UPDATED 9/8/2013 Is “Progressive” the Politically Correct way of saying the “Divine Right of Kings”?
This article is written in plain, simple English and tries to avoid engaging in long, complicated discussions of Metaphysics, Philosophy, Social Science and Natural Science. This article is written with consideration of the tastes of a wider general public in being bored with and disdainful of politics. This writer respects the intelligence and opinions of rank and file Americans far more than he does that of any alleged educated elite, political party elite and/or ruling class elite. (This writer warns the elitist that he will likely offend your sensibilities by departing from your standard of decorum by invoking urban and youthful vernacular & colloquialisms to drive home his points and make this subject matter more relatable to a larger portion of his audience.). This writer intends to educate, not manipulate, the reader.
Educate and inform the whole mass of the people... They are the only sure reliance for the preservation of our liberty.
Thomas Jefferson, 3rd President of the United States and Primary Drafter of the Declaration of Independence
This writer implores his fellow rank and file Americans to read this article. As uninteresting and/or burdensome as you may find the content of this article, it is likely the simplest way for you to understand the workings of American politics. This writer will be so bold as to assert that in reading and reflecting upon this material, you will find your perception of reality has greatly changed… That if you will commit yourself to just once in your life immersing yourself in the substance of this article you will be forever enlightened and invigorated. From this immersion you will gain a renewed understanding of your rightful place in this world and be empowered to defend yourself from predation by others for the rest of your life. At the same time, this writer will endeavor to make the content as engaging and relevant to your everyday life as an average person as possible. This writer, having paid the price, would be disappointed if rank and file America did not seize the reward.
"eternal vigilance by the people is the price of liberty, and that you must pay the price if you wish to secure the blessing."
Andrew Jackson, 7th President of the United States
As this writer first pondered this question which the title of this article poses, it was in the divisive, emotional frame of mind to which the two major political parties have conditioned the people living in the United States of America, Inc. (Remember that word conditioned, it will become important later) Upon further reflection, this writer became determined to follow his own urgings to his readers here (and his followers on social media like Twitter)… Those urgings being to strive to overcome the divisive conditioning of the two major political parties and attempt to speak and act in a manner to create constructive debate and unity amongst WE THE PEOPLE.
The true battle is NOT Republican vs. Democrat, left vs. right, white vs. color, Christian vs. Non-Christian: THE TRUE BATTLE IS WE THE PEOPLE VS THE CORRUPT INCUMBENT RULING CLASS ELITE
Don Mashak (Opinion)
(@DMashak and @WETHEPEOPLETAR on Twitter- various truncations/hashtags removed)
In several earlier conceptualizations and drafts of this matter, this writer did indeed, attempt to be neutral, to create room for unity from common ground, to create consensus of concerns and tried to work for a common vision for the future. However, in researching, and reflecting upon the information derived from this research, this writer has came to the conclusion that he does not and would not want to associate with and/or create unity with certain segments of Progressivism who hold certain beliefs. Yet this writer will endeavor to merely identify those certain beliefs confident the evil of those beliefs will be self evident to most readers.
That having been said, this writer’s goal remains to promote unity, rather than division, amongst WE THE PEOPLE; and to cause people to form their own perception of reality through their own thought processes. This writer intends to achieve this by clearly identifying his opinions and identifying the primary sources of his facts while he lays out the fundamental elements of the Divine Right of Kings, Consent of the Governed (Natural Law) and Progressivism. In the end, this writer will ask the reader to choose which Governance Doctrine and Perspective of Reality most closely matches their own perception of reality and/or their ideal preferred manner of being governed.
Perspective of Reality = How you perceive your existence, your world and your environment.
As this writer’s regular readers are aware, this writer engages in unique perspective and/or original thought rather than the regurgitation of the current thoughts and ideas promoted by the two major political parties and the major media. Developing unique/original thought is far more difficult and requires a lot more time than simply regurgitating the ideas and thoughts of others. And finally, unique/original thought takes a lot more words to explain. Communicating unique/original thought often means the basis must be explained rather than assuming and/or building upon the current perception of reality commonly held by the majority of the population.
New opinions are always suspected, and usually opposed, without any other reason but because they are not already common.
This writer will provide a list of only his hardcopy resources. This list appears at the end of this article. The writer has not and will not include the vast majority of his internet sources. Over the past few years, the history and facts regarding Progressivism have changed on the internet, presumably because it is so easily done. Further, this writer will quote Progressive President Theodore Roosevelt to make another point regarding history and sources:
The difference between myth and history is that history lies in a more dignified way. The first writer of a lie is ever thereafter accepted as authority. If actual history should be written, mankind would blush in shame for itself. And yet we must have history for without it the world would be like a man without a memory. There was certainly an element of truth in the specific events of history, but what brought about those events lies for the most part in mysticism. History’s primary shortcoming is in the failure of historians to reveal fully the character of historical figures. No Statesman has been a saint and no tyrant without some color of virtue.
