Sovereignty of the state vs. sovereignty of the individual


I strongly suggest the following article by Janet Daley for The Telegraph (what a great writer!) on why the EU’s reaction to the UK’s approval of a Covid vaccine is the expression of the communist principles it was based on.

Here a short extract:

Have you got that? It is, apparently, more important for all the EU member states to be seen to act together than it is to make the speediest possible decision on a vaccine that could save lives. At the present mortality rate in Europe, a delay of a further month might mean an extra death toll of hundreds of thousands – and still more delay to the economic recovery that can only follow once restrictions have ended, with all the further damage to the quality of life that will involve. So European unity is worth more than anything – even life itself?
It is difficult to understand how such a view could be uttered without any embarrassment. To comprehend the set of beliefs from which it springs, you need to recall the origins of this whole idea: European unity was the post-war antidote to the mass murder of one another’s people that had been such a feature of the last century. But it was also the milder form of that other monumental twentieth century phenomenon: the communist principle (note the small “c”) that social benefits must always be collective and equally distributed. Everybody has to have precisely the same advantages as everybody else at the same time. This is what Brussels calls “solidarity”.

The EU, where I still live, is and has always been a political-bureaucratic structure based on communist (and therefore totalitarian as well as economically catastrophic) ‘principles’.

However, doesn’t the same general, logical principle of liberty which applies in the relation between a sovereign state (e.g. the UK) and a superstate (the EU) also apply in the relation between the individual and a national state?

For example, aside from communist ‘principles’ (fully equivalent to those on which the EU is based) and ‘government economics’ (e.g. Keynesian economics, which is no economics at all), why shouldn’t an individual decide for himself which kind of money to use? Why not a free market in the money sector? On the ground of which general, logical principle shouldn’t the individual be sovereign in this and other areas where the national state imposes its own sovereignty upon him?

I have the impression that national states (just like anyone else) can be rightly inclined to defend the principle of sovereignty (which is an important part of the principle of liberty: the non-aggression principle) when it’s their sovereignty, but (each state to a different degree in different sectors) are utterly unwilling to defend the same principle when it is the sovereignty of the individual.

Because liberty is a logical principle, it is not compatible with arbitrary, double standards.


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