Liberty - It's Communicable
Liberty - It's Communicable|
Originally published September 19, 1999, Republished April 22, 2005 | By Jeff Head
What is Liberty?
Well,in my opinion, in the context of American liberty, here's an answer....
Liberty is freedom from encumberance in an environment where the unalienable rights of mankind are both recognized and respected and where individual "Free Will" bounded by fundamental moral principle is the avenue for interaction in society .
That's a lot of pretty words that basically say that if a people are to be free, they and their government have to recognize and respect the God-given rights of others and be moral. In fact, liberty can not coexist with widespread individual, or institutional immorality. Immorality places an individual's, or a group's, wishes, lusts, cravings, passions or beliefs above the unalienable rights of others. When this occurs, unalienable rights are infringed and liberty is lost.
Liberty can also not exist where moral choice is compelled and individual Free Will is destroyed. Again, the result is that unalienable rights are infringed and liberty is lost
Either of these negative conditions, rampant immorality or rampant compulsion of moral choice, lead directly to tyranny. On one hand as society breaks down and individuals infringe on one another's rights tyranny rushes in to "restore order". On the other hand, or as a result of the first, the infringement is institutionalized as the "government" compels people in their individual choices. You decide how close we are to one or the other today.
The American path to stable, lasting liberty, which has maintained for well over two hundred years and been the beacon of liberty for the entire world, correctly enumerates all of the following unallienable rights :
- LifeThere are others that are left to the individual states and the people. All of them derive from the Creator and are our natural rights as soveriegn individuals and are only enumerated in our Declaration of Independence and our Bill of Rights in the US Constitution.
That our unalienable rights are enumerated by the Constitution and not bequeathed is a critical point in this understanding, as is the fact that morality and individual Free Will are inexorably tied to the exercise of those unalienable rights. These are facts that MUST be taught to all Americans, from the youngest years on, if there is any hope for society to understand and equitably exercise their unalienable rights and their liberty.
This education then, must be the object of our most strenuous efforts. Without this knowledge, we as a people will drift far afield from true liberty, and will ultimately fall victim to demigogs, tyrants, populists and our own material cravings and other passions. Therefore, that we should waiste and wear out ourselves in such a worthy effort in bringing to light this knowledge that our enemies continue to go to any length to hide and prevent.
When individuals understand that they were meant to be free to act in accordance with their own consciense and only within the confines of another's rights, the feeling is at once exciting and contagious. It opens a vista to a world of opportunity and to the accompanying accountablility for their own actions. This accountability becomes the great governor in a society where individuals prefer to therby govern themselves as opposed to being governd by an all inclusive, overburdensome government. Such a society, where these truths of liberty are understood, develops and maintains a government whose primary purpose is to :
1) Protect the borders from outside invaders who would rob the people of their liberty and all the fruits of their labors.Folks, this is Liberty ... this is what our founders envisioned and what our nation has lived out for most of its history. This knowledge is communicable and is the great antidote to our modern ills ... from cries for gun control, to social welfare systems, to intrusive taxes to rampant immorality. Some of the greatest comments on these topics were provided by our founders ... our initial great communicators. Let's punctuate this article with their words and communications on the topic, and let's catch that "communcable" spirit that they felt :
"We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge, or gallantry, would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate for the government of any other."- John Adams, Oct. 11, 1798 Address to the military
These men knew human nature, the human heart and the intricacies of individual and group dynamics. With all else that has changed in the intervening years, these principles and truths have not changed, and neither have the applicability of their words and teachings.
Let us therefore go forth and spread these truths and these principles abroad in our land. Such principle are forgotten, discarded and walked on at the peril of us all. Let us educate those around us as to the true underpinnings of our liberties, and let us be prepared to face direct and head-on with these truths, those individuals and institutions who would subvert and destroy our liberties and way of life.
If we do not unflinchingly face them with truth and principle now, and if we do not endeavor to pass these truths on to those around us ... the time will come, as surely as night follows day, and as surely as our founders faced the same, when our liberty faces so grave a threat that we will be compelled to defeat the resulting tyranny (either internal or exterenal) by nothing short of force of arms.
Here's a GREAT few thoughts on our laws and how they should be fashioned from Frederick Bastiat (1850) in his famous pamphlet :
The existence of persons and property preceded the existence of the legislator, and his function is only to guarantee their safety.If today, our lawmakers were interested in restoring this nation to its greatness, they would catch the vision that this land was established for soveriegn individuals, operating within the environment addressed by this essay, to govern themselves, not be governed by thousands of laws, regulations and agencies sent forth to harass the citizens and increase the power and prestige of lawmakers who ought rather to be the servants of the citizens.