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Tag Archives: liberty

I am stuck in the position that I often find myself in of having so many blogs and ideas I want to discuss that I am not exactly sure where to begin. But this is something that is the most recent, and maybe the most heart-felt, so maybe I should start here eh?

To a lot of people (statists of varying degrees) it is impossible to separate the idea of morality from ideas on law and Government. The two ideas are indistinguishable from one another, as are culture and society and what a people ‘want’, this is all reflected and even intimately linked with Government. And while I do agree with that to a certain, very small extent compared to a lot of others, I have been forced to wonder how one can promote two, in this case seemingly contradictory ideas, at the same time. After all if something is the right thing to do, the definition of a word, or even the moral ideal then should we not put it into law that things should be this way?

If it works for me why shouldn’t it work for everyone? After all the Government has successfully given me benefits and insurance and has kept a roof over my head or kept my kid from eating dog meat or has helped the sick and the elderly. Without these benefits we would not have a thing.

This is the argument that helps justify the mantra: Bottom line Government does have a role and a large and important role to boot in making sure people are safe and fed and cared for.

Then the counter argument becomes, since society, culture, morality, and law are so closely entwined in this scenario, the argument becomes if you do not support these programs, if you do not think the Government should be enforcing a standard of living in this regard then you must want kids to starve, or are in favor of the things we want the Government to be involved in (Gay Marriage).

Whatever I feel on these issues specifically on a case by case basis it is possible for me to not like something, but not want the Government to touch it. To be moral on our own without having to wait for the Governments permission or sing songy approval.

It is possible for me to be, for argument’s sake, against Gay Marriage but not want the Government to interfere.

The reason? Well as obvious as this is I am not God. Nor am an especially great and upstanding individual. I don’t think this needs to be said one of my forms of entertainment is to blabber on a WordPress blog at obscene hours of the night instead of doing more normal things.

So I am not God, I am not a fantastic person, good maybe, but I am still trying to figure out many of life’s mysteries.

And so is the vast majority of humanity.

And yet we feel comfortable in enforcing our morality on others? Even if it says so in a book we hold dear? We feel the need to go out and be busy bodies and try to enforce our morality on others when we have issues, problems, when we can be corrupt or make bad decisions because of our desires?

No, I generally am very uncomfortable with doing this. And I am also uncomfortable when people do this on my behalf. When politicians start doing things I support and consider a good idea I generally reconsider the idea.

Recently I have finished reading the Miracle of Freedom, the Seven tipping points that saved the world: ( Link).

It is a book that talks about seven key events in world history, mainly the history of Europe that led to the foundation and continuation of the world today. It charts freedom’s progress. The stumbling blocks, pitfalls, and the advancements that have been made these last several years.

Through civil Government, Science, philosophy, and Religion, all playing a role in creating and shaping the very freedoms we enjoy today. It makes a compelling case and is truly eye-opening. I recommend it.

But just how fragile is our freedom? Why is it at risk? And how do these things make our freedom so precious?

Our freedom is very fragile, and unique. Its been in a state of flux, both in this country and leading up to this country, for years. It took treasure and blood and sweat to keep it, and it will take these things in the future to maintain it. It constantly has people and Government and organizations and the powerful ripping and tearing at its very edge. Often in the name of the very thing they mean to take away. Or in the name of Security, Justice, be it economic, or Social, or environmental.

And it is hardly our birthright, the birthright of humanity.

Injustice exists everywhere and it has done so for years, millennium,

Not saying that the human heart is evil or wrong or we are in a state of pure corruption, again we can make the choice and if we make the wrong one we can recognize that, atone, and move on to a better world. Hopefully. We are plagued by both our successes and our failures.

But injustice still exists, even in this day, oppressive Governments round-up their people with no charge and everywhere there is always someone looking to take power from the people and tip the balance.

But thankfully because of the Constitution, and our respect for the rule of law, we treat everyone equally and fairly under the law. Despite those that would see the rule of law and the Constitution torn apart on their own petty whims.

That lies the road to injustice and evil. Even if they care for the people and even if they have our best interest at heart the moment it becomes about desire and caring and trying to do the right thing, is the moment we risk tearing it apart. The second that even someone noble and righteous violates the rule of law is a risk for the next person to come along and violate it for evil.

The human heart is complex, despite what we strive to and what we build and how most of us in this country and the Western World look at people and try to treat everyone with fairness, and dignity, there is always someone out there who does not share that view.

And even amongst ourselves as individuals it is not always easy.

We strive, we seek, we grow wiser and older and better. But we still fall and are corrupted.

