THE FOUNDERS’ PERPETUAL MOTION MACHINE

The following is a chapter from a book I wrote some time ago.  It still needs a lot of work, but I offer it now to show the requirements for sustaining a free and self-governing society.  If we want to “save” our society, restore the things described here:

 

XIV

THE FOUNDERS’ PERPETUAL MOTION MACHINE:

THE ESSENTIAL ELEMENTS TO SUSTAINING LIBERTY AND SELF-GOVERNMENT

 

“Avarice, ambition, revenge, or gallantry, would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”

–John Adams, October 11, 1798

“The foundation of national morality must be laid in private families…. How is it possible that Children can have any just Sense of the sacred Obligations of Morality or Religion if, from their earliest Infancy, they learn their Mothers live in habitual Infidelity to their fathers, and their fathers in as constant Infidelity to their Mothers?”

–John Adams, Diary, June 2, 1778

“A general dissolution of the principles and manners will more surely overthrow the liberties of America than the whole force of the common enemy…. While the people are virtuous they cannot be subdued; but once they lose their virtue, they will be ready to surrender their liberties to the first external or internal invader…. If virtue and knowledge are diffused among the people, they will never be enslaved. This will be their great security.”

–Samuel Adams

“A Bible and a newspaper in every house, a good school in every district – all studied and appreciated as they merit – are the principal support of virtue, morality, and civil liberty.”

–Benjamin Franklin, in a letter dated March 1778 to the Ministry of France

“If a nation expects to be ignorant — and free — in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be.”

–Thomas Jefferson, letter to Colonel Charles Yancey, January 6, 1816

I have repeatedly told you that our founders viewed religion and morality as the primary means by which a free society preserves itself.  I have explained how the belief in God and internal controls that come with the resulting sense of individual duty to God and to other people provides the energy to sustain society; it keeps the entropy levels of that society high enough to maintain order.  And I have explained that our founders believed that Christianity provides the best, purest principles of universal morality by which to sustain our nation.  And, with as many quotes from the better known of our founding fathers as I’ve provided, there remain better, more clearly and pointedly stated examples of just how strongly our founders believed this.  Zephaniah Swift, an important legal mind during the founding of our nation and State Supreme Court Justice wrote:

“Indeed moral virtue is substantially and essentially enforced by the precepts of Christianity, and may be considered to be the basis of it.  But in addition to moral principles, the Christian doctrines inculcate a purity of heart and holiness of life which constitute its chief glory.  When we contemplate it in this light, we have a most striking evidence of its superiority over all the systems of pagan philosophy, which were promulgated by the wisest men of ancient times.”

Simply stated, the founders believed that the Gospel of Christ presented the purest moral code for society because it didn’t seek to restrain the behavior of the individual, it sought to change his heart and, thereby, remove his desire to do harm to others all together.  It is also due to the teachings of the Bible that early courts openly claimed that America was a pluralistic and tolerant nation.  The South Carolina Supreme Court ruling in City Council of Charleston v. S. A. Benjamin, 1846 and the New York Supreme Court ruling in Lindenmuller v. The People, 1860 are two cases where American pluralism and tolerance are mentioned by State courts, which, up until more recent times, were the primary arbiters of religious matters.

I have repeatedly told you what our founders thought about the necessity for every individual in society to be a moral person.  I won’t say anything more on this issue, but I will leave you with some new thoughts on the matter from several of our founders:

“The only foundation of a free Constitution, is pure Virtue, and if this cannot be inspired into our People, in a great Measure, than they have it now. They may change their Rulers, and the forms of Government, but they will not obtain a lasting Liberty.”

–John Adams, letter to Zabdiel Adams, June 21, 1776

“It is the manners and spirit of a people which preserve a republic in vigor. A degeneracy in these is a canker which soon eats to the heart of its laws and constitution.”