Theodore Roosevelt (in conversation with Opie Read and Bat Masterson)
Or perhaps you would prefer:
George Santayana (1906)
Writers do not right in a vacuum. They have their own biases and their own concerns. Publishers also do not publish in a vacuum; they also have their own biases and concerns. Book Publishers and Major Media owners tend to be rich men. Not only do they have financial and political motivations which are a basis to edit or censor the information they transmit, they also have to consider the financial and political consequences of losing favor with the current establishment.
If you don't read the newspaper, you're uninformed. If you read the newspaper [view major media], you're mis-informed.
Mark Twain (1906)
The advantage of reading books about Progressivism written from 1960 to 1990 is that Progressivism did not have as many strong adherents nor detractors as it did during its original incarnation and subsequent revivals. At the same time, the problem with that is the writer often does not have firsthand knowledge. But the simple truth is that some history is never written because no one was brave enough to write the truth and accept the consequences.
The evils of tyranny are rarely seen but by him who resists it.
John Hay (1872)
Or perhaps you prefer:
No holds were barred. We have used [similar] techniques against Soviet agents. [The same methods were] brought home against any organization against which we were targeted. We did not differentiate. This is a rough, tough business. http://goo.gl/bHwpn5
Senate Committee Report on Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the FBI and COINTELPRO
This writer asks you to go to your local library rather than rely on the internet to learn about Progressivism. In any case, make note of any biases the author of your source may have so you can temper your acceptance of their writing accordingly.
In the beginning of a change, the patriot is a scarce man, and brave, and hated and scorned. When his cause succeeds, the timid join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot
Mark Twain (1904)
Finally, this writer does not want anyone to be lulled, seduced and/or tricked into acceptance of any perspective of reality; whether this perspective be the writrer’s own or the perspective of reality painted by others. Therefore, this author advises you as no politician would dare. Exercise Critical Thinking (http://bit.ly/ubI6ve) in determining the truthfulness of anything you read or hear. Do not passively accept nor believe anything anyone tells you, including this author... unless and until you verify it yourself with sources you trust and could actively defend your perspective to anyone who might debate you to the contrary of your perspective.
This writer is challenging Progressive writer David Brooks at @nytdavidbrooks to write a rebuttal and point out material errors to hold myself accountable and to create a meaningful marketplace for the exchange of ideas. In light of the recent ruling by the US Supreme Court, Mr. Brook’s failure to respond at all or in a way that does not demonstrate material errors in this writer’s facts shall be considered an admission that his truthful response would tend to be damaging to his position. With that, this writer challenges Mr. Brooks to respond within 15 days of the publication of part 3, the final installment of this series.
[UPDATE - It has been brought to this writer's attention that some people don't believe David Brooks nor President Obama to be Progressives and/or they don't represent mainstream Progressivism and/or they are not "true enough" to Progressive principles. Therefore, this writer extends the offer for other intellectual leaders of the Progressive movement to also respond in addition to Mr. Brooks. Please post your responses on the internet and inform the writer of them on twitter @DMashak and @WETHEPEOPLTAR. Don't direct message them, rather post them in my timeline with the hashtag #ProgressiveResponse. Let us use this opportunity for constructive dialogue in the Marketplace for the exchange of ideas that is Twitter. This writer believes this is a satisfactory resolution to those who have made these criticisms.]
[UPDATE 2 – (9/12/2013) It is ironic that shortly after a link to this article was posted on Twitter that Twitter suspended this writer’s Twitter Account. Only an outpouring of support from this writer’s 13,000+ real Twitter caused Twitter to unsuspend my Account. This writer submits that any time a legitimate writer of political dissent is censored, it is an indication that the ruling class deems the content of the censored document as a threat to their status quo power.]
METAPHYSICS, SOCIAL SCIENCE, NATURAL SCIENCE, PHILOSOPHY AND LOGIC
We will discuss these topics briefly and then only for defining them. (You may skip over this section if it bores you) The information we are about to share only scratches the surface of the thought processes which produced them. To give you perspective, it is necessary that you at least know that these thought processes are behind what we are about to discuss.
- Metaphysics is a traditional branch of philosophy concerned with explaining the fundamental nature of being and the world that encompasses it
- Natural Sciences are those branches of science that seek to elucidate the rules that govern the natural world through scientific methods, the cornerstone of which are measured by quantitative data.
- Social sciences apply the scientific method to study human behavior and social patterns; the humanities, which use a critical or analytical approach to study the human condition
- Philosophy is the study of general and fundamental problems, such as those connected with reality, existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language. Philosophy is distinguished from other ways of addressing such problems by its critical, generally systematic approach and its reliance on rational argument
- Logic (from the Greek λογική, logos) has two meanings: first, it describes the use of valid reasoning in some activity; second, it names the normative study of reasoning or a branch thereof. In the latter sense, it features most prominently in the subjects of philosophy, mathematics, and computer science.
