To Serve District 03 - Cheshire County, NH



Philosophy Of Government

Basic Philosophy and Theology

The United States Declaration of Independence gives us a beautifully summarized philosophy and theology in the first sentence of the second paragraph. "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." While the idea of natural equality among people doesn't absolutely require a theistic view of the world, the Declaration of Independence asserts one.

The New Hampshire Constitution has similar language in it. It begins, "All men are born equally free and independent," and continues in Article 2, "All men have certain natural, essential, and inherent rights - among which are, the enjoying and defending life and liberty; acquiring, possessing, and protecting, property; and, in a word, of seeking and obtaining happiness."

These statements are inherently philosophical and, in the first case, theological. The theological foundation of the Declaration of Independence is that the Creator (God) created people as equals, no one or group of them in some kind of natural position of authority over others. The philosophical conclusion, whether or not our equal creation is credited to a Creator, is that it is moral for people to treat each other as natural equals and immoral to do otherwise. Naturally, we have equal rights and should respect the equal rights of others. For a good discussion on injustice, 'negative' rights, and the law, see Bastiat's "The Law."

From our equally created state we can derive philosophies of consent and the zero aggression principle. For an introduction to the Zero Aggression Principle (sometimes called the Non Aggression Principle), see this Wikipedia article. The thought behind the Zero Aggression Principle is natural and academically well supported.

Philosophy of Government

Applying the above ideas to government results in what some people would call classical liberalism, 'real' conservatism, or libertarianism. I believe in a government based on the consent of the governed, whose primary purpose is to protect life, liberty, and property from encroachment by others. Though often well meaning, government often reaches beyond protecting life, liberty, and property. In doing so, it acts contrary to that purpose by imposing taxes and regulations that aren't necessary to protect life, liberty, and property.

While practical concerns cause debates about what really constitutes the protection of life, liberty, and property, I tend to favor the 'less is more' approach. I favor laws that punish criminals who actually commit acts of force and/or fraud against other people and/or their property. I favor enforcing those laws consistently. Beyond that, I favor voluntary interactions among citizens to solve the myriad of social problems we face.  To see how these ideas are applied to specific issues, see the issues page.

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© Copyright 2008 Varrin Swearingen for House of Representatives
Fiscal Agent Varrin Swearingen, Keene, NH 03431
This page was last modified on: December 28, 2013.