“People have only as much liberty as they have the
intelligence to want and the courage to take.”
One of the most unfortunate truth’s I’ve learned is that the more one thinks the less they are liked by those who refuse to think. American inventor Thomas Edison is attributed with saying, “Five percent of the people think; ten percent of the people think they think; and the other eighty-five percent would rather die than think.” I don’t know if those percentages are accurate, but I can attest to the fact that the sentiment expressed by that quote is spot on.
All one has to do to prove that theory is to present evidence which disproves someone else’s beliefs, and then watch that person go into a conniption fit because they have no facts at their disposal to support their belief. That is why so many people resort to name calling, or applying labels to those they disagree with; because that is their only weapon against someone who has taken the time to study and think about things.
I’m not saying I’m the most knowledgeable person around, and I’m not saying I’m always right. What distinguishes me from so many others, though, is that when I’m proven wrong I change my beliefs to conform to the facts, while most of the people I encounter refuse to change their beliefs no matter how much evidence is presented to prove that their beliefs are wrong.
There are two terms used to describe these different character traits in people. Those who pursue the truth, and base their beliefs based upon what the facts prove are said to have intellectual integrity. Intellectual integrity is defined as: the discipline of striving to be thorough and honest to learn the truth or to reach the best decision possible in a given situation. A person with intellectual integrity has a driving desire to follow reasons and evidence courageously wherever they may lead. The other side of the coin is intellectual hypocrisy, a condition where facts and reason do not matter; a condition in which emotional reactions often takes the place of logic and reasoning.
Of course there are always those who are apathetic; those who don’t care one way or the other about things of any real importance; those to whom self-gratification and the desire for constant entertainment take the place of critical thinking.
Now that I’ve explained that somewhat, let me rephrase that quote by Edison using the definitions I have just provided, “Five percent of the people have intellectual integrity; ten percent of the people have intellectual hypocrisy; and eight-five percent of the people are apathetic.” Again, the percentages may be slightly off, but the sentiments are, once again, spot on.
When I discuss politics with people I often find that those with whom I’m discussing it with are in various stages of state worship; meaning that to some extent they still support and believe in the system that governs over them today. Most of the people I talk to form their political beliefs based either upon the party platform of one of the two political parties, or in response to their feelings on the many issues that plague us as a country.
No matter how hard I try I cannot get people to disassociate themselves from whatever it is that forms their political beliefs and look at the purpose which our system of government should serve. The Preamble to the Constitution states, “We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.” Yet if you were to ask people how the Constitution itself serves those purposes, or whether it actually does, and you will most likely find that people cannot do so.
The Constitution is merely a document establishing a system of government; our second system of government since we became an independent country. Governments come in all shapes and forms, with some being good and others being bad. Just because a document establishes a system of government does not mean that government is either good or bad.
The best way, at least in this country, to determine if our government is doing a good job is to compare it against what the document which established America as a free and independent country says the purpose for which all governments should serve; the Declaration of Independence.
The Declaration of Independence could be said to be America’s birth certificate, for prior to it being written we were not a country, we were 13 Colonies subject to British rule; therefore it, if anything, it should be the document we look to when determining what purpose government should serve.
The Declaration of Independence makes 3 key points, two of which concern government. The first point that it makes is that we are endowed by our Creator, not by government, but by our Creator with certain unalienable rights; those among those are the rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
The second point it makes is that governments are instituted among men to secure those rights, and that government derives its authority from the consent of the governed. The final point is that when government no longer serves the purpose for which it was established it is not only our right, it is our DUTY to alter or abolish it and institute a new system that will serve the purpose government should serve.
The question is; does the government established by the Constitution serve the purpose the Declaration of Independence says government should serve? I think we all know what life is, so there is no need to go into any lengthy discussion of that. There is some confusion though as to how people interpret the pursuit of happiness. I think many believe that implies that they are guaranteed happiness. There is a quote that is falsely attributed to Ben Franklin, yet is nonetheless pretty accurate; that quote being, “The Constitution only guarantees the people the right to pursue happiness. You have to catch it yourself.”
It is not the job of government to ensure your happiness, provide you with benefits, keep you employed, or ensure your security; those are your responsibilities. As far as effecting you directly, the only thing government should be doing is to ensure that your liberty is secured. That’s it, nothing else.
I think people confuse liberty and rights; I know I used to. However, rights are individual characteristics; such as the right to free speech, or the right to be secure in your home from unreasonable searches and seizures. Liberty is not as specific as your individual rights; liberty is the ability to be free from oppressive restrictions imposed by authority, [government], on one’s way of life, behavior, or political views.
