The philosophy of liberty is based on the principle of self-ownership. You own your life. To deny this is to imply that another person has a higher claim on your life than you do. No other person, or group of persons, owns your Life, nor do you own the lives of others.
You exist in Time: Past, Present, and Future. Your Future is your Life. Your Present is your Liberty. Your Past is the Product of Life and Liberty, which is your Property.
To lose your life is to lose your Future. To lose your Liberty is to lose your Present. To lose the Product of your Life and Liberty is to lose the portion of your Past that produced it. Property is the fruit of your labor, the product of your time, energy, and talents. Property can be given to others or exchanged with others through voluntary mutual consent. Two people who voluntarily exchange property are better off or they wouldn’t do it. Only they may rightfully make that decision for themselves.
At times some people use force or fraud to take from others without voluntary consent. The initiation of force or fraud to take life is murder, to take liberty is slavery, and to take property is theft. It is the same whether these actions are done by one person acting alone, by many acting against a few, or by officials wearing fine hats.
You have the right to protect your own Life, Liberty, and justly acquired Property from forceful aggression of others. You may ask others to help defend you. You do not have the right to initiate force against the life, liberty, and property of others, thus you have no right to designate some person to initiate force on your behalf.
UNITED STATES V. LEE, 106 U. S. 196 (1882)
U.S. Supreme Court
Decided December 4, 1882
Under our system, the people, who are there called subjects, are the sovereign. Their rights, whether collective or individual, are not bound to give way to a sentiment of loyalty to the person of the monarch. The citizen here knows no person, however near to those in power or however powerful himself, to whom he need yield the rights which the law secures to him when it is well administered. When he, in one of the courts of competent jurisdiction, has established his right to property, there is no reason why deference to any person, natural or artificial, not even the United States, should prevent him from using the means which the law gives him for the protection and enforcement of that right