How The Declaration Of Independence Got Hijacked

I posted this back in 2013 to clear up any misunderstanding of unalienable vs. inalienable, there is a marked difference in these terms.

Activist Post – by Susan Boskey, June 23, 2013

This July 4th Americans celebrate their 237th Independence Day. The Declaration of Independence, signed during the midst of the American Revolution in 1776, was not just a statement of grievances against the British monarchy but also a declaration of freedom from it, citing unalienable rights of self-governance. I said un-alienable, not in-alienable rights. Most believe there is no real difference between the two words. But not so fast. When unalienable was replaced with inalienable it diminished the original intention of personal rights; among which are “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

The Declaration of Independence begins with the reason for the colonists’ separation from the Monarchy; a separation stated to be entitled by “the Laws of Nature and nature’s God.” (Capitalization and lack of capitalization is original.) It continues:

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. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed , that whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government…

In spite of the fact at the time of the Declaration unalienable rights were considered to be for white men only, the word, unalienable, refers to rights inherent to all humans, no matter gender or race. I find it interesting how the word unalienable is rarely used anymore and that modern versions of the Declaration now use the word inalienable. Even President Obama uses the word inalienable. What’s up with that?

Pay close attention to the difference between the definitions of unalienable and inalienable. They are subtle but very important.

Bouvier’s Law Dictionary (1856) defines unalienable:

Incapable of being transferred. Things which are not in commerce, as, public roads, are in their nature unalienable. Some things are unalienable in consequence of particular provisions of the law forbidding their sale or transfer; as, pensions granted by the government. The natural rights of life and liberty are unalienable.

Black’s Law Dictionary, 2nd Edition, (1910) defines unalienable:

Not subject to alienation; the characteristic of those things which cannot be bought or sold or transferred from one person to another such as rivers and public highways and certain personal rights; e.g., liberty.

William Blackstone, 18th century Common Law English jurist, judge defined unalienable in hisCommentaries on the Laws of England, 1:93.

Those rights, then, which God and nature have established, and therefore called natural rights, such as life and liberty, need not the aid of human laws to be more effectually invested in every man than they are; neither do they receive any additional strength when declared by the municipal laws to be inviolable. On the contrary, no human legislature has power to abridge or destroy them, unless the owner shall himself commit some act that amounts to a forfeiture.

(“[T]he Due Process Clause protects the unalienable liberty recognized in the Declaration of Independence rather than the particular rights or privileges conferred by specific laws or regulations.” SANDIN v. CONNER, _ U.S. _(1995))

Essentially, unalienable rights are inherent to being human and exist forever outside of the world of commerce; they cannot be bought, sold or transferred…ever.

Now here is, inalienable.

Bouvier’s Law Dictionary (1856) defines inalienable:

A word denoting the condition of those things the property in which cannot be lawfully transferred from one person to another. Public highways and rivers are inalienable. There are also many rights which are inalienable, as the rights of liberty or of speech.

Black’s Law Dictionary 2nd Edition (1910) defines inalienable:

Not subject to alienation; the characteristic of those things which cannot be bought or sold or transferred from one person to another such as rivers and public highways and certain personal rights; e.g., liberty. (emphasis mine)

[Morrison v. State, 252 S.W.2d 97, 101, 1952] In this decision, the Missouri Court of Appeals defined inalienable rights as those rights incapable of being surrendered or transferred; at least without one’s consent. (emphasis mine)U.S. 2013 defines inalienable:

Inalienable right refers to rights that cannot be surrendered, sold or transferred to someone else, especially a natural right such as the right to own property. However, these rights can be transferred with the consent of the person possessing those rights. (emphasis mine)

According to Bouvier’s Law Dictionary (1856), the meaning of inalienable starts out much the same as unalienable; but it morphs over time starting with the 1910 definition. Inalienable has evolved to mean rights that can be transferred with the consent of the person having them. If someone consents to transfer their rights, those rights can no longer be considered un-alienable, impossible to transfer, inherent human rights. They become rights “in commerce.”

Maybe you are scratching your head and still saying, so what? Here’s the deal. Inalienable rights (as currently defined) are transferable by one’s consent via contract, which includes the concept “social contract.”

Social contract theory originated with the political philosophy of Plato, was popularized by Thomas Hobbes in the 17th century, and then embedded deep into the concept of the U.S. Constitution and U.S. Government in 1787.

What is it? A social contract is defined as a voluntary agreement people make with their government for mutual benefit. But actually, it is a tacit agreement mostly given unknowingly by the people; the belief being the state only exists to serve the will of the people and therefore the people must give up some rights to assure government can provide them safety and order.

In conclusion, the social contract Americans unwittingly made at the time of the U.S. Constitution has been breached by the undermining of unalienable rights with inalienable rights. Originally considered one’s private property, unalienable rights including all physical property, one’s labor and even privacy (part of liberty) have been unlawfully transferred in commerce to the government via laws, regulation and taxation.

The Declaration of Independence refers to this potential loss of un-alienable rights when it states:

…whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government…

The time has come for Declaration 2.0.

