YOU Are In Grave Danger!

 

 

american-flags-crossed

TWELVE BASIC AMERICAN PRINCIPLES
Underlying The Traditional American
Philosophy Of Man-Over-Government

...A Dispensation Of Government...

 

 

Informed Patriot Americans Understand Traditional American Philosophy!

It is basic that all statements made in the following pages about Man's rights--his liberties or freedoms--are to be considered as subject to the fact of the existence of the inseparable duty factor of Individual Liberty-Responsibility and especially this factor's primary aspect. This aspect is the duty to respect the equal rights of others. The term Individual Liberty always connotes Liberty-Responsibility because Liberty cannot exist separate and apart from Responsibility, nor Right from Duty.

The term "unalienable rights" should, in every instance of its use, be read as meaning God-given, unalienable rights, because the only basis for considering them to be unalienable is the fundamental and uniquely American concept of their Divine origin--that Man possesses them solely by reason of endowment by his Creator. Unless considered to be of Divine origin, these rights cannot properly be classified as being unalienable. They are then subject to being considered as mere conditional privileges granted by government. In such case, there can be no moral or constitutional basis for objecting to their violation, by government or by others, such as exists in the case of God-given rights as protected traditionally by the American constitutional system; such government-granted privileges are not comparable in dignity with God-given rights.

usa_map


Table of Contents

Principle One: The Spiritual Is Supreme

The Principle

Religious Nature
An Indivisible Whole
The Individual's Self Respect
Some Things Excluded
The Truly American Concept
America A Haven For All Religions
The Conclusion
Some Historical Quotes



Principle Two: Fear of Government-over-Man

The Principle

Cause of Fear
Man--Good and Evil, Mixed
Government Like A Fire
The Views of Jefferson and Madison and the Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions
Precedents for Other States' Protests Such As The Hartford Convention Resolutions
The View of Patrick Henry The American People's View Also Expressed in the Pittsfield Petitionof 1776
Never-changing Weakness of Human Nature Create Never-changing Need for Safeguards
The Conclusion
Some Historical Quotes



Principle Three: Unalienable Rights--From God

The Principle

The Only Moral Basis
Right, Reason, and Capacity to Be Self-governing
Rights--as Prohibitions Against Government
An Endless List of Rights
Right To Be Let Alone
Rights Inviolable by Government Or by Others
Each Individual Consents to Some Limitations
An Offender's Just Punishment
The Conclusion
Some Historical Quotes



Principle Four: Government Is A Tool

The Principle

Government's Primary Function
Government a Tool
Government Lacks "Just Power" to Violate Rights
Government Cannot Delegate Any Power to Violate Man's Rights
No Coercion of Man as to His Labor
Sovereign Citizen over Public Servant
Betrayal of the American Heritage
The Conclusion
Some Historical Quotes



Principle Five: Limited Government

The Principle

"Just Powers" Defined
"Limited"--A Key Word
Limited Powers, Duties, Responsibilities and Limited Threat to Liberty
Division of Powers and Checks and Balances
The Compound Republic
Federal Delegated-Power, and State Full-Power, Republics
The "General Welfare" in Relation to the Constitution
Hamilton's Opinion
The Supreme Court's 1936 Decision Ascertaining and Defining the Original, Controlling Intent
The Founders' Warnings
Resistance to Usurpers, as Tyrants, Is Obedience to God
The Conclusion
Some Historical Quotes



Principle Six: Decentralized Government

The Principle

Man's Unalienable Rights and "States Rights" Doubly Protected
Greater Quantity of Power Retained by Each State
"Home Rule" the Basic, Controlling Principle
Economic Liberty and Decentralized Government
Sample Warnings by The Founders
Samuel Adam's Opinion
Hamilton's Opinion
Hamilton and Madison in The Federalist
Jefferson's Opinion
Some Peaceable Remedies of the People Against an Offending Federal Government
State's Self-defense by Force, in Last Resort, per The Federalist
The Civil over The Military
The Conclusion
Some Historical Quotes



Principle Seven: Equal in Site of God and Law

The Principle

Basic Definition of Equality
The Ideal of Equality in 1776--in the Face of Inherited Slavery System
Equality in Freedom of Opportunity for Self-Development
Equality in Freedom from Government-over-Man in the Economic Realm
Individual Self-reliance and Group Cooperation Constitute the Sound American Formula
Public "Aid" for the Genuinely Needy Must Be on Lowest Possible Governmental Level
Equality as to Non-infringement by Other Individuals
Equality of Right to Be Let Alone
Examples of What "Equality" Does Not Mean
More Examples
Equality In Private Life Excluded
The Conclusion
Some Historical Quotes



Principle Eight: Life and the Pursuit of Happiness

The Principle

Ever-Changing Nature of Goals, etc.
Definition Emphasizes Self-development, Self-discipline
Innumerable Things of Limitless Scope
The Key: Voluntary Cooperation Based on Spiritual Unity
The Practical Application Typical of Americans
Coercion Excluded
No Sacrifice of Any Right of Any Individual
The End Does Not Justify The Means
What Is Not Meant
The Conclusion
Some Historical Quotes



Principle Nine: Liberty--Against Government-over-Man

The Principle

The Broader Definition
Liberty-Responsibility
Freedom of Choice
The "Self" Factors of Free Man
Self-respect
Self-reliance
Self-discipline
Liberty's Two-fold Meaning
The Lofty Challenge
The Conclusion
Some Historical Quotes



Principle Ten: Private Property--Liberty's Support

The Principle

Part of Economic Liberty
The Underlying Reasoning
The View of The Framers, per The Federalist
The Means of Self-defense
Property Needed for Defense of Man's Rights
The 1776 Declaration and the Word "Property"
An Essential Means, Not an End in and of Itself
Property Supports Ideals
The Conclusion
Some Historical Quotes



Principle Eleven: Taxes--Limited to Safeguard Liberty

The Principle

The Precedent of 1776
Limiting Taxing Power
Examples of What Is Not Authorized
The Examples Continued
Peril to Liberty--Multiplied / "Great Oaks and Great Tyrannies"
No Unlimited Income-tax Power Under the Principle of Limited Government
Benjamin Franklin's Example
The Conclusion
Some Historical Quotes



Principle Twelve: The Majority--Limited for Liberty

The Principle

A Restricted Mechanic of Government / "This Sacred Principle"
A Minority of One Protected
America a Republic--Not a Democracy--In Form of Government So As to Limit Effectively The Majority to Protect The Individual
The Majority Omnipotent in Any Democracy
In a Democracy, The Individual Is Subservient and Must Be Submissive to The Omnipotent Majority
The Uniquely American Principle Was Thoroughly Understood in 1776
Principle Violated by "Elective Despotism" after 1776
"The Excesses of Democracy"
Federal and State Republics
The Conclusion
Some Historical Quotes



Your American Yardstick: Twelve Basic American Principles was copyrighted in 1963 by Hamilton Abert Long, and was published by Your Heritage Books, Inc. of Philadelphia. This site reproduces the 1st Edition. A later edition online can be seen at LEXREX. One can also become a Constitutional expert by studying Bob Hardison's Barefoot's World website. Rest in peace, Bob! You were the cream of the crop in Constitutional Scholarship. I would have loved seeing you mop the floor with the Obama's or the Clinton's in a lively Constitutional debate.

american-flags-crossed



 Is Traditional American Philosophy Christ-Centered Or Secular In Nature?

(Commentary by Robert K. Lewis)

It is worthwhile to note that these Principles are not strictly Christian in nature. They recognize a God, but not specifically Jesus Christ. The truth of the matter is that our Founders, though highly influenced by Christianity, were also members of various secret societies and fraternal organizations. Some were Deists but not Christians, and many were influenced by the secular French Revolution. The nation the Founders created was a secular nation, a Republic rather than a monarchy or a theocracy. Their intent in preventing government from endorsing any specific religion was to prevent internal civil wars between the religions, not to prevent the good moral influences of Christianity from being an asset within government. They did a masterful job of creating a nation where all religions could coexist together without devolving into civil warfare... supposedly. Well, they almost did!

I have no doubt that if the Founders had ever envisioned that non-Christian religions could become the size and strength that they are in the United States today, that they would have limited Freedom of Religion to Christian denominations only. Certainly, they already recognized the continuous warlike nature of Islam, and in fact our first war was to subdue the Muslim Barbary Pirates. The militant Socialism of today was certainly not on anyone's mind in that early time and was not a recognized danger.

Limiting our Freedom of Religion to not include Islam should be an immediate Amendment to the Constitution. Islam may be a religion, but Islam is also an aggressive Political monstrosity, a borderless nation with barbarians intent on enslaving or murdering all nations and peoples who refuse to convert to Islam. Islam is an international political and military entity, a borderless nation that Christianity and the rest of the world will always be at war with. On that grounds the United States, a nation founded on the concept that God granted mankind certain Inalienable Rights as stated in our Declaration of Independence, should always consider itself at war with militant Islam, an enemy of invading barbarian hoards. No Muslim or Communist should ever have voting rights in the Republic of the United States of America. No President of the United States should ever show political favor to Muslem barbarians as did our Muslim President Barack Obama! No Muslim, Socialist or Communist should ever be in government service, because their allegiance is not to preserve the Constitutional Republic, but is to overthrow it instead.





TWELVE BASIC AMERICAN PRINCIPLES
Underlying The Traditional American
Philosophy Of Man-Over-Government

american-flags-crossed


1. THE SPIRITUAL IS SUPREME

"... all men are created ... endowed by their Creator ..."

usa_map

The Principle

1. The fundamental principle underlying the traditional American philosophy is that the Spiritual is supreme - that Man is of Divine origin and his spiritual, or religious, nature is of supreme value and importance compared with things material.

usa_map

Religious Nature

2. This governmental philosophy is, therefore, essentially religious in nature. It is uniquely American; no other people in all history have ever made this principle the basis of their governmental philosophy. The spiritual brotherhood of men under the common fatherhood of God is a concept which is basic to this American philosophy. It expresses the spiritual relationship of God to Man and, in the light thereof, of Man to Man. To forget these truths is a most heinous offense against the spirit of traditional America because the greatest sin is the lost consciousness of sin.

The fundamentally religious basis of this philosophy is the foundation of its moral code, which contemplates The Individual's moral duty as being created by God's Law: the Natural Law. The Individual's duty requires obedience to this Higher Law; while knowledge of this duty comes from conscience, which the religious-minded and morally-aware Individual feels duty-bound to heed. This philosophy asserts that there are moral absolutes: truths, such as those mentioned above, which are binding upon all Individuals at all times under all circumstances. This indicates some of the spiritual and moral values which are inherent in its concept of Individual Liberty-Responsibility.

usa_map

An Indivisible Whole

3. The American philosophy, based upon this principle, is an indivisible whole and must be accepted or rejected as such. It cannot be treated piece-meal. Its fundamentals and its implicit meanings and obligations must be accepted together with its benefits.

usa_map

The Individual's Self-respect

4. The concept of Man's spiritual nature, and the resulting concept of the supreme dignity and value of each Individual, provide the fundamental basis for each Individual's self-respect and the consequent mutual respect among Individual's. This self-respect as well as this mutual respect are the outgrowth of, and evidenced by, The Individual's maintenance of his God-given, unalienable rights. They are maintained by requiring that government and other Individuals respect them, as well as by his dedication to his own unceasing growth toward realization of his highest potential - spiritually, morally, intellectually, in every aspect of life. This is in order that he may merit maximum respect by self and by others.

usa_map

Some Things Excluded

5. This concept of Man's spiritual nature excludes any idea of intrusion by government into this Man-to-Man spiritual relationship. It excludes the anti-moral precept that the end justifies the means and the related idea that the means can be separated from the end when judging them morally. This concept therefore excludes necessarily any idea of attempting to do good by force - for instance, through coercion of Man by Government, whether or not claimed to be for his own good or for the so-called common good or general welfare.

It excludes disbelief in - even doubt as to the existence of - God as the Creator of Man: and therefore excludes all ideas, theories and schools of thought - however ethical and lofty in intentions - which reject affirmative and positive belief in God as Man's Creator.

usa_map

The Truly American Concept

6. Only those ideas, programs and practices, regarding things governmental, which are consistent with the concept that "The Spiritual is Supreme" can justly be claimed to be truly American traditionally. Anything and everything governmental, which is in conflict with this concept, is non-American - judged by traditional belief.

This applies particularly to that which is agnostic, or atheistic - neutral about, or hostile to, positive and affirmative belief in this concept based upon belief in God as Man's Creator. There is not room for doubt, much less disbelief, in this regard from the standpoint of the traditional American philosophy. Its indivisible nature makes this inescapably true. This pertains, of course, to the realm of ideas and not to any person; it is the conflicting idea which is classified as non-American, according to this philosophy.

usa_map

America a Haven For All Religions

7. The traditional American philosophy teaches that belief in God is the fundamental link which unites the adherents of all religions in a spiritual brotherhood. This philosophy allows for no differentiation between them in this unifying conviction: "... all men are created ... endowed by their Creator ..." This philosophy is all inclusive as to believers in God. Although America was originally colonized predominantly by adherents of the Christian religion, and principally by Protestants, the Founding Fathers steadfastly conformed to this all-embracing character of the approach of the American philosophy to religion.

This was expressly and affirmatively indicated in the proclamation of 1776 of the fundamental American philosophy, of its basic principles, in the Declaration of Independence. This was further indicated, negatively, in 1787-1788 by the Framers and Ratifiers of the Constitution - as a "blueprint" for the structure of the then proposed Federal government, with strictly limited powers - by not permitting it to possess any power with regard to religion. This implied prohibition against the Federal government was reinforced by the addition of the First Amendment expressly prohibiting it, through the Congress, from making any law "respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof ..." - the words "an establishment of religion" being intended to mean, specifically and only, a church or religious organization which is established, supported and preferred by the government, like the Church of England establishments then existing in some of the States.

usa_map

The Conclusion

8. Belief in Man's Divine origin is the foundation of the fundamental American principle which controls his relationship to government: that Man - The Individual - is of supreme dignity and value because of his spiritual nature.

usa_map

Some Historical Quotes

"I know no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion by education." - Thomas Jefferson (Letter to Wm. C. Jarvis, 1820)

"Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, Religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of Patriotism, who should labour to subvert these great Pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of Men and citizens. The mere Politician, equally with the pious man ought to respect and to cherish them. A volume could not trace all their connections with private and public felicity. Let it simply be asked where is the security for property, for reputation, for life, if the sense of religious obligations desert the oaths, which are the instruments of investigation in Courts of Justice? And let us with caution indulge the supposition, that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect that National morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle. 'Tis substantially true, that virtue or morality is a necessary spring of popular government." - President George Washington (Farewell Address)

"I never doubted, for instance, the existence of a Diety; that he made the world and governed it by his providence; that the most acceptable service of God was the doing good to man; that our souls are immortal; and that all crimes will be punished, and virtue rewarded, either here or hereafter." - Benjamin Franklin ("Autobiography")

american-flags-crossed

2. FEAR OF GOVERNMENT-OVER-MAN

"In questions of power, then, let no more be heard of confidence in man, but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution" - Thomas Jefferson (Kentucky Resolutions)

usa_map

The Principle

1. A main principle of the traditional American philosophy is expressed in the phrase: fear of Government-over-Man.

usa_map

Cause of Fear

2. This fear is due to the ever-present, never-changing weaknesses of human nature in government which are conducive to "love of power and proneness to abuse it," as Washington's Farewell Address warned. This means public official's human weaknesses, especially as aggravated by the corresponding weaknesses among the self-governing people themselves. It is a truism that government's power needs only to exist to be feared - to be dominant, over the fear-ridden, without ever needing to be exercised aggressively.

usa_map

Man - Good and Evil, Mixed

3. This philosophy asserts that human nature is a mixture of good and evil, of strength and weakness, and is not perfectible during life on earth. There is "a portion of virtue and honor among Mankind" and the better side of Man, the Individual, can be strengthened and made more dependable through spiritual growth. The resulting moral development is conducive to sound conduct, in keeping with conscience in the light of a personal moral code based upon religious-moral considerations. Yet history teaches that the previously mentioned weaknesses of human nature provide just cause for never-ceasing fear of Government-over-Man.

usa_map

Government Like a Fire

4. Americans of the period 1776-1787 firmly believed in the soundness of the accepted maxim that "government is like a fire: a dangerous servant and a fearful master;" that, to be useful, it must be strictly controlled for safety against its getting out of hand and doing great harm. Through the generations, the people have considered that this maxim expresses one of history's most profoundly important lessons for Free Man. This maxim is based upon the knowledge that, in last analysis, government is force and must be feared and controlled accordingly. The great fear in 1787-1788 of the new, central government under the proposed Constitution was evidenced by the fact that the State Ratifying Conventions proposed scores of amendments, designed chiefly to keep under more rigid control what they considered to be this potential monster of power so dangerous to their liberties: the central, or Federal, government.

usa_map

The Views of Jefferson and Madison and the Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions

5. This fear was of abuse by government of power granted to it by the people, as well as of usurpation by it of power denied or prohibited to it by them, through the Constitution, to the injury if not doom of their liberties - of the God-given, unalienable rights of The Individual. Jefferson merely voiced the lesson of history - well known to, and accepted by, his fellow Americans - when he stated, in the "Diffusion of Knowledge" Bill in 1779, in the Virginia legislature:

"... experience hath shewn, that even under the best forms [of government], those entrusted with power have, in time, and by slow operations, perverted it into tyranny ..."