–Thomas Jefferson, Notes on the State of Virginia Query 19, 1781     

“Give up money, give up fame, give up science, give the earth itself and all it contains rather than do an immoral act. And never suppose that in any possible situation, or under any circumstances, it is best for you to do a dishonorable thing, however slightly so it may appear to you… From the practice of the purest virtue, you may be assured you will derive the most sublime comforts in every moment of life, and in the moment of death.”

–Thomas Jefferson, letter to Peter Carr, August 19, 1785

The founders also believed that it was not enough for people to have a sense of public virtue; they had to be privately moral, as well.  Many of our founders expressed a belief that it is impossible for a person who is corrupt in his private dealings to be honest in his public duties.

“Public virtue cannot exist in a nation without private, and public virtue is the only foundation of republics. There must be a positive passion for the public good, the public interest, honour, power and glory, established in the minds of the people, or there can be no republican government, nor any real liberty: and this public passion must be superior to all private passions”.

–John Adams, letter to Mercy Warren, April 16, 1776

“It behooves you, therefore, to think and act for yourself and your people. The great principles of right and wrong are legible to every reader; to pursue them requires not the aid of many counselors. The whole art of government consists in the art of being honest. Only aim to do your duty, and mankind will give you credit where you fail.”

–Thomas Jefferson, A Summary View of the Rights of British America, 1775

 “I never … believed there was one code of morality for a public and another for a private man.”
–Thomas Jefferson,
In a letter to Don Valentine de Feronda, 1809

For the same reason that they believed private morality was essential to the way one individual treats another in society, our founders believed public virtue was essential to keep elected representatives from abusing their authority.  It was required to check the human inclination to pursue personal gains, such as wealth, power and fame.

“Men must be ready, they must pride themselves and be happy to sacrifice their private pleasures, passions and interests, nay, their private friendships and dearest connections, when they stand in competition with the rights of society.”

–John Adams, letter to Mercy Warren, April 16, 1776

“Always vote for principle, though you may vote alone, and you may cherish the sweetest reflection that your vote is never lost.”

–John Quincy Adams

“The strongest passions and most dangerous weaknesses of the human breast; ambition, avarice, vanity, the honorable or venal love of fame, are all in conspiracy against the desire and duty of peace.”

–James Madison

“An honest man can feel no pleasure in the exercise of power over his fellow citizens….There has never been a moment of my life in which I should have relinquished for it the enjoyments of my family, my farm, my friends & books”.

–Thomas Jefferson, letter to John Melish, January 13, 1813

“I can truly say I had rather be at Mount Vernon with a friend or two about me, than to be attended at the Seat of Government by the Officers of State and the Representatives of every Power in Europe.”

–George Washington, letter to David Stuart, June 15, 1790

Because the whole issue of morality was so important to our founders, they believed that the subject was something the people had just authority over, and which could be subjected to legislation.  It may surprise you to learn how many of our early court rulings held that the Bible was considered part of common law, and that it held weight in American courts as a recognized source of law until the 20th Century.  The courts repeatedly called this a Christian nation – even as recently as 1931.  But it might be best if you read what one of the founding fathers of American jurisprudence had to say on this matter:

 “[T]he primary objects of government are the peace, order, and prosperity of society. . . . To the promotion of these objects, particularly in a republican government, good morals are essential. Institutions for the promotion of good morals are therefore objects of legislative provision and support: and among these . . . religious institutions are eminently useful and important. . . . [T]he legislature, charged with the great interests of the community, may, and ought to countenance, aid and protect religious institutions—institutions wisely calculated to direct men to the performance of all the duties arising from their connection with each other, and to prevent or repress those evils which flow from unrestrained passion.”