It is hard to grow past our instincts. Hard to treat everyone fairly. It always seems that there is that one person, or one issue, or one moment in time that makes us less than who we are. We can become suspicious mistrusting unfair angry or just lose ourselves. We cry out “CAN SOMEONE NOT RID US OF THIS MEDDLESOME PRIEST”

And for too much of time, too much of our history, we have been subject to the petty interests of humans, of Kings, ruling over us where their rule was supreme. Even in this day the Government can fall into those patterns.

And frankly freedom has been the exception, it existed briefly, maybe with the Greeks and then the Romans, they at least experimented before they fell to the darkness of Empire.

But for thousands of years of history humanity has lived under abject tyranny, and some of us still do to this day. Next to what? Roughly three hundred years (being generous) of freedom and free thought?

We have had thousands of years to get used to and grow comfortable with tyranny and oppression, and only a couple hundred, a pin prick, to try to break those bonds and live free.

Sometimes we fall back on old patterns.

We have not gotten used to freedom, but we have forgotten what it means to be a slave.

For far too long we have sat and gotten used to our freedom where we ignore, or don’t recognize the sings of our impending doom.

Whether it is from inside, or outside. Bread and Circuses indeed.

Which is why it is so precious, and why it is so necessary to learn…through history hopefully, what it meant for the people’s of the path to live. Then, and only then can we preserve our own freedom.

Well we are close again to another July Fourth Weekend. The barbeques, the fireworks, the….swimming…and all the activities that we use to celebrate the birth of our country…without really understanding the principles of the founding of our country.

This blog, will, try to correct that. Be the first step in trying to show some of what our Government means, and is supposed to do. And this is a blog that will explain those principles, without really trying to pass judgement on them.

The Prime Directive of Government is simply this: To provide for, or protect, or allow for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness and property. As was stated in the original Declaration of Independence.

This is what Government is supposed to do, before all else, and when stripped down to its basic parts. Before all the health care, and medicare, and social security, and welfare.

Life: To protect people’s lives from physical harm.

To have a police force, a fire department, or to pass laws and allow for the people to be able to cope with their own fires and try to defend themselves from harm.

Liberty: To protect people from coercion, and protect the liberty of the people and their ability to make choices.

That the Government passes laws that are equal, fair to all, and do not trample on anyone’s ability to make a choice, unless that choice harms or unfairly coerces another.

The Pursuit of Happiness: The ability to pursue your economic goals, to pursue your liberty and the choices that will make you happy.

From who or what you want to marry, to pursuing an education, to doing whatever you want.

This is what the Government is responsible for, at its most basic. This is the Prime Directive.

Anything else is…theoretically..nice add ons and bonuses.

From healthcare to welfare, to subsidizing the Sciences and education. Those are things that a Government might decide to do as long as they have the money to do so, and as long as it does not trample on the Prime Directive.

Because the debate rages on in this country. What does it mean to let people live? What does it mean to let them pursue happiness? Would it not be better to have the Government ensure everyone is healthy? Would it not be better that we level the playing field so everyone can have that shot?

To.

The Government protects you, but what you do after that is your own business.

And all three of these are in constant conflict.

Just how much life (security) can we get before it tramples on our Liberty? Is there too much Liberty that hampers our ability to keep us alive and safe, and even semi free?

How do we Pursue Happiness without running over everyone?

And we all must answer the question in our own ways, but to do so, I think we need a base to start from.

I was watching the Republican First debate a couple of weeks ago from South Carolina…starring Ron Paul, Gary Johnson, Tim Pawlenty, Rick Santorum, and Hermann Cain. I think most of the candidates represented themselves and did a good job with the questions. Each brought something to the debate and had good points, even though it took a few of them a while to get to them.

What struck me was perhaps a simple point, but it struck me, so thus to the blogosphere I go. (Fully clothed and not in the basement thank you)

I always think its important to have conversations with people, about Government, politics, and the state of the world. I enjoy having these conversations on a regular basis, and from all over the political map, whether they are to my political left, or the political right.

But I usually, usually, find the conversations and debates and perspectives with those to my more political right, the more Liberty Lovers then I am, the most enjoyable. Even when we do not always agree on the issues. I always learn something and really appreciate their perspective…unless they are some weird crazy nut job who insults your education but lets not get into that. 😉

The point is, I think, that even on the issues of Gay Marriage, Abortion, or Foreign Affairs as long as their opinion grows liberty, and leaves me to decide mine, or at the very least the states, then that is ok.