It is the hope of this writer, seeing the ideas and premises that are the end product of the above described thought process, will motivate some of you to examine these various iterations of the thought processes which form their foundation. This writer has opted to not include specific references, but rather just the Titles of his sources, in an attempt to cause you to immerse yourself further in studying governance doctrines.
Education begins the human, but reading, good company and reflection must finish him.
To increase the readability of this article, this writer will refer to these sciences as “THE THOUGHT PROCESS”, hereafter.
You have all heard of Dictatorships, Monarchies, Communism, Socialism, Republics and Democracy. But where do these styles of government get their authority to govern any group of people? What is the proper role of Government?
Governance Doctrines refer to the source of the legitimate authority for any type of governance, the purpose of that governance, and the principles and/or manner of how those who are governed should be, and/or are, governed. They represent the ideal.
Government is mankind’s necessarily imperfect attempt of the implementation of a governance doctrine in the reality of the real physical world.
Our study of Progressivism will necessarily require us to understand the governance doctrines of the “Divine Right of Kings” and the governance doctrine of “Consent of the Governed” (Consent of the Governed is the foundation of America’s Declaration of Independence, Constitution and Bill of Rights.)
Despite conflicting sources and personal intuitions, the net intent and result of Progressivism requires it also be deemed a governance doctrine. In that it proposes the voiding, replacement and/or extreme revision of our current Constitution, it clearly is a different governance Doctrine than “Consent of the Governed”.
This writer believes any discussion of how governance doctrines were defined and articulated is more entertaining if illustrated through historical perspective. In a moment, we will take a short trip down memory lane.
This writer suggests you assess these 3 Governance Doctrines in a manner similar to buying a car. (The Governance Doctrine of Marxism is included for historical and comparative purposes only) Using your power of observation, as soon you find a major flaw, you likely soon thereafter will use your reason to decide not to by the defective product. If the foundation of a governance doctrine is not sound, then this writer would suggest to you that everything built upon that foundation is not sound. You must determine the soundness of those foundations using your own powers of observation and reason.
476AD to 1920AD – A SHORT STORY IN WESTERN WORLD GOVERNANCE
In this writer’s opinion, the understanding of the Governance Doctrines of Progressivism, Consent of the Governed & the Divine Right of Kings is enhanced by understanding the organic origins of their existence.
Those who don't know history are destined to repeat it.
Here is that history:
With the Fall of Rome in 476AD, Western Europe fell into a period of history known as the Dark Ages. The Dark Ages (also known as the middle ages) extended from the 5th to the 15th Centuries. The term Dark Ages refers to the cultural and economic decline in Western Europe during this time, as well as the lack of historical documentation for many geographic areas during that period of time.
The Governance Doctrine of the “Divine Right of Kings” and a Socio-Economic system known as Feudalism became predominant. Divine Right of Kings essentially commands that the King/Queen is a God or an emissary of God here on earth. Therefore, no earthly being has the authority to question the decisions, actions or authority of the King/Queen. The Ruling Class establishes truth by convention and force.
1250AD Invention of the Western Concept of Romantic Love - Beginning of the decline of Mysogyny.
1378AD Western Papal Schism (Roman Catholic Church)
1450AD Printing press introduced to Europe (invented in China circa 1045AD)
1571AD Protestant Reformation
THE THOUGHT PROCESS: Thomas Hobbes (1651) – Regarding the Nature of man in his Natural State (before there was a central government), Hobbes believed man tends to be selfish, may sometimes be altruistic and is not by nature NOT a social animal. Authority for Government comes from the position that society could not exist except by the power of the state. As for the Social Contract - Shut up and obey, then you may have the right not to be killed. Wait, belay that. You don’t even have the right not to be killed. Why? Regardless of what the King does, it does not constitute a violation of the social contract.
From 1650AD to 1800AD, a period called “The Enlightenment” (aka the “Age of Reason”) occurred. People began to question the Nature of Man and the authority of the King and Church. Various scientific discoveries stimulated the minds of many people (Men of Letters). Observation and Reason began to replace religion, superstition and tradition as the basis for people’s perception of reality. Printing Presses, becoming more widespread, have began to break the Aristocracy’s and the Church’s monopoly on the exchange of ideas. From the exchange of ideas during this time the Concepts of Natural Law and the Governance Doctrine of Consent of the Governed were developed.
THE THOUGHT PROCESS: John Locke (1689) established that the Nature of Man in his Nature State (before there was a central government) was that of a “social animal” with tendencies toward “reason and tolerance”, but who can be selfish. Locke said that Government was a voluntary compact between an individual and society, whereby the individual gave up some of his Natural Rights in a State of Nature to secure the protection and better harmony as part of society. Government exists to preserve the unalienable Natural Rights of the Individual. Truth is established by the individual through observation and reasoning.
