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Natural Law: How WE THE PEOPLE got to the 4th of July, 1776 - Part 2 of 2

THE REST OF THE STORY

The Enlightenment of Mankind (1659AD-1800AD) embraced Natural Law & Consent of the Governed
The Enlightenment of Mankind (1659AD-1800AD) embraced Natural Law & Consent of the Governed
Don Mashak, Public Domain

This is part 2 of a 2 part series. If you have not read part 1, It will likely helpful. To read it, Click on this line http://t.co/zS4g9LCCy8 A link to this article appears near the end of the 1st article. Enjoy.

Last warning before this wild ride takes off and the fireworks begin! Do you have your seat belt on and your thinking cap secured firmly under your brain bucket?

Our thatcher Subject has long passed away never knowing anything but a world of permissions and privileges granted by a King and the King’s Aristocracy. Before he died however, his eldest son got into trouble for criticizing the King. The thatcher used every bit of political collateral to secure his son’s release, and then only with the promise that the son would leave the country. The Thatcher’s son moved to the British Colonies in America, where he thrived and raised a family. We will catch up to him, later in this fireworks filled saga; A saga that ends with the American Colonies declaring independence on the 4th of July, 1776.

We preface the rest of the story with this comment: Humankind and Americans owe a great debt of gratitude to a few great men: Johannes Gutenberg [http://goo.gl/fIkbP] and the “Men of Letters” such as Locke, Voltaire, Diderot, Montesquieu and Rousseau [http://goo.gl/PDGZd] [http://goo.gl/KyNMN]. Such men, in their time, were reviled by the King’s and the Aristocracy as malcontents, incorrigible troublemakers, rabble rousers – They were the stewards of Natural law and the voices of political dissent in the Public Sphere.

Whenever the people are well-informed, they can be trusted with their own government.” Thomas Jefferson

THE PRINTING PRESS

We have previously mentioned the Printing Press. Johannes Gutenberg brought the Movable type Printing Press to Europe and improved upon it. It was the Printing Press that broke the King’s Aristocracy’s and the Church’s monopoly on the flow of information. Ideas and beliefs could now be much less expensively and much more quickly be transferred among individuals and groups. And, this flow of information occurred in a manner the Kings and Churches could not easily control. As men became exposed to idea’s different from the King’s and the Church’s desired Perspective of Reality, they began to make their own choices and conclusions based on reason.

Further, humanity began to experience what in modern terms is called “synergy”. Synergy is the improvement in ideas, and/or problem solving, which results from a group of people, instead of one person, discussing and examining the idea or problem. Before the introduction of the movable type printing press to Europe, there was not much “diversity of thought” nor many “opportunities for group discussion” to allow the productivity of synergy to occur. When this movable type printing press became widely distributed, Synergy happened.

The materials the printing presses printed ended up in Universal Libraries, Coffeehouses and the hands of men who belonged to debating clubs. The rank and file masses could now participate in the intellectual debate about the nature of man and the proper governance of man. This synergy was used by the Men of Letters to change all men’s Perception of Reality. The Printing Press allowed the masses to be exposed to and inspired by ideas of freedom, liberty, private property ownership and self-determination.

MEN OF LETTERS

During The Enlightenment (1650-1800AD) [http://goo.gl/vDrw2] [http://goo.gl/01Lur] the Men of Letters built on the discoveries of men like Galileo, Kepler and Newton earlier during the Renaissance (1300-1700AD) [http://goo.gl/q0tKI]. The discoveries of these men revealed a universe that was infinite, yet governed by universal laws that could be discovered by the human intelligence. The Men of Letters were convinced that all creation was similarity rational, so that it was possible for man to uncover laws which regulated society, politics, the economy, and even morality. The Men of Letters believed that once they understood these laws they would understand the Nature of Man, what man was and what man should be. (Wow, that made me a little dizzy, how about you?)

As a result, most men’s then current Perspective of Reality as manipulated by the King, Church and Aristocracy came under great scrutiny. The Men of Letters first secretly and then openly challenged the beliefs and authority of the King and Religion; and often, at great peril to themselves and those associated with them.