Jefferson also expressed this traditional, American viewpoint in his famous writing known as the Kentucky Resolutions, as adopted in 1798 by the Kentucky legislature, in these words in part:

"... it would be a dangerous delusion were a confidence in the men of our choice to silence our fears for the safety of our rights: that confidence is everywhere the parent of despotism: free government is founded in jealousy and not in confidence; it is jealousy and not confidence which prescribes limited Constitutions to bind down those whom we are obliged to trust with power: that our Constitution has accordingly fixed the limits to which and no further our confidence may go; ... In questions of power then let no more be heard of confidence in man, but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution."

These Kentucky Resolutions are closely akin to the contemporaneous Virginia Resolutions of 1798 adopted soon afterward by the Virginia legislature - written mainly by Madison who was, as usual, in close touch with Jefferson in this period. Both sets of resolutions were protests against what were considered and denounced as abuses and usurpations of power by the Federal government - chiefly through the Alien and Sedition Laws adopted by Congress in 1798. Such protests by a State legislature were in keeping with the remedies available to the States in such a situation - remedies contemplated by The Framers as being within the constitutional system - as discussed, for example, by Madison in 1788 in The Federalist number 46. The Sedition Act was designed to restrict freedom of speech and of the Press so as to stifle criticism of Federal officials and therefore grossly violated the Constitution; and it was opposed, for example, by John Marshall, as a member of Congress, and by Alexander Hamilton - the latter stating: "Let us not establish a tyranny." (These laws soon disappeared from the statute books, due to their widespread unpopularity which the above-mentioned 1798 resolutions had helped initially to foster.)

usa_map

Precedents for Other States' Protests Such As The Hartford Convention Resolutions

6. These 1798 protests by the Kentucky and Virginia legislatures were not the first such development in the life of the Republic. A predecessor resolution of protest, for example, had been adopted by the Virginia legislature in 1790: the "Protest and Remonstrance" against the assumption by the Federal government of the war-incurred debts of the States, as being unconstitutional. This protest set a precedent for the above-mentioned 1798 resolutions. They, in turn, set precedents for similar resolutions of protest adopted by various States - in New England, the North, the Mid-west as well as in the South - during the following decades when they considered themselves to be victimized, potentially or actually, by either abuses or usurpations of power by the Federal government; such developments being the subject of comment, for example, by former President John Quincy Adams in his celebrated "Jubilee" address of April 30, 1839. (Some of these later resolutions even relied on the Virginia Resolutions of 1798 as a precedent.) An example is the set of resolutions adopted in 1815, during the war with England, by the Hartford Convention - representing Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Vermont, and New Hampshire - protesting against what were considered to be Federal usurpations, potential or actual, regarding use of the States' Militia in war operations and other national defense matters.

usa_map

The View of Patrick Henry

7. In the Virginia Ratifying Convention in 1788, Patrick Henry protested with vehemence against the proposed new Constitution's lack of adequate limits on the central government's power, lack of sufficient safeguards against governmental abuses due to human weaknesses among its officials, saying:

"Show me that age and country where the rights and liberties of the people were placed on the sole chance of their rulers being good men, without a consequent loss of liberty! I say that the loss of that dearest privilege has ever followed, with absolute certainty, every such mad attempt."

usa_map

The American People's View Also Expressed in the Pittsfield Petition of 1776

8. These quoted sentiments were accepted as maxims by American leaders in general and by the American people as a whole in that generation of Free Men - free in spirit and willing to fight and die for their Freedom from Government-over-Man. This acceptance is illustrated by the below-quoted words of the Pittsfield, Massachusetts, town-meeting petition of a decade earlier, in May, 1776. It was penned by the Reverend Thomas Allen, ardent friend of American Independence and of Man's Liberty against Government-over-Man. It stated why Massachusetts needed a new, basic law of the people, a Constitution to be adopted by the people only, in part as follows:

"That knowing the strong bias of human nature to tyranny and despotism, we have nothing else in view but to provide for posterity against the wanton exercise of power, which cannot otherwise be done than by the formation of a fundamental constitution."

This petition reflected the sentiments of the frontier, "backwoods" people of Berkshire County, led by this patriot as head of "The Berkshire Constitutionalists," over a decade before the 1787 Federal Convention framed the United States Constitution. These were truly the sentiments of the American people at large. They are in harmony with the later phrasing of this idea as follows in The Federalist (number 55, by Madison):

"As there is a degree of depravity in mankind which requires a certain degree of circumspection and distrust: So there are other qualities in human nature, which justify a certain portion of esteem and confidence."

usa_map

Never-changing Weaknesses of Human Nature Create Never-changing Need for Safeguards

9. The never-changing need for, and value of, constitutional safeguards against abuse, or usurpation, of power by public servants - as contemplated, and as provided for, by The Framers and Adopters of the Constitution in 1787-1788 and by those who proposed, framed and adopted the first ten Amendments (including the Bill of Rights made applicable against the Federal, or central, government only) - are due to the never-changing weaknesses of human nature in government and among the self-governing people. These weaknesses never change; therefore the need for these safeguards can never change.

usa_map

The Conclusion

10. Fear of Government-over-Man was the dominant fear in that day of uncompromisingly individualistic Americans - Free Men, ever jealous of the safety of Individual Liberty, of the security of their God-given, unalienable rights against violation by government.

usa_map

Some Historical Quotes

"The use of the military power to enforce the execution of the laws, is, in the opinion of this House, inconsistent with the spirit of a free constitution, and the very nature of government." - House of Representatives of Massachusetts, 1769 (A communication to the Governor)

"Government is frequently and aptly classed under two descriptions - a government of FORCE, and a government of LAWS; the first is the definition of despotism - the last, of liberty ..." - Alexander Hamilton ("Tully Papers," 1794)

"Therefore Resolved, That it be and hereby is recommended to the legislatures of the several states represented in this Convention, to adopt all such measures as may be necessary effectually to protect the citizens of said states from the operation and effects of all acts which have been or may be passed by the Congress of the United States, which shall contain provisions, subjecting the militia or other citizens to forcible drafts, conscriptions, or impressments, not authorized by the constitution of the United States." - A Resolution of the Hartford Convention, 1815 (Note: a convention representing Mass., Conn., R.I., Vt., and N.H., protesting Federal usurpations, during the War with Great Britain.)

american-flags-crossed

3. UNALIENABLE RIGHTS - FROM GOD

"... endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights" ...

usa_map

The Principle

1. The traditional American philosophy teaches that Man, The Individual, is endowed at birth with rights which are unalienable because given by his Creator.

usa_map

The Only Moral Basis

2. This governmental philosophy is uniquely American. The concept of Man's rights being unalienable is based solely upon the belief in their Divine origin. Lacking this belief, there is no moral basis for any claim that they are unalienable or for any claim to the great benefits flowing from this concept. God-given rights are sometimes called Natural Rights - those possessed by Man under the Laws of Nature, meaning under the laws of God's creation and therefore by gift of God. Man has no power to alienate - to dispose of, by surrender, barter or gift - his God-given rights, according to the American philosophy. This is the meaning of "unalienable."

One underlying consideration is that for every such right there is a correlative, inseparable duty - for every aspect of freedom there is a corresponding responsibility; so that it is always Right-Duty and Freedom-Responsibility, or Liberty-Responsibility. There is a duty, or responsibility, to God as the giver of these unalienable rights: a moral duty - to keep secure and use soundly these gifts, with due respect for the equal rights of others and for the right of Posterity to their just heritage of liberty. Since this moral duty cannot be surrendered, bartered, given away, abandoned, delegated or otherwise alienated, so is the inseparable right likewise unalienable. This concept of rights being unalienable is thus dependent upon belief in God as the giver. This indicates the basis and the soundness of Jefferson's statement (1796 letter to John Adams): "If ever the morals of a people could be made the basis of their own government it is our case ..."

usa_map

Right, Reason, and Capacity to Be Self-governing

3. For the security and enjoyment by Man of his Divinely created rights, it follows implicitly that Man is endowed by his Creator not only with the right to be self-governing but also with the capacity to reason and, therefore, with the capacity to be self-governing. This is implicit in the philosophy proclaimed in the Declaration of Independence. Otherwise, Man's unalienable rights would be of little or no use or benefit to him. Faith in Man - in his capacity to be self-governing - is thus related to faith in God as his Creator, as the giver of these unalienable rights and this capacity.

usa_map

Rights - as Prohibitions Against Government

4. Certain specific rights of The Individual are protected in the original Constitution but this is by way of statements "in reverse" - by way of express prohibitions against government. The word "right" does not appear in the original instrument. This is because it was designed to express the grant by the people of specific, limited powers to the central government - created by them through this basic law - as well as certain specific limitations on its powers, and on the preexisting powers of the State governments, expressed as prohibitions of things forbidden. Every provision in it pertains to power.

The Constitution's first eight (Bill of Rights) amendments list certain rights of The Individual and prohibit the doing of certain things by the central, or Federal, government which, if done, would violate these rights. These amendments were intended by their Framers and Adopters merely to make express a few of the already-existing, implied prohibitions against the Federal government only - supplementing the prohibitions previously specified expressly in the original Constitution and supplementing and confirming its general, over-all, implied, prohibition as to all things concerning which it withheld power from this government. Merely confirming expressly some of the already-existing, implied prohibitions, these amendments did not create any new ones. They are, therefore, more properly referred to as a partial list of limitations - or a partial Bill of Prohibitions - as was indicated by Hamilton in The Federalist number 84. This hinges upon the uniquely American concepts stated in the Declaration of Independence: that Men, created of God, in turn create their governments and grant to them only "just" (limited) powers - primarily to make and keep secure their God-given, unalienable rights including, in part, the right to Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. As Hamilton stated, under the American philosophy and system of constitutionally limited government, "the people surrender nothing;" instead, they merely delegate to government - to public servants as public trustees - limited powers and therefore, he added, "they have no need of particular reservations" (in a Bill of Rights). This is the basic reason why the Framing Convention omitted from the Constitution anything in the nature of a separate Bill of Rights, as being unnecessary.

usa_map

An Endless List of Rights

5. To attempt to name all of these rights - starting with "Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness" mentioned in the Declaration of Independence - would be to start an endless list which would add up to the whole of Man's Freedom (Freedom from Government-over-Man). They would add up to the entirety of Individual Liberty (Liberty against Government-over-Man). Innumerable rights of The Individual are embraced in the Ninth Amendment, which states: "The enumeration in the Constitution of certain rights shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people." (Here "Constitution" includes the amendments.) Some idea of how vast the list would be is indicated by just one general freedom which leads into almost all of Free Man's activities of daily living throughout life: freedom of choice. This term stands for the right to do - an equally not to do - this or that, as conscience, whim or judgment, taste or desire, of The Individual may prompt from moment to moment, day by day, for as long as life lasts; but always, of course, with due regard for the equal rights of others and for the just laws expressive of the above-mentioned "just powers" of government designed to help safeguard the equal rights of all Individuals. Spelled out in detail, this single freedom - freedom of choice - is almost all-embracing.

usa_map

Right To Be Let Alone

6. In one sense, such freedom to choose involves Man's right to be let alone, which is possessed by The Individual in keeping with the Declaration and Constitution as against government: in enjoyment of his unalienable rights, while respecting the equal rights of others and just laws (as defined in Paragraph 5 above). This right to be let alone is the most comprehensive of rights and the right most prized by civilized men. This right is, of course, also possessed as against all other Individuals, all obligated to act strictly within the limits of their own equal rights. Consequently any infringement of any Individual's rights is precluded.

usa_map

Rights Inviolable by Government or by Others

7. Neither government nor any Individuals - acting singly, or in groups, or in organizations - could possibly possess any "just power" (to use again the significant term of the Declaration) to violate any Individual's God-given, unalienable rights or the supporting rights. No government can abolish or destroy - nor can it rightfully, or constitutionally, violate - Man's God-given rights. Government cannot justly interfere with Man's deserved enjoyment of any of these rights. No public official, nor all such officials combined, could possibly have any such power morally. Government can, to be sure, unjustly and unconstitutionally interfere by force with the deserved enjoyment of Man's unalienable rights. It is, however, completely powerless to abolish or destroy them. It is in defense of these rights of all Individuals, in last analysis, that the self-governing people - acting in accordance with, and in support of, the Constitution - oppose any and all violators, whether public officials or usurpers, or others (par. 9 below).

usa_map

Each Individual Consents to Some Limitations

8. In creating governments as their tools, or instruments, and equally in continuing to maintain them - for the purpose primarily of making and keeping their unalienable rights - all Individuals composing the self-governing people impliedly and in effect consent to some degree of limitation of their freedom to exercise some of their rights. This does not involve the surrender, or the alienation, of any of these rights but only the partial, conditional and limited relinquishment of freedom to exercise a few of them and solely for the purpose of insuring the greater security and enjoyment of all of them; and, moreover, such relinquishment is always upon condition that public officials, as public servants and trustees, faithfully use the limited powers delegated to government strictly in keeping with their prescribed limits and with this limited purpose at all times. It was in this sense that George Washington, as President of the Framing Convention in September, 1787, wrote to the Congress of the Confederation - in transmitting to it, for consideration, the draft of the proposed Constitution: "... Individuals entering into society, must give up a share of liberty to preserve the rest." Here he meant merely conditional relinquishment of liberty of action in the exercise of certain aspects of unalienable rights - not the surrender of any unalienable rights, which would be impossible because a nullity, a void act.

usa_map

An Offender's Just Punishment

9. Whenever Man violates either the equal rights of others or the above-mentioned just laws, he thereby forfeits his immunity in this regard; by his misconduct, he destroys the moral and legal basis for his immunity and opens the door to just reprisal against himself, by government. This means that any person, as such offender, may justly be punished by the people's proper instumentality - the government, including the courts - under a sound system of equal justice under equal laws; that is, under Rule-by-Law (basically the people's fundamental law, the Constitution). Such punishment is justified morally because of the duty of all Individuals - in keeping with Individual liberty-Responsibility - to cooperate, through their protection of the unalienable rights of all Individuals. The offender is also justly answerable to the aggrieved Individual, acting properly through duly-established machinery of government, including courts, designed for the protection of the equal rights of all Individuals.

It is the offender's breach of the duty aspect of Individual Liberty-Responsibility which makes just, proper and necessary government's punitive action and deprives him of any moral basis for protest. By such breach he forfeits his moral claim to the inviolability of his rights and makes himself vulnerable to reprisal by the people, through government, in defense of their own unalienable rights. By this lack of self-discipline required by that duty, he invites and makes necessary his being disciplined by government.

usa_map

The Conclusion

10. Man's unalienable rights are sacred for the same reason that they are unalienable - because of their Divine origin, according to the traditional American philosophy.

usa_map

Some Historical Quotes

"And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are the gift from God?" - Thomas Jefferson ("Notes on the State of Virginia," 1782)

"[The people] have a right, from the frame of their nature, to knowledge, as their great Creator, who does nothing in vain, has given them understandings, and a desire to know ..." - John Adams ("A Dissertation on the Canon and Feudal Law," 1765)

"Accordingly it may be Observed, That it appears to Us That in immerging from a State of Nature, into a State of well regulated Society, Mankind gave up some of their natural Rights, in order that others of Greater Importance to their Well-being Safety & Happiness both as Societies and Individuals might be better enjoyed Secured & defended ..." - Resolution of Town of Lexington, Mass., 1778

american-flags-crossed

4. MAN ORGANIZES GOVERNMENTS TO BE HIS TOOLS

"That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men ..." - (Declaration of Independence)

usa_map

The Principle

1. The traditional American philosophy teaches that government is merely the creature and a tool, or instrument, of the sovereign people.

usa_map

Government's Primary Function

2. The people create their governments primarily to serve one supreme purpose: to "secure" the safety and enjoyment of their God-given, unalienable rights. To make and keep them secure is government's primary function and chief reason for existence, according to the philosophy proclaimed in the Declaration of Independence.

usa_map

Government a Tool

3. This makes clear the correct role of government in relation to the people, as viewed by the American philosophy. It is merely their tool, like any other tool such as saw, or a plow, or a steam engine, created by them to serve its assigned and limited purpose. As the people's tool, or instrument, any government could never soundly be said to possess sovereign power - that is, unlimited, or total, power over all things and all persons. Under the American philosophy, no legal, meaning governmental, sovereignty exists anywhere; while any political sovereignty is possessed by the people alone and even they are limited by the obligation to keep inviolate the God-given, unalienable rights of every Individual. Government may possess and its officials may exercise, as the people's servants and trustees, only such limited part of the people's power as they see fit from time to time to delegate to it through their fundamental law: the Constitution, as amended by them; and this applies to all governments and Constitutions, Federal and State.

usa_map

Government Lacks "Just Power" to Violate Rights

4. Therein lies the significance of the limitation by the people of government's role and power, under the American philosophy. The fact that government cannot have any "just" power or authority - as meant by the term "just powers" in the Declaration of Independence - to violate any unalienable right of The Individual follows from the fact that no Individual can have any right, power or authority to violate any other Individual's unalienable rights. Because it is created by the people (a group of Individuals) primarily for the purpose of making secure all rights of all Individuals, this tool of the people, government, could not conceivably derive from them any power or authority, morally or constitutionally, to do the opposite by infringing any such right. Since no Individual possesses, or could grant, any such power or authority, the many Individuals composing the people of a country are similarly lacking; many times zero equals zero. No vote of the people, by however great a majority - even all of the people but one Individual, opposed to that lone Individual - could give to any government any such authority or power. (This is subject, of course, to the point previously discussed in Paragraph 9 of Principle 3, regarding just punishment of offenders against just laws, or against the rights of other Individuals.)

usa_map

Government Cannot Delegate Any Power to Violate Man's Rights

5. By the same token, it is impossible for the people's tool, government, to possess any authority from the people - any "just power" (to use the term of the Declaration of Independence) - to delegate to others any power which it does not and could not possess under the traditional American philosophy. As such a tool, government could not possibly possess, could not be given, any power to authorize any person, group or organization to do that which it is itself powerless to do. This precludes, for example, government's authorizing or empowering any person, group, or organization to violate any Individual's unalienable rights - including the right to "Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness" - or any of the supporting rights, such as the right to property and to freedom of association.

usa_map

No Coercion of Man as to His Labor

6. Under the American philosophy, these supporting rights include, for example, The Individual's right to use all of his faculties, talents, abilities and energies - basically his own labor - as, when and where he sees fit without any restraint by government or by others. This is subject, of course, to his duly respecting the equal rights of other Individuals (in part as discussed regarding Equality in Pars. 8-9 of Principle 7) and just laws expressive of the above-mentioned "just powers" of government designed to help safeguard the equal rights of all Individuals. This means, for example, the enjoyment of this right without any such restraint upon his right to freedom of association, to freedom of choice with regard to joining, or not joining, any organization - for instance, an organization of his fellow employers or an organization of his fellow workers. Violation of this right involves necessarily violation of his unalienable rights to "Life, Liberty and the pursuit f Happiness" as well as of the supporting rights - notably the right to property (money or any other type), including acquiring, possessing and using it. Such violation results in any case of coercion of The Individual to join, or not to join, such an organization. This is true whether perpetuated by government directly, or by it indirectly through others acting with its sanction - for instance, by any group or organization of other Individuals who exert pressures of any kind or degree to induce, or impel, him so to join, or to refrain from joining. As Man's tool, government not only can have no just power so to perpetuate any such violation but is affirmatively obligated, under just laws, not only not to tolerate but actively to prevent such violation by others - always strictly in keeping with its limited powers and related responsibilities as prescribed in the applicable Constitution (as amended), Federal or State, as the case may be. To repeat, any Individual's right to freedom of association (freedom of choice of associates) is always subject to the equal rights of others - including their right to similar freedom of choice of associates. This right's enjoyment always involves the essential factor of mutual consent, free from any element of coercion.

usa_map

Sovereign Citizen over Public Servant

7. All public officials are subordinate as public servants to all citizens. Under the American philosophy of Man-over-Government, the American heritage assumes that the most modestly circumstanced Individuals among the sovereign people rank higher than any public officials, even those serving as the highest ranking of public servants. It is a case of The Sovereign over servant - each Individual in this regard representing in a sense the sovereign people as the creator of their tool, or instrument: government.

usa_map

Betrayal of the American Heritage

8. It was the firm conviction of those who founded America - notably the leaders of the period 1776-1787 and their fellow Americans in general - that to forget, neglect , or defy this great American principle is to betray the American heritage of Individual Liberty - Man's Freedom from Government-over-Man - and to contribute in practice to its erosion, or subversion. Sins of omission in this connection are as heinous as sins of commission. Any public servants who ignore this truth are guilty of desecration of the spirit of traditional America and the higher the offender's rank, the worse the offense morally. Any Individual who condones such an offense against this heritage is similarly blameworthy.

usa_map

The Conclusion

9. Each Individual, among the sovereign and self-governing people, embodies a part of the supreme sovereignty of the people in relation to their creature and tool, or instrument, government, and to its officials as public servants - wholly subservient to the people as their superiors, their masters.

usa_map

Some Historical Quotes

"The multitude I am speaking of, is the body of the people - no contemptible multitude - for whose sake government is instituted; or rather, who have themselves erected it, solely for their own good - to whom even kings and all in subordination to them, are strictly speaking, servants and not masters." - Samuel Adams (Essay in Boston Gazette, 1771; Emphasis Adams'.)

"Rulers surely, even the most dignified and powerful of them, should not be so elevated with the thoughts of their power, as to forget from whom it comes; for what purposes it is delegated to them ..." - Rev. Jonathan Mayhew (Election Sermon, 1754)

"Still one more thing, fellow-citizens - a wise and frugal Government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government, and this is necessary to close the circle of our felicities." - President Thomas Jefferson (First Inaugural Address; Emphasis added)

american-flags-crossed

5. LIMITED GOVERNMENT

"Governments derive "their just powers from the consent of the governed" - (Declaration of Independence)

usa_map

The Principle

1. The traditional American philosophy teaches that government must be limited in power if Individual Liberty is to be safeguarded, if each Individual's God-given, unalienable rights are to be made and kept enduringly secure.

usa_map

"Just Powers" Defined

2. This philosophy asserts that the self-governing people allow any government they may organize to possess, by grant from them, only the limited and few powers with which the people think the particular government may sensibly be entrusted in order to serve their purposes without endangering their rights - their liberties or freedoms. These powers constitute the "just powers" of government, as the Declaration of Independence phrases it. This is in keeping with the primary purpose for which the people organize governments: to make and keep these unalienable rights secure and most beneficial to themselves and to Posterity - time without end.

usa_map

"Limited" - a Key Word

3. "Limited government" is a key term in the American philosophy. Its great significance is indicated by describing the purpose of limiting government's power in these words: Limited for Liberty. This summarizes what is meant by the statement in the Declaration of Independence about governments being limited in power "to secure these rights" - to make and keep them ever secure. "Limited" means limited by a written Constitution adopted by the sovereign people as their basic law - never changing in its meaning, as originally intended by The Framers and Adopters, except subject to change by the people only by amendments at any time and to any extent they may see fit. All governments in America are thus limited by written Constitutions - by the United States Constitution as the "supreme Law of the Land" and, as to each State government, by that States' Constitution. (Note again Par. 4 of Principle 3, regarding the first eight, or Bill of Rights, amendments being intended to apply against the Federal government only.)

usa_map

Limited Powers, Duties, Responsibilities and Limited Threat to Liberty

4. The few and limited powers of the United States government are enumerated and defined in the people's fundamental law - the Constitution, as amended. This is the basis of Rule-by-Law (basically the people's fundamental law, the Constitution) in contrast to Rule-by-Man. The limited quantity of its powers means it is limited in potential threat to the people's liberties. These "just powers," being few and limited, automatically define the limits of the duties which the people assign to this government. It can have no duties, no responsibilities, other than those consistent with the limits of the powers granted to it by the people in the Constitution, as amended, It is equally as violative of the Constitution for government to assume duties - to pretend to have responsibilities - as it is to grasp powers, beyond these prescribed limits.

usa_map

Division of Powers and Checks and Balances

5. As a further safeguard for the people's rights, The Framers and Ratifiers of the Constitution provided for division of powers not only between the Federal and State governments but also within the Federal government between its three, separate Branches and, further, specified various checks and balances among these Branches, to help prevent either usurpation of power (grasping unauthorized power) or misuse of the limited quantity of power granted to it by the people: as explained, for instance, by Madison in The Federalist number 51. Each of the Branches was designed to help restrain the other Branches from any violation of the Constitution. The admonition on this topic expressed in Washington's Farewell Address reflected the conviction of all of The Founders.

"It is important, likewise, that the habits of thinking in a free Country should inspire caution in those entrusted with its administration, to confine themselves within their respective Constitutional spheres; avoiding in the exercise of the Powers of one department to encroach upon another. The spirit of encroachment tends to consolidate the powers of all the departments in one, and thus to create whatever the form of government, a real despotism. The necessity of reciprocal checks in the exercise of political power; by dividing and distributing it into different depositories, and constituting each the Guardian of the Public Weal against invasions by the others, has been evinced by experiments ancient and modern; some of them in our country and under our own eyes. To preserve them must be as necessary as to institute them." - George Washington (Farewell Address; Emphasis added)

usa_map

The Compound Republic

6. The limitation of government's power, by a written Constitution adopted by the people (by the electorate), is the main distinguishing characteristic of a Republic. The correct definition of a Republic is: a constitutionally limited government of the representative type, created by a written Constitution - adopted by the people and changeable (from its original meaning) by them only by its amendment - wit its powers divided between three separate Branches: Executive, Legislative and Judicial. Each American government, Federal and State, is a Republic; and such a form of government is expressly guaranteed to each State by the United States Constitution. (Article IV, Section 4.) This makes the American system a combination, or federation , of Republics - a compound Republic as noted in The federalist number 51 by Madison. Although the term "Federal Republic" has sometimes been used to refer both to the central (Federal) government and to the federated system of Republics - including both central government and State governments (all Republics) - it will facilitate clear thinking if this term "Federal Republic" is applied only to the central government while using the phrase "federated system of Republics" or "federation of Republics" to designate the combination, or confederation, of all of these Republics. Clarity of understanding will be best assured by referring to the central government as the central Republic.

The electorate adopt a Constitution as their basic law by utilizing a Constitutional Convention to frame it for their final approval, or ratification, as was done successfully for the first time in history by the people of Massachusetts with regard to its Constitution of 1780; it was so framed by a convention specially chosen by the people for this sole purpose and then submitted to the people for approval. Final adoption, or ratification, may also be effected in behalf of the people by a specially chosen convention for this sole purpose; and later amendments may be so approved for the people or through the regular legislative body - the alternatives specified in the United States Constitution. This Constitution was framed by the Federal (Constitutional) Convention in 1787 and then adopted in 1787-1788 by State Ratifying Conventions especially chosen by the people for this sole purpose; which is the complete and perfect method of Constitution-making. A Constitutional Convention - one chosen by the people for the sole purpose of framing or ratifying a Constitution - is one of America's greatest contributions, to the mechanics of self-government through constitutionally limited government.

usa_map

Federal Delegated-Power, and State Full-Power, Republics

7. The Federal government is a delegated-power Republic which possesses only the comparatively few and limited powers granted to it by the people as enumerated in the United States Constitution, as amended - chiefly the powers concerned with "war, peace, negotiation, and foreign commerce" (quoting The Federalist, number 45 by Madison. It is in sharpest contrast that each State government is a full-power Republic which possesses the vast and varied powers needed to administer intra-State affairs - "all the objects which, in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives, liberties, and properties of the people, and the internal order, improvement, and prosperity of the State" (again quoting number 45). The full-power Republic of each State is subject to the State Constitution, as well as to the united States Constitution as the "supreme Law of the Land." Neither the Federal, nor any State, government therefore possesses legal sovereignty - the unlimited power of sovereignty - while the people's political sovereignty is limited in favor of preserving inviolate the God-given, unalienable rights of each Individual. (See Par. 3, Principle 4.)

usa_map

The "General Welfare" in Relation to the Constitution

8. The Preamble of the United States Constitution specifies "the general Welfare" merely as one of the listed goals to be served by the Federal government in the exercise of the limited powers delegated to it, as enumerated in the body of that instrument. This mention of "the general Welfare" in the Preamble was intended, therefore, to serve in effect as a limit on the use of those delegated powers. The Preamble does not constitute a grant of any power whatever to the government. The only other mention of the words "general welfare" in the Constitution is in the Taxing Clause (Article I, Section 8) which authorizes Congress to collect taxes "... to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defense and general Welfare of the United States ..." Here, too, the words "general Welfare" were designed to serve as a limitation in effect - as a limit on the power granted under that clause. This excludes any power to tax and spend for all purposes which would not qualify as being for the "general Welfare of the United States" as a whole - for instance, it is excluded if for the benefit merely of a locality or some Individuals in the United States. The clause does not empower Congress to spend tax monies for any and every purpose it might select merely on the pretense, or even in the belief, that it is for the "general welfare." (Discussed also in Pars. 4 and 5 of Principle 11.) Congress possesses no "general legislative authority," as Hamilton stated in The Federalist number 83.

usa_map

Hamilton's Opinion

9. All of those who framed and ratified the Constitution were in agreement on this point of the limited and limiting meaning of the words "general Welfare" in the Taxing Clause. As Secretary of the Treasury, Hamilton contended for the first time in 1791 ("Opinion as to the Constitutionality of the Bank of the United States") in favor of a broader interpretation of this clause than he had formerly espoused and broader than that which Madison - with Hamilton's silent acquiescence - had presented in 1788 in The Federalist (especially number 41) as reflecting the controlling intent of the Framing Convention, which Madison and Jefferson consistently supported. Hamilton did not claim, however, that this clause gives to the Federal government any power, through taxing-spending, so as in effect to control directly or indirectly anything or anybody, or any activities of the people or of the State governments. Despite his assertion that this clause gives Congress a separate and substantive spending power, Hamilton cautioned expressly (Report on "Manufactures," 1791) that it only authorizes taxing and spending within the limits of what would serve the "general welfare" and does not imply a power to do whatever else should appear to Congress conducive to the "general welfare" - that it does "not carry a power to do any other thing not authorized in the Constitution, either expressly or by fair implication."

usa_map

The Supreme Court's 1936 Decision Ascertaining and Defining the Original, Controlling Intent

10. As the Supreme Court decided (1936 Carter case) in ascertaining and defining the original, controlling intent of the Constitution as proved by all pertinent records and confirming its prior decisions over the generations since the adoption of the Constitution, the contentions advanced from time to time that "Congress, entirely apart from those powers delegated by the Constitution, may enact laws to promote the general welfare, have never been accepted but always definitely rejected by this court." It also decided that the Framing Convention "made no grant of authority to Congress to legislate substantively for the general welfare... [citing 1936 Butler case...] ...and no such authority exists, save as the general welfare may be promoted by the exercise of the powers which are granted." The American people have never amended the Constitution so as to change the limited and limiting meaning of the words "general Welfare" in the Taxing Clause, as thus originally intended by The Framers and Adopters in 1787-1788.

usa_map

The Founders' Warnings

11. As Jefferson warned many times in his writings, public and private - for instance in the Kentucky Resolution - in keeping with the traditional American philosophy, strict enforcement of the Constitution's limits on the Federal government's power is essential for the protection of the people's liberties. This point was stressed at great length in The Federalist (notably numbers 17, 28, 33 and 78 by Hamilton and 44 and 46 by Madison) in reporting and explaining the intent of the Framing Convention expressed in the Constitution - as was understood and accepted by the State Ratifying Conventions. Hamilton's repeated warnings against permitting public servants to flout the people's mandate as to the limits on government's power, as specified in their basic laws (Constitutions) creating their governments, were in keeping with his words on one occasion in relation to the New York State Constitution. He stated ("Letters of Phocion," 1784) that any such defiance, by public servants, of the Constitution would be "a treasonable usurpation upon the power and majesty of the people ..." Washington's Farewell Address expressed the conviction of The Founders of the Republic and their fellow leaders, in keeping with history's lesson, when he warned that usurpation "is the customary weapon by which free governments are destroyed."

usa_map

Resistance to Usurpers, as Tyrants, Is Obedience to God

12. It is a traditional American motto that: "Rebellion to tyrants is obedience to God." This motto was suggested by Benjamin Franklin in mid-1776 in the Congress as being an appropriate one for the seal of the United States; and it was so truly expressive of traditional American thinking that Jefferson adopted it for use on his personal seal.

A major part of the American philosophy underlying the resistance to the tyranny of king and parliament prior to the Declaration of Independence, and in support of that Declaration in 1776, was as follows. Public officials who exceed the limits of the powers delegated to them by the people under their fundamental law and thus violate, or endanger, the people's God-given, unalienable rights thereby and to this extent make of themselves defaulting trustees, usurpers, oppressors and tyrants. They thereby act outside of this supreme law, which defines these limits and the scope of their authority and office, and therefore act without authority from the people. By thus seceding and violating the restrictions of this law, they act outside of Law: lawlessly, as "out-laws." As Samuel Adams stated: "Let us remember, that 'if we suffer tamely a lawless attack upon our liberty, we encourage it, and involve others [Posterity] in our doom'" (Emphasis added.) They thereby, in practice, replace Rule-by-Law with Rule-by-Man. These defaulting trustees - thus acting lawlessly - thereby free the people from any duty of obedience; because legally and morally, under Rule-by-Law, obedience by the self-governing people is required only to Law and not to law-defying public servants.

The reasoning supporting the above-quoted motto's concept of moral duty is this: Man, being given by his Creator unalienable rights which are accompanied by corresponding duties, has the moral duty - duty to God - to safeguard these rights for the benefit of self and others, including Posterity. Man is therefore obligated to oppose all violators of these rights; and such failure betrays Man's duty as the temporary trustee of Posterity's just heritage. This is in keeping with the philosophy of the Declaration of Independence as reiterated in part, for example, in 1788 in the Virginia Ratifying Convention's proposals for amendments to the Constitution including a Bill of Rights stating in part as follows:

"... that the doctrine of non-resistance against arbitrary power and oppression is absurd slavish, and destructive of the good and happiness of mankind."

Applied to the United States Constitution, which Federal and State officials are sworn to support, this means that - in resisting Federal officials who, as usurpers, defy the limits on their powers imposed by the "supreme Law of the Land" - the people and governments of the States are opposing Rule-by-Man and defending Rule-by-Law (basically the people's fundamental law: the Constitution). They are thus defending the Constitution against its violators: the Federal usurpers; and they are acting in defense of the people's God-given, unalienable rights and the States' reserved powers. The American philosophy and system of constitutionally limited government contemplates that the people of the several States - acting through their State governments - will, in last resort, use force to oppose any force employed by the Federal usurpers, that they will use military force (Militia of the States) to oppose any military force used by such usurpers; as Hamilton and Madison explained in detail in The Federalist, numbers 28 and 46.

usa_map

The Conclusion

13. The American philosophy reflects the knowledge that the history of Individual Liberty is the history of the effective limitation of government's power, which is expressed in the traditional principle summarized in the phrase: Limited for Liberty.

usa_map

Some Historical Quotes

"... there is no danger I apprehend so much as the consolidation of our government by the noiseless, and therefore unalarming, instumentality of the supreme court." - Thomas Jefferson (Letter to Wm. Johnson, 1823)

"Another truth respecting the vigilance with which a free people should guard their liberty, that deserves to be carefully observed, is this - that a real tyranny may prevail in a state, while forms of free constitution remain." - John Dickinson ("Notes" in Political Writings; Emphasis per original)

american-flags-crossed

6. DECENTRALIZED GOVERNMENT

"... true barriers [bulwarks] of our liberty in this country are our State governments ..." - Thomas Jefferson, 1811 letter to Destutt de Tracy

usa_map

The Principle

1. The traditional American philosophy teaches that decentralization of governmental power, to the maximum practicable extent, is essential to the security of Man's God-given, unalienable rights.

usa_map

Man's Unalienable Rights and "States Rights" Doubly Protected

2. It asserts that these rights are most securely protected by a federated system of government - consisting of a central government (a Republic) and State governments (each a Republic). Under this system, the whole quantity of governmental power is not only limited by written Constitution, Federal and State, but also decentralized so that the vast majority of powers are kept on the State and local levels. The correct definition of a Republic is: a constitutionally limited government of the representative type, created by a written Constitution - adopted by the people and changeable (from its original meaning) by them only by amendment - with its powers divided between three separate branches: Executive, Legislative and Judicial. The American system is "a compound Republic" - a federation, or combination, of central and State Republics - under which: "The different governments will control each other ...," while within each Republic there are two safeguarding features: (a) a division of powers, as well as (b) a system of checks and balances between separate departments: "Hence a double security arises to the rights of the people." (The Federalist, number 51, by Madison.)

usa_map

Greater Quantity of Power Retained by Each State

3. By far the greater quantity and variety of power was retained by the government of each State when the United States Constitution was framed and adopted in 1787-1788. Only a comparatively small part of each State's power was delegated by its people to the new central, or Federal, government - chiefly the powers concerning "war, peace, negotiation and foreign commerce" (per The Federalist, number 45 by Madison). This delegated-power government - the central Republic - was granted few and limited powers; while each State's government is a full-power Republic under the State Constitution, subject to its restrictions, also to that grant, and to the few restrictions specified expressly in the United States Constitution as applying to the governments of the States.

usa_map

"Home Rule" the Basic, Controlling Principle

4. This federated system of decentralized power is a chief characteristic of the American governmental arrangements. This is in keeping with the controlling intent of those who framed and adopted each of its Amendments. The main aim was to preserve maximum "Home Rule" by the States, to keep the greatest feasible quantity of power as close as possible to the source - the people - where they can best watch it alertly so as to check and prevent its abuse or misuse, as well as to prevent its unsound, or unnecessary, expansion, to the peril or perhaps doom of their liberties.

usa_map

Economic Liberty and Decentralized Government

5. Such decentralized government is favorable, indeed essential, to America's traditional philosophy and system of economic liberty - the inseparable and indispensable economic aspect of the indivisible whole of Individual Liberty-Responsibility. This includes the system of individual, private, competitive enterprise (called Individual Enterprise - the term used by President Jefferson in his 1801 Annual Message to Congress). This system features a free-market economy - free from Government-over-Man controls, although subject to just regulation as authorized by the Constitution's pertinent provisions) under just laws expressive of "just powers" (to use the term of the Declaration of Independence) designed to protect the equal rights of all Individuals and thus to safeguard sound competition - which gives full play to individual initiative inspired by the incentive of economic liberty of The Individual and is a main characteristic of the traditional American philosophy. This right is not a goal or end, in and of itself, but a necessary means, and it is an essential and main support of Man's unalienable rights. It involves freedom of choice by both producer-seller and consumer-buyer, subject always to the potently persuasive influence of community opinion and standards in the sound environment of an ethical society which emphasizes the duty factor of Individual Liberty-Responsibility, including due respect for the equal rights of others. This means that the central government is limited strictly to the consistent role of mere regulation (not control) to those ends - regulation as limited by the Constitution. This excludes any control by the central government directly or indirectly of the whole or any part of the national economy, which includes all of the people's economic activities.

The free-market economy is controlled by the people as a whole through their acting as buyers and sellers - a multitude of Individuals generally acting individually as both buyer and seller of things or services a number of times each day in the ordinary course of life's daily activities, involving transactions great or small - through their exercise of freedom of choice daily, even hourly; for example, the free-market economy is both a result and instrument of the exercise of this freedom of Individuals - not a mechanistic, independently operating "Thing" which oppressively controls human beings.

usa_map

Sample Warnings by The Founders

6. The American people and their leaders in 1776-1787 were determined that the central government should never be allowed to possess power to act, or be permitted to act, as a "consolidated" government with sovereign, unlimited power over all of the people and things in the country. Vigilant friends of Individual Liberty, including for example leaders such as Thomas Jefferson, Samuel Adams, Alexander Hamilton and James Madison, warned repeatedly and emphatically against the danger of ever permitting such a government to exist in America.

usa_map

Samuel Adams' Opinion

7. Samuel Adams, firebrand patriot-leader always in the lead for both American Independence and Man's Liberty against Government-over-Man, expressed fear in this regard in 1789 (letter to Richard Henry Lee) in keeping with his never varying sentiments. He said that he feared misinterpretation of the Constitution would bring about fully centralized (consolidated) power in the Federal government at the expense of the States and "sink both in despotism."

usa_map

Hamilton's Opinion

8. In the New York Ratifying Convention in 1788, Hamilton warned sharply that the States' powers reserved under the Constitution must be safeguarded for the sake of Individual Liberty and that Congress would never fail to safeguard them: "... unless they become madmen."

usa_map

Hamilton and Madison in "The Federalist"

9. This sound line of thought was stressed by Hamilton and Madison, in their joint report in The Federalist (for example, numbers 17 and 28 by Hamilton, and 45 and 46 by Madison), recording the intent of the 1787 Framing Convention as expressed in the Constitution. The foregoing sentiments of these leaders were shared by their fellow leaders and the American people in general of that day - as reflecting truly American principles - and by Jefferson second to none.

usa_map

Jefferson's Opinion

10. In his First Inaugural Address as President, Jefferson stated that the State governments are "the surest bulwarks against anti-republican tendencies" - that is, tendencies which conflict with the American form of government: a Republic. He stated in a letter to Destutt de Tracy (1811): "But the true barriers [bulwarks] of our liberty in this country are our State governments ..."With regard to the people's freedom from Government-over-Man controls by the Federal government, in keeping with the Constitution's limits on that government's powers, Jefferson stated in his Annual Message to Congress, in 1801: "Agriculture, manufactures, commerce, and navigation, the four pillars of our prosperity, are the most thriving when left most free to individual enterprise." In the above-mentioned 1811 letter, Jefferson also discussed the prospective use of the Militia of the States - all acting together - to resist the forces of any Federal usurpers acting in violation of the Constitution to oppress or dominate the people or government of any State.

usa_map

Some Peaceable Remedies of the People Against an Offending Federal Government

11. Some of the peaceable remedies of the people of any State against what they consider to be anti-Constitution, or otherwise offensive, conduct by the Federal government - by any of its Branches, or by all of them combined - as contemplated by the Convention which framed the Constitution, were specified inThe Federalist number 46 by Madison, with silent acquiescence of his co-author Hamilton, as follows:

"On the other hand, should an unwarrantable measure of the federal government be unpopular in particular states, which would seldom fail to be the case, or even a warrantable measure be so, which may sometimes be the case, the means of opposition to it are powerful and at hand. The disquietude of the people, their repugnance and perhaps refusal to co-operate with the officers of the union, the frowns of the executive magistracy [officials] of the state, the embarrassments created by legislative devices, which would often be added on such occasions, would oppose in any state difficulties not to be despised; would form in a large state very serious impediments, and where the sentiments of several adjoining states happened to be in union, would present obstructions which the federal government would hardly be willing to encounter."

The most extremely "unwarrantable measure" is an unconstitutional measure. Madison here expresses the understanding also of those who framed the Constitution and of their fellow leaders in the State Ratifying Conventions as well as of the people in general - all extremely jealous of their hard-won liberties and determined to act vigorously against any danger to them from the greatly feared, central government if it should ever threaten to over-step the limits imposed on its powers under the constitution, as amended. Protests by State legislatures against what they would consider to be abuses of power or usurpations, potential or actual, by the central government were of course included as a main element in what Madison referred to her as "legislative devices ... impediments ... obstructions." Actual examples occurring afterward are the Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions of 1798 and the Hartford Convention Resolutions of 1815 (discussed in Principle 3, Pars. 5-6). Some additional remedies of the people, of a peaceable nature, are political action - use of the ballot in elections - and amendment of the Constitution by the people (Art. V); while impeachment by Congress of any officials guilty of acting as defaulting public trustees is provided for (Art. I, Sec. 3,3).

usa_map

State's Self-defense by Force, in Last Resort, per "The Federalist"

12. With regard to use by the States of force - use of their Militia forces (all able-bodied males capable of bearing arms) - in self-defense against any Federal usurpers seeking to oppress or dominate one or more States by force in violation of the Constitution's limits on Federal power, Hamilton and Madison discussed at length and in detail in The Federalist (numbers 28 by Hamilton and 46 by Madison) the assumption and expectation of The Framers that all States would marshal their forces and act jointly to crush the usurpers' forces. This understanding of The Framers was shared by the members of the State Ratifying Conventions and the leaders and people in general of that day - all fearless foes of any and all enemies of Free Man in America. They believed that all true Americans must be ready to fight and die for Liberty, especially against tyrannical Federal officials who, as usurpers, violate not only the Constitution but also their oath of office: to support the Constitution only. It was also contemplated that any non-military force used by the Federal usurpers would be countered by the States' use of their own non-military forces: Sheriff's poses (poses comitatus) and any civilian police forces. (See also Par. 12 of Principle 5.)

usa_map

The Civil over The Military

13. The traditional American philosophy requires, as a fundamental of the system of checks and balances, that The Civil must always be in complete control of The Military. The Founders and their fellow Americans were painfully aware of the lesson of history that large standing armies are, in peacetime, potentially dangerous to the people's liberties. In 1776, the Virginia Declaration of Rights, for example, made this clear in these words: "... that standing armies in time of peace should be avoided as dangerous to liberty; and that in all cases the military should be under strict subordination to, and governed by, the civil power." Another, related element in the system of checks and balances is the requirement of the Constitution (Article VI) that all Federal officials - both civil and military - take an oath to support the Constitution [only]; with the result that all military officers, thus controlled fundamentally and supremely by the Constitution, must be obedient to the civil authority - chief of all the President - but only as to orders which are not violative of the Constitution. The Military are, therefore, obligated by the Constitution not only to refuse to obey any orders of Federal usurpers - automatically made by the Constitution itself null and void from the start - but to support the Constitution only, at all times and under all circumstances, as the sovereign people's fundamental law. State officials, civil and military, are likewise so required to take an oath to support the Constitution of the United States - meaning, in part, to resist Federal usurpers by all necessary means: by force in last resort.

usa_map

The Conclusion

14. The truly American formula, in accordance with the traditional philosophy, for sound and enduring self-government by means of constitutionally limited government with adequate protection assured for Individual Liberty, is this: Limited and Decentralized for Liberty.

