What are individual rights? What is freedom? How are they related to each other? Why are they so crucial to human life? How do you protect them? These are some of the questions that A Declaration and Constitution for a Free Society answers. The book uses Objectivist philosophy—the philosophy of Ayn Rand—to analyze subjective, intrinsic, and objective theories of rights and show why rights and freedom are objective necessities of human life. This knowledge is then used to make changes to the Declaration of Independence and U.S. Constitution. Through these changes, the book shows the fundamental legal requirements of a free society and why we should create such a society. It demonstrates why a free society is morally, politically, and economically beneficial to human beings.
Brian P. Simpson is professor and chair in the department of accounting, finance, and economics in the college of professional studies at National University in La Jolla, California.
Chapter 1: Rights and Freedom: What Are They and Why Do They Matter?
Chapter 2: Revising the Declaration of Independence
Chapter 3: Revising the U.S. Constitution: The Preamble through Article I, Section 7
Chapter 4: Revising the U.S. Constitution: Article I, Sections 8 through 10
Chapter 5: Revising the U.S. Constitution: Articles II through VII
Chapter 6: Revising the Amendments to the U.S. Constitution: The Bill of Rights
Chapter 7: Revising Amendments XI through XXVII to the U.S. Constitution
Chapter 8: Additional Amendments to the Constitution, Part 1
Chapter 9 Additional Amendments to the Constitution, Part 2
Chapter 10: Addressing Other Proposals That Attempt to Protect Individual Rights and Freedom
History’s most significant political-legal statements in defense of individual rights are the United States’ founding documents – the Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution. However, the Founding Fathers did not foresee a culture where voters would elect political leaders to violate their rights. These politicians have eroded the founding documents. Armed with Ayn Rand’s philosophy of Objectivism, Brian P. Simpson revises these documents line-by-line to armor them against the growing threat of an irrational culture. Simpson also describes the practical implications of these changes in daily life. Simpson does not diminish the light of these critical documents. On the contrary, he demonstrates how their light can shine brighter than ever.
All too often, rights theorists overlook crucial issues of legal and structural implementation. Legal designers, for their part, are frequently oblivious to the nature and importance of rights. In A Declaration and Constitution for a Free Society, Brian Simpson invites us to integrate rights and legal structure by considering both the theory and mechanics of a constitution for a free society. Such consideration requires careful attention not only to what it means to have a “constitution” but also to what it means to have a “free society.” Simpson provokes thought on both fronts. Whether or not one ultimately agrees with his prescriptions (for myself, I would pay more attention than he does to structural features of constitutionalism – to who decides as well as to what gets decided), this book is an important step in exploring the institutional structure and substantive outlines of a truly free society.
Professor Simpson has written a bold and enlightening treatise regarding how the "Declaration of Independence" and the "United States Constitution" might be revised to more consistently uphold the nation's founding principle of individual rights. For anyone who supports American liberty, this is an original and important work.
America, in Ayn Rand’s words, is 'the greatest, the noblest and, in its original founding principles, the only moral country in the history of the world.' But flaws in America’s founding documents have allowed enemies of freedom to grow the government beyond its proper bounds and erode individuals’ rights. In this well-reasoned book, guided by Rand’s philosophy of Objectivism—especially her principle of the non-initiation of force—Simpson takes on the important project of explaining just where, why, and how the Declaration and Constitution (including its amendments) need to be changed so as to thoroughly safeguard freedom and be fully consistent with a philosophy of reason and individualism. If Simpson’s revised Declaration and Constitution are adopted, America’s future could be even greater than its past.
Author interview on The Secular Foxhole podcast: