Jefferson understood that the rights we all enjoy on a daily basis are, in a practical sense, what philosophers call 'positive rights.' Positive rights are those rights which are given to us either by legislation or contract, including the Social Contract. Our 'natural rights' as human beings, are transformed into 'positive rights' by the implicit or explicit agreement of the other members of our society as a whole, within the context of the Social Contract. Recognizing this, Jefferson then used this fact as the practical foundation for the Declaration's third postulate: 'That to secure these Rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the Consent of the Governed"'
Mutual respect for one another's rights is the true basis for liberty. Furthermore, the denial of any group's or individual's rights is inherently dangerous to everyone's liberty. If, through the law, you (individually or as a group) can deny a group or individual some right that you now enjoy, then at sometime in the future the same logic can be used to deny you some right that you have heretofore enjoyed."
Rights are a form of political power, and the political power any legitimate government has exists because of the governed consenting to the government having those powers. In fact, all a government's power and authority--legitimate or otherwise--to use that power arises from the belief of the people in the existence of that power. It comes not from the end of a gun (as Trotsky once said, to be echoed later by Mao), but solely from the people's belief in the existence of that power, as I explained in my February 21, 2009 OpEdNews article, "The Tao of Government:"
"Power--as well as authority, which defines the limitations of that power--comes from the belief of the people of a state in the existence of the government's power, and is directly proportional to the number of people who believe that power exists. For example, if tomorrow everyone in the United States woke up believing I was rightful king of the United States of America, then I would be the king of the United States--and abdicate immediately, no fool I."
The oligarch's recognize that their only hope of completing and legitimizing their overthrow of the Constitution is to get us to quietly acquiesce to their takeover. We have quietly acquiesced to their hostile takeover for almost forty years. Bernie Sanders represents our last best hope for a return of power to the people. and the legitimate institutions to which the people have given that power. I call upon the people of the United States of America to join me in a peaceful revolution back to the future with Bernie Sanders of Vermont.
Sic Semper Tyrannis