usa_map

Some Historical Quotes

"And he that would palm the doctrine of unlimited passive obedience and non-resistance upon mankind, ... is not only a fool and a knave, but a rebel against common sense, as well as the laws of God, of Nature, and his Country." - ("The Rights of the British Colonies," 1764)

"A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed." - U.S. Constitution, 2nd Amendment (in keeping with various States' Bills of Rights, such as Sec 13 of 1776 Bill of Rights of Virginia)

"That no man shou'd scruple, or hesitate a moment to use a-ms. [arms] in defense of so valuable a blessing [as liberty], on which all the good and evil of life depends; is clearly my opinion; yet A-ms. [arms] ... should be the last ... resort." - George Washington (Letter to George Mason, 1769)

american-flags-crossed

7. EQUAL, BY GOD'S GIFT, IN SIGHT OF GOD AND LAW

"... all men are created equal ..."

usa_map

The Principle

1. The traditional American philosophy teaches that all men are created equal, made equal at birth by their Creator, but equal only in the sight of God and Law.

usa_map

Basic Definition of Equality

2. This philosophy asserts that equality in the sight of God is in the religious realm and means being equal spiritually, while equality in the sight of Law means being entitled to equal legal justice and having the right to be considered and treated as equal in Freedom from Government-over-Man. Equal legal justice means equal treatment under equal laws - that is, just laws expressive of "just powers" (to quote the term used in the Declaration of Independence) designed to make and keep secure the equal rights of all Individuals and, therefore, compatible with Natural Law (God's Law) on which Man's God-given, unalienable rights are based. It requires respect by government for such equal rights of all Individuals. Also included, of course, is equality as to The Individual's duties underlying Individual Liberty-Responsibility, especially the duty to respect the equal rights of others.

usa_map

The Ideal of Equality in 1776 - in the Face of Inherited Slavery System

3. This word equal, according to the American philosophy as defined in the Declaration of Independence, means equal in freedom of The Individual. This bars slavery of Man to Man. This truly expressed the American ideal and goal in 1776, despite the laws then making slavery legal in America as the result of an ancient system inherited from the Old World - fostered by the slave trade which was supported by the king of England despite protests of the Colonies, as noted in Jefferson's "Rights of British America" (1774) and in his first draft of the Declaration of Independence. At the first opportunity to act in this regard, in adopting the Northwest Ordinance of 1787, the Congress prohibited slavery from being practiced in the Northwest Territory. The fact that slavery had to be faced as an existing condition in 1776, and the difficulty and slowness of its ultimate abolition, did not impair the spiritual integrity of the 1776 proclamation of the ideal and goal of the American philosophy in these words of the Declaration of Independence: "all men are created equal" - in the sight of God and Law. By 1776, a number of slave-owning leaders - notably Washington, Jefferson, and George Mason - were deeply concerned about the need and desirability of abolishing slavery (through appropriate government action). I was generally recognized that the inherited institution of slavery was violative of the principle of Natural Rights and therefore of the American philosophy as proclaimed in the Declaration of Independence. To repeat, the then-existing fact of slavery in America did not lessen the value, or impair the integrity or validity, of the Declaration's definition and proclamation of The American Ideal - the hope and goal of the American philosophy - with which slavery was inconsistent. Indeed, this fact magnified the nobility of this Ideal's proclamation.

usa_map

Equality in Freedom of Opportunity for Self-Development

4. The Declaration's pronouncement assured a sound philosophical basis for equality in freedom of opportunity - Freedom from Government-over-Man - to realize to the full the Individual's own highest potential in all aspects of life. This involves maximum freedom of choice. This is always subject to observance of the duties of Individual Liberty-Responsibility under constitutionally limited government, including the duty to respect the equal rights of others.

usa_map

Equality in Freedom from Government-over-Man in the Economic Realm

5. In the economic realm also, this word "equal," as used in the Declaration of Independence, means only equal in freedom of opportunity. That is, freedom from the Government-over-Man type of restrictions upon The Individual's opportunity to strive for material security and advancement through his own self-reliant efforts, as he plans and manages his own life and work and the economic security of himself and his dependents. It means equal in freedom from those things which add up to Government-over-Man in general.

usa_map

Individual Self-reliance and Group Cooperation Constitute the Sound American Formula

6. The American philosophy makes the question of economic security the responsibility of The Individual and of groups of Individuals. Examples will be clarifying. First and foremost are the family and, further, religious groups as well as fraternal groups - all acting voluntarily. Self-reliance of The Individual is the key here, whether acting singly or cooperatively with other Individuals.

usa_map

Public "Aid" for the Genuinely Needy Must Be on Lowest Possible Governmental Level

7. Any locality's necessity to provide public aid for the relatively few persons who are helplessly and genuinely needy, judged by the "means" test (to determine the need of government aid to live), must be met on the lowest possible governmental level, under the traditional American philosophy and system of constitutionally limited government and decentralized power. This is according to the controlling intent of those who framed and adopted the Constitution and each of its amendments, under which the Federal government is prohibited from performing this task either directly, or indirectly through financial aid to State or local governments or to Individuals. (See also Pars. 8-10 of Principle 5 and Pars. 4-5 of Principle 11.) This is partly because Federal aid inescapably results in time in Federal control, either directly or indirectly - sometimes by subtle means. This decentralized power of government to provide public aid to the genuinely needy assures maximum safeguards against fraud, waste, political manipulation, and other adverse results in the administration of such activity. This decentralization saves money for the people as taxpayers whose funds pay the bill, in last analysis, no matter which government does the taxing for this purpose; and, at the same time, best results are obtained for all concerned, including the needy.

usa_map

Equality as to Non-infringement by Other Individuals

8. The American philosophy also teaches equality in freedom of enjoyment of The Individual's unalienable rights, therefore equality in freedom from infringement of those rights by other Individuals (who would, by any such infringement, trespass beyond the limits of their own equal rights) - freedom in strict conformity with the Constitution, as amended. This applies whether any would-be infringers act as separate Individuals, or in groups, or in formal organizations such as associations of men in the economic realm - for instance, employers' associations, or employees' organizations. If any such violation of any Individual's unalienable rights, or the supporting rights, be perpetuated with the connivance of government - by its sin on omission or commission, by its sanction through either threat or actual use of force, or by enacted law - the offense is all the more anti-moral, anti-Constitution and anti-American. No allegedly good end can justify use of evil means such as this, according to the American philosophy's code of ethics and the underlying moral code.

usa_map

Equality of Right to Be Let Alone

9. The ideals and principles, the spirit and lofty vision, of traditional America give highest priority to the concept of the inviolability of each Individual's right to full liberty - including complete freedom of each Individual's right to full liberty - including complete freedom of choice - in his own private life and in his choice of associates in all aspects of life. This is limited only by the requirements of the duty aspect of Individual Liberty-Responsibility: due respect for the equal rights of others and for just laws (per Par. 2 above). This refers, for example, to laws such as criminal laws against a conspiracy to commit murder, or a conspiracy designed to subvert all American values and governments such as the Kremlin-controlled Communist ("Party") conspiracy in America - involving properly punishable guilt by association of persons (not of ideas) for an evil and justly forbidden purpose, the guilt being evidenced basically by the overt act of joining the conspiracy. Also included is the most comprehensive of rights and the right most valued by civilized men - the right of The Individual to be let alone by government. In America, this means to be let alone in the enjoyment of his unalienable rights, under the protection of the safeguards provided by the Constitution. This right to be let alone applies equally against infringement of The Individual's privacy in this regard by other Individuals, whether acting singly, in groups, or in organizations. This right to be let alone is co-extensive with, and substantially overlaps, the right to freedom of choice: the right to do as one pleases subject only to the above-mentioned duty aspect of Individual Liberty-Responsibility. The anti-morality of the evil precept that the end justifies the means - that an allegedly good end justifies resort to evil means to accomplish it - is most offensive in the eyes of the American philosophy's moral code stemming from the fundamental principle of Man's creation and endowment with rights from God. An example is resort to this evil precept in attempted justification of infringement of The Individual's above mentioned right to freedom of choice of associates in every realm of private life - the economic, social, religious and community in general; and all the more so when any violation of the Constitution is also involved in any such infringement. This anti-morality is compounded in evil implication if any government coercion is involved; which is true partly because government coercion (always backed by force, or the threat of force), so used, can later be used in reverse to compel disassociation - also violative of The Individual's freedom of choice.

usa_map

Examples of What "Equality" Does Not Mean

10. To understand the meaning of the word "equal" more clearly and precisely, mention of what it does not mean is needed. For example, it does not mean equal opportunity, much less government-provided equal opportunity - but means equal freedom of opportunity as a part of Freedom from Government-over-Man. It does not mean being equal with regard to government-provided security (even if any such phantom goal for all the people were feasible for a long period without their abject slavery to government under a system of prison-type security). Nor does it mean being equal as to anything whatever to be provided by government, except equal legal justice under equally applied laws - the above-mentioned just laws. It certainly does not mean equality in servitude to government in any degree, however disguised - for example as tax-slaves subjected to the tyranny of oppressive, even confiscatory, taxes used for instance by usurpers to buy popular support for activities in furtherance of their usurpations in defiance of the Constitution's limits on their powers.

usa_map

More Examples

11. The word "equal" in the Declaration of Independence assuredly does not mean being born equal in the sense of being identical - either mentally, or physically, or in intelligence, or in capabilities, or in character, or in virtues, or in potential in regard to accomplishments or attainments, or in any of the various other ways in which men differ by nature's dispensation, from birth to death. It does not mean being equal with regard to any supposed right to material possessions, or to any claimed right to government-provided economic assistance, support, or security.

usa_map

Equality in Private Life Excluded

12. As a final example, the word "equal" does not mean any kind or degree of government-provided, much less government-forced, equality in private life, such as social equality. Such a meaning would be flagrantly in violation of the spirit of the Declaration of Independence as well as of the spirit and letter of the Constitution, when construed in keeping with the original and always-controlling intent of those who framed and adopted the initial instrument and each of its amendments. Any idea of government-forced equality in Man's private life, social or otherwise - whether the forcing be done by "police state" methods or by any other type or degree of pressure by government or by others )threatened or applied, including "moral" pressure) - is bankrupt spiritually and morally. It is on a par with "forced brotherly love," a monstrous concept which is the product of "confusing the vocabulary". It violates the above-discussed right to be let alone, the right to freedom of choice, of the other Individuals involved, whose right to this aspect of Liberty cannot justly be thus sacrificed in the name of Equality; which would thereby be perverted into inequality as to Liberty, in conflict with the duty aspect of Individual Liberty-Responsibility. The power of government, or any private group, cannot ever justly and properly be used in connection with any such victimizing of any aspect of any Individual's Liberty.

usa_map

The Conclusion

13. In sum, the word "equal" in the Declaration of Independence means, first, spiritual equality (equality in the sight of God) and, second, equality in the sight of Law (basically the people's fundamental law, the Constitution) - primarily equality in Freedom from Government-over-man.

usa_map

Some Historical Quotes

"Is not one half of the property owners in the city of Philadelphia owned by men who wear LEATHER APRONS? Does not the other half belong to men whose fathers or grandfathers wore LEATHER APRONS?" - An Anonymous Item, Pennsylvania Evening Post, 1776)

"Theoretic politicians, who have patronized this species of government [democracy], have erroneously supposed, that by reducing mankind to a perfect equality in their political rights, they would, at the same time, be perfectly equalized and assimilated in their possessions, their opinions, and their passions." - The Federalist (no. 10 by James Madison)

"I can only say that there is not a man living who wishes more sincerely than I do, to see a plan adopted for the abolition of it [slavery]; but there is only one proper and effectual mode by which it can be accomplished, and that is by Legislative authority; and this, as far as my suffrage will go, shall never be wanting." - George Washington (Letter to Robert Morris, 1786)

"The abolition of domestic slavery is the great object of desire in those colonies, where it was unhappily introduced in their infant state. But previous to the enfranchisement of the slaves we have, it is necessary to exclude all further importations from Africa; yet our repeated attempts to effect this by prohibitions ... [have been prevented by the King]." - Thomas Jefferson (Rights of British America, 1774)

american-flags-crossed

8. LIFE AND THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS

"... unalienable Rights, that among these are Life... and the pursuit of Happiness."

usa_map

The Principle

1. The traditional American philosophy teaches that the words "Life" and "the pursuit of Happiness," as used in the Declaration of Independence, are so inclusive as to defy precise definition.

usa_map

Ever Changing Nature of Goals, etc.

2. This is because they mean the right to Life to be lived, and Happiness to be sought, in keeping with the fundamentals of Man's Liberty against Government-over-Man, according to each Individual's own goals, tastes, aspirations and ideals which are themselves in an ever-changing state of development - from childhood to life's end.

usa_map

Definition Emphasizes Self-development, Self-discipline

3. "Life" thus means infinitely more than mere continued physical existence. "Happiness" lies in freedom of opportunity of The Individual - chiefly Freedom from Government-over-Man - to strive to realize to the full his own highest potential with regard to all aspects of life. "Happiness" is not a condition but an ideal of ever-changing aspirations, of an ever-expanding vision of self-fulfillment through self-realization and through self-development spiritually, morally, intellectually, in every respect. This ideal and vision are incapable of ever being fully defined, much less completely realized. It is a never-ending process of inner growth, not something external to be pursued and possessed. It is comparable to the horizon - ever-widening, as viewed from peak to higher peak of attainment with heightened understanding. As the sages of all ages have taught, true happiness - as distinguished from mere satisfaction of desires - is to be achieved primarily through such self-development and growth, with each Individual's progress depending on his own state of being and capacity. This can come mainly through service of lofty goals, whether subjective and personal or objective in character, which are conducive to broadening vision and unceasing effort toward achievement. Each Individual's standard of happiness to be sought for self is fundamentally subjective - not subject to external pressures or controls of any sort from any source, least of all by government, and not subject to being judged by others on any comparative basis, however seemingly eccentric or inadequate in their opinion.

