Of, By and For The People: Chapter 7

Greetings my fellow Americans!

Our journey through the 28 Principles of Liberty as defined in continues with the following:

  1. Only limited and carefully defined powers should be delegated to government, all others being retained in the people.
  2. Efficiency and dispatch require government to operate according to the will of the majority, but constitutional provisions must be made to protect the rights of the minority.
  3. Strong local self-government is the keystone to preserving human freedom.
  4. A free people should be governed by law and not by the whims of men.

Insofar as these all specifically relate to the power and scope of government, especially in its relationship with, and consent of, the governed, I’d like to once again focus this installment of our journey through these Principles on the original intent of our American Founders.

Contrary to many of the narratives being put forth today by those who view large and oppressive government as the only solution to the problems of human society, our Founders were neither anarchic nor anachronistic in their views of the necessity and importance of government to maximizing the strength and reach of individual freedom and liberty.  The general government of the United States was established with the powers deemed necessary to “secure the blessings of liberty for ourselves and our posterity,” as stated in the preamble to our Constitution.  However, those were the only powers it was to have, unless altered through the due process of amending that Constitution.  The 10th Amendment (the culmination of the Constitution itself and the first nine amendments comprising the Bill of Rights) very directly and simply deferred anything not explicitly enumerated in the rest of that document to the States and the People.  Those powers were deemed supreme, but quite specific and limited.

The balance of power between the general government and the State governments was a key element in ensuring that freedom at the State, local and individual levels would not be usurped by the national, and that issues and concerns specific to a municipality within a particular State would be addressed locally by those directly impacted and most knowledgeable of the situation, rather than others in a remotely centralized location who likely had no direct knowledge nor would be directly affected by their own decisions over the matter.  People at the local levels would then be more responsible for dealing with their own situations, and more directly accountable to their neighboring citizens for their actions.  History and the laws of nature suggest that local responsibility and accountability are more likely to foster more freedom, autonomy and liberty for the individual, while generalizing and centralizing such power and responsibility destroys those American tenets.

How and why that balance of power has been tipped more and more heavily toward the general government is worthy of a series of articles in and of itself.  However, it is worth mentioning here that the effects of the 17th Amendment, though constitutionally ratified, have been the most ruinous to undermine that balance and effectively eradicate any representation of State-level interests in Washington, D.C.  The Federalist Papers numbered 62 through 65 contain exhaustive details of the historical precedent and thinking which the Founders baked into the composition and purpose of the U.S. Senate, and why it was necessary to counteract the otherwise impulsive nature of the U.S. House of Representatives.  The lion’s share of this precedent (and respect for Natural Law and human nature) was discarded with the passage of the 17th Amendment.  This balance between the national government and the States must be respected, restored, or otherwise returned to, as part of any American revival or renewal.  Human nature demands it.

We’ve alluded in a previous chapter of this series to the notion that the United States of America is, and always has been, a nation of immigrants, and that assimilating into American culture and civilization as an outsider has been easier than into any other in human history.  That said, those who sought to reap the benefits of living within the borders of the U.S. were not to be absolved from their responsibilities to become American—not for the sake of other Americans, but for themselves.  These included learning how to speak English, getting educated, become self-sustaining, and to be an asset to the nation and society, rather than a liability.  Recognizing that those taking on such responsibilities after coming to America would be in a minority, at least at first, our Founders sought to ensure that minority rights would be duly represented, but balanced against the will of the majority and for the sake of effective and efficient government.

Such considerations were included in the omission of any unanimous consent requirements and a counterbalanced need for a “super-majority” for certain actions.  However, simple majority was deemed sufficient for most actions, as the representative republican structure we reviewed previously would account for appropriate representation of minority interests in those cases.  A delicate balance to be sure, the Founders sought to obviate governmental tyranny at the hands of both the majority and the minority. 

And once established via that balance of power, the legal taxonomy put forth at the consent of the governed was to be both relatively simple, understandable, stable, and—as discussed previously—equally applied to all, regardless of stature or status.  Freedom and liberty were to be secured by treating law as a “rule of action” applied to those in the public sector every bit as much as the private.  This was at the heart of a strong, and free, civilization, while government by whim and pleasure could only lead to the opposite.  

These tenets of human nature and the nature of laws being rooted in ancient history and Greek philosophy, the American founders were aligned with Aristotle on these, and actually mostly disagreed with Plato, the latter being considered the father of Western political philosophy.  My AFNN colleague John Parillo has written an article which more deeply compares and contrasts the views of Plato and his student, Aristotle, in these matters.  What makes this contrast relevant here is the novelty of America in ascribing to a philosophical view that at times directly contradicts the basis for most of the rest of the Western world.  As we’ve been reminding ourselves from the beginning of this series, the American approach has no historical predecessors, and yet continues to be the most successful in promoting the excellence of both the human individual his civilized society.

We still have several Principles of Liberty to review before we conclude this series, so I’ll save any further summary or synopsis of where we go from here as a society for a future Epilogue.  Suffice it to say that it’s hopefully becoming clearer that our American renewal lies in our past, and in learning and relearning from those who understood who we are as humans much better than we do today.  Of, By, and For The People!

If you enjoyed this article, then please REPOST or SHARE with others; encourage them to follow AFNN

Truth Social: @AFNN_USA
Facebook: https://m.facebook.com/afnnusa
Telegram: https://t.me/joinchat/2_-GAzcXmIRjODNh
Twitter: https://twitter.com/AfnnUsa
GETTR: https://gettr.com/user/AFNN_USA
Parler: https://parler.com/AFNNUSA
CloutHub: @AFNN_USA

1 thought on “Of, By and For The People: Chapter 7”

  1. Plato in the Republic believed that philosphers should rule. Today’s leftists who control the Dem Party/Media believe they are the “elites” or “philosphers” who should rule. This helps explain their hatred and contempt of President Trump, the “deplorables,” and those who cling to “God and guns” who had the nerve to put the USA first. These so called elites dominate the administrative state, and other institutions.


Leave a Comment