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What Makes A Nation

by @ 7:53 am on June 29, 2006. Filed under Individual Liberty, U.S. Constitution

Brad Warbiany has a two-part post up at The Liberty Papers on the issue of what makes a government legitimate.

In the first part of his essay, he looks at the proposed Constitution for the European Union and compares it to our own Constitution:

If the EU wants to write a successful constitution, it must be written not based upon these treaties, but based upon making all these treaties obsolete. What needs to be written is a Constitution that tells the member nations that what the Constitution provides is beneficial to all, and is better than their previous treaties. In addition, it needs to say that these treaties are no longer acceptable, because the rules between members of the union should be decided by the union itself.

The EU is trying to become as powerful as the US, but doesn?t understand that to do so you need to trample on sovereignty a bit. In some ways the United States became successful because our Constitution designed a union that all States must be bound by, and as a part of this Union, did all it could to make travel and commerce between states as easy as possible. The EU is trying to simply codify each nation?s particular rules and protectionist practices.

I highlighted this post in this week’s Carnival of Liberty and deservedly so.

In the second part, he looks more closely at what makes a government legitimate:

Whether or not a government is legitimate rests on one very simple basis: whether the overwhelming majority of people living under that government recognizes its legitimacy.

Go over to The Liberty Papers and read both parts.

2 Responses to “What Makes A Nation”

  1. KipEsquire says:

    Warbiany’s definition is flawed and dangerous. What is “an overwhelming majority” and what becomes of those not part of it?

    Randy Barnett’s definition is better, though I am paraphrasing: A legitimate government is one for which a person subject to it has no rational basis to question its legitimacy — which can only be the case when government powers are minimized and individual rights are maximized.

  2. TB says:

    Yeah, I’m going to have to agree. “Whether the overwhelming majority of people living under that government recognizes its legitimacy” sounds a lot like what Mitt Romney was just quoted saying.. “Who?s going to tell us what a civil right is and what?s not? Well, the people will.” [Shudders]

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