The Field Where Liberty Was Sown

Mark Steyn
Steyn Online

The most important anniversary this year falls on Monday June 15th, marking the day, eight centuries ago, when a king found himself in a muddy field on the River Thames near Windsor Castle with the great foundational document of modern liberty under his nose and awaiting his seal. Here’s what I had to say about it earlier this year:

The world has come a long way since Magna Carta, and not always for the best. A couple of years back, testifying to the House of Commons in Ottawa about Canada’s (now repealed) censorship law, I said the following:

Section 13 is at odds with this country’s entire legal inheritance, stretching back to Magna Carta. Back then, if you recall–in 1215–human rights meant that the King could be restrained by his subjects. Eight hundred years later, Canada’s pseudo-human rights apparatchiks of the commission have entirely inverted that proposition, and human rights now means that the subjects get restrained by the Crown in the cause of so-called collective rights that can be regulated only by the state.

I liked it better the old way. Real rights are like Magna Carta: restraints on state power. Too many people today understand the word “rights” to mean baubles and trinkets a gracious sovereign bestows on his subjects – “free” health care, “free” community college, “safe spaces” from anyone saying anything beastly – all of which require a massive, coercive state regulatory regime to enforce…



The article continues at Steyn Online.



Related:  Rulers Mark 800-Year Magna Carta Milestone  (video)

The Queen has led celebrations of the 800th anniversary of the signing of the Magna Carta at Runnymede in Surrey.

Joined by the Duke of Edinburgh, Princess Anne and Prince William, the monarch visited the site where the treaty between tyrannical King John and his rebellious barons was agreed…


Magna Carta anniversary: now, finally, we mark the spot where freedom was born

A statue of the Queen in Runnymede will be a permanent and long-overdue symbol of a day which changed the world forever


Runnymede today (Photo: The National Trust Photolibrary / Alamy)

Runnymede today (Photo: The National Trust Photolibrary / Alamy)



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