NATURAL LAW

During the Enlightenment, the Men of Letters reduced to writing the concepts of Natural Law, Natural Rights and the philosophy of Government Known “Consent of The Governed” (The literary works of John Locke such as “Two Treatises of Government” provide a good starting point to understand Natural Law, Natural Rights and Consent of the Governed) The Men of Letters were quick to point out that they did not invent Natural Law, they were merely reducing to writing that which already existed. The Men of Letters described Natural Law as a set of self-evident truths.

“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, 1st US Secretary of Treasury

Natural Law holds that all people have certain intrinsic unalienable rights at birth, from which they cannot be deprived of by any earthly power, except as in punishment for violating the Natural Law Rights of others and then only after being afforded Due Process of Law.

Natural Rights include, but are not limited to:

  1. Life;
  2. Liberty;
  3. Self-Determination aka Pursuit of Happiness;
  4. Rights to Property ownership (including the rights to the fruits of their labor)

Government has no other end, but the preservation of property.
John Locke

  1. Right to Due Process Pursuant to the Rule of Law properly applied to the freely admitted, non-machinated facts in evidence.

The end of law is not to abolish or restrain, but to preserve and enlarge freedom. For in all the states of created beings capable of law, where there is no law, there is no freedom.
John Locke

Again, no man-made law can revoke any Natural Law right of any individual (except as punishment for a crime against the Natural Law Rights of another after being afforded Due Process of Law).

CONSENT OF THE GOVERNED

Consent of the Governed is based upon the fact Government is a Compact with the individual and the Government. And that said compact is based upon the fact that Individuals willingly give up some of their Natural Law liberty to live in a more harmonious state with each other. Therefore, that anytime the Government does not conform to Natural Law they have violated the individuals consent to be governed. And under such circumstances, the individual retains the right to withdraw their consent to be governed.

“The origin of all civil government, justly established, must be a voluntary compact, between the rulers and the ruled; and must be liable to such limitations, as are necessary for the security of the absolute rights of the latter; for what original title can any man or set of men have, to govern others, except their own consent? To usurp dominion over a people, in their own despite, or to grasp at a more extensive power than they are willing to entrust, is to violate that law of nature, which gives every man a right to his personal liberty; and can, therefore, confer no obligation to obedience”

Alexander Hamilton, 1st US Secretary of Treasury

Consent of the Governed is another way of Expressing the Natural Law Right to Revolution.

“Revolt is the right of the people”
John Locke, Author of Two Treatises of Government

MAGNA CARTA VS NATURAL LAW

The Magna Carta was an English Charter originally issued in 1215AD. It was the result of a King that was very cruel and abusive in his rule. Magna Carta was the first document forced onto an English King by a group of his subjects (the barons) in an attempt to limit his powers by law and protect their privileges.

There are several important distinctions between the Magna Carta and Natural Law.

  1. The Magna Carta only applied to freeman and not serfs whereas Natural Law Rights apply to every individual person.
  2. The Magna Carta essentially says that the King will not exercise some of the King’s Rights pursuant to the Governance Doctrine of the Divine Right of Kings and, therefore, this will afford the Freeman more liberty. This as opposed to Natural Law which states that every person is born with certain unalienable rights that cannot be rescinded by any law of any man. And every individual has the right (and must) assert these rights by any means necessary.

And this brings us to the dramatic explanation of why this writer wrote:

“…that inspired the subjects of the American Colonies to revolt and declare independence from King George of England.”

King George III was operating under the Divine Right of Kings. As such, WE THE PEOPLE of the American Colonies were not declaring independence from the people of England, Great Britain or the British Empire, WE THE PEOPLE were declaring independence from King George III and the Governance Doctrine of the Divine Right of Kings!

Wherefore, we arrive at the dramatic difference between a person’s status as a subject as opposed to being a citizen:

  • Subjects have Permissions and Privileges that can be rescinded.
  • Citizens have Rights; Unalienable, Natural Law Rights (some of which are listed above) that cannot be rescinded (except as punishment for a crime after being afforded Due Process of Law pursuant to the Rule of Law)
  • Citizens have the Natural Law Right to Revolt whereas subjects, under the Divine Right of Kings, have no such right.

