jesus Christ said there would always be poor people.

Official "charities" don't offer workable solutions, either. If you send money to CARE or the American Red Cross or the Salvation Army, most of your contributions go to pay bureaucrats, not to help those people in need. Try calling a charity sometime and ask for the name and address of a needy person so that you can send money directly to him or her. You will not be given that information. Why not, if the goal of the charity is to help the needy?

What would Thomas Jefferson have said in response to these intrusive actions? He would have said that drugs are not a problem in America; that the real problem occurs when drug addicts commit crimes to support their addictions, and the judicial system then fails to punish them. He would say that American Bar Association members (attorneys) have taken it upon themselves to act as judge, jury and executioner in the courts, and have chosen to line their own pockets through the use of "procedure" rather than to administer justice through fixed principles of due process. He would refuse to allow an infringement of his privacy to support a phony "War on Drugs," or even to fight the ambiguous "terrorist," because the American system of jurisprudence already provides all of the necessary mechanisms to combat crime. He would say that infringements upon natural rights are never justified for any reason, because those same rights are your most sacred personal property, a gift from God and Nature. He would state his preference that 100 violent criminals go free before one innocent is incarcerated, and then he would refuse to give out any information about himself.

What about government claims that you must surrender your privacy "for the greater good?" Consider this: the federal government has shown by its deeds that its agents and officials are liars. When was the last time the federal government - through its elected officials, agents and representatives - kept its word or told the truth (not including keeping promises to raise taxes)? Know them by their actions, not their words. Government officials lie, so why would you entrust a proven liar with private information about yourself?

It is clear to me that privacy is not an outmoded concept. My private life remains private, and so I can enjoy the freedoms which our forefathers fought and died to preserve. I invite you to stop cooperating with requests or demands for private information. Starting today, stop acting like a mindless servant and start behaving like the sovereign you are by your birthright as an American. The next time a clerk asks for personal information in order to issue a refund, refuse to cooperate. Call a supervisor and watch how quickly you get your refund without giving out any information about yourself. Next time a government official, IRS agent, etc. tells you that you have to give out private information, challenge his authority and make him provide you with his personal information before you say anything more. Don't accept the rationales used to justify and impose restrictions on your privacy. Stop believing the lies spewed out by government employees. Re-learn how to live as a Real American lives. Protect your privacy at all costs.

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