Monday, September 28, 2009

Time Now For a New Enlightenment

“Government is not the solution to our problem. Government is the problem.”

Ronald Reagan

The Age of Enlightenment, in my opinion, started even before the mid seventeenth century as some historians would argue. This is because I believe that the undercurrents that brought about the Enlightenment have persisted in the human spirit from time immemorial. The Enlightenment culminated in the creation of The United States of America, a system of government that was supposed to put individuals and their rights above all else. This was brought about through reason and a certain disdain for the politics of the times. The American colonists were looking for a better system then the monarchies and even the so called representative democracies (which were heavily influenced by a royal presence) they had left behind on the European continent.

When we look at the thought processes that drove the Enlightenment and the writings of the founding fathers, we get a better understanding at the type of system they wanted to set up for their progeny. They understood that if humans were to live as freemen they had to act like they were freemen. They refused to just bow down to the dictates of the British government. They refused to simply accept “the law” that the British elite wanted enforced upon them. They refused to give the British their extortion money and told them they no longer needed their protection services. Perhaps most importantly, they refused to give up their interest free money and accept the debt notes that the Bank of England wanted them to use as legal tender.

To the founders, being free meant they owned themselves. It meant they owned their labor. It meant they owned the property they purchased with the money they earned with their labor. At least it seems that way to me. In order to try to preserve these ideals they fought a revolution, wrote papers of explanation of their beliefs for posterity, and codified them as best they could into the law of the land in the form of the US Constitution. They were enlightened as to the faults of government and the tyranny into which all systems have fallen throughout history. They sought to bind and limit the scope of future government with words and checks and balances so that their progeny could know the blessings of freedom and self determination. That was the spirit of the Constitution and more specifically the Bill of Rights.

Lysander Spooner pointed out over a hundred years ago that the Constitution either condoned tyranny or was powerless to stop it. Unfortunately, I have to agree with that assessment. Yet I believe that the Constitution is not where the power lies. It is but a road map along the path to freedom. If one gets lost on that path, he can either take out the map and try to find a way back or he can wander about aimlessly and hope to stumble upon his destination.

It is not the Constitution that has failed, it is the people that have failed to abide by it, or to give it teeth. Why should power hungry politicians obey the constitution when they know they will not be held accountable for disobeying it? Why should they worry about the constitutionality of the laws they pass when they or their friends can profit from them during the years it takes for a challenge to the law to make it through the court system? Why should they care when it is as likely as not that their friends and colleagues on the Supreme Court will find their laws constitutional as they interpret the Constitution as if it was written in a language other than English? Better yet, why should they care when there is no legal price to pay for voting for an unconstitutional law? Why would they let its chains constrain them when they know they are quite likely to be re-elected (as most incumbents are) regardless of their actions? Why wouldn’t they break the chains that are supposed to bind them when they know that most states use easily hackable electronic voting machines run by corruptible humans? Why wouldn’t they do everything they could to increase their power and prestige when the political risk is so historically low? Do we think that because they are politicians they are angels and they are simply going to do the right thing? Right. We the people have let our power wane, allowed the Constitution to become irrelevant and become slaves to the politically elite masters that were supposed to serve us.

The first step in many cases on the road to recovery is admitting that there is a problem. I think most Americans have come to this realization, no matter their political affiliation. Once it has been identified that there is a problem, it becomes necessary to find a way to solve the problem. As expressed in the quote above attributed to Ronald Reagan, government is the problem. It has become too large and intrusive. Its power has overshadowed this great land and now we are witnessing certain overzealous politicians salivating as they try to pass laws and programs that will increase its size and their power over our everyday lives. Perhaps it would help to slow down, pull over, take a look at the road map we are provided with, and follow its directions in order to help whittle down the size of government, restore our freedoms and take back our lives, our money and our power to make our own decisions.

If we as a people can find our collective backbone and create enough political pressure to make our congress critters realize we are serious about reclaiming our heritage than perhaps this can be accomplished in a peaceful manner. This has already started to happen as evidenced by the tea parties, town hall meetings, and the huge protest in DC. Yet one still has to wonder if this is going to be enough. The mainstream media, with a few notable exceptions, continues to downplay the awakening of the American people and portray everyday middle class citizens as extreme right wingers, lost souls who don’t know what’s best for them, or just plain stupid instead of as freedom loving individuals who just want the government out of their lives.