I will disagree with you, and vehemently, but at least they are not trying to GROW the Government right?

As long as they understand the issues and the potential consequences of any of their actions I think we can tolerate a candidate that will shrink the Government even if we disagree with them on a single issue.

And I think this is something everyone can learn, those to the more left of me barely, and those to the right of me. If a candidate will mostly shrink the Government in their administration.

We need candidates who ultimately understand the issues, all of them, and are willing to make choices. Barring that can create a team that will lead them to understanding all the issues. We will never find a perfect candidate so as long as they shrink a Government and move us in the right direction, especially when it comes to personal, and State, Liberty, and our economy, then those candidates should be considered.

Something has struck me recently about a subject that has been bothering me for quite a while. Simply: Why should Libertarians care about the State of Israel? Why is it any of our concern?

After all it is another sovereign country, with its own affairs, its own concerns…and is just a foreign entity outside the United States? Why should the Government go and support them or why should we personally support them? We should not even exercise power in this nation! And it is an internal Israeli matter.

And besides, we have our own issues in this country. We have a massive debt, massive budget problems, our economy sucks, our dollar is being destroyed, and the govt is taking more and more and more power for itself. In all areas of our lives.

Why should we be concerned about a country, or a people, half way across the world?

Well there is a lot of truth in these concerns about Israel and our own country.

Well because many others, religious people and politicians, are working towards trying to take away their lives, their liberty, and their ability to pursue their happiness. Never mind their ability to govern themselves. There are people out there who is advocating this, enemies of liberty.

Now I am not saying we need to get involved, I am not saying we need to risk our American lives and treasure in defense. I am not saying this will require a World War 2 like effort to stop. I hope this does not happen, and Israel is a sovereign state, with the military and the boarders of one. And the right to conduct its flaws.

With all the flaws and the imperfections of a state and humanity in general.

But they have a right to, most importantly live.

And a threat to anyone’s liberty, is a threat to our liberty.

Governments who grow which threaten anyone’s lives, will likely grow to threaten our rights. Even that of their own people.

We have a choice here, to stand and stop this, or to sit quiet, let this happen, and then perhaps reap the rewards of our folly years in the future.

I know there are more than three styles of Government out there in life. you have Plutocracies, aristocracies, Theocracies, Republics, authoritarian states, totalitarian states, Monarchies….and on and on and on and on.

But again, simplicity leads to understanding and in breaking this down I can come up with three styles of Government. And note sometimes states call themselves one thing to get brownie points when they are another.

And much like the three styles of major economics, on any one track that is, you have your two polar opposites and then you have a bridge. capitalism, Socialism, and Communism, for instance.

For Governments though you have, going from left to right, theocratic/ Fascist/ communist/ aristocratic/ totalitarian/ authoritarian regimes, Republics is the bridge, from Republic’s that give the representatives the power to enslave the people to Republic’s like ours, and then you have Democracies.

Tyrannies, to simplify it, give you tyranny by law.

Where you have laws and a legal code, whether it is religious, moral, or those of the leaders pure whim, that strips liberty and human freedom.

Where the Monarch, Emperor, or Tyrant…or ruling council, regulates all the affairs of the people and almost all liberty is stifled from freedom of thought to expression to personal belief. Where you can get shot for what you believe. Or speared or what you have you.

Then you have Republics.

Republics give you, especially if done right, Liberty by Law, that you have Liberty but strong laws in place designed to protect your liberty and your ability to pursue your happiness and economic opportunities.

Now Republic’s can range from tyrannies pretending to be Republic’s (the People’s Republic of China,) to Republic’s that lean more to the other side of the aisle but are not that side of the aisle. IDK I guess in this example Britain, and probably Israel and most of Europe. Then you have ours which leans to the most freedom (at our core documents) which provides for the greatest in human liberty. Granted I am talking in generalities.

And then you have Democracies.

Democracies give you license, more often then not.

Now Democracies are the most curious case of all, because they are in extreme flux and can bend upon themselves and become, or be called, any of the three.

For example you have our Government calling ourselves a Democracy when we are not. You have Governments all over the world that pay lip service to Democracy while butchering their people.

You have some of the worse monsters in history being Democratically elected.

In thinking about this subject recently the main thing about a Democracy is this: the will of the people and the majority is the ruling force.

Keeping this in mind Democracies can be further divided into two classes, Direct and indirect.

Direct Democracies just give a vote and the whole must follow it. This is rare except in small town like circumstances.

Indirect is when you have elected representatives that are supposed to fulfill your will. However this can be easily manipulated, in two ways.

