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Center for Self Governance

The Language of Liberty series is a collaborative effort of the Center for Self Governance (CSG) Administrative Team. CSG is a non-profit, non-partisan educational organization, dedicated to training citizens in applied civics. The authors include administrative staff, selected students, and guest columnists. The views expressed by the authors are their own and may not reflect the views of CSG. To learn more, go to CenterForSelfGovernance.com.

America was established upon the principles of Liberty. James Madison said wrote in 1792: “Conscience is the most sacred of all property; other property depending in part on positive law, the exercise of that, being a natural and unalienable right. To guard a man’s house as his castle, to pay …

A good case can be made that the Eighth Commandment, “Do Not Steal,” is the one commandment that encompasses all the others. How does “Do Not Steal” encompass the other commandments? Murder is the stealing of another person’s life. Adultery is the stealing of another person’s spouse. Coveting is the …

Do we realize how important and essential property ownership is to Liberty? Our founders knew how essential property ownership was to every inherent right. We must understand the proper definition of Property to know its necessity to Liberty. Property isn’t just the place where you hang your hat. It isn’t just the …

The economic concept of private property refers to the rights owners have to the exclusive use and disposal of a physical object. Property is not a table, a chair, or an acre of land. It is the bundle of rights which the owner is entitled to employ those objects. The …

The principle of the inherent Right to possess is embodied in the 5th & 7th Amendments to the Constitution when it declares that “No person shall… be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.” Notice the three …

Government land grabs are becoming more and more prevalent every day. The federal government is seizing up more and more private land under the auspices of environmental preservation and national parks. We are even seeing the military taking private land and calling it national security. This federal tyranny is trickling …

Let me tell you how my story ends: I become a tenured, award-winning professor of political science at an Ivy League university, and then at one of the leading universities in the South. Now let me tell you how my story begins: I grow up in rural Virginia, literally dirt …

There is an argument that seems to resurface repeatedly that the Constitution has failed and as a result, American politics are out of control. I have seen these arguments posited by journalists, professors, and Supreme Court justices. The standard argument declares two failed intentions for the Constitution: The Constitution was intended to …

For most Americans, there hasn’t really been time to stop and process what happened at the Capitol on January 6th. Instead, we’re just trying to survive, fighting off daily waves of crackdown and retribution; punishment for a crime the vast majority of conservatives didn’t commit or condone. The people in …

It’s quite likely that wherever you are reading this, you are currently subjected to lockdowns, restrictions, regulations, or executive orders to one degree or another, as government officials respond to the coronavirus pandemic with increasing coercion and control. Indeed, The Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday that US states and cities have “imposed …