Those that benefited most under the Old World status quo, desparately resisted change. But they were doomed to fail as the rank and file masses had their perspectives of reality and expectations changed by the Men of Letter's Natural Law Concepts. In the end, governments adapted their governance style to allow for Natural Law and Consent of the governed, or the Natural Law Right to revolution was exacted upon them and they were swept aware by violent revolutions. (e.g. American Revolution, French Revolution)

THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE

4TH OF JULY, 1776

Evidence that the Declaration of Independence was based on Natural Law abounds in said document [http://goo.gl/FgZRR].

Within the first paragraph of the Declaration of Independence appear the words, “Laws of Nature”. This does not refer to “Survival of the fittest” as many today believe. “Laws of Nature” was the vernacular used at the time of the American Revolution. It was their way of saying “Natural Law”

Next we have the following:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness

Examine the phrases “… that all men are created equal” and “endowed……with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness”. These are references to the Natural Law Rights that cannot be rescinded by any law of any man. Compare these thoughts to the thoughts of John Locke.

All mankind... being all equal and independent, no one ought to harm another in his life, health, liberty or possessions.
John Locke

And when we examine the phase “We hold these truths to be self-evident” it is an obvious reference to Men of Letters assertion that Natural Law was composed of self-evident truths, had always existed and they merely reduced it to writing.

And, furthermore, the Founders spelled out the Natural Law Right to Revolution aka “Consent of the Governed”:

That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to affect their Safety and Happiness.

No other single document in the history of mankind has so greatly altered the Condition of Humankind. This simple piece of parchment embodies the paradigm shift resulting from the common man’s change in his Perception of Reality and the Nature of Man. The American Revolution was the culmination of the Enlightenment and the embodiment of Natural Law that the Men of Letters had identified and reduced to writing.

In one single document, the Declaration of Independence released men from the status of being subjects to the status of being citizens with the ability to self determine their futures and own property. Under the Governance Doctrine of the Divine Right of Kings, every individual was virtually a slave to the King. And a large portion of the King’s subjects; namely serfs and later indentured servants, did share almost exactly the same status as slaves.

"[Oppose] with manly firmness [any] invasions on the rights of the people."

Thomas Jefferson - One of the Founding Father and Principal Drafter of the American Declaration of Independence

In fact, Natural Law and Natural Rights were so clear in the minds of the Founder’s that most felt that a Bill of Rights was unnecessary. The Bill of Rights was created only upon the insistence of Founder James Madison (and then even he had misgivings about the need and/or usefulness of a Bill of Rights. [http://goo.gl/DzIg7]

(Each reader is encouraged to read the minutes of the Constitutional Conventions, the various quotes of the Founder’s, The Constitution, The Bill of Rights, The Federal Papers, The Anti-Federalist Papers and Thomas Paine’s Common Sense for more evidence of the influence of The Enlightenment, Natural Law and Natural Rights on the Declaration of Independence and the American Revolution.)

DIVINELY INSPIRED?

This writer prefers to think of Natural Law and Natural Rights on a “Stand alone” basis for understanding what humankind is, what human kind should aspire to be and, further, for understanding the philosophy upon which governance of humankind should be based. Natural Law and Natural Rights are self-evident universal truths. In viewing Natural Law and Natural Rights in this way, a more similar Perspective of Reality can be created between religious and non-religious persons.

“A free people [claim] their rights as derived from the laws of nature, and not as the gift of their chief magistrate. “

Thomas Jefferson - One of the Founding Father and Principal Drafter of the American Declaration of Independence

In that way, those that choose to believe Natural Law and Natural Rights are a gift from a god are free to do so, while those that believe Natural Law and Natural Rights are simply self-evident truths, and/or simply intrinsic elements of being human, are free to have that perspective. The point being that a Natural Law and Natural Rights based Perspective of Reality creates a shared vision for what humankind should aspire to here on earth so we can live in greater harmony together. Whether Natural Law and Natural Rights are gifts from a God or not makes them no less truthful nor any less monumental.

That having been said, some have described the Declaration of Independence, penned upon a single piece of paper, as “divinely inspired”; lacking any other explanation of how common men could draft such an eloquent and permanently earth altering document.

SLAVERY AND WOMEN’S RIGHTS

Yet others point out the issues of slavery and women’s rights, which would not be addressed for another almost 100 and 150 years respectively, as proof that this was just another document drafted by ordinary men acting solely in their own selfish best interests.