In the late 18th century, these new ideas regarding the Nature of Man and the proper purpose and role of any government led to violent revolution and/or capitulation of many Western Europe Governments to accept and adopt, wholly or in large part, the purpose and role of government pursuant to John Locke’s Consent of the Governed.
In 1776AD, the American Colonists penned their Declaration of Independence. They declared their independence from not only from England and King George, but also from the Governance Doctrine of the Divine Right of Kings. Several Elements of Natural Law are included in the Declaration of Independence along with specific references to the “Laws of Nature” and “Consent of the Governed”. In fact, some of the Founders did not believe a Bill of Rights (1791) was necessary believing that the Natural Rights of men were plainly and clearly self evident truths. The Founders created a Constitutionally Limited (1789), Representative Republic and embraced the rugged individualism and an economy based on minimum government intervention (laissez-faire economics), which were inherent in Natural Law.
In 1787AD France is engulfed in a popular violent revolution, inspired and motivated by the ideas and ideals of Natural Law. Declaration of the Rights of Men and Citizens (1791) France Establishes its Government as a Constitutional Republic (1795).
1842AD – 1883AD Karl Marx establishes a Governance Doctrine which becomes Marxism. Marxism in the form of Communism comes to Russia. Marxism, in the form of Socialism and Social Democracy, sweeps much of Europe somewhat later. (Communism fails in Russia circa 1989 – Much of Europe teeters on the brink of economic collapse today)
THE THOUGHT PROCESS (Karl Marx circa 1850) Marx conceives of human nature as composed of 'tendencies', 'drives', 'essential powers', and 'instincts' to act in order to satisfy 'needs' for external objectives. Many Marxist deny there is a human nature to be found in Marx’s works. The sixth of the Theses on Feuerbach provided the basics for this interpretation of Marx according to which there was no eternal human nature to be found in his works. It states:
Feuerbach resolves the essence of religion into the essence of man [menschliche Wesen = ‘human nature’]. But the essence of man is no abstraction inherent in each single individual. In reality, it is the ensemble of the social relations. Feuerbach, who does not enter upon a criticism of this real essence is hence obliged:
1. To abstract from the historical process and to define the religious sentiment regarded by itself, and to presuppose an abstract — isolated - human individual.
2. The essence therefore can by him only be regarded as ‘species’, as an inner ‘dumb’ generality which unites many individuals only in a natural way
Marx believed Capitalism was bad. Marx believed Capitalism exploited the average worker. Marx believed history evidenced the cyclical nature of society. Changes in Society occurred by violent revolution caused by the inevitable disparity in wealth and the distribution of wealth (Class Warfare). Marx did not say much about the form society would take after capitalism. Eventually a classless society would come into existence, free of political conflicts, coercion, domination and exploitation. Immediately after the revolution when the proletariat (common folks, labor) gained control there would have to be a period of "dictatorship of the proletariat" which would be necessary to remove all elements of capitalism, especially the ideas and values making up bourgeois ideology. (Truth is established by the government.) In this period of state socialism people would still be motivated to work by differential wages and there would have to be a strong state, in the hands of the worker's party, which ran a planned economy.
However, Marx thought that in time a collectivist society (communism) would emerge in which control and decision making would be in the hands of the people as a whole. The coercive state would wither away, intense division of labor and specialization would cease, the outlook and motivation of individuals would be collective and cooperative, and people would have much greater opportunity to develop and fulfill their potential than they had under capitalism. Marx was optimistic about the capacity of humans to do these things, seeing greed, competition and conflict as dispositions produced by class domination. Perhaps the best clue to the nature of communist society is given by the statement "From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs".
In essence, the purpose and of government under Marxism is to protect labor from exploitation and guard the interests of the society has a whole. The authority of government came from the premise that the “workers of the whole” would control the government.
In 1859AD, Charles Darwin publishes his “Origin of Species” (Theory of Evolution)
1861AD to 1865AD American Civil War
From 1890AD to 1930AD The Populist/Progressive Era begins. (Or Populist Movement 1890AD -1905AD and Progressive Era 1905AD to 1917, etc) There is conflict in credible sources as to the dates and the nature of the Populist/Progressive Era. (More discussion on that later.) For now, this writer leaves it to the reader choose what perspective of the Populist/Progressive reality they prefer or deduce from their own research.
The conflicted sources say the Populist Movement was a grassroots movement motivated by corruption, unfair practices and abuse of power by Wealthy industrialists, bankers and government officials. The Muckraking journalist had further exposed the trespasses of business and government against rank and file Americans. Populists were angry about the numerous duplicitous schemes the wealthy used to accumulate wealth at the expense of rank and file Americans. The artificial manipulation of the value of money was a critical element of the discontent of the populists. Many Populists were farmers and the poorer half of America and preferred a return to agrarianism. The end of a “Western Frontier” was another factor of the Populist Movement.
Populist sought reform by seeking more Direct Democracy. The initiative, the referendum and direct election of US Senators were the Populists preferred means of restoring the accountability and transparency of their government. Populists did not seek to replace Representative Government nor the Constitution, but to make government better with these Direct Democracy measures.
