Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The Five Thousand Year Leap, principles 14-17

Ahem, I guess I should be a wee bit embarrassed that I have not posted on this book since August.  Oh well, I've been busy.   (For part 1, click here.)

Principle 14: Property rights are essential to assuring liberty.
"Land and the products of the earth were considered a gift of God which were to be cultivated, beautified, and brought under dominion."
"all property is an extension of a person's life, energy, and ingenuity." 
Work ethic is born of the desire to live, eat, and gain property.  If you work hard and well, you will reap the benefits of your hard work resulting in a home, food, and stuff.  Needs and wants are provided for by hard work.  If our right to property is not protected, then chaos would ensue and there would be no motivation to work hard and acquire anything for yourself...since it could be easily taken from you with no recourse.
"Without private 'rights' in developed or improved property, it would be perfectly lawful for a lazy, covetous neighbor to move in as soon as the improvements were completed and take possession of the fruits of his industrious neighbor.  And even the covetous neighbor would not be secure, because someone stronger than he could take it away from him."
(Sounds like Darwin's "survival of the fittest" which not surprisingly is pushed by those who also want communism.  We'd better be careful or we could be "evolved" out of existence.)
This would ultimately lead to an industrious person giving up trying altogether and cause people to live in a "hand-to-mouth" existence of just simply surviving because "the accumulation of anything would invite attack."

As we have moved into a welfare nation in the last century, we have opened the door to an entitlement and communistic mentality that the government should take care of us.  When we become dependent on the government, we are no longer motivated to provide for ourselves because anything we would work for would then be redistributed amongst the whole.  But in contrast, motivation is natural when we must work diligently to provide for ourselves and our family.

In regard to those truly in need - It has always been the way of compassionate people and the church to provide for those in need.  When the government is put in a position to be the caretakers of the needy, then the charitable people don't bother.  Not to mention that the Constitution doesn't have any provision for a welfare society.  "...the lesson should be constantly enforced that though the people support the government the government should not support the people." (Grover Cleveland)
"Federal aid in such cases encourages the expectation of paternal care on the part of the Government and weakens the sturdiness of our national character." (Grover Cleveland)

Principle 15: Free Market Economy equals high level of prosperity

  1. The Freedom to try.
  2. The Freedom to buy.
  3. The Freedom to sell.
  4. The Freedom to fail. 

Hmm, now I think I know about some recent company failures that weren't allowed to fail.  And the government BAILED THEM OUT.  This was a huge mistake.  Now the government owns banks, major car manufacturers, our mortgages, and now our healthcare.  
Let's see: 
money, check. 
transportation, check. 
homes, check. 
health, check.

Would you like to give the government any more power?  Is it possible?  How much more will we allow the government to tax steal from us?

This part I thought was VERY interesting.  
"All money was to be 'coined' precious metal.  Paper 'notes' were to be 'promises to pay' in gold or silver, not legal tender as such.  States were strictly forbidden to allow debts to be paid except in terms of gold or silver." (Article 1, Section 10 of THE CONSTITUTION)
This blew my mind.  I often exchange my coins for paper dollars.  When in reality, the coin is more tangibly valuable.  Paper is paper and basically worthless.  But metal holds some value.  As the economy continues to slide, the idea that our dollar will soon be of no value becomes more of a possibility.  And it was NEVER THE FOUNDERS INTENT to exchange paper notes as we do.  The book states that this is the one thing they never were able to implement.  Too bad.  They didn't even want banks.  What a different world it would be?  Now, what was that I heard on the news last night about raising our debt ceiling...which is already at $14.3 Trillion.  Stop spending for crying out loud!!!  Somebody cut them off and tell them that money does not grow on trees...well, actually I guess it does: paper = trees.  Maybe we ought to remind Congress (and Obama while we're at it) that the Constitution says they have to pay back their debt in silver or gold.  Does Obama have that much in his pocket?  Maybe George Soros does.  Oh, never mind, he's trying to RUIN us! Glad he's a good friend of Obama's.  I wonder when we'll raise the debt ceiling next.  And I wonder how long we can keep pretending that this isn't as scary as it really is.

Principle 16: The Separation of Powers
Legislative. Executive. Judicial.

America's Constitution was the first in the world to utilize separation of powers and make a government of laws and not of men.
"...the legislature could be tyrannical if the executive did not retain some of its power to check it." (Montesquieu)
 "...there is no liberty, if the judiciary power be not separated from the legislative and executive.  Were it joined with the legislative, ...the judge would then be the legislator.  Were it joined to the executive power, the judge might behave with violence and oppression." (Montesquieu)
Hmm..."the judge would be the legislator."
Roe v. Wade.
California's Prop 8.
I think my uncle said it best when he stated, "It's not 'We the people,' it's 'we the unelected judges.'"  Things are out-of-balance, how do we fix it?  Be loud, people.  And elect leaders who will uphold the Constitution.  Require that our elected officials protect their own domain...and not let another branch encroach upon them.  Be alert and be ready for a fight.  Raise a generation of true patriots knowledgeably embracing the intentions of the Founders.  Passivity and apathy have gotten us into the trouble we are in.

The executive: "...this responsibility should be concentrated in a single person who can make decisions quickly and decisively and cannot escape either credit or blame for the consequences."  (Montesquieu)

We have the perseverance and conviction of John Adams to thank for the adoption of the idea of the separation of powers.  He pretty much stood alone in his commitment to this idea and he succeeded.  Even against opposition, unpopularity, and ridicule, Adams stood his ground and clung to his convictions, accomplishing greatness.  How easily do we cave in to the majority when we have a cause to defend?  Stand firm even if you must stand alone.  Character is bred by nothing less.
" see rising in America an empire of liberty, and the prospect of two or three hundred millions of freemen, without one noble or one king among them." ~John Adams

Principle 17: Checks and balances to prevent the abuse of power
As mentioned above, we are seeing a usurping of the judicial over the legislative and even over the will of the majority of the people.  Each branch should be doing what they can to defend their own turf.
"The failure to use the checks and balances effectively has allowed the judiciary to create new laws (called judicial legislation) by pretending to be merely interpreting old ones.  Failure to use the checks and balances has also allowed the President to make thousands of new laws, instead of Congress, by issuing executive orders."
Regarding other countries who have copied our Constitution but failed to implement checks and balances:
"...scores of nations claim to have copies the United States Constitution, but failed to incorporate adequate checks and balances.  In those countries, the only remedy, when elected presidents have suspended the constitution and used the army to stay in power, has been to resort to machine guns and bombs to oust the usurper.  This occurs time after time.  What the Founders wished to achieve in the Constitution of 1787 was machinery for the peaceful means of self-repair when the system went out of balance."
"repair by peaceful means...requires more patience, but the results are more certain." 
It is really cool that the Founders worked so hard to make things as peaceful as possible.  And equally fascinating to see that those who seek to subvert the Constitution are those who claim to be the "peaceful libs," yet they follow the path of tyranny which could ultimately lead to Hitleresque violence if we do not stand up and resist it while we still have the freedom to do so.

Let's see if I can get to my next post on this book before June.

(For the next post in this series, click here.)

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