There is an interesting comment by Kerodin on my previous Rightful Liberty post: ‘Rightful Liberty: Continental Congress‘ which highlights the problems we face in the liberty community. It is a problem borne of the inherent strength of that community, but also its weakness. What is that problem? Well: everyone has an opinion!
As I write this there are about 40 comments. How many have remained focused on the fundamental point of the essay series – Rightful Liberty.
When we stray from that fundamental First Principle and begin arguing AoC versus USC versus Magna Carta Versus Skittles and Unicorns, we begin to separate as a group.
Aim small, miss small.
Stay focused on the premise (Rightful Liberty) and we actually have a chance of victory. If we permit ourselves to be distracted this easily among generally like-minded people, we’ll never build real cohesion when serious Enemies of Liberty focus their efforts on us.
That is the mission. It is morally, ethically and intellectually sound.
Keep it simple.
Well said. People are already disappearing down rabbit holes of USC vs. AoC vs Anarchy vs. etc. etc. Focus! Cohesion. The radical left are very good at that. Being ‘on message.’
And that is not even to mention that many are suffering failures of reading comprehension and mistaking my call for a Continental Congress with that of a Constitutional Convention. I think some of that is tram-line thinking in peoples minds, where they just keep on trotting out the old adages without pausing to think outside the box.
Focus on Rightful Liberty. That is the message and the goal. Given the chance of getting anywhere near that goal, then perhaps we can worry about the fine print of the actual law.
Here is another one from BattlefieldUSA on the same post over at WRSA. This one is in reference to the call of the Paranoid Radical Individualist (PRI) who wishes for no government at all, and calls the Constitution collectivism-light:
Face reality. You will have government whether you like it or not. Whether it is one nation of 50 tribes, or… a hodgepodge of a zillion tribes. You WILL have government in one form or another. And even then, no matter what type of government falls over your head, there are going to those who bitch about whatever government they find themselves under.
No, I don’t think our current constitution is PERFECT. But mankind is not PERFECT. You are not PERFECT. The debate of the constitution as it was being formed was hot and contentious. And we ended up with what we have after much debate. Personally, in our current state of education of feelings and Sophism, I don’t think there is anyone on this planet with the reason, logic, and virtue, to come up with something better… that will speak for ITSELF and be SELF-ENFORCING.
It is frikkin LAZINESS and lack of COURAGE that keeps ALL OF US from undergoing the fatigue of supporting the one we do have. And as things are, it with be laziness and lack of courage that will keep us from undergoing the fatigue of supporting the one YOU WANT… what ever IT is.
And… as it IS… even Patrick Henry KNEW that there would be a time, if they DID NOT act… there would be no chance of turning the tide. You, we, us… can NOT even keep the one we have.
Of course, you may say the one we have is not worthy of keeping. Of which I will tell, give us something that YOU believe is worth keeping… make it happen… then keep it.
And seriously, without unity, without some form of collectivism, it will never happen. (Cue the Sophism).
So, my point is that we must focus on the prize, which is Rightful Liberty. It is both the prize and the guiding principle.
But I think the place where many of both the left and the right fall down is the principle of Rightful Liberty itself. Rightful Liberty means what it says. Here is the definition:
“Liberty then I would say that, in the whole plenitude of it’s extent, it is unobstructed action according to our will: but rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will, within the limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add ‘within the limits of the law’; because law is often but the tyrant’s will, and always so when it violates the right of an individual.” Thomas Jefferson.
And as such Rightful Liberty is not carte blanche for you to impose your will on other people. Whatever flavor your collectivist will is: Leftist statism, or perhaps theocratic religious despotism. This is where many fall down, because they don’t realize that Rightful Liberty prevents the imposition of your will on others if they don’t want it. Our greatest threat is from the radical left, but I am almost as equally frustrated by the right wing politico/religious zealotry out there. Not the mention the tin-foil hattery. I mean, as an example, a reader commented (I declined to publish), that he was A MAN OF GOD and thus he could not agree with my post on rationalism. What? Was he therefore saying that his position as a man of god was fundamentally irrational? Please be religious by all means, but be rational also.
The USC and the BoR are not perfect documents. But they were the best that could be come up with at the time, and they are the foundation of the law of the land. That the law has been perverted by Leviathan is not the fault of those documents, but a human failing, a failing of guardianship. Because after all, what is the true purpose of the law, and what was the purpose of the USC and the BoR? It was simply to codify and protect Rightful Liberty while at the same time providing a guide as to the “limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others.” And as such, that is what the law is for – it is to provide common law by which individuals can be protected from crimes committed by both other individuals and the government, such as may affect their life, liberty and pursuit of happiness.
