The Modern Federalist Papers (2010)

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MODERN FEDERALIST. No. 7

The Preamble
For the Independent Thinker.
Robert Briscoe

To the People of the Unites States of America:

The Preamble: We The People

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessing of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

Viewing this in its entirety we see the purpose and authority of the Constitution. We see that the purpose of establishing the constitution is:

  • in Order to form a more perfect Union,
  • establish Justice,
  • insure domestic Tranquility,
  • provide for the common defense,
  • promote the general Welfare, and
  • secure the Blessing of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity,

And the authority of the Constitution is thus in the first and last paragraphs which taken together state:

We the People of the United States… do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

George Washington stated:

“The power under the Constitution will always be in the people. It is entrusted for certain defined purposes, and for a certain limited period, to representatives of their own choosing; and whenever it is executed contrary to their interest, or not agreeable to their wishes, their servants can, and undoubtedly will, be recalled.”

Thus, this is the spirit of the Constitution… “Government of the People, By the People and For the People.”

Our agency is critically important to seeking individual happiness and self-realization, and to our future state. The Revolutionary War was fought over the issue of self governance and agency versus TYRANNY. This War continues. The venue may have changed but the issue has not. Strip back any contention, any war, any struggle in this physical world and you will see it eventually comes down to freedom versus compulsion. Evil itself may be defined as taking, or attempting to take, freedom from another or by tempting another to surrender his own agency.

"We have learned by sad experience that it is the nature and disposition of almost all men, as soon as they get a little authority, as they suppose, they will immediately begin to exercise unrighteous dominion.”

The above statement gives us insight into an unhappy truth about human nature. The words "disposition of almost all men" cannot be lightly passed over. Experience has indeed shown that few indeed handle power as they should, one need only look to history to see this truth.

Perhaps the most prevalent and clever way cunning individuals have tricked even honorable people into violating the freedom of their fellowman is when a third party is involved. The "dirty work" is done by someone else, it’s all at a distance. We don’t have to worry about resources, our own ability, our own fears, our own shame – we can go about it in complete anonymity.

Our Political Attitude Gives a Clear Indication of our True Attitude Toward Freedom

Because of the ease of violating the freedom of others through government it is quite probably right to say that our "disposition" to exercise unrighteous dominion is most clearly revealed in our political attitude. It is this that makes most manifest our true nature, our true integrity, as regards the freedom of men.

Here is what Ezra Taft Benson said on the matter:

"The same moral law which governs the actions of men when acting alone is also applicable when they act in concert with others…no citizen or group of citizens has any right to direct their agent, the government, to perform any act which would be evil or offensive to the conscience if that citizen were performing the act himself outside the framework of government." (February 29, 1968, Utah Forum for the American Idea, Salt Lake City, Utah).

Let’s look it another way: Governments derive their just powers from the governed. Government is the creature, the people are the creator. The creature cannot exceed the creator. Governments cannot do things that individuals cannot do. For example, governments can only keep and bear arms and defend their land because this power first exists in the individual to do the same for his own home or land. If that power does not exist in the individual then that individual could not have authorized his servant, the government, to perform that act.

Why is it, then, that almost all men acquiesce to accepting and even supporting immoral acts when carried out "legally"? Does legality make it any better? Does it cause less suffering and grief to an individual to know his money has been taken by many people as opposed to a single thief? The end may seem noble. Perhaps we feel we should support laws that force people to pay taxation that goes towards the medical care of others or to those struggling in poverty. But ends do not justify means. God does not want us to do good because we are forced; he wants us to do good because we want to do it. He does not force people to do good, neither should we – as individuals or through government. Law is about punishing those who intentionally seek to infringe upon or rob us of our God-given (unalienable) rights to life (or person), liberty and property. Law is a negative, not a positive.

Imagine for a moment that your child fell seriously ill and you went down your street and compelled people to pay for the much-needed treatment. How would you feel about that? You’d feel terrible, right? Now, if we support the very same method through government we are doing the self-same thing except we are having a third party do it for us. It makes us feel less guilty (it is after all anonymous), but is it really any different? Is it more moral?

I have spoken to many people on this subject and they will come back with the response: "But if we don’t use government to do these things they won’t get done and people will suffer".

Of course there are two points to be made here. Firstly, would I be justified in stealing your money if I donated all of it to charity? I could argue that it is for a good cause or that it would save peoples lives. Perhaps people would die without this help. Nevertheless, the end does not make the stealing right.

Secondly, government officers are not endowed with more intelligence, business-mindedness, or compassion than private citizens and organizations. Charities, churches, private businesses and organizations have proved themselves far more effective than governments in solving a whole host of problems. America fared extremely well under a full free enterprise system until it began to be corrupted by government intervention in the first part of the Twentieth Century.

As people who believe in political and spiritual freedom, we need to think carefully about our decisions. Some feel that we should leave politics alone, that we have no need to worry about this subject, but we need to leave that to the “elite” congress. But politics is really the name for the battle over free agency and freedom today. Can we honestly say that cause our founders once were soldiers in now no longer needs our support? Has agency and freedom become less valuable?

The Declaration of Independence states:

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. -- That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, ... it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute a new government... as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

We must step back from the political beliefs (i.e. our beliefs about freedom and government) that have originated from our culture and our education about socialism or communism and take the brave course of measuring them against eternal natural truths concerning agency and the God-given unalienable rights of all God's children. We must not act in fear. We must accept that it is better that a person do something badly for themself (so they can learn and grow) than it is to have it done for them by others (no matter how efficient, convenient or even how well they do it).

We, THE PEOPLE, must realize, in short, that the Constitution ordained and established for The United States of America (Federal Government) is about...


“ INDIVIDUAL LIBERTY and SELF GOVERNMENT.”

PUBLIUS.

 

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