Depending on your source, the Populist Movement appears to have ended or morphed into Progressivism when the Educated Elite and/or the Political Parties took an interest in it and got involved.
THE THOUGHT PROCESS John Dewey, Charles Cooley, Karl Marx and Walter Rauschenbusch, Charles Beard, Thorstein Veblen (Circa 1900) provide the rational and authority for the Progressive governance Doctrine. (These folks were the Progressive equivalents to John Locke) Dewey and Cooley assert that the Nature of man in the Natural State is to be social and altruistic. From this logic they state that since the Natural man lived in a cooperative tribal state, competition, individualism and capitalism were not natural, but were artificial conventions forced on Natural man. All the problems of mankind are caused by the artificial institutions of mankind. In the place of the medieval artifices that had been used to plunder the masses, the concepts of private property, individualism, competition and capitalism were the new artificial institutions used to oppress and plunder the masses. The individual must be part of and submit to the will of the community. The individual must subordinate their interests to the interests of the community. Citing Darwin’s Theory of Evolution, Change is Natural. Therefore, Governments must change. Charles Beard said America’s Founding Fathers were no champions of innocents but only another group of aristocrat parasites. The Constitution of the Founders is no longer relevant, and must be massively revised, if not discarded. The role of government is to manage the best interests of the community. That is its authority. (as opposed to protect the Natural Rights of the Individual and promote the general good under Consent of the Governed) Rauschenbusch’s contribution is as follows: “Evil exists only because it has not been recognized. Once it has been recognized it can be easily be removed. Now that individualism, competition and capitalism have been exposed as parasitic, alien and artificial, they can easily be removed from society”.
According to Education under Progressivism, mankind can be educated, conditioned, trained, forced, and/or cowered to give up the artificial institutions of individualism, competition and capitalism. Men of the leisure class, having free time to educate themselves, shall establish truth. Marx argued that the poverty of the workers was due to their exploitation by middle class entrepreneurs. Veblen contributed: “ In order to free themselves of the parasitical control of the medieval feudal aristocracy, the 17th century reformers had developed a theory of private property(John Locke)… but by the beginning of the 19th century individualistic production have gave way to the mass production age of industrialism…. And Locke’s definition of property no longer applied.” (Other Progressives argue that never was any true break in America from the artificial and parasitical institutions of the Old World.) According to Beard, “the very essence of government, according to the Democratic ideal, is cooperation or union of effort for the common good.”
With that, you have 1444 years of the history of government in Western Civilization. Without going deeply into Natural Science, Philosophy or Metaphysics, you have some fundamental insights into these three governance doctrines. (And Marxism) You have seen how all three of these governance doctrines build on the Nature of Man in Man’s Natural State. From there proceeds the role of government and from that, the authority for government. The logical place to start evaluating these governance doctrines is with their foundation. Please follow along while we kick their tires.
KICKING THE TIRES
Let us begin with this writer’s reaffirmation that he is fully confident of ability and synergy of rank and file Americans of all races, colors and creeds to reach good decisions and exercise good judgment upon being fully apprised of the facts and being in full control of their own perception of reality.
Our shopping spree to select our preferred governance style and perspective of reality continues by kicking the tires on this “Divine Right of Kings” jalopy. (Jalopy is this writer’s opinion)
DIVINE RIGHT OF KINGS
Let us begin with a brief description of accessories and amenities of this vintage governance doctrine.
As we have learned, when the Western Roman Empire came to an end, a system of government and economy known as the Divine Right of Kings and Feudalism came to dominate the known Western World.
The Governance Doctrine of the Divine Right of Kings commands the King/Queen is a god or the representative of God here on earth. Therefore no earthly being can question their decisions and judgment.
To more easily compare this concept to Progressivism, this writer will further elaborate that the King’s alleged superior ability to make superior decisions and make good judgments derives from his superior intellect through his divinity or relationship to divinity. As a subject, you have no way of telling whether the King/Queen does in fact have superior intellect because there is no way for you, the subject, to know. You are not a god, the king isn’t telling and there is no way for the subject to compel the King to tell.
The people are subjects, having no rights but rather only permissions from the King/Queen and or their designated representatives.
The King owns all the land and all use of it is by the permission of the King/Queen alone.
The King/Queen maintains power by granting rights and privileges to those who declare their loyalty to the King/Queen. The aristocracy and religion, in exchange for a portion of the value produced by the labor of the subjects, support and defend the King/Queen through superstition, tradition, fear, force, taxes and military.
One of the ways the King maintains his power is by control the perception of reality of his subjects. Religious dogma, superstition and tradition defined his subjects’ perception of reality. The tradition of the class system kept most subjects “in their place”. The Church and its dogma commanded subject loyalty to the King. Opposing or disagreeing with the King is not just treason; it is heresy subject to eternal damnation.