Say you have a really popular guy, says he is for a lot of things and then he is elected, and then manipulates the situation where he does something different.

After all we the ‘people’ elected him, he is our will personified and anything he does is on our behalf.

The leader in question can manipulate popular sentiment, either before or after the election, and manipulate the people. Like Edward Bernays and the idea of the ‘intelligent few’ manipulating the people to reach a desired outcome.

And thus, it bends in and itself and a tyranny can be elected by a Democracy, damn any constitution or legal code.

Thus you have a few bright and benevolent leaders who are exercising the ‘will of the people.’

And which is why large swaths of our politicians and punditry are trying to convince us we are a Democracy. Because then the Will of the People will Trump our traditions, our morals, our laws, and the Constitution itself. As long as someone votes on it.

It’s the idea of Mel Gibson’s character in the Patriot (I know this is a real quote but I forget who said it) I would rather have one tyrant three thousand miles away then three thousand tyrants one mile away.

That is what you could get in a Democracy. No one voice matters because it is always drowned out in the ‘Will of the People’ or a Mob.

And yet any Government has the potential to slide any way at any time.

So a proper balance MUST be struck. Between Liberty and Law, where the Laws of the Land provide for human liberty, and not crush it.

Constitutions: They are probably the most significant invention in our society, our most significant thing as it comes to and relates to Government. They are important in telling one who they are as a people, and how the Government that serves them…serves them. And hopefully not as an alien entree.

They are quite simply the contract between a people and its Government.

They are the contract, the blue print, the bedrock, and the rules between a people and its Government. And how a society functions.

It is a set of rules of where the Government relates to the people and what the Government must not do to the people, and how the Government works and the processes that the Government operates under.

They are, along with assorted documents in our country, what gives one great liberty…or even great tyranny.

It is what gives us our liberty.

Well we give ourselves our liberty but that is the blue print in which we operate under.

Because no matter the Government type, whether it is a proper Republic, or a Monarchy, or anything in between they determine how much liberty and how much tyranny is in a society at its core.

Because a monarchy can have limits in it based on the Constitution. A Constitution can limit the Government, and empower the people, or it can give a King or a Congress or an elite or an aristocracy their powers and loopholes to lord it over the people.

And these kinds of Constitutions do not work if they can be changed on a whim. If they can be changed on a whim they will not work.

Whether it is by the whim of the people in a Direct Democracy. Or a King, Monarch, or Tyrant.

The more set in stone a Constitution is, and the harder it is to change it or alter it, and the more checks and balances there are in that process…and all the processes of Government, the better it is for the liberty and the Freedom in that country.

Just like ours and us.

And when people start to ignore the Constitution for their own political objectives, you begin to lose your society and the structure of your society begins to crumble.

In my research and in many years of life that I have lived, and all the politics that I have absorbed in that time, I have come to the conclusion that there are three types of laws. All laws, ruling, legislation, and regulations that come out of Government boil down to three basic types.

One, laws that shrink liberty, grow the Government and may even grow tyranny and Government control in our lives.

Two, Laws that grow human Liberty and get the Government off of our backs.

Three, laws that do neither, but smooth over and strengthen a previous Government oversight and or program that is in need of reform. These laws may actually serve to grow human liberty and make us safer, rather than endangering our lives or our Liberty.

Laws that can grow Government and endanger our Liberty our ability to pursue happiness or even our lives for that matter.

Examples of these laws are almost rampant in our society in recent history. Almost anything that comes out and endangers our liberty almost any bill does so in one way or the other, and is a threat, even if most of the bill is a liberty based bill there is still that one little sliver that may hurt.

But perhaps the most recent and most expansive was the Health care bill.

A bill that forces you to buy Health Care, eliminates the private loans for college education and does many things like that along those lines.

It puts your and our entire fiscal security at risk with massive spending, massive debts, and inadequate ways to fund the system.

Laws that grow human liberty are a lot harder to find, especially recently, but are rampant throughout history.

Whether they are the amendments addressing slavery and black rights to the right for women to vote.

These Government laws have helped freedom grow and have given us the ability to further pursue our happiness.

And then Laws that smooth things over are those addressing a previous Government oversight.

Whether it is the fourteenth amendment which addressed concerns and further helped give blacks rights when they were further repressed.

Or SB 1070. One that gives the Local Governments the proper authority to go out and enforce Federal Law and help the Federal Government do their jobs with regards to immigration.

In my time of debating a lot of foreigners and people who are not US citizens through the internet something comes up again and again and again.

