What, at its base, is slavery? Slavery, we would casually answer, is the ownership of one man by another. That is to say, it is a perversion of the notion of private property, rooted in a fundamental illogic about the nature and source of property itself.
Property is a derivation from what Jefferson, following Locke and others, termed the right to life. A human being, as an animal, has a natural inclination to self-preservation; however, as a rational being, this inclination is not simply an instinct, but initiates a moral imperative, i.e., it becomes a matter of choosing to live in accordance with his nature, first and foremost by preserving himself. It is this moral imperative that modern political philosophers termed a “right,” in the sense that to thwart or restrict it is to deny a man his very nature, which means to deny Nature itself. Thus, it is literally correct to say that to violate the right to life is unnatural.
As a rational agent, a man achieves his self-preservation through voluntary effort aimed at providing the means of his survival and prosperity. Just as the right to preserve himself entails what may be called ownership of his own life, so the man’s efforts are also his property, in as much as they are the practical manifestation of his right to self-preservation, i.e., of his self-ownership.
From this, it is a “self-evident” truth that the acquired (earned) product of the man’s voluntary effort is also his rightful property, following upon his ownership of the labor that produced it, which in turn followed upon his ownership of himself, and his moral imperative of self-preservation.
(Excerpt) Read more at americanthinker.com …
via Obama and Slavery.