The cover of the October 31 issue of the National Review featured a picture of a handful of #OWS protesters with a woman hoisting this sign at the center.
It seems that this young lady is not familiar with the the precise manner in which Mr. Jefferson updated the standard classical liberal list of rights. Up until, political philosophers often talked about the rights of life, liberty and property. In the Declaration of Independence, Mr. Jefferson removed the third, replacing it with the expression, “pursuit of happiness.”
I emphasized the two words the woman left out as they help us understand the Founders’ view of the role of government.
NB: More on this anon. Purpose of this post is to stimulate discussion on the reasons the Continental Congress ratified the Declaration with Mr. Jefferson’s expression intact, that is, why they understood “the pursuit of happiness” to be a right, but not happiness itself.