Yet the United States, an institution founded on the principle of individual rights, allows citizens who actively promote socialism and communism -- in education, law and government.
I'm an advocate of free speech, but I don't think that means a nation should have to tolerate those among it who openly reject, by their own word and deed, the core founding principle of the country--individual rights--and work to subvert it every waking minute of their day.
I'm not saying criminalize those who reject individual rights, except where they commit crimes. But there's an enormous gulf between agreeing with individual rights and commiting crimes that prove you don't agree with individual rights. Socialists and communists -- and now Islamists -- have been working that angle for almost 100 years. I wouldn't allow them in the country to do it. In absence of a state of war against them, I would at least evict them. (In a state of war I would imprison them until the state of war is ended.)
Politicians who try to make law that violates individual rights, or who achieve that end and find it ruled unconstitutional -- should immediately lose their job and be deported. Teachers who openly advocate doctrines that violate individual rights should be judged similarly--they should be deported.
It's not a violation of their rights to deport them. It's a basic condition of "membership", or citizenship. Today, naturalized citizens or members of the military are asked to declare loyalty to the Constitution; all I'm doing is refining that statement and taking it seriously. I think everyone reaching the age of 18 should be required to take an oath of loyalty to the Constitution and to the principle of individual rights. Natural-born or naturalized citizens alike who breech that oath should all be stripped of citizenship.
There should be a formal mechanism to determine that fact, a kind of court separate from the criminal courts, dedicated to one question: does this person reject individual rights? A legal process similar to a criminal trial, but with only one penalty: loss of citizenship and deportation. Bring charges and present objective evidence based on a person's words, actions and writings, and if overwhelming (as it would be in the case of someone like Obama or Pelosi or William Ayers) strip them of their citizenship and deport them as "subversives" who are incompatible with the principles of the United States of America.
It couldn't have been done before now, because until Ayn Rand there was no objective definition of individual rights. It probably couldn't be done until a rational philosophy becomes dominant, at least in the sense that it was dominant when the Founders created the United States. You'd get the religious people campaigning to make God a requirement, too. But imagine if it had been in place from the beginning, with a basically sound rational philosophy for the country--even the religious people who advocate violations of rights could have been evicted as "undesirable".
I've asked myself repeatedly if this notion somehow violates free speech. Is it wrong to demand a loyalty oath? We already do that, we just don't enforce it. If you demand a loyalty oath, is it wrong to define it precisely, in objective terms, on the basis of the one idea that one *should* demand loyalty to--fealty to individual rights? And if you have a loyalty oath, is it wrong to take it seriously and enforce it with real consequences? Does that violate "free speech"? I don't think so.
Yes, the idea could be abused if someone attempted to implement it today. But I always come back to the principle I stated above, which I think is true:
No institution based on a set of firm principles can survive if it allows members who hold opposite principles.Ayn Rand put it somewhat differently:
"When opposite basic principles are clearly and openly defined, it works to the advantage of the rational side; when they are not clearly defined, but are hidden or evaded, it works to the advantage of the irrational side."I'm simply saying, define the basic principle of our government, clearly and openly--and put it into practice as more than a slogan. In the absence of recognizing that, I'd say the chances for the long-term survival of any rational society are bleak.