The Nature of American Politics
So few grasp this that it's embarrassing. The political purpose of America, as made pretty clear by the Founders and the Declaration of Independence, was to secure for the people a country in which they can be free as they could be in the state of nature only also reasonably safe from aggressive neighbors across the world.
Politics up until then had been mostly about imposing power on others, robbing them of their resources, subduing them good and hard (unless they were friendly family members or fellow tribesmen). The genius of John Locke's system of natural individual rights is that it nearly succeeded in fashioning a society that marked off for everyone a sphere of personal authority, an area in which they would have the liberty to do as they judged proper and not be invaded by others whose company they could enjoy at their pleasure, not as a matter of invasion. The idea was that in the wilds people could do as they judged fit except when some powerful bullies stood in the way.
Being free is a great thing but if others can with impunity impose themselves on one, that takes a lot away from the beauty of liberty. So how was liberty to be secured while avoiding hazards posed by the bullies? That is the question to which no political thinker has managed to find the answer but John Locke and a few others who taught the American Founders and Framers (e.g., Montesquieu) came very, very close. If a system of individual natural rights could be codified and its administrators had sufficient integrity not to cave in to the temptation to compromise it, there was a good chance that the people could not only have the right to liberty but enjoy its exercise as well.
That is roughly how America developed into a relatively bona fide free society, though by no means consistently, flawlessly. A sufficient number of Americans had been devoted to the project so that a pretty free country came about and managed to provide for its citizenry a kind of country only here and there tasted and tested around the globe. For quite some time at least the idea of this kind of country kept inspiring Americans and their friends across the globe who flocked to these shores with the hope that they'd be free once they settled here.
Now, however, we have come to the point where a completely alien bunch of "leaders" and their academic cheerleaders – especially in law schools – are slowly but surely selling out the American system. Individualism, which is at its heart, is being besmirched all around, including by the man recently re-elected to be the guardian of it. There appears to be no interest on his part and on the part of his team to further develop what the American Founders and Framers established into a more perfect version. Rather, the current leadership seems hell bent on reintroducing the system of the top-down regime, the very one that the American Revolution set out to overturn.
To reverse this trend will require very dedicated citizens, maybe even ones who will have to reignite the original revolution, preferably minus some of the weaknesses of the initial one. Fortunately, the ideas for this are readily available in the annals of American history, law and some political philosophy. All the new revolutionaries need is to put their shoulders to the task of serious research--actually more their minds than their shoulders.
It must not be overlooked that those who are mounting the counterrevolution are a very clever bunch. They have invaded the most prestigious institutions of learning, from kindergarten to graduate school. They control university presses – journals and books and all. They have overrun the popular culture, such as Hollywood and Broadway and what used to be called dime novels. Their hunger for power is unlimited and they are ready to use all the tricks known to human beings. They have learned well from their heroes. Here is one of them:
"Only one thing is needed to enable us to march forward more surely and more firmly to victory: namely, the full and complete thought of our appreciation by all communists in all countries of the necessity of displaying the utmost flexibility in their tactics. The strictest loyalty to the ideas of communism must be combined with the ability to make all the necessary practical compromises, to attack, to make agreements, zigzags, retreats, etc." [Lenin, Left Wing Communism, 1920].
Tibor Machan is a member of the Advisory Board for The Foundation for the Advancement of Free-Market Thinking (FAFMT) and the R. C. Hoiles Professor of Business Ethics & Free Enterprise at the Argyros School of Business & Economics, Chapman University in Orange, CA.
Posted by Kriss Robin on 01/21/13 03:15 PM
Lets play Devils advocate.
The US Constitution is the most Wonderful document been put together, as Constitutions go. I admire all those who stand for Freedom including myself. Just one little problem with the history accounts of the U.S. regarding Property Rights. There were many people Native to the lands of The Americas that had to vacate their Already Free way of life across the now known States called the U.S. This notion sounds a little hypocritical to say the least.
You know, that sounds similar to a plan I heard that Elite groups are up, except 'they' don't hold a gun to one's head, yet. Up until recent times 'they' have used more subtle 'shoot you in the back when you not looking' way's, lol. Different actors, different scenery, different props, different times, same storey.
Posted by pewkey on 01/21/13 08:05 AM
HAPPY Squirrel Appreciation Day!!!
P.S. I'M NOT SURE WHY THE BANKS ARE CLOSED!
Posted by Leviathanfighter on 01/21/13 03:57 AM
Clearly America has taken a wrong turn. I have often thought that America made a catastrophic mistake by forming a union out of the thirteen colonies. What the colonists should have done was form independent countries instead. The Articles of Confederation weren't so bad in a Libertarian's eyes. The succeeding Constitution crossed the line into centralization and, therefore, tyranny.
It is this one centralized federal government imposing itself on all the states and abusing its powers which is root of our problems. After the Revolution, the American states were much too big and complex to be governed realistically from a single point. This situation is even truer now, as a number of states and millions of people are sick of the needless conformity of collectivi-zation imposed on them from D.C.
The Hamiltonians opposed the Articles of Confedera-tion not because they were unworkable, but because they did not conform to their twisted opinion on the ned for the centralization of power and the necessity for coercion in the exercise of that power over the states. Hamilton himself was obsessed with the mechanics and flow of power.
The answer to this dilemma was (and is) not a "stronger agreement" between the states (like the Constitution), or a tightening of their grip on power (this growing police state), but a parting of the ways via decentralization and secession, and peaceful coexistence and trade between the states.
What stopped them from doing this after the Revolution? Mostly it was the mindset that there can be no safety, peace, or prosperity without "strong government" (along the lines proposed by Hamilton). Of course, there were also fears of attack from the colonial powers, but I still think that they could not have torn themselves away from the idea of a strong central authority, even if no foreign powers menaced them at all. They were simply not ready to take the step of a Libertarian-style de-centralization.
Thus, the US federal government and its elites now face the irony of being unable to control all their vast and diverse territories without resort to the same tyranny which the British once sought to exercise over us. Either they must stand down or be taken down and the country split up into separate polities conforming to the choices of local people as they see fit. These polities are even now forming, spontaneously, and are on a big collision course with their hated master, the federal government.