The particular rights to "Life" and to "the pursuit of Happiness," like all of the others among Man's God-given, unalienable rights, are subject to the requirements of the duty factor of Individual Liberty-Responsibility under constitutionally limited government, including especially the observance of due respect for the equal rights of others. This involves self-discipline under self-government's system of Rule-by-Law (basically the people's fundamental law, the Constitution). Self-discipline is the alternative to being disciplined.

usa_map

Innumerable Things of Limitless Scope

4. The things embraced by these words of the Declaration of Independence: "Life" and "the pursuit of Happiness," are innumerable and limitless in scope. They are as incapable of being fully listed and bounded as are the things embraced by that basic freedom: freedom of choice - the freedom to do or not to do - among life's innumerable possibilities hour by hour, day by day, life-long.

usa_map

The Key: Voluntary Cooperation Based on Spiritual Unity

5. According to the American philosophy, voluntary cooperation among Individuals and groups of Individuals is the key to expression, in the multitudinous ways of Free Men, of the spirit of harmonious and progressive community life in the ethical environment of a sound society, as part of the enjoyment of the right to "Life" and to "the pursuit of happiness." This means, of course, so long as their aims are not violative of the equal rights of others or of just laws expressive of "just powers" (to quote the term of the Declaration of Independence) designed to safeguard the equal rights of all Individuals. Such cooperation is, in truth, an outgrowth of inner unity and harmony among Men born of Man's spiritual nature - of spiritual brotherhood in the light of the common Fatherhood of God. This is a part of equal freedom for each and every Individual in the separate enjoyment of Life and the pursuit of Happiness, with each one responding voluntarily, from unfettered personal choice only, in any associative or cooperative activity socially, economically, religiously, or politically. Here "voluntary" highlights the key element.

usa_map

The Practical Application Typical of Americans

6. The American philosophy teaches that in practice this pertains, for example, to charitable, philanthropic, educational, religious, fraternal and other community activities - local, regional, and national. Among such activities by Individuals, illustrations of traditional American practices in neighborhood and community are providing help on the local level for the needy (who are incapable of self-help) as an expression of the benevolent spirit of charity, as well as providing aid to Individuals and institutions in the fields of education, medicine (health), religion and child welfare. The American scene has traditionally been characterized by such a free, generously full, self-fulfilling and unceasing display of this practical idealism of voluntary cooperation for group and community welfare - on such a massive scale within, as well as among, communities generally on a country-wide basis - as to be a highly distinctive feature of American life which elevates it moral tone and, when understood, causes admiration throughout the civilized world. It constitutes, in practice, a vital part of the American concept of Individual Liberty-Responsibility, expressive of The Individual's self-defined duty based on a personal moral code founded on religious-moral considerations and also stemming from the fundamental American idealism of Free Man. The prime motive here is one of Man's loftiest attainment morally and spiritually: compassion for his fellow-man, which ennobles the concept of charity - aid given by the Individual to others.

usa_map

Coercion Excluded

7. To be spiritual and moral, this cooperation - in the enjoyment of the right to "Life" and "the pursuit of Happiness" - must never be in any degree involuntary. It must be wholly free from any element of interference or coercion, direct or indirect, by government or by others. If not voluntary, it amounts to seeking a false goal such as "forced brotherly love" - a concept which is self-contradictory. If not voluntary, it can have no relationship to truly moral and spiritual values underlying th principle of Man's concern for the well-being of his fellow-man. The moral and the spiritual, as opposed to coercion, are mutually exclusive. Coerced unity, forced togetherness, can only be external and create increased conflict and separateness because true unity, which is inner or spiritual unity, is possible only among the free in spirit - among genuinely Free Men.

usa_map

No Sacrifice of Any Right of Any Individual

8. In connection with the meaning of the right to "Life" and to "the pursuit of Happiness," the American philosophy defines the common good, or the general welfare, as being fundamentally and principally the sum of the well-being of all Individuals acting voluntarily - alone as well as cooperatively - in the separate and full enjoyment of their equal, unalienable rights, especially the right to freedom of choice. It cannot be saved by any sacrifice of any of these rights of any Individual - for example, by any subordination of any of them to any Government-over-Man philosophy's goals, or coercive system. Any sacrifice of any right of any Individual is morally wrong. It is also dangerous potentially to all rights of all Individuals and, therefore, threatens grave injury to the general welfare, to the common good, which depends basically upon observance of due respect for the equal rights of each and every Individual. Thus to victimize any Individual as to any of his rights - through either government coercion, or by pressures by other Individuals socially, economically, or otherwise - is to victimize potentially every Individual because this sets a precedent which is conducive to later disregard of the rights of others, to Individual Liberty's peril if not grave injury.

usa_map

The End Does Not Justify the Means

9. No matter how "good" the end may seem to be, there could not possibly be any justification for the use of evil means in pursuing it. The precedent of doing so in one instance could not but be evil and breed evil. No action or pronouncement by government contrary to those guiding precepts could have any validity morally or constitutionally under the American philosophy and system of constitutionally limited government designed primarily to make and keep secure the equal rights of all Individuals.

usa_map

What Is Not Meant

10. Among the things excluded by the word "Happiness" (of The Individual), under the traditional American philosophy, is any element of Government's providing economic support, or security, for the people - of Government's assuming the role, the authority and responsibility, of satisfying their material desires. Such a role for ?Government would have been considered by The Founders and their fellow Americans to be the very antithesis of, as utterly hostile to, the American philosophy of Man-over-Government. When they expressed ideas such as that "The Happiness of society is the first law of every government" - as stated, for example, by James Wilson - they contemplated primarily and mainly Government's fulfilling its assigned role, as the creature and instrument of the people, as defined and limited in the Declaration of Independence: to make and keep secure the God-given, unalienable rights of The Individual. This means, above all else, Government's operating strictly an invariably within the confines of its limited, enumerated powers as prescribed by the sovereign people in their fundamental law, the Constitution, through which they create their tool: Government. This is designed to serve the basic goal: of Government's being conducted by all public officials - within the prescribed limits of their respective spheres of constitutional authority and responsibility - so as to ensure to the maximum the people's freedom to enjoy their unalienable rights, notably their right to Liberty: The Individual's Freedom from Government-over-Man. The word "Happiness" and the term "pursuit of Happiness" - as used in the Declaration of Independence and by The Founders and their fellow Americans - exclude everything in conflict with the foregoing considerations.

usa_map

The Conclusion

11. The American philosophy teaches that the conception of how best to enjoy the benefits of the right to "Life" and to "the pursuit of Happiness" is a strictly personal matter for each Individual as Free Man - free in mind and spirit as well as in body and acting consistently with the duties of Individual Liberty-Responsibility, including chiefly the duty of respecting the equal rights (basically the constitutional rights) of others - to the exclusion of any coercion by government or by others.

usa_map

Some Historical Quotes

"Kings or parliaments could not give the rights essential to happiness.. We claim them from a higher source - from the King of kings, and Lord of all the earth. They are not annexed to us by parchments and seals. They are created in us by the decrees of Providence... It would be an insult on the divine Majesty to say, that he has given or allowed any man or body of men a right to make me miserable. If no man or body of men has such a right, I have a right to be happy. If there can be no happiness without freedom, I have a right to be free. If I cannot enjoy freedom without security of property, I have a right to be thus secured" - John Dickinson (Reply to a Committee in Barbados, 1766).

"The consequence is, that the happiness of society is the first law of every government. This rule is founded on the law of nature: it must control every political maxim: it must regulate the legislature itself. The people have a right to insist that this rule be observed; and are entitled to demand a moral security that the legislature will observe it. If they have not the first [that right], they are slaves; if they have not the second [that moral security], they are, every moment, exposed to slavery." - U.S. Supreme Court Justice James Wilson (Lectures, 1790-1791, Emphasis per original)

american-flags-crossed

9. LIBERTY -
AGAINST GOVERNMENT-OVER-MAN

"... unalienable rights, that among these are... Liberty ..."

usa_map

The Principle

1. The traditional American philosophy teaches that the God-given, unalienable right of Man to "Liberty" means primarily Freedom from Government-over-Man - or, otherwise stated, Liberty against Government-over-Man.

usa_map

The Broader Definition

2. This is the primary meaning of the word "Liberty" as used in the Declaration of Independence and in the Preamble of the United States Constitution. In this fundamental law of the people, The Framers sought to translate into enduring governmental reality, to the maximum practicable extent, the ideals and principles of that 1776 Declaration. They stated in the Preamble the goals to be served by the central (Federal) government in its use of the powers granted to it by the people, as enumerated in the body of that basic law. The word "Liberty" also means, of course, freedom of The Individual from interference or coercion by other Individuals in the enjoyment of his unalienable rights and of the supporting rights. Individual Liberty is an indivisible whole.

usa_map

Liberty-Responsibility

3. According to this philosophy, Liberty must always be taken to mean Individual Liberty-Responsibility, with emphasis upon the duty of respecting the equal rights of others and just laws expressive of "just powers" (to quote the term of the Declaration of Independence) designed to safeguard the equal rights of all Individuals. Individual Liberty-Responsibility involves the self-governing Individual's being burdened with the duties underlying his share of the responsibility for their safety of the Liberty of all Individuals, and of their other unalienable rights. Lacking such a sense of responsibility, Liberty can readily degenerate into license. Individual Liberty-Responsibility denotes that challenging freedom which tests the courage and wisdom of Free Man because of the truth that:

Only the brave dares to be - only the wise can remain - Free Man, by accepting the challenge, performing the duties, of Individual Liberty-Responsibility under constitutionally limited government.

usa_map

Freedom of Choice

4. The Liberty of Free Man is basically the Liberty of freedom of choice, with due respect for the equal rights of others. Without this freedom, Man cannot really be free, nor can there be any moral value or merit in his actions because they are not voluntary, not a true self-expression, not based on unfettered election between right and wrong, between good and evil, in the light of conscience and his personal moral code. An example of freedom of choice is freedom of association - for instance, freedom to join, or not to join, any particular organization (such as an organization of employers or of employees) without compulsion by government or by any others. This means any organization for a lawful purpose - not a conspiracy to commit murder, for example, and not a conspiratorial, subversive organization such as the Kremlin-controlled Communist ("Party") conspiracy which aims to subvert the United States government and all other American governments as well as to destroy all traditional American values; as to which the overt act of joining the conspiracy is the main factor creating guilt by association of persons, not of ideas. (Discussed also in Par. 6 of Principle 4 and Par. 9 of Principle 7.)

usa_map

The "Self" Factors of Free Men

5. Liberty means Man's freedom which characterizes a wisely and soundly self-governing people, determined to live up fully to high ideals in the enjoyment of The Individual's rights and in the performance of the accompanying duties defined by these essential elements of the philosophy of truly Free Man:

(1) the spiritual: self-respect; (2) the economic: self-reliance; (3) the political-social: self-discipline.

These are the "self" factors characteristic of the self-governing and genuine Free Man.

usa_map

Self-respect

6. Fundamentally, self-respect stems from Man's realization of the truth that the Spiritual is supreme and that he is of Divine creation, therefore possessed of a spiritual nature; and that The Individual is therefore of supreme dignity and value. Self-respect is fostered and evidenced by The Individual's striving to maintain the integrity of his unalienable rights. This is manifested partly by insisting that government as well as others respect them - in keeping with the requirements of constitutionally limited government. It is further manifested by his dedication to his own unceasing growth in the fuller realization of his own highest potential - spiritually, morally and intellectually, in every aspect of life.

usa_map

Self-reliance

7. Self-reliance in the economic field - of the essence of Individual Liberty-Responsibility - is an essential characteristic of Free Man. This is true because dependence upon government for economic support inescapably saps the independence of Man's spirit, robs him of the inspiration and inclination to be individually venturesome and self-reliant, and undermines his willingness and capacity to oppose developments of a Government-over-Man nature including violation by government of the unalienable rights of himself and others. Such violation can be brought about by use of force, or by inducement through subsidy by government which is inescapably accompanied by control. As The Federalist (number 79, by Alexander Hamilton) soundly states: "In the general course of human nature, a power over a man's subsistence amounts to a power over his will." (Emphasis Hamilton's.) This truth, in keeping with the adage that "he who pays the piper calls the tune" as well as with the dictates of common sense born of experience, was acknowledged by the United States Supreme Court when it stated (1936 Butler case) that: "The power to confer or withhold unlimited benefits is the power to coerce or destroy." Firm belief in the supreme value of Liberty - to the complete subordination always of economic security to Liberty's well-being - and consistent action in support of this belief, are always chief characteristics of every American who is worthy of his heritage of Free Man.

usa_map

Self-discipline

8. Self-discipline involves, in main part, The Individual's faithful performance of the duties underlying Individual Liberty-Responsibility, in keeping with the truth that there can be no Right apart from Duty, no Liberty or Freedom apart from Responsibility. The self-discipline of the self-governor is the alternative to being disciplined and controlled by government. Self discipline by The Individual, by respecting the boundary line separating his rights from the equal rights of others, provides the requisite moral basis for prohibiting violation by them of his own rights. Self-discipline, in the political-social realm, is a principle characteristic of Free Man among Free Men in an enduring and ethical environment of freedom. This is the only environment in which Individual Liberty can be secure and flourish.

As to each Individual among a self-governing people under constitutionally limited government, self-discipline involves self-control with regard to making demands upon government. The inherent duties require that nothing be done to help induce government to violate the limits of its powers or corresponding responsibilities as defined in the people's fundamental law: the Constitution, regardless of any seeming benefits temporarily. Such sound conduct is required, in part, in order to help to influence others soundly by proper example in keeping with the moral precept that, in this limited but important sense as to things governmental, each Individual is his "brother's keeper."

usa_map

Liberty's Two-fold Meaning

9. Liberty is expressive of that within Free Man which reflects the essence of his mind and spirit - of his very soul, in the religious sense implicit in the uniquely American concept of Man's being endowed by his creator with unalienable rights. This is what was meant when American leaders of 1776-1787 used the word "Liberty" - for instance, Patrick Henry in his famed cry" "Give me liberty or give me death." This is what was meant by Benjamin Franklin in his profoundly true statement in 1759 that: "They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." Such convictions typify Americans. These spokesmen for Free Man in America meant primarily Man's Liberty against Government-over-Man. Included also, of course, is Man's right to freedom from violation of his rights by others than government - by any person, group or organization. The "safety" to which Franklin referred can soundly be said to include also the economic aspect: economic security provided by government - always involving sacrifice of Liberty, in varying degree, however subtle or disguised.

usa_map

The Lofty Challenge

10. The signers of the Declaration of Independence elevated Patrick Henry's glowing expression of this loftiest of sentiments regarding Liberty to the highest reaches of the human mind and spirit when they closed this 1776 Declaration's uniquely American message, to American Posterity and to all mankind, with these immortal words:

"And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our Sacred Honor."

On a similarly high plane, President Washington's First Inaugural Address defined the great opportunity and responsibility of the American people - as custodians of Individual Liberty-Responsibility in history's first example of a soundly conceived and adequately founded Republic (defined, for example, in Par. 6 of Principle 5) embracing an entire country and its people. His inspiring words were:

"... the preservation of the sacred fire of liberty. and the destiny of the Republic model of Government, are justly considered as deeply, perhaps as finally stated, on the experiment entrusted to the hands of the American people." (Emphasis Washington's)

(True Republics had been formed in Mass., 1780, and N.H., 1784.) This profound message to all generations of Americans emphasizes their true role and opportunity in relations with other peoples: to seek to influence them chiefly by sound example, as successful self-governors ever faithful to the Constitutions's spirit and letter, as never faltering Friends of Individual Liberty - of Man's Freedom from Government-over-Man.

usa_map

The Conclusion

11. The American philosophy teaches that Individual Liberty is indivisible and for one and all, or for none, in the long run - that the American choice is: Individual Liberty in full, for one and all, always.

usa_map

Some Historical Quotes

"Among the Natural Rights of the Colonists are these: First a Right to Life; Secondly to Liberty; thirdly to Property; together with the Right to support and defend them in the best manner they can - Those are evident Branches of, rather than deductions from the Duty of Self Preservation, commonly called the first Law of Nature... " - Resolutions of Town of Boston, 1772, The Rights of the Colonists... " (Emphasis per original.)

"Political liberty is by some defined, a liberty of doing whatever is not prohibited by law. The definition is erroneous. A tyrant may govern by laws ... Let it be thus defined; political liberty is the right every man in the state has, to do whatever is not prohibited by laws, TO WHICH HE HAS GIVEN HIS CONSENT. This definition is in unison with the feelings of a free people. - Essex Result, Report of Convention of Towns, Essex County, Mass., rejecting first proposed Constitution for Mass., 1778. (Emphasis per original.)