The idea that, well our laws are better, the foreign laws and that we should look to Europe for Cap and Trade, gun restrictions, or Health Care, are the three most popular.

That our laws are perfect and good and honest and descent, they can save you and that we have such a long life span, such a low murder rate, and why people do not go broke doing health care.

After all you love Israel so much, why can’t you follow their example and their good laws and Government this and that?

In thinking about these arguments and this argument in regards I have come up with four, relatively simple steps, to determine if a law that is foreign in nature or a law that does not originate inside the United States will work for our country.

These steps also work for any law in general and is a good rule of thumb, but they specifically are designed to work for laws that come from over seas and laws that we can mold for use here in the United States.

One: Does the program or law in question limit or stifle human freedom? Does the program make human liberty and freedom impractical?

Many people say that the Scandinavian, or the British or the Canadian health care system has a private option and provides private insurance.

Is it practical or viable?

Is it vibrant and free and truly a meaningful option that people can go to be truly free?

What laws and restrictions could exist where the Government encourages or forces people into the Socialist liberty stripping system?

Two: Is it Fiscally sane?

Will running this specific program break the bank?

Will it jeopardize the financial security of the United States and risk causing the country to collapse economically?

Three: Does it match the moral, societal, and cultural objectives and norms of the United States?

Scandinavia, and many other countries that spend large numbers of dollars on social programs, they do not have a large military.

I like having a large military, and how much I might want to shrink it we need one now.

So will these programs put other programs more acceptable to Americans at large in jeopardy? Or those of our defense obligations?

Four: Does it match the legal precedent, codes, or laws of the land of the United States. IE the Constitution, Bill of Rights, and Declaration of Independence.

If the powers that these new laws will create violate established US precedent and the foundations of our moral code, and indeed our society, they should be rejected.

All four of them are equally as important in the long run to determining what laws should and should not get passed.

All four of these steps must be reached and checked off in order to have any law based on foreign legal precedent become law in the United States.

It is very difficult to pass these laws and pass the muster on all these guidelines.

But that is the point. No matter what we are dealing in the realm of Big Governments and tyranny. And any law, ANY law should be nearly impossible to pass.

And if they can match all four requirements, then you likely have a good law that can work in this country, and indeed any other…depending on how you relate to the steps of course. 😛

I want to do something a bit outside of the norm in this blogs history…*snort*… and talk about…well what happens if we fail. What happens if the United States fails, in all of the ways that I think we can fail. And in all the ways we can.

What happens? What are our responsibilities? This is not to be hopeless, but what responsibilities do we have in the future.

You see, I think the answer has to do with the newest Robin Hood movie, it came to me watching it.

And with Jesus, and the Romans, and the Greeks, and the Egyptians, and Martin Luther, and Gandhi, and Martin Luther King, and the British Empire, and…almost everywhere.

You see we, like they, have a legacy. We have a responsibility to fight, to think, and to make our voices heard, now. Right now. Even if it is hopeless and we are doomed as a people and a country.

Because if we fail, if we let the World Down and the World turns to great darkness then the future needs a voice. An example to follow. And this is our legacy to future people.

To anyone who wants to try this again. To fight for their own liberty, their own freedom, their own ideas, and their own Republic.

We must be an example to the future, a blueprint. Like the great Republics, and even the tyrants, have been to us.

Because no matter how much anyone in the future will try to bury the past, no matter how much they will claim that Republican ideals and the American experiment has failed, no matter how much they might distort…we will be heard.

Because the great Republics of the past and the great tyrannies and the great people’s of the past are separated by us by thousands of years of history. And thousands of years of blood and pain.

But yet we have information, we have knowledge, we actually know how they lived, how they did not live. And more importantly the mistakes, and the things they did well.

We know about the debt, getting too embroiled in foreign wars, a Government that goes from representing the People, to representing their own interests and pleasures, whatever they may be.

We know all of this. No matter how much people may distort our history and our perceptions of it, no matter how many years have passed between now and then, we still have this. This information is out there for anyone who is curious.

This is our duty and our responsibility for the future. Because if we just say…meh its hopeless…meh the Republic is doomed…meh God is done with Human liberty for now…meh lets just run out the string…then we are done.

But we also have another legacy, a more important one.

We have to decide right here, right now, what we want for the future of our Republic and our Children.

What kind of society will we give them.

A safe and secure one, or one that lives in fear?

A one with massive debt or one with financial security?

One with Liberty? Or one of tyranny?

This is what we have to do if we are to make it, or if we must pay for our sins with the Death of this Republic that we love, then we must make sure the future can avoid our mistakes.