Force and gruesome punishment completed the subjugation of the King’s subjects. Even the most reasoned departure from church dogma could result in extreme punishment. For example, the utterance of the belief that the earth was not the center of the universe resulted in more than one person being burned at the stake and/or other similarly horrific punishments.
Now, before we even get to kicking the tires, how do you feel about being a subject under the Governance Doctrine of the Divine Right of Kings? Do you enjoy having someone else make the decisions with no right to dissent? Do you like someone else telling you what the truth is? --- What your perception of reality should be? How do you like not being able to own land? How do you like not having any rights? That having been said, the only thing we have to worry about is whether this kind of government as any legitimate authority to exist.
Hobbes attempts to rationalize, after the fact, the necessity for Monarchy and the Divine Right of Kings with this Premise about the Nature of Man in the Natural State. In other words, how did man act in nature before there was a central government. For Hobbes, the Nature of Man in the Natural State is as a solitary, selfish individual in a constant state of war, always in fear of imminent death. This writer submits to the reader that the overwhelming archeological evidence indicates that early man lived in small groups. Natural Man in a Natural State may have been selfish, but the evidence demonstrates man’s Natural State is as a social animal, not a solitary animal.
If Hobbes’ foundation is incorrect, is everything Hobbes builds upon that foundation is flawed? In this writer’s opinion, Divine Right of Kings has no purpose or authority to exist. As man lived as a social animal before there was government, there is no role for a powerful government as being necessary for the existence of society. People had lived in societies before there were governments.
In the terms of the Natural Law and the Progressives, the medieval aristocracy and the Catholic Church were artificial (unnatural) and parasitic. (Evil)
It is up to you though; “Do you want to live under this governance doctrine and its related perception of reality?” As a further hint, Hobbes also publicly declared he had “squared the circle”. (Look it up)
CONSENT OF THE GOVERNED
This governance doctrine appears to be a stylish, reliable perspective of reality. (Writer’s opinion)
For various reasons, this writer has been compelled in recent years to research the thought processes the Founders went through in establishing the Government of our Country. What was the Foundation, the rational and the vision the Founders had when they were drafting the documents which serve as the foundation for this Republic? Those documents being the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.
It was in this quest that this writer discovered the Founder’s perspective of reality was based on Natural Law. The elements of Natural Law were reduced to writing during The Enlightenment (1650AD -1800AD). The Enlightenment, also known as the “Age of Reason”, reduced to writing the concepts and elements of Natural Law and Natural Rights which are, and always have been, inherent to all human beings. There can be no doubt that this Country was founded on Natural Law.
Evidence that this country was founded on Natural Law can be found in the Declaration of Independence and quotes of some of the Founders;
- “Laws of Nature” (1st sentence, 1st Paragraph , http://goo.gl/IzoQo4);
- “certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” (1st Sentence, 2nd Paragraph , http://goo.gl/IzoQo4 & & John Locke’s; Two Treatises of Government #119);
- “Consent of the Governed”(2nd Sentence,2nd Paragraph http://goo.gl/IzoQo4 & John Locke’s; Two Treatises of Government #119);
- “Long Train of Abuses” (4th Sentence, 2nd Paragraph , http://goo.gl/IzoQo4) and John Locke’s Second Treatise, §225;
- Some of the Founder’s of this Country believed a person’s Natural Rights under Natural Law were so plainly and clearly, self-evident truths, that there was no need to reduce them to writing in a “Bill of Rights”;
- A free people [claim] their rights as derived from the laws of nature (Natural Law) and not as the gift of their chief magistrate. Thomas Jefferson, Primary drafter of the US Declaration of Independence;
- The sacred rights of mankind are not to be rummaged for among old parchments or musty records. They are written, as with a sunbeam, in the whole volume of human nature, by the hand of the divinity itself; and can never be erased or obscured by mortal power. Alexander Hamilton;
The Founding Fathers and other personages of the Enlightenment observed that Natural Law commanded that no earthly being could set aside Natural Law nor abridge an individual’s Natural Rights (save for punishment for crime). With that, this writer is just going to let John Locke make his sales pitch to you?
- A human being by nature is a social animal - John Locke;
- Human nature is characterized by reason and tolerance, however that same human nature allows men to be selfish - John Locke;
- The natural liberty of man is to be free from any superior power on earth, and not to be under the will or legislative authority of man, but to have only the law of nature for his rule. Locke, John. The Second Treatise of Civil Government. 1690;
- We give up our right to ourselves exact retribution for crimes in return for impartial justice backed by overwhelming force. We retain the right to life and liberty, and gain the right to just, impartial protection of our property. John Locke;
- Government being for the preservation of every man's right and property, by preserving him from the violence or injury of others, is for the good of the governed. (First Treatise, Chapter 9).
