Of By and For the People – Epilogue
Greetings my fellow Americans!
We started this series with the following quote:
“In fact, I am surprised how little improvement there has been in human evolution. Oh, there has been technical advancement, but, how little man himself has changed.”
– Khan Noonien Singh, character from the episode Space Seed, of Star Trek: The Original Series
We then proceeded to review the 28 Principles of Liberty listed in the W. Cleon Skousen book The 5000-Year Leap, which the author claims, with a plethora of direct quotes from many of our Founders, formed the foundation of the American civilization we’ve enjoyed for the past 245 years; he cites many direct quotes from our Founders to substantiate this. Skousen also relies on the writings of several of the ancients, including Plato, Aristotle and Cicero to broaden the historical basis upon which the early Americans relied to frame and put in motion what has become man’s greatest device for a free and prosperous human civilization. I highly recommended a full read of this work, and a safe and prominent place in your personal libraries for its ongoing reference, so that we may never forget our national heritage, and as a guide to preserving and renewing the American discourse for all of humanity.
I had promised pragmatics with this series; to the extent that we bridged into the future by looking to the past (and did not dwell on how we’ve managed to deviate so far from these principles to arrive at our current culture and government in these United States), I sought to bring forth the realization that, as Khan had so eloquently stated, that we are fundamentally no different in our humanness than those who fought and died for, and/or established our collective independence and constitutional republic. With this in mind, it can be as simple as returning to these principles and embodying—in our individual daily lives, our families, our communities, our States, and our general government—but not easy the farther away we get from the individual and closer to Washington D.C. In other words, our preservation and renewal as an American civilization must be about fundamentally renewing our individual, then collective American way of being that had been revered by so many for so long.
Let’s summarize this list of Principles again:
- The Genius of Natural Law
- A Virtuous and Moral People
- Virtuous and Moral Leaders
- The Role of Religion
- The Role of the Creator
- All Men are Created Equal
- Equal Rights, Not Equal Things
- Man’s Unalienable Rights
- The Role of Revealed Law
- Sovereignty of the People
- Who Can Alter the Government?
- Advantages of a Republic
- Protection Against Human Frailties
- Property Rights Essential to Liberty
- Free-market Economics
- The Separation of Powers
- Checks and Balances
- Importance of a Written Constitution
- Limiting and Defining the Powers of Government
- Majority Rule, Minority Rights
- Strong Local Self-government
- Government by Law, Not by Men
- Importance of an Educated Electorate
- Peace Through Strength
- Avoid Entangling Alliances
- Protecting the Role of the Family
- Avoiding the Burden of Debt
- Founders’ Sense of Manifest Destiny
I see three main disciplines in this:
- Respect for God (Natural and Divine Law),
- Respect for each other (Equal Rights, Sovereignty)
- Respect for ourselves (Self-discipline)
There are many within our own borders today who have rejected, or have never been properly educated in, what America has truly stood for and meant compared to other types of civil organization in human history, and are now turning to those other forms with a propaganda-fed belief that they are “better.” Many others have enjoyed the lifestyles and opportunities made possible by American liberty and freedom without fully understanding and appreciating their responsibility for preserving that liberty and freedom.
How do WE THE PEOPLE recenter ourselves in these Principles of Liberty? In the spirit of America and individual freedom, I think this needs to be less prescriptive and more introspective and organic. Test yourself: how close are you to adhering to, and being centered in, your daily life with all of these principles? Where is your knowledge stronger? Where might you be weaker and in need of improvement? If we are going to “make America great again,” what do we mean by greatness as it relates to these principles? What is the shared culture and discourse that we think we embody, or seek to embody, when we call ourselves American? How may we help each other reunite in that greatest of societies and civilizations?
We cannot expect salvation from any politician. We must restore these principles ourselves, and it starts with each of us individually and within our own families, in our daily lives. The sooner we individually recover from this the sooner we do so collectively. America lives or dies with us. America thrives or collapses with us.
A heartfelt thanks to all of you who have taken the time to read any or all the entries in this series, and pray that these will inspire many to want to be a part of a true American revival, to help us recognize that we are no fundamentally different as humans from the Founders of this great nation, and that the steps necessary to return pragmatically to the Principles of Liberty which enabled that greatness are quite simple.
OF, BY, and FOR THE PEOPLE!
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