"The management of foreign relations appears to be the most susceptible of abuse of all the trusts committed to a Government, because they can be concealed or disclosed, or disclosed in such parts and at such times as will best suit particular views ... Perhaps it is a universal truth that the loss of liberty at home is to be charged to provisions against danger, real or pretended, from abroad." - James Madison (Letter to Jefferson, 1798)

american-flags-crossed

10. PRIVATE PROPERTY - LIBERTY'S SUPPORT

[Americans] "... are entitled to life, liberty and property ..." (Declaration of Rights by First Continental Congress, 1774)

usa_map

The Principle

1. The traditional American philosophy teaches that Man possesses the right to property as an indispensable support, the principal material support, of his God-given, unalienable rights (notably the right to Liberty) specified in the Declaration of Independence.

usa_map

Part of Economic Liberty

2. This right to property is a main part of economic liberty, which is the inseparable and indispensable aspect of the indivisible whole of Individual Liberty, according to this philosophy. Without economic liberty, the other parts of Individual Liberty are lacking in material support and therefore, for practicable purposes, cannot be defended adequately or securely enjoyed enduringly. This right to property in any form - money or any other type - includes all aspects such as acquiring, using, possessing, protecting and disposing of it. Man's unalienable right to Life necessarily involves his derivative right to property, in support of his right to sustain his own life and the lives of his dependents; which requires, in part, acquiring and using food and various other kinds of property necessary to existence or conducive to full enjoyment of God-given, unalienable rights in varied and innumerable ways.

usa_map

The Underlying Reason

3. The American philosophy teaches that the fact that Man is endowed by his Creator with the Right to be self-governing, as the Declaration of Independence proclaims, means implicitly that Man is also endowed with the capacity to reason and, therefore, with the capacity to be self-governing--under a system of Man-over-Government--for the better protection and enjoyment of his unalienable rights. This, in turn, means necessarily that Man is endowed with the capacity of being economically self-reliant and independent, without the need of being supported by his creature and tool: government. This is true because to be supported by government would mean to be subject to its control under a system of Government-over-Man; control inevitably accompanies subsidy. As part of his Divine endowment at birth, Man therefore possesses both the right and the capacity to manage his own economic affairs, including his own capability to work in order to support life and his rights in general by acquiring property (money or any other type), free from any degree of Government-over-Man control, directly or indirectly. Any contrary conclusion would inescapably, condemn Man to a birthright of servitude to government, which philosophy rejects as being inconsistent with Divine Creation. This philosophy also teaches that Man is entitled to enjoy this right and to exercise this capability without any interference by others than government as well. The foregoing is subject, of course, to due respect for the equal rights of others and for just laws expressive of "just powers" (to quote the term of the Declaration of Independence) designed to safeguard the equal rights of all Individuals.

usa_map

The View of The Framers, per "The Federalist"

4. The American philosophy is clear and emphatic on the point that the surest way for Man to become economically dependent upon, and therefore subservient to, government is for it to control or possess his property, or to subsidize him. This is because of the truth stated in The Federalist (number 79, by Alexander Hamilton) that: "In the general course of human nature, a power over a man's subsistence amounts to a power over his will." (Emphasis Hamilton's) This truth is also commonly acknowledged in the maxim that "he who pays the piper calls the tune" and it applies especially to a person's income.

usa_map

The Means of Self-defense

5. This is all the more true to the extent that government controls, or takes from him, his property - not only his current earnings, or income, but also his accumulated savings represented by his property in general. The more government controls or takes from him, and the less Man possesses and controls, the worse his plight in the face of Government-over-Man practices infringing his unalienable rights. This deprives him of the means of self-defense, of defense of his rights, against violations by government and by others. Lacking such means, his rights are always in danger of being violated or undermined with impunity by transgressors - either oppressive or usurping government officials, or covetously inclined persons who are disregardful of the limits on their own equal rights and are heedless of the duty factor of Individual Liberty-Responsibility, which requires them to respect the equal rights of others.

usa_map

Property Needed for Defense of Man's Rights

6. According to the American philosophy, Man's purpose in creating governments is primarily "to secure" - to make and keep secure - his unalienable rights, as the Declaration of Independence phrases it. A chief aim of man in this regard is to provide governmental (legal) machinery which can be readily available to each Individual for establishing and maintaining his legal right to his own property and for the equal protection of all Individuals' property under equal laws (basically the people's fundamental laws - their Constitutions, Federal and State). To be able to make effective use of this legal machinery, however, Man needs property (money) to pay the cost.

usa_map

The 1776 Declaration and the Word "Property"

7. In the years leading up to the American Revolution of 1776, the slogan of the "Sons of Liberty" - most ardent of patriots - was: "Liberty and property." Another popular phrase used throughout America in that period to describe Man's most precious rights, used for example in the "Declaration and Resolves of the First Continental Congress" in 1774, was: "life, liberty and property." This combination of ideas - expressed with regard to protection of Man's " ...life ... person ... goods or estate..." - appeared in America at least by 1641 in Massachusetts in : "The Body of Liberties." This was a law code compiled by Nathaniel Ward, in response to public protests against the arbitrary decisions by judges, and adopted by the Massachusetts General Court, the legislative body of the colony.

In the phrase of the Declaration of Independence adopted in 1776 - "Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness" - the substitution of the phrase "the pursuit of Happiness," in place of the word "property" customarily used theretofore, assuredly did not mean that the signers of the Declaration disapproved of the idea of the right to property being considered a most important right of Man. Quite the contrary is true, as all pertinent records amply prove. A number of these signers were owners of large and valuable property holdings - for example, John Hancock, Thomas Jefferson, Robert Morris, Charles Carroll, Richard Henry Lee and Arthur Middleton, to name only a few. They did, indeed, risk great fortunes, as well as their lives and honor, in signing the 1776 Declaration - as its closing pledge made express, in words made immortal by the exemplary selflessness, the noble self-sacrifice, of these true friends of Independence for America and of Man's Liberty against Government-over-Man. The wealthy of that generation were fully matched by those of little or no means, such as Samuel Adams, in the fervor of belief in, and support of, the right to property as a fundamental part of the Individual's rights.

It is noteworthy that among the signers of the Declaration were some who had been members of the above-mentioned First Continental Congress in 1774; and all the signers undoubtedly shared the then popular support of the slogan: "Life, Liberty and Property" as being expressive of the gist of Man's fundamental rights. The emphasis in their thinking regarding the right to property was later reflected in the safeguarding provision included in the "Bill of Rights" amendments to the United States Constitution - in the Fifth Amendment, stating: "... nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation." This is expressive of the American philosophy.

The omission of the word "property" from the 1776 Declaration was, presumably, because the right to property was considered by America's leaders in general to be not a primary, God-given, unalienable right - not on a par spiritually with the right to "Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness" - but an essential legal right, a most important supporting right as the material mainstay of Man's unalienable rights including Liberty against Government-over-Man.

usa_map

An Essential Means, Not an End in and of Itself

8. The right to property is accordingly considered not an end, in and of itself, but an indispensable means needed to sustain Life itself and for the protection and fuller enjoyment of the rights to Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. The right to property is, therefore, of critical importance to Free Man, whether considered as a supporting right or - as some in 1776 occasionally referred to it - as an unalienable right, a Natural Right.

The concept of the property right being derived from every Individual's natural right to Liberty - of its thus being a derivative right rather than a primary, God-given, unalienable right - was expressed for example in an oration in Boston on March 5, 1775 by Dr. Joseph Warren, a leader among the more prominent workers and fighters for Liberty and Independence, as follows:

"That personal freedom is the natural right of every man, and that property, or an exclusive right to dispose of what he has honestly acquired by his own labor, necessarily arises therefrom, are truths which common sense has played beyond the reach of contradiction." (Emphasis added.)

Warren and his fellow leaders in favor of "Liberty and Independence," in Boston especially in that pre-1776 period, were undoubtedly in agreement on this point of derivativeness: "necessarily arises therefrom" - notably Samuel Adams who was very closely associated with Warren in supporting this cause. Adams presumably meant nothing different when he sometimes referred to the right to property as being of the nature of a "Natural Right."

usa_map

Property Supports Ideals

9. Man's right to property is the principal material support of the idealism of the traditional American philosophy - the idealism of Free Man in America. This idealism would be empty of substance in the absence of the protection provided by such support; it could not be translated into reality and sustained enduringly.

usa_map

The Conclusion

10. The American philosophy asserts that Man's right to property is a main, indispensable and inseparable part of the indivisible whole of Individual Liberty-Responsibility and the material mainstay of his unalienable right to "Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

usa_map

Some Historical Quotes

"There is not a single instance in history in which civil liberty was lost, and religious liberty preserved entire. If therefore we yield up our temporal property, we at the same time deliver the conscience into bondage." - Rev. John Witherspoon (Sermon, May 17, 1776)

"... The Utopian schemes of levelling, and a community of goods, are as visionary and impracticable, as those which vest all property in the Crown, are arbitrary, despotic, and in our government unconstitutional." - House of Representatives of Massachusetts (1768, to agent in London for the Colonies. Note that the word "unconstitutional" pertains to the British "Constitution.")

"Property must be secured, or liberty cannot exist." - John Adams ("Discourses on Davila," 1790)

american-flags-crossed

11. TAXES - LIMITED TO SAFEGUARD LIBERTY

"He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people, and eat out their substance. - (Declaration of Independence)"

usa_map

The Principle

1. The traditional American philosophy teaches that tyranny through taxation is one of the most dangerous and oppressive aspects of Government-over-Man and must be guarded against and opposed accordingly, for the protection of Man's God-given, unalienable rights.

usa_map

The Precedent of 1776

2. Tyrannous abuse of the taxing power was a principal provocation of the American Revolution in 1776 and, according to this philosophy, will always be considered and treated as just cause for prompt, effective, remedial action by every generation of Americans worthy of the American heritage of Individual Liberty--the heritage of Free Man determined to preserve his Freedom from Government-over-Man. This can be done mainly through preserving inviolate the supporting system of constitutionally limited government, designed to restrict government's activities and therefore its cost and taxes.

usa_map

Limited Taxing Power

3. The traditional American philosophy of constitutionally limited government--Limited for Liberty--is hostile to any concept which would permit any unlimited power of taxation to exist to the peril of Man's unalienable rights. Potential danger, not merely present danger, is the crux of the matter and the reason for constitutional safeguards, which are designed to provide protection in the worst imaginable situations. This philosophy prescribes various limitations upon the taxing power of the Federal government, as expressed in the Constitution. For example, Article 1, Section 8, of the Constitution authorizes Congress to make only specified levies--within the bounds of certain specific limits as to uses of tax monies: "to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States." It also authorizes taxes only to raise revenue to pay for the government's authorized activities, within the bounds of its limited powers and limited duties under the Constitution, as amended--for use directly and openly to accomplish the objects committed to its care and the trusts for which it is made responsible by the people under this basic law. This is according to the controlling intent of those who framed and ratified the Constitution in 1787-1788, and likewise as to each amendment.

usa_map

Examples of What Is Not Authorized

4. A few examples of what is not authorized by the Constitution in this regard, therefore as impliedly prohibited, will be clarifying. In general, the power of taxation may not be used by the Federal government as a means of bringing about indirectly and subtly any governmental change, or any social or other type of reform, or to achieve indirectly in effect Federal control of anything or anybody, or to accomplish any other result whatever, which the people have not authorized by the Constitution to be accomplished directly and openly. Nor may the power of taxation be used in furtherance of any abuse of the limited powers granted to the Federal government, or in furtherance of activities due to usurpation of any power withheld from it, or denied or prohibited to it, expressly or impliedly, by the people through the Constitution, as amended.

It is especially noteworthy that Hamilton, as Secretary of the Treasury, in urging for the first time in 1791 that the Taxing Clause granted to the Federal government a separate and substantive power for the application of money, "within the limits of what would serve the general welfare," conceded that such power would "not carry a power to do any other thing not authorized in the Constitution, either expressly or by fair implication." (See Pars. 8-10 of Principle 5.)

Some specific examples are as follows. The power of taxation may not be used so as to prevent criticism of the Federal government by the Press; which would be exercising power over a field of activity withheld from this government by the original Constitution and expressly prohibited by the First Amendment. Nor may taxes be used to obtain funds to subsidize, and in effect to control, any field of activity denied to this government (excluded from its enumerated powers) and reserved to the States by the Constitution--so as in effect to "buy" submission to Federal usurpers: such as agriculture. Hamilton made it expressly clear, in The Federalist number 17, that this is a field of activity over which the Federal government had been given no power-a field over which it could never properly be given any power to control. Also, taxes may not be used to stifle, undermine, or destroy any part of the traditional American system's economic aspect of Liberty such as Individual Enterprise (individual, private, competitive, enterprise).

Equally repugnant and prohibited are taxes designed to put into effect the anti-private-property idea, or plan, of "leveling" of ownership of property (money or any other type) by attempting to make all people more "equal" as to property, or as to income, by taking from some to give to others--as a means of achieving social reform or any other purpose not directly and openly authorized by the people in the Constitution. For example, in 1768 a Resolution of the Massachusetts House of Representatives (drafted by James Otis, Samuel Adams et al) denounced such leveling as being "despotic and . . . unconstitutional." Two decades later The Federalist (number 10, by Madison) condemned it as "improper" and "wicked." Jefferson decried leveling as being unjust and violative of "the first principle of association"--meaning a people's associating for purposes of self-government.

usa_map

The Examples Continued

5. Congress is not authorized to tax and spend as it pleases, for any and every purpose which it may choose to say, or actually thinks, will serve the "general welfare." Those who framed and ratified the Constitution in 1787-1788 intended the Taxing Clause's words: "general Welfare of the United States," to serve as a limitation on the taxing power. These words were designed to restrict taxing and spending to constitutionally authorized objectives, meaning in part only those which would serve the welfare of the United States as a whole and not merely of a locality, not of individual citizens. Congress does not possess unlimited, sovereign power to tax the people. (See Pars. 8-10 of Principle 5.) It does not even possess "general legislative authority, as Hamilton stated in The Federalist number 83.

Congress has, of course, been granted no power to exceed its constitutional authority or responsibilities by being benevolent, by making donations, of money or property at home or abroad at the expense of the American people's income, or other money or property. According to the controlling intent of those who framed and ratified the Constitution, the only words in the Taxing Clause which could possibly be said to sanction any donation to any foreign government, or people, are the words "national defense"--meaning direct and actual military defense of the American homeland. Any and all foreign donations by the Federal government are, therefore, clearly prohibited by inescapable implication unless, and except to the limited extent that any such donation in actuality helps directly and substantially, on a realistic military basis, to "provide for the common Defence . . . of the United States" - of the States composing the Union.

These few illustrations exemplify prohibited misuse of the limited taxing power as granted by the people to the Federal government under the Constitution, as amended.

usa_map

Peril to Liberty - Multiplied

6. The traditional American philosophy recognizes that an unlimited power to tax involves the power to destroy--a truth long known. This becomes all the more evilly significant if, when and to the extent that the Federal government becomes guilty of wholesale usurpation of power to expand its activities, at home and abroad, in defiance of the limits on its power imposed by the sovereign people through the Constitution. The evil significance involved is greatly augmented when--in furtherance of such wholesale usurpation--any such official culprits: Federal usurpers, employ oppressive taxation so as in effect to finance their political schemes to keep themselves in power, in control of the government, by using vast sums of public monies to subsidize--in truth to bribe, corrupt and seduce--immense segments of the electorate through distribution of individual money "benefits", to win their votes. This aim and process are furthered by building up a vast governmental bureaucracy which helps to serve this objective but has no sensible relation to sound governmental operations serving constitutionally authorized purposes. Then, indeed, are Individual Liberty and sound self-government in America--also the integrity and safety of the Republic itself--placed in effect on the auction block. This potentially disastrous condition, of danger compounded, becomes almost unlimited in degree of peril for Free Man in America, for American Posterity, when this combination of usurpation and tax tyranny is employed--by such usurpers and their collaborators in all walks of life--to supplant the traditional American system of Man-over-Government with the system of Government-over-Man. The foregoing precepts reflect some aspects of The Founders' thinking in this connection. Note especially the Jefferson quotation:

"With money we will get men, said Caesar, and with men we will get money. Nor should our assembly [the Virginia Legislature] be deluded by the integrity of their own purposes, and conclude that these unlimited powers will never be abused, because themselves are not disposed to abuse them. They should look forward to a time, and that not a distant one, when a corruption in this, as in the country from which we derive our origin [Great Britain], will have seized the heads of government, and be the voices of the people, and make them pay the price. Human nature is the same on every side of the Atlantic, and will be alike influenced by the same causes. The time to guard against corruption and tyranny, is before they shall have gotten hold on us. It is better to keep the wolf out of the fold, than to trust to drawing his teeth and talons after he shall have entered." - Thomas Jefferson ("Notes on the State of Virginia," 1782, Emphasis added.)