- The only way whereby anyone divests himself of his natural liberty, and puts on the bonds of civil society, is by agreeing with other men to join and unite into a community, for their comfortable, safe, and peaceable living one amongst another, in a secure enjoyment of their properties, and a greater security against any that are not of it. John Locke; Second Treatise, §95;
- …for no man, or society of men, having a power to deliver up their preservation, or consequently the means of it, to the absolute will and arbitrary dominion of another; whenever anyone shall go about to bring them into such a slavish condition, they will always have a right to preserve what they have not a power to part with; and to rid themselves of those who invade this fundamental, sacred, and unalterable law of self-preservation, for which they entered into society. And thus the community may be said in this respect to be always the supreme power… John Locke; Second Treatise, §149;
- For no government can have a right to obedience from a people who have not freely consented to it; which they can never be supposed to do, till either they are put in a full state of liberty to choose their government and governors, or at least till they have such standing laws, to which they have by themselves or their representatives given their free consent; and also till they are allowed their due property, which is so to be proprietors of what they have, that nobody can take away any part of it without their own consent, without which, men under any government are not in the state of freemen, but are direct slaves under the force of war. John Locke; Second Treatise, §192;
- …tyranny is the exercise of power beyond right, which nobody can have a right to. And this is making use of the power any one has in his hands, not for the good of those who are under it, but for his own private, separate advantage. –When the governor, however entitled, makes not the law, but his will, the rule; and his commands and actions are not directed to the preservation of the properties of his people, but the satisfaction of his own ambition, revenge, covetousness, or any other irregular passion. John Locke; Second Treatise, §199;
- Whensoever therefore the legislative shall transgress this fundamental rule of society; and either by ambition, fear, folly or corruption, endeavour to grasp themselves, or put into the hands of any other, an absolute power over the lives, liberties, and estates of the people; by this breach of trust they forfeit the power the people had put into their hands for quite contrary ends, and it devolves to the people, who have a right to resume their original liberty, and, by the establishment of a new legislative, (such as they shall think fit) provide for their own safety and security, which is the end for which they are in society. John Locke Second Treatise of Civil Government, Ch. XIX, sec. 222;
- But if a long train of abuses, prevarications, and artifices, all tending the same way, make the design visible to the people, and they cannot but feel what they lie under, and see whither they are going; it is not to be wondered, that they should then rise themselves, and endeavor to put the rule into such hands which may secure to them the ends for government was at first erected… John Locke; Second Treatise, §225;
- In transgressing the law of nature, the offender declares himself to live by another rule than that of reason and common equity Ch.2, 8” ― John Locke, Second Treatise of Government;
- Wherever Law ends, Tyranny begins. John Locke Second Treatise of Government, Sec. 202;
You can read more John Locke here:
SECOND TREATISE OF CIVIL GOVERNMENT 1690
John Locke http://goo.gl/SLjJpv
Now, before we even kick the tires, why don’t you sit behind the wheel of this governance doctrine? Test out those unalienable rights. How do you like deciding what truth is by using your own observation and reason. The Government exists to protect your Natural Rights. What do you think? Seems pretty nice to this writer, right? “free from any superior power on earth”, Doesn’t that just sound manly? And it comes with a social contract that says if the government doesn’t abide by Natural Law and that Social Contract, you can forcefully withdraw your consent to be governed.
Sounds almost too good to be true, doesn’t it? Time to kick the tires. Let’s start with the foundation. Locke says the Nature of man in his Natural State is as a Social Animal. That though he is characterized by reason and tolerance, man does have the capacity to be selfish. The tires (foundation) look good. (Writer’s opinion) Do they look good to you?
What about the role and authorization of Consent of the Governed? Locke says Government exists to protect the Natural Rights and Property Rights of the Individual and to “promote the common good”?. Locke further says the authority of the government to govern requires the consent of the governed? Don’t you just love the symmetry of that? (Writer’s opinion) Further, anytime the government does anything outside its intended purpose, it violates the social contract.
Let’s review. The Foundation is sound. The purpose and role of this governance doctrine is sound. The benefits accrue to you, the citizen. And if government abuses its power, you can opt out of the social contract.
What do you think of the governance doctrine of Consent of the Governed?
[You may find it useful to better understand the transition between the Divine Right of Kings and Consent of the Governed in America by reading:
Natural Law: How WE THE PEOPLE got to the 4th of July, 1776 - Part 1 of 2 http://goo.gl/AgmDxJ ]
Let’s begin with talking about the forerunner of Progressivism, the Populist movement. Can we agree that most of the motivations and goals of the Populist movement were good? Can we agree that exposing systemic corruption and institutionalized unfairness through Muckraking was laudable? Can we agree that rank and file Americans, being the democratic majority of this nation, should not be locked out of just reform as this in as of itself is a violation of Natural Law. Not just Natural Law as a somewhat abstract concept, but Natural Law and Natural Rights as articulated by the First Amendment:
The Right to Petition the Government for redress of grievances without fear of punishment or reprisal!