As Jefferson said:
“The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others. It does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods or no god. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.” Thomas Jefferson.
Government should not be involved in most of the ‘big’ social issues that are such electoral tinder boxes nowadays. Whether you like it or not, if it does no harm to others, then it is the Rightful Liberty of those involved to do it. Get over it. Live your own life. If you think about the history of the USA, many of the emigrants came here for religious reasons. Many others did not – mainly economic ones. However, this continent can be likened to a large sieve – if you landed on the east coast, and didn’t see it as a place for your community, then you kept going west. Perhaps people on the east coast don’t go for polygamy – keep going west! Mormons in Utah etc. That is probably why California is crazy, because all the crazy people kept not fitting in and kept going west!
Because here is the thing – the cause of Rightful Liberty and the USC and BoR and all that were drawn up in a certain time by men of a certain culture., They were Anglo-Saxon and culturally Christian, although many of them were somewhat secular in their views – they certainly understood the separation of church and State. The point is that they had the Anglo-Saxon cultural values of morals and ethics. However, there was even debate among them about how much power government should have, and how trusted people could be to actually bear the responsibility of Rightful Liberty. If people are generally low curs and will cut your throat at any opportunity, then they will not form a civil society. This is the philosophical debate that raged across the philosophers from Hobbes to Locke and onward. The nature of man, and how to govern. However, low curs is what many have become, largely engineered by the radical left. They have cleverly engineered a situation where the majority of the population cannot function in a situation of self-determination and Rightful Liberty. They need the nanny state. However, I don’t give a fig, because you and I are able to function and self-determine, and I am a free man. Why should we all be brought to the level of the low-information voter?
But this is the problem – we have the ideal of Rightful Liberty, but we have the problem of implementation among a population of varied and often dubious ethics and moral standing. The founders understood that the Constitution was designed for a moral society, not one of savages. Certain standards of behavior were expected, and transgressions were not socially acceptable. Is that why the radical left hates it so? But that is what the law is for. The law is there to act on the second part of Rightful Liberty, the “within the limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others” part. We have law in civil society. I am not talking about onerous administrative law (unconstitutional power) but common law. This is where we decide what is right and wrong and where we have penalties for transgressions. This goes all the way back to pre-Christian Anglo-Saxon and Nordic culture. (Northern European). It persisted in English common law.
The law is what protects us from those ‘rabbit hole’ situations. Like what if person A was doing such and such to person B etc. Well, we should have an elected Sheriff, charged with keeping the peace. That sheriff needs a limited amount of deputies assisted by the posse as necessary. There needs to be elected magistrates who are assisted by a jury of the accused’s peers when necessary. All accountable to the people and not held over the people. Equality in the eyes of the law. You see how this is all suited to small, not large communities? Thus, if person A was accused of an unlawful act, the the posse will collect him and bring him in front of the court. Simple.
But here is my warning, and the danger of Rightful Liberty as defined. It is the “within the limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others” part which is a strength but also, in the face of the madness of current times and the radical left, a danger. In law, the concept of the ‘reasonable man’ is often used. That relies on there being a standard of what a reasonable man is. If the radical left tears down society, then how can we use that as standard of measure. You are supposed to apply common sense in the spirit of the law as a reasonable man would see it. It is supposed to be about justice over the letter of the law, because the law is an ass. However, if I can demonstrate that what you do infringes on the “within the limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others” part, then I have an entry for radical left madness. If I can argue that having guns in the house is child abuse, then I can say you are committing harm and send ‘the posse’ to get your kids. If I can say that your wood stove is polluting the air I breathe, then you are harming me and I will ban your wood stove. Etc.
So how do we prevent that? I can only say that if someone wants to bring in a law, or accuse you in front of a jury, then that law would have been voted in, or that jury would need to vote on it. Well, make sure you live in a society/community where you can be sure that the standard of ‘reasonable man’ applies. Because those people would not agree to take your children, or your wood stove. This is how you avoid the madness of the radical left, or a radical right theocracy or whatever – simply by living in a community where the ‘reasonable man’ standard applies. If you are an asshole, go live in NYC or LA. There are plenty of places in this country where there are still Constitutional Sheriffs who will not infringe your Rightful Liberty. We need more of that. We need to get back to it, as the standard.
However, if the whole nation cannot be persuaded, and if leviathan cannot be persuaded to let go its grip on our throats, then we will have to act and secede into redoubts of our own, and live our lives as Constitutional Americans, as the law of this land allows us to. Live in our communities separate from the collectivist hell holes.