[Some have advised this writer to leave out addressing this issue. However, this writer did not pen this article as a “Fluff Piece”. If WE THE PEOPLE are to unite to defend our Natural Law Rights and/or to withdraw our consent as the governed, we must be forthright with each other on all matters of significance – especially this one.]

Hearing such derision of this document irritates this writer. Surely, before reading this article, these folks who would minimize the importance of the Declaration of Independence, did not realize the advancement in the condition of mankind this document represented… Still further, these same similarly motivated detractors before reading this article, must not have realized that at the time of the American Revolution most rank and file American colonists were only a few rungs up the ladder from slavery themselves; A status caused by King George’s Governance Doctrine of the Divine Right of Kings. As such, this writer puts it to you that the condition of American colonial men was in such a poor state, that they barely had the will and energy to extract themselves from their near servitude under the Divine Right of Kings, let alone recognize and/or advance the status of those just a few steps down the ladder of servitude from themselves.

Before we go further on this wild ride, this writer would point out that there was language in the originally presented Declaration of Independence that would have abolished slavery. However, earlier in the convention it had been determined that the vote to declare independence had to be unanimous. To do otherwise, would be to force the colonies that did not agree to declare independence to enter the war on the side of the British.

In his first draft of the Declaration of Independence, Jefferson condemned the King George III in more forceful language, asserting that the king had "waged cruel war against human nature itself, violating its most sacred rights of life and liberty" by perpetuating the slave trade. And in later revisions, the language was toned down and made subtler.

But, as the votes were cast, a few southern colonies made it clear that they would vote “NO” if the somewhat deliberately ambiguous language abolishing slavery were not removed. And this forced the Founder’s to confront the choice of continuing enslavement of themselves under the Divine Right of Kings or being forced to relent and allow slavery to be an issue to be addressed later. The language abolishing slavery was removed to secure the unanimous vote to declare independence. In no way does this writer condone the suffering of slaves that would go on for another 100+ years, but this writer can only posit to you, “In the Founder’s position, what would you have done?”

And, returning to this writer’s original line of argument, this writer will invoke the words of a famous Civil Rights leader to clarify his argument.

Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed.”

Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Before the American Revolution, slavery was an extension of King George’s Divine Right of Kings. WE THE PEOPLE were not the instrument of enslavement of the slaves until after WE THE PEOPLE extricated our self from Governance by the Divine Right of Kings.

Before independence was declared and won, White American men were embroiled in securing their own freedom (some of them being essentially serfs and/or indentured servants) from their oppressor and achieved their goal.

Does it make the Declaration of Independence any less likely to have been divinely inspired, if a God in their infinite wisdom, foresaw that white men being made of aware of Natural Law and Natural Rights, and then securing those Natural Law Rights for themselves would eventually be forced to admit that all persons, regardless of sex or color, were also endowed with these certain unalienable Natural Rights?

Did not any God making white men aware of Natural Law and Natural Rights and granting them the power to secure those rights for themselves make the following undeniable truth and logic available for colored men and all women to invoke (and it was):

If these Natural Rights are a gift of a God and/or simply self-evident truths and intrinsic elements of being human, how is it possible that they accrue only to white men and not to men and women of all colors?

On behalf of all American white men who did not have to endure the 100 and 150 years of injustices suffered by slaves and women respectively, this write expresses his sincere and deepest apologies. What transpired was a great tragedy and can only be explained as being only the practical course of action in a world dominated with the Governance Doctrine of the Divine Right of Kings.

THE GREAT AMERICAN EXPERIMENT

Perhaps the perspective of a foreign observer regarding the then relatively new American nation, speaks better to the ambitious and monumental nature of the Declaration of Independence than does assertions that it was divinely inspired.

Alexis de Tocqueville wrote such a perspective. He called our new Governance structure based on Natural Law and Natural Rights, the “Great American Experiment” in Democracy in America 1835 & 1840. Government by WE THE PEOPLE and for WE THE PEOPLE represented an enormous shift in the philosophy of government that had prevailed for centuries.

The Term “The Great American Experiment” evidences an unbiased, 3rd party perspective of a foreigner summarizing how the rest of the world viewed our Declaration of Independence and our subsequent Constitution and Bill of Rights.