Was not what was transpiring at the time of the Populist/Progressive movement(s) amongst the concerns anticipated by the First Principles of the Founders?
The fundamental understanding our US Founding Fathers had in drafting our constitution, is People under Natural Law have free will, and are not virtuous by nature. Therefore, governments must be constructed in anticipation of the nature of man. (Cato 59 & 60) Acting on this knowledge, our Founding Fathers built into our Government and Constitution, various checks and balances. Amongst these checks and balances were transparency and accountability. http://goo.gl/JCaL9x
"If men [people] were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels governed men [people], neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary"
James Madison, 4th President of the United States and primary framer of the Bill of Rights
The two enemies of the people are criminals and government, so let us tie the second down with the chains of the Constitution so the second will not become the legalized version of the first.
Thomas Jefferson, 3rd President of the United States and Primary Drafter of the Declaration of Independence
The Populists hoped to combat the evils they had perceived had descended upon them by creating a more direct Democracy. Through their reform via the Initiative, the Referendum and the direct election of US Senators, Populists embraced Natural Law and hoped to improve our Constitution and create greater transparency and accountability of our Government.
The Progressives envisioned an entirely different governance doctrine, to achieve these and other goals. For now, this writer will tell you the Progressives were inspired in part by Darwin’s Theory of Evolution.
But we will talk more about that in Part 2 of this 3 part series.
Part 2 will be published next weekend.
UPDATE – As a result of feedback and new physical sources the Public Library has recently made available to this writer, additional time was required to read, absorb and incorporate this new information in the next installment of this article. Additionally, the volume has grown so great as to require the material to be covered in 3 as opposed to the original 2 anticipated parts.
The writer has weighed the consequence of departing from his implied promise of only 2 parts in a shorter time frame against the importance this material represents to the future of WE THE PEOPLE. With that in mind, the balance tipped in favor of truth and thoroughness rather than the self imposed constraints of time and space. This writer does hope that Mr. David Brooks and all other’s who have indicated they intend to weigh in on this topic accept his apologies, and more importantly, agree that the topic of this debate merits this evolution and these adaptations of time and space.
Part 2 shall be published September 7, 2013,
Here is the link to Part 2 http://goo.gl/3aIq3n
And the almost complete Part 3 will be published the following weekend of September 14, 2013
Those were my thoughts.
Thank you, my fellow citizens, for taking your valuable time to read and reflect upon what is written here.
If what is written here rings true to you, perhaps another helpful exercise would be to ponder why you have not heard about this in your local paper or in the major media. [You may find articles about issues from this writer's local area posted in your area and wonder why. The reason is this: Remember those travel junkets taxpayers pay for (the ones the bureaucrats skip to go to the beach or the casino) but allegedly used for training? Well some government apparatchiks actually attend those training seminars. And learn nationally en-mass techniques to "manage" WE THE PEOPLE. Since they all receive similar training in oppression, it is likely the problems you are experiencing with government in your area are similar to the problems in your area (unless you live outside the USA). With that commonality in mind, it is this writer's intent that insight garnered from this writer articles about his local issues can be used by the reader to understand and applied to their local issues.]
Please join with me in mutually pledging to each other and our fellow citizens our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor to our mutual endeavors of restoring liberty and economic opportunity to WE THE PEOPLE as our Founding Fathers envisioned and intended. [Last Paragraph, Declaration of Independence http://bit.ly/ruPE7z ]
This article is written with the same intentions as Thomas Paine http://ushistory.org/paine. I seek no leadership role. I seek only to help the American People find their own way using their own “Common Sense” http://amzn.to/kbRuar
Keep Fighting the Good Fight!
The Conundrum: While our #Government works full time with compensation and funded with our money for the cause of #Tyranny; WE THE PEOPLE are forced to work part time without compensation for the cause of #liberty with what is left over of our time, money and energy,
Bring Home the Politicians #BHTP
Lawless America #LawlessAmerica
Term Limits #TermLimit
Justice in Minnesota #JIM
Critical Thinking Notice - This author advises you as no politician would dare. Exercise Critical Thinking (http://bit.ly/ubI6ve) in determining the truthfulness of anything you read or hear. Do not passively accept nor believe anything anyone tells you, including this author... unless and until you verify it yourself with sources you trust and could actively defend your perspective to anyone who might debate you to the contrary of your perspective
The Progressive Mind 1890-1917 David W. Noble (1981)
America Enters the World – A People’s History of the Progressive Era and World War I – Page Smith (1985)
The Annals of America 1895-1904 Volume 12 Populism, Imperialism and Reform Britannica (1965)
The Annals of America 1905-1915 Volume 13 The Progressive Era Britannica 1965
Rebirth of a Nation – The Making of a Nation 1877 – 1920 Jackson Lears 2009
The Selfish Gene – Richard Dawkins 1976
Special thanks to Monticello and Elk River Minnesota Public Libraries
And many internet and/or other sources too fluid and/or non-credible to cite as references