Liberty, therefore means a person’s right to do and say as they please without anyone telling them otherwise. However, that does not mean we are free to harm others, or take from them their possessions or earnings, as there is a law of nature that governs liberty which says, “But though this be a state of liberty, yet it is not a state of licence: though man in that state have an uncontroulable liberty to dispose of his person or possessions, yet he has not liberty to destroy himself, or so much as any creature in his possession, but where some nobler use than its bare preservation calls for it. The state of nature has a law of nature to govern it, which obliges every one: and reason, which is that law, teaches all mankind, who will but consult it, that being all equal and independent, no one ought to harm another in his life, health, liberty, or possessions…” (Source: Locke’s Second Treatise, Chapter 2)
In a letter to Isaac Tiffany, Thomas Jefferson explained the difference between unadulterated liberty and rightful liberty, “Liberty then I would say that, in the whole plenitude of it’s extent, it is unobstructed action according to our will: but rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will, within the limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add ‘within the limits of the law’; because law is often but the tyrant’s will, and always so when it violates the right of an individual.”
Therefore, if that be the purpose of government, I now ask of you if the government we have today is serving that purpose, or if it has become an instrument that is destructive of liberty? If government still serves the purpose of securing your liberty, (which any thinking person could clearly see is not the case), then by all means it deserves your full support.
If, however, government DOES NOT secure your liberty; if it imposes all manner of restrictions upon what you can do; all manner of rules that you must abide by dictating how, when, and the manner in which you may do things; and enacts all manner of laws that infringe upon and violate your unalienable rights, WHY IN GOD’S NAME DO YOU SUPPORT IT? After all, the Declaration did not say it was an option to alter or abolish a government that restricted your liberty was an option; it said it was your right…YOUR DUTY!!!
Yet I’m a radical, an extremist, a threat to the public welfare because I choose not to support this system of government we live under; because I choose not to vote. Historian Charles A. Beard was 100% correct when he said, “You need only reflect that one of the best ways to get yourself a reputation as a dangerous citizen these days is to go about repeating the very phrases which our founding fathers used in the great struggle for independence.”
I see very few patriots walking around these days; I see very few people who are willing to put aside their political biases and face the facts with an open mind…I see a nation of sheep who worship their shepherd…who actually enjoy voting for people to subjugate and oppress them…and it makes me sick to my stomach!
Although I don’t agree with everything Emma Goldman believed, I do believe that she was spot on when she said, “Civilization has been a continuous struggle of the individual or of groups of individuals against the State and even against “society,” that is, against the majority subdued and hypnotized by the State and State worship.”
So the question is, did the Constitution erect/establish a system of government which would serve the purposes government should serve, or did it erect one designed to tear down the principles America was founded upon in 1776? Any person whose mind is open and doesn’t have their head buried in the sand would be forced to admit that our system of government DOES NOT serve the purpose for which governments are instituted among men; and this is true regardless of whether the Republicans or the Democrats are in control of it.
Does it matter how or why this has happened? Does it matter whether it is because evil men have been elected and sought to use their power to deny the liberty government was established to secure? Does it matter that it is due to the ignorance and apathy of a majority of the American people that this has come to pass? In both cases the fact is that the Constitution, as a document outlining a system of government, did not contain sufficient restraints upon government, nor did it provide a means by which the liberty loving people of America could punish those who sought to abuse their power and restrict our liberty.
Patrick Henry warned of this fatal flaw within the Constitution, saying, “Where is the responsibility — that leading principle in the British government? In that government a punishment, certain and inevitable, is provided: But in this, there is no real actual punishment for the grossest maladministration. They may go without punishment, though they commit the most outrageous violation on our immunities. That paper may tell me they will be punished. I ask, by what law? They must make the law — for there is no existing law to do it. What — will they make a law to punish themselves? This, Sir, is my great objection to the Constitution, that there is no true responsibility — and that the preservation of our liberty depends on the single chance of men being virtuous enough to make laws to punish themselves.”
Government has, at its disposal, federal sheriffs, (known today as federal agents), and local law enforcement whose sole purpose is to enforce the laws upon the subjects under the authority and jurisdiction of government. Yet we have absolutely no means of reciprocating, and enforcing any kind of limits upon government, while giving us the authority and ability to punish those who refuse to respect our rights and our liberty.
That is the government created by the Constitution, and it matters not that it came about due to evil and corrupt men being chosen to represent us, or by our own ignorance and apathy. The fact is that any document establishing a system of government that did not contain ironclad protection of the rights and liberty of the people is a document that establishes a government in which there are two classes of people; slaves and masters.
Therefore, Lysander Spooner was 100% correct in saying, “But whether the Constitution really be one thing, or another, this much is certain – that it has either authorized such a government as we have had, or has been powerless to prevent it. In either case it is unfit to exist.”
So why do you still support this thing that deprives you of your Creator-given rights? Is it because you prefer the comfort of servitude over the animating contest for liberty? As I said in a recent rant, Patrick Henry did not say, “Give me free health care, give me comfort and security, or I’ll vote for someone else”, he said, “Give me liberty or give me death.”
So you go right ahead and keep falling for the lies promised you, the campaign slogans like Hope and Change, or Make America Great Again, I’ll keep on opposing this thing you call your government, for I know the truth, and the truth is that this government is evil, it is corrupt, and the document that established it is no better than the toilet paper I use in the bathroom; and if you support it then your head must be buried where that toilet paper is used.