Perhaps a little reasoning will help accomplish these goals as it helped our founding fathers craft the nation’s founding documents. First it needs to be made clear that individual rights are not something that is granted to you by government. We are born with individual, natural rights. These rights stem from the very nature of being human. One has the right to express one’s self, the right to defend one’s self, the right to determine for one’s self the best way to better one’s circumstances (i.e. the right to pursue happiness), the right to not incriminate himself, the right to freely associate with whom we chose, the right to not associate with someone or some group if we don’t want to (i.e. the right to be left alone as Judge Andrew Napolitano would say), the right to freely assemble, etc., not because those in Washington DC who consider themselves our leaders say so, but because we say so. As long as we exercise these rights and act upon our nature without causing physical harm to another individual, damaging or stealing another's property, or treading upon the rights of another individual, then we should be left in peace to do so.

Individual, natural rights also cannot be taken away by government. We can only surrender them. The individuals working for government can only refuse to respect them. This is why we need to say no. This is why we need to say enough is enough. Those who laud power over the masses promise us security against wispy monstrosities that are difficult to spot, pin down or clearly identify if we will just allow them to violate our rights. The more who stand up to and disobey the bullies that would exercise physical force, threats, intimidation or coercion to make us submit and allow our rights to be violated the better off we will all be and the sooner we will once again live as freemen.

Let me enlighten those who still believe we live in the freest nation on earth. Wrong. We already live in a police state. We are all slaves to the state. The time has come to face these truths and do something about it. While the protests, the emails to our would be representatives, the raucous town hall meetings, the tea parties, etc., are a good start, they are not necessarily going to be enough. Unfortunately, those who currently hold power are not going to easily give it back and they have shown that they can be very violent. It is time we realized just how corrupt these politicians are and that they simply do not care what the people think or want. Still, we can not let fear stop us. As long as we keep up the pressure and remain peaceful, we will prevail.

We, the masses of the people, must remember that we are the economy. We are the ones who create the wealth in this world and we should be the ones keeping and distributing the wealth among ourselves as we see fit. Those in government, the bureaucrats who deign to rule over us and the privileged, elite, moneyed interests who pull their strings, are nothing more than parasites who depend on our life's blood, our labor, our industriousness, our innovation and our cooperation in order to survive. They will make demands upon us, and yet it is we who should be making demands upon them. We don't have to bow down to their demands. We don't have to simply obey the dictates they decide to rain down upon us from on high. We can chose to say no to their mandates. We can chose to not pay.

It is important to remember that in this world there are wrongs as well as rights. It is wrong to force someone else to pay for your entitlements. It is wrong to expect others, particularly those who aren't even born yet, to support a system that is unsustainable. It is wrong to demand rights for ourselves if it means treading upon the rights of other individuals. Groups don't have rights above or beyond the rights of the individual. The rights of the individual are what keep groups strong, for if the rights of the individual is subject to violation, then the rights of all individuals in the group are subject to that same violation.

There will be a price to pay for our freedom. If we are to be free, we must allow others to be free. We must stop depending on government entitlements, particularly centralized, federal government entitlements that seem to suffer from a lack of accountability. We must learn to trust in ourselves and our fellow man for support rather than counting on the support of those who are forced to pay into the system. In this way we become truly independent.

It seems to me that we now suffer under a government that is far more tyrannical, far more despotic, far more intrusive and far more demanding than King George's England could ever hope to be. The colonies revolted against King George and England because they felt they were being unfairly taxed and their interest free money based on commodities was made illegal. As time goes on and we hear more and more often of the crimes and treasons committed by those who have been elected and politically appointed to protect individual rights, we begin to recognize that these people care not for the American ideals expressed by this nation's forefathers but care only to maintain and increase their profit, their power and their ability to control. We see this regardless of the party these men and women affiliate themselves with. Since neither men nor women of principle seem to be in great supply these days, it is prudent for us to demand an end to the abhorrent secrecy practiced at the highest levels of government and their agencies and to reinstate total transparency so that the population can better assess the job these people are doing and see to whom they give their loyalties.

This nation is awakening. I believe people across the planet are discovering their desire for individual freedom and working to get corrupt governments out of their lives. The United States of America was at one time a beacon to the rest of the world and a place where all who were oppressed dreamed they could one day come for self determination and to realize their full potential . This is no longer so. In fact, many of our richest citizens are leaving for greener pastures. Yet I believe that this nation can once again become that beacon as it used to be. As we all become more and more enlightened as to the benefits of individual freedom and independence each one of us needs to determine how we can best strive to peacefully bring about the change which will reestablish our place in the world as the land of the free. There is a message out there that I hear more and more often from more and more sources. That message is a message of love and peace. It's a message that people want peaceful change, smaller government, fewer intrusions on their personal lives, and more power to determine their own destinies. One can only hope that those who have the power to prevent these dreams from becoming reality can hear the shouting in the streets and will pay attention to the message instead of trying to fight the inevitable and forcing their agenda upon a populace that's had enough.

1 comment:

karim said...

A valuable post on enlightenment.

Karim - Mind Power