As our culture has placed increasing importance on the individual, it may be time to consider further reinforcing our rights. Individual liberties have recently come under severe stress; not only from the necessary war on terrorism but also from corporate misconduct and well-founded concerns about managing exploding technology, as well as more traditional questions about cultural traditions and family values.
Many of the affirmative protections in the original Bill of Rights are largely procedural. It would be well to list and review our fundamental rights with a conceptual bottom-up review. These rights would include psychological rights to express to others who we are as individuals and would invoke social rights to ensure basic fairness to all people.
How do we reinforce individual rights and, simultaneously, maintain stability, security and social justice in our society? With many issues, the free market provides a much more dependable means of regulation than can government. But there are some areas where law is essential to maintain real freedom.
Bill Boushka is a libertarian activist and gay conservative freelance writer. He is the author of Do Ask, Do Tell: A Gay Conservative Lashes Back, and Our Fundamental Rights and How We Can Reclaim Them. Mr. Boushka was also involved in opposing the Child Online Protection Act in court.