Any accomplishment of the prohibited objectives by gradual and deceptive steps--rather than directly and openly--highlights the importance of keeping ever in mind a maxim of which the sense was well-known to them and is expressible in verse form as follows:

Great Oaks and Great Tyrannies

Just as surely as "great oaks from little acorns grow," So do greatest tyrannies have smallest beginnings; Yet the mind, uninstructed by knowledge or reason, Cannot sense either oak or tyranny in the seed.

usa_map

No Unlimited Income-Tax Power
Under the Principle of Limited Government

7. The foregoing holds good even though the traditional American philosophy and system contemplate the Federal government's possessing, by grant of the people under the Constitution, "an unqualified power of taxation in the ordinary modes," as stated in The Federalist (number 31, by Alexander Hamilton)--for instance, a consumption tax on sales of goods. Such a tax cannot become dangerous to the people's liberties because it contains an automatic check on abuse by way of such taxation; if the amount of the tax offends them, they can simply refuse to buy the goods and thereby make the tax a failure, leading to its repeal. Even "an unqualified power of taxation" in some mode which was not ordinary in the days of The Founders and was not provided for by them in the Constitution--for instance, a graduated, "escalating" income tax, especially without expressly specifying a maximum rate or "ceiling"--would nevertheless have been considered by them to be impliedly limited in effect because subject to the following factors. First, the principles proclaimed in the Declaration of Independence--notably that governments are granted only "just powers," meaning limited powers, in order to make and keep secure the people's unalienable rights--forbid the existence in America of any system of government or governmental practices which could, in effect and in the unlimited discretion of public servants, impose tax-slavery upon the people through permitting these public, servants in peacetime to confiscate most, or all, of the income of the people to be spent as these public servants may please. This assuredly would have been considered by The Founders to be the very definition of tax-tyranny, which was one of the chief causes of the Revolution in 1776. Second, the system intended to be created by The Framers and Adopters of the Constitution--with only the few, limited powers enumerated being granted to the Federal government (for example, per The Federalist number 45 by Madison with Hamilton's silent concurrence)--likewise bars tax-tyranny because Congress is authorized to tax and spend only within the scope of its power-limits and its commensurately limited responsibilities; which must always be construed in keeping with that original, controlling intent of The Framers and Adopters, subject only to amendment by the people of the Constitution. Congress may not tax and spend in support of activities in furtherance of abuse of any granted power or in support of usurpation of power not granted.

The Founders would assuredly have stressed these implied limits upon any power to tax incomes of the people--if granted by and constitutional amendment--in the absence of an express, specific and clear mandate from the people to the contrary stated in any such amendment, for instance if it should expressly authorize confiscatory taxes for war needs. Just as they certainly would have condemned any generation of Americans as being unfaithful to the American heritage of Man-over-Government, as being defaulting trustees of Posterity's just heritage, because of any submission to oppressive taxation amounting to tax-tyranny. This applies equally to taxation of accumulated wealth (savings), or property, by way of inheritance, or estate. taxes (death taxes), which are equally subject to the above-mentioned principles and implied limits.

The basic American principles previously discussed: "Limited and Decentralized for Liberty" (per Principles 5 and 6) would therefore, have been declared by The Founders to be respected and protected in effect and impliedly by pertinent, controlling limitations despite any income-tax, or any death-tax, provision in any amendment to the Constitution not expressly fixing a maximum rate or "ceiling." They would have agreed that the above-mentioned implied limits would nevertheless be applicable, though not made express, so as to bar unlimited taxing-power opening the door to tax-tyranny, tax-slavery.

usa_map

Benjamin Franklin's Example

8. When government takes a part of an Individual's earned income, this is the equivalent of government's commandeering, or confiscating, for its own purposes a corresponding portion of his working time; he is deprived of the benefit, of the fruit, of such work and time. A taxpayer's time is employed in the service, or support, of government to the extent that be must devote it to earning the money required to pay the taxes imposed by government. Benjamin Franklin suggested a specific standard or rule by which to judge the character of taxation, presumably in peacetime (not in a national crisis of war), as to whether or not it is oppressive and beyond which the burden of taxation would, in his opinion, presumably have been considered oppressive, if not tyrannous. It was stated by him in a 1758 writing:

"It would be thought a hard Government that should tax its People one tenth Part of their Time, to be employed in its Service." (Emphasis his.)

(Maximum income-tax rate was only seven per cent under 1913 law--the first under the Sixteenth Amendment.) Under the American philosophy and system of constitutionally limited government, there is and always must be some limit, express or implied, as a standard beyond which the people may properly, indeed should, consider peacetime taxation to amount to impermissible confiscation and therefore oppression and tax-tyranny. Otherwise a mockery is made of the fundamental American principle of limited government. One general test which is unchallengeable, under a system of constitutionally limited government, is this: any and every aspect of taxation which is designed to provide financial support for any governmental activity which involves abuse of granted power, or usurpation of ungranted power, merits condemnation as tax-tyranny.

usa_map

The Conclusion

9. It is a cardinal principle of the traditional American philosophy that taxes must be limited to safeguard Individual Liberty--to make and keep secure Man's unalienable rights and Posterity's just heritage of Liberty: Freedom from Government-over-Man.

usa_map

Some Historical Quotes

"[The tax system must] be equally and fairly applied to all. To take from one, because it is thought that his own industry and that of his fathers has acquired too much, in order to spare [give] to others, who, or whose fathers have not exercised equal industry and skill, is to violate arbitrarily the first principle of association, "the guarantee to every one of a free exercise of his industry, and the fruits acquired by it.,, If the overgrown wealth of an individual be deemed dangerous to the State, the best corrective is the law of equal inheritance to all [of his kin] in equal degree; and the better, as this enforces a law of nature, while extra-taxation violates it." (Emphasis his.) - Thomas Jefferson (Note in Destutt de Tracy's Political Economy, 1816)

"As a very important source of strength and security, cherish public credit . . . use it as sparingly as possible ; avoiding likewise the accumulation of debt . . . in time of Peace discharge the Debts which unavoidable wars may have occasioned, not ungenerously throwing upon posterity the burden which we ourselves ought to bear." - President George Washington, Farewell Address.

What is to hinder them [the government] from creating a perpetual debt The laws of nature, I answer. The earth belongs to the living, not to th dead. The will and the power of man expire with his life, by nature' law . . . Each generation has the usufruct of the earth during the period of its continuance. When it ceases to exist, the usufruct passes on to the succeeding generation, free and unencumbered [No generation has a right] . . . to bind the succeeding generation . . . [with vast public debts]" - Thomas Jefferson (Letter to J. W. Eppes, 1813)

american-flags-crossed

12. THE MAJORITY - LIMITED FOR LIBERTY

"... this sacred principle ..." [Majority must respect Minority's rights] - (President Jefferson's First Inaugural Address)

usa_map

The Principle

1. The traditional American philosophy teaches that The Majority must be strictly limited in power, and in the operation of government, for the protection of The Individual's God-given, unalienable rights proclaimed in the Declaration of Independence and, therefore, of the rights of The Minority - of all minorities.

usa_map

A Restricted Mechanic of Government

2. Self-government's system of rule by majority vote is based on necessity. Rule by majority vote is a necessary mechanic of any government of the popular type, featuring rule by the people through free, periodic elections such as, for example, those held in the United States. Under this philosophy, rule by majority vote is always subject to the "sacred principle" defined in President Jefferson's First Inaugural Address, quoted below.

"All, too, will bear in mind this sacred principle, that though the will of the majority is in all cases to prevail, that will to be rightful must be reasonable; that the minority possess their equal rights, which equal law must protect, and to violate would be oppression."

usa_map

A Minority of One Protected

3. The protection provided by this principle applies fundamentally, of course, in favor of a minority of one: The Individual. No majority, however great, even all of the people but one Individual--may properly infringe, or possess the power to infringe, the rights of any minority, however small--even a minority of a lone Individual.

usa_map

America a Republic - Not a Democracy - In Form of Government - So As to Limit Effectively The Majority To Protect the Individual

4. Therein lies the reason why the American leaders who framed and ratified the United States Constitution in 1787-1788 chose, for America's form of government, that of a Republic and not a Democracy. (The then existing Confederation was merely a treaty arrangement between completely independent and separate State governments, by agreement of their legislatures only and not by consent of the people, with no real central government--with only a legislative body--and with no power over those governments or over individual citizens; so it provided no protection for the rights of The Individual or The Minority against tyranny by The Majority in any State--later remedied, as to certain rights, by prohibitions in the original Constitution expressly made applicable against the States.) A Republic is a constitutionally limited government of the representative type, created by a written Constitution--adopted by the people and changeable (from its original meaning) by them only by its amendment--with its powers divided between three separate Branches: Executive, Legislative and Judicial. In a Republic, the whole system is designed primarily to protect The Individual's unalienable rights--therefore The Minority, all minorities--against any violation by government or by others. As the Declaration of Independence expresses this American goal of safeguarding these rights, the people form their governments "to secure these rights"--to make and keep them secure.

usa_map

The Majority Omnipotent in Any Democracy

5. This is not the case under a Democracy, speaking of it as a form of government and not merely in the more general sense of its meaning a popular type of government. In a Democracy, The Majority is omnipotent, whether it be a Representative Democracy or a Direct Democracy. In the Representative type, the people function governmentally through an elected legislature, which selects and controls the head of the Executive Department, as in Great Britain where "the authority of the parliament is transcendent and uncontrollable" (as stated in The Federalist number 53, by Madison)--where in fact the House of Commons alone has by law become supreme. In the Direct type, all of the electorate (those entitled to vote) assemble as a single group to debate and decide directly and conclusively all governmental questions. This is suitable only for a very small number of people--as in a New England town with a town-meeting system of government, or in a situation like that of the small city-states of ancient Greece. (Decisions of a New England town-meeting are, of course, subject to the State and United States Constitutions which protect the rights of The Individual and The Minority, so such a town-meeting government is not a true Democracy featuring The Majority Omnipotent.)

usa_map

In a Democracy, The Individual Is Subservient and Must Be Submissive to The Omnipotent Majority

6. Any Democracy, either Representative or Direct, does not even recognize the existence of any unqualified rights of The Individual, much less his possessing God-given, unalienable rights as conceived by the American philosophy. A Democracy in America, as a form of government, would therefore provide no protection for these rights. Under a Democracy, Man is considered to have only qualified privileges permitted by The Majority in control of government and revocable by it at any time. This spells Rule by Omnipotent Majority, with The Individual and The Minority as well as all minorities victimized at the pleasure of The Majority, without limit and without any legal basis for objection or practical remedy. The idea of such unlimited rule, as if by "divine right of The Majority," is as abhorrent in the eyes of the traditional American philosophy as is the idea of rule by "divine right of kings."

usa_map

The Uniquely American Principle Was Thoroughly Understood in 1776

7. The traditional American philosophy requires a Republic's constitutionally limited form of government for the security of Man's unalienable rights against violation by The Majority, by government, as well as by others. This philosophy was well understood in America in 1776 but was imperfectly practiced by the States in the post-1776 period, during which rights were violated. This correct understanding was exemplified by the previously noted (Par. 8, Principle 2) town-meeting petition of Pittsfield, Massachusetts, addressed to the legislature of Massachusetts in May, 1776. It urged the adoption by the people--as "the fountain of power"--of a Constitution as their fundamental law, to fill the void created by the end of royal rule, as "the first step to be taken" by the people in order to guard against despotism--against "the wanton exercise of power"--and it asserted, that the only safeguard is "the formation of a fundamental constitution" by the people. Their aim was to safeguard their liberties. This was accomplished by the people of Massachusetts in 1780, by their creating the first true Constitution and Republic in the world. They utilized successfully, for the first time in history, a constitutional convention--which is America's great, if not greatest, contribution to the mechanics of self-government through constitutional government. (Earlier Acts of Legislatures of other States were erroneously classified as "constitutions," while some countries' governments throughout history had generally been erroneously classified as "republics"--a much-misunderstood and loosely used term. See the correct definition of a Republic in Paragraph 4, above.)

usa_map

Principle Violated by "Elective Despotism" after 1776

8. The post-1776 period witnessed gross violations by State Legislatures of the unalienable rights of victimized Individuals. In Virginia, for example, Jefferson protested vigorously against the Legislature's acts of tyranny by The Majority, stating: "An elective despotism was not the government we fought for ("Notes on The State of Virginia," 1782; emphasis Jefferson's). Misconduct in this period by The Omnipotent Majority in the legislatures of a number of the States was in reaction against the earlier oppressive rule by the king and his royal governors and judges. At that time, except in Massachusetts under its Constitution of 1780, there were no real State Constitutions to restrain the legislatures, which made sure that the governors and judges were without power to prohibit legislative enactments (by which the violations of unalienable rights were effected). The New Hampshire Constitution, based on this pattern, was not adopted until 1784 after a Constitutional Convention was successful in framing one acceptable to the people--several earlier conventions having been unsuccessful. Other States did not follow suit for a number of years, some not for decades.

usa_map

"The Excesses of Democracy"

9. This type of tyranny, by Omnipotent Majority, is always possible under any Democracy as a form of government. This is what The Framers and Ratifiers of the Constitution and their fellow American leaders meant when, in the 1787-1788 debates with regard to the framing and adoption of the Constitution, they denounced the 11 excesses of democracy. They were, of course, not criticizing popular government as such--for instance as it exists under the Republic of the United States featuring constitutionally limited government, as limited by the Constitution. They were, therefore, not condemning democracy in the general sense of the term--meaning merely a popular type of government. They were speaking in support of America's being a Republic, not a Democracy, as a form of government. The more general meaning of Democracy--popular government--also applies to America; but this use of the term is only confusing in any discussion, as here, of the characteristics of different forms of popular government: a Republic in contrast to a Democracy.

usa_map

Federal and State Republics

10. The foregoing explains why the traditional American philosophy requires that the central (Federal) government and the State governments be Republics. (See Pars. 6-7 of Principle 5.) Each State is guaranteed the form of government of a Republic by the United States Constitution (Art. IV, Sec. 4). The foregoing also makes clear why this philosophy requires that The Majority, at any time in temporary charge of government, administer its affairs in keeping with the Constitution's limitations and for the benefit of all Individuals composing the people as a whole, meaning The Minority and all minorities as well as The Majority--not merely for the benefit of those constituting only The Majority of the moment.

usa_map

The Conclusion

11. The traditional American philosophy demands that the power of The Majority be limited for the protection of The Individual's unalienable rights, for the security of Man's Liberty against Government-over-Man, in keeping with the American formula: The Majority - Limited for Liberty.

usa_map

Some Historical Quotes

"[As to Bill of Rights] Repeated violations of these parchment barriers have been committed by overbearing majorities in every State. In Virginia I have seen the bill of rights violated in every instance where it has been opposed to a popular current . . . In our Governments the real power lies in the majority of the Community, and the invasion of private rights is chiefly to be apprehended, not from acts of Government contrary to the sense of its constituents, but from acts in which the Government is the mere instrument of the major number of the Constituents." (Emphasis per original.) - James Madison (Letter to Jefferson, in Paris, 1788)

"Since the general civilization of mankind, I believe there are more instances of the abridgment of the freedom of the people, by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power, than by violent and sudden usurpations: but, on a candid examination of history, we shall find that turbulence, violence, and abuse of power, by the majority trampling on the rights of the minority have produced factions and commotions, which, in republics, have more frequently than any other cause, produced despotism. If we go over the whole history of ancient and modern republics, we shall find their destruction to have generally resulted from those causes. If we consider the peculiar situation of the United States, and what are the sources of that diversity of sentiment which pervades its inhabitants, we shall find great danger to fear, that the same causes may terminate here, in the same fatal effects, which they produced in those republics. This danger ought to be wisely guarded against." - James Madison (Va. Ratifying Convention, 1788)

"It is of great importance in a republic, not only to guard the society against the oppression of its rulers; but to guard one part of the society against the injustice of the other part. Different interests necessarily exist in different classes of citizens. If a majority be united by a common interest, the rights of the minority will be insecure. There are but two methods of providing against this evil . . . [The existence of "an hereditary or self-appointed authority" superior to the majority, to the people; or, in the alternative, the existence of so many conflicting interests among the citizens as to constitute a safeguard against any dominant majority likely to become oppressive] . . . The second method will be exemplified in the federal republic of the United States. Whilst all authority in it will be derived from, and dependent on the society, the society itself will be broken into so many parts, interests and classes of citizens, that the rights of individuals or of the minority, will be in little danger from interested combinations of the majority." - The Federalist (No. 51, by Madison)

Law and Grace - Dr. Jim McGowan

100 Years of Immigration