CREATING A SHARED NATURAL LAW PERCEPTION OF REALITY

With that, this writer informs you that this wild ride retracing the path from almost overwhelming oppression to the 4th of July, 1776 is nearly over. Please put your trays back to their storage position and return your seats in the upright position. We are coming in for a landing.

This writer hopes what he has written here creates a shared Natural Law Perspective of Reality among rank and file Americans. Further, he hopes that through this shared Perspective of Reality, rank and file Americans can more easily reach a consensus on the various problems that currently confront us. As this wild ride rolls to a stop, this writer hopes this shared perspective will bring an end to the division of rank and file Americans into 2 warring factions, each suspicious of the motivations of the other camp.

“The liberties of our country, the freedom of our civil Constitution, are worth defending at all hazards; and it is our duty to defend them against all attacks. We have received them as a fair inheritance from our worthy ancestors: they purchased them for us with toil and danger and expense of treasure and blood, and transmitted them to us with care and diligence. It will bring an everlasting mark of infamy on the present generation, enlightened as it is, if we should suffer them to be wrested from us by violence without a struggle, or to be cheated out of them by the artifices of false and designing men.”

Samuel Adams

The improvement in the human condition that Natural Law, the Declaration of Independence, our Constitution and Bill of Rights represents is far too valuable for us to let it slip away.

I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of the freedom of the people by gradual encroachments of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations.”

James Madison

If this article and the history incorporated herein has aided you in clarifying your Perception of Reality in the manner the Founders intended, please make sure this information gets relayed to your children(in an age appropriate format). This next fall, attend at least 2 of your local Curriculum Review Board Meetings and demand The Enlightenment and Natural Law and its relationship to the Declaration of Independence is taught to your children. This next school year or this summer, have your children write a report on The Enlightenment, Natural Law, Natural Rights or Consent of the Governed and submit to you or for a class. DISCUSS IT WITH THEM. Please do not burden your children by having them discover their Natural Rights only after they are saddled with student loans, a mortgage, a spouse and children and are no longer free to demand their Natural Law Rights from those who would oppress us.

One man with courage is a majority.”

Andrew Jackson, 7th President of the United States of America

SUMMARY

It is this writer hope that he has done justice to explaining just how historic, colossal in scope and monumental in nature, the 4th of July, 1776 and the US Declaration of Independence were. It is this writer’s further hope that this information will inspire great reflection amongst his fellow rank and file American citizens, and lead to greater unity.

The American Revolution was not a common petty revolt based upon grievances against a particular government. Rather, the American Declaration of Independence evidenced the first time a diverse population asserted and enforced their unalienable Natural Law Rights against an oppressor. WE THE PEOPLE must put aside our differences so we can do great and monumental things together again.

“The spirit of resistance to government is so valuable on certain occasions, that I wish it always to be kept alive.”

Thomas Jefferson

This writer wishes all of his fellow rank and file Americans unalienable Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness on this 4th of July, 2013.

As they say in New Hampshire: Live free or Die!

[If you enjoyed this article, please share it with others. Parents, if this article has enlightened you or has began to inspire a new perception of reality in you, why not share it with your children. Teachers, for the same reasons, why don't you share this article with your students?

While you are watching the fireworks this 4th of July, why don't you tell your relatives, friends and neighbors about any change in your perspective of reality that this article may have caused.]

Those were my thoughts.

In Closing:

Thank you, my fellow citizens, for taking your valuable time to read and reflect upon what is written here.

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

Tell My Politician http://goo.gl/1FWfz

Keep Fighting the Good Fight!

In Liberty,

Don Mashak
The Cynical Patriot
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The Conundrum: 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, while our #Government works full time with compensation and funded with our money for the cause of #Tyranny.

WE THE PEOPLE TAR #WETHEPEOPLETAR
http://WETHEPEOPLETAR.blogspot.com
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End the Fed(eral Reserve Bank System) #ETF
National http://bit.ly/ta3Rju Minneapolis http://bit.ly/tjZJKF

Lawless America #LawlessAmerica
http://LawlessAmerica.com

Justice in Minnesota #JIM
http://JusticeinMN.com

Bring Home the Politicians #BHTP
http://BringHomethePoliticians.com

Term Limits #TermLimits

http://TermLimits.org

Get out of our House #GOOOH
http://GOOOH.com

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.

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