Susan Boskey, freelance researcher and writer, is author of the book, The Quality Life Plan®: 7 Steps to Uncommon Financial Security and more recently helped bring to market the book, Beyond the National Myth: waking up in the land of the free

2 thoughts on “How The Declaration Of Independence Got Hijacked

  1. Thanksss Katie: I heard about that on today’s program but didn’t ‘make’ the time to look it up, instead I’ve been adding to my own article; so many Targets and so much Ammo !!! Mwahhhhhhhhh, Sweetpea;~)

    Unalienable. Incapable of being aliened, that is, sold or transferred. The state of a thing or right which cannot be sold. Things which are not in commerce, as public roads, are in their nature unalienable. Some things are unalienable, in consequence of particular provisions in the law forbidding their sale or transfer, as pensions granted by the government. The natural rights of life and liberty are unalienable. {Bouvier’s, 1856}; Cf. Absolute; Common; Folc; Fundamental; Inalienable; Natural; Substantive; Unenumerated; Vested rights;

    Clark v. Capital Credit & Collection Servs., Inc., No. 04-35563, 04-35795, 04-35842 (9th Cir. 08/24/2006) (Of course, “[n]ot all rights are waivable.” United States v. Perez, 116 F.3d 840, 845 n.7 (1997) (citing United States v. Olano, 507 U.S. 725, 733 (1993)). For instance, “waiver is not appropriate when it is inconsistent with the provision creating the right sought to be secured,” New York v. Hill, 528 U.S. 110, 116 (2000), and “a right conferred on a private party, but affecting the public interest, may not be waived or released if such waiver or release contravenes the statutory policy.” Id. (quoting Brooklyn Savings Bank v. O’Neil, 324 U.S. 697, 704 (1945)).

    Westbrook v. Mihaly, 2 Cal.3d 765, 796-797 (06/03/1970) (More fundamentally, popular approval of electoral systems which infringe an individual’s constitutionally protected right to cast an equally weighted vote is irrelevant. “A citizen’s constitutional rights can hardly be infringed simply because a majority of the people choose that it be. [Fn. omitted.]” (Lucas v. Colorado General Assembly, supra, 377 U.S. 713, 736-737 [12 [2 Cal.3d 797] L.Ed.2d 632, 647]; Jordan v. Silver (1965) 381 U.S. 415 [14 L.Ed.2d 689, 85 S.Ct. 1572] (concurring opinion).)63 (63. “‘The protection of constitutional rights is not to be approached either pragmatically or expediently, and though the fact of enactment of a constitutional provision by heavy vote of the electorate produces pause and generates restraint we can not, true to our oath, uphold such legislation in the face of palpable infringement of rights. Thus, state racial legislation would unquestionably enjoy overwhelming electorate approval in certain of our states, yet no one would argue that this factor could compensate for manifest inequality. It is too clear for argument that constitutional law is not a matter of majority vote. Indeed, the entire philosophy of the Fourteenth Amendment teaches that it is personal rights which are to be protected against the will of the majority. The rights which are here asserted are the rights of the individual plaintiffs to have their votes counted equally with those of other voters …. [T]o say that a majority of the voters today indicate a desire to be governed by a minority, is to avoid the issue which this court is asked to resolve. It is no answer to say that the approval of the polling place necessarily evidences a rational plan. The plaintiffs have a right to expect that the cause will be determined in relation to the standards of equal protection. Utilization of other or different standards denies them full measure of justice.'” (Lisco v. Love (1963) 219 F.Supp. 922, 944 (dissenting opinion); quoted in Lucas v. Colorado General Assembly, supra, 377 U.S. 713, 737, fn. 30 [12 L.Ed.2d 632, 647-648].);

    Miranda v. State of Arizona, 384 U.S. 436, 491, 86 S.Ct. 1602, 16 L.Ed. 694 (1966) aff’d. Dickerson v. United States, 530 U.S. 428 (06/26/2000); U.S. v. Orso, No 99-50328 (9th Cir. 12/08/2000); United States v. Perez-Lopez, No. 02-30358 (9th Cir. 11/07/2003) (Where rights secured by Constitution are involved, there can be no rule making or legislation which would abrogate them.);

    McCullough v. Brown, 19 S. E. 458, 480, 23 L.R.A. 410 “[Unalienable rights] are enumerated rights that individuals, acting in their own behalf, cannot disregard or destroy.”

    U.S. v. Cruikshank, 92 U.S. (2 Otto) 542, 591-592, 23 L.Ed. 588 (1875) (The rights of life and personal liberty are natural rights of man. “To secure these rights,” says the Declaration of Independence, “governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.” The very highest duty of the State, when they entered into the Union under the Constitution, was to protect all persons within their boundaries in the enjoyment of these “unalienable rights with which they were endowed by their Creator.” Sovereignty, for this purpose, rest alone with the States. [92 U.S. at 592] That duty was originally assumed by the States; and it still remains there. The only obligation resting upon the United States is to see that the States do not deny the right. This the Amendment guaranties, but no more. The power of the National Government is limited to the enforcement of this guaranty.);

    Citizens Savings and Loan v. Topeka, 87 U.S. (20 Wall.) 655, 662 (1874) aff’d. Hurtado v. California, 110 U.S. 516, 536, 4 S.Ct. 111 (1884) (It must be conceded that there are such rights in every free government beyond the control of the state.);

    Van Horne’s Lessee v. Dorrance, 2 U.S. (2 Dall.) 304, 310 (1795) (From these passages it is evident; that the right of acquiring and possessing property, and having it protected, is one of the natural, inherent, and unalienable rights of man. Men have a sense of property: Property is necessary to their subsistence, and correspondent to their natural wants and desires; its security was one of the objects, that induced them to unite in society. No man would become a member of a community, in which he could not enjoy the fruits of his honest labour and industry. The preservation of property then is a primary object of the social compact, and, by the late Constitution of Pennsylvania, was made a fundamental law.);

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