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Back to Table of Contents, A Declaration of Universal Rights

Article 5 — Civil Government

Section 9: Licensing And Monopolies

The immutable right of every person to pursue any lawful vocation shall not be infringed, regu­lated or controlled. Civil government shall grant no privilege or franchise to any business, occupa­tion or profession. No licensing of same shall be allowed.

This section bars government monopolies, not businesses which corner the market absent fraud or coer­cion.

This section is also built on the right of an individual to pursue any lawful vocation as God calls or directs. It is based in Genesis 1:28 and 2:15. The rule is that man may do whatever God entrusts him with and that the civil government is not a competent judge of the wisdom of that directive but only of its criminality. Conse­quently, the section bars civil government itself from undertaking any vocation, used here exhaustively and as synonymous with business, occupation or profession.

Civil government may not establish its own company or enterprise to carry on any given business, such as electrical power, for instance, irrespective of whether a business has cornered the market. It may organize it­self so as to carry on a business, however, if that undertaking is in the service of a lawful civil object. For in­stance, it may form its own company to build a courthouse, and it may establish its own electrical power plant to supply electricity to itself, but this imparts no general power to undertake those businesses on behalf of the public in whole or part.

Not only does this section bar civil government from going into business for itself, it also bars civil gov­ernment from granting businesses monopolies. It bars civil government from granting the right to carry on a trade, occupation or profession to one or to many, even if others are or are not excluded. A public utility is of this prohibited class.

Lastly, it bars civil government from determining the "qualifications" of anyone to pursue any lawful vocation. Qualifications are left to the private sector and voluntary associations are established for this pur­pose. If a person engaged in a vocation is not a member of such association, that is his own business. Ex­amples of prohibited regulations generally fall in the licensing category. The state may not, for instance, license professions such as lawyers, doctors or clergy. This section does not prohibit the state from estab­lishing a law defining the form of a corporation as long as no one is required to incorporate pursuant to it or register their business otherwise in order to do business. If they choose to do business with the civil govern­ment itself as it may pertain to a lawful object (such as building a courthouse), then the civil government may regulate the business to conform to such and such a requirement as a function of association.

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