–Oliver Ellsworth, Chief-Justice of the Supreme Court,  (Source: Connecticut Courant, June 7, 1802, p. 3, Oliver Ellsworth, to the General Assembly of the State of Connecticut)

The founders firmly believed that the family was the primary means of supporting their new union.  Not only was it the smallest unit in their new representative government, it was the surest, most assured means of teaching every generation about their duty to themselves, to each other and to their nation.  The founders reasoned that, if parents were religious and moral people, they would bring their children up to be religious, moral citizens as well.  And, since the American religion is that of “general Christianity,” once exposed to the teachings of the Bible, children would learn to value their freedom even more, as well as gain a better understanding about their duty to others.  And, if they are taught these lessons, they will be sure to teach them to their children, thus insuring that every generation felt the same reverence for liberty and moral obligation to preserve it for the next generation as our founders felt:

“It should be your care, therefore, and mine, to elevate the minds of our children and exalt their courage; to accelerate and animate their industry and activity; to excite in them an habitual contempt of meanness, abhorrence of injustice and inhumanity, and an ambition to excel in every capacity, faculty, and virtue. If we suffer their minds to grovel and creep in infancy, they will grovel all their lives.”

–John Adams, Dissertation on the Canon and Feudal Law, 1756

“The foundation of national morality must be laid in private families…. How is it possible that Children can have any just Sense of the sacred Obligations of Morality or Religion if, from their earliest Infancy, they learn their Mothers live in habitual Infidelity to their fathers, and their fathers in as constant Infidelity to their Mothers?”

–John Adams, Diary, June 2, 1778

Many of our founders stressed that public schooling was also essential to the preservation of a free society.  In America, this sentiment started with the desire to teach everyone how to read so they could read the Bible for themselves, thus eliminating the hold that organized religion had on the people.  This same sentiment extended to the first Congresses.  The first Congress after ratification of the Constitution thought Christianity and religion in general so important that they commissioned and paid for the first English-edition Bible printed in the United States on September 12, 1782.  And the inscription printed in the front of that Bible read:

Whereupon, Resolved, That the United States in Congress assembled…recommend this edition of the Bible to the inhabitants of the United States.”     

In fact, up until the mid 20th Century, the Bible was still an accepted textbook in many public schools.  The founders also wanted the people to know and understand history.  The reasoned that, if the people knew about the mistakes that Man had made in the past, and they were well informed as to the reasons for the Revolution and the construction of the Constitution, they would be better equipped to make the proper decisions to preserve liberty and self-government in the future.  In other words, the next generation needed to know why the founders believed what they believed so they could preserve this nation for the generations to follow:

“Children should be educated and instructed in the principles of freedom.”

–John Adams, Defense of the Constitutions, 1787

“But of all the views of this law none is more important, none more legitimate, than that of rendering the people the safe, as they are the ultimate, guardians of their own liberty. For this purpose the reading in the first stage, where they will receive their whole education, is proposed, as has been said, to be chiefly historical. History by apprising them of the past will enable them to judge of the future; it will avail them of the experience of other times and other nations; it will qualify them as judges of the actions and designs of men; it will enable them to know ambition under every disguise it may assume; and knowing it, to defeat its views.”

–Thomas Jefferson, Notes on the State of Virginia, Query 14, 1781

“The best means of forming a manly, virtuous, and happy people will be found in the right education of youth. Without this foundation, every other means, in my opinion, must fail.”

–George Washington, letter to George Chapman, December 15, 1784

Finally, our founding fathers expressed the firm belief that freedom of speech and of the press was vital to the preservation of any free nation.  The press is the primary means by which the people can learn and understand the issues of the day.  A free press is necessary for the healthy debate that any self-governing people must have if they are to make the necessary and proper decisions about what the government should or shouldn’t do.  A free press is also necessary if the people are to learn about the political platforms of various candidates, and about the moral character of those same men and women – both in and out of office.  The founders warned that the press was one of the primary checks against governmental encroachments upon the peoples’ rights and liberty, and they expected it to sound the alarm whenever such an abuse of governmental authority was found.  Finally, our founders believed that a free press served a secondary function of providing a general support for the other social structures and to tie everything together to maintain the social cohesion required to preserve liberty:

“Liberty cannot be preserved without a general knowledge among the people, who have… a right, an indisputable, unalienable, indefeasible, divine right to that most dreaded and envied kind of knowledge, I mean the characters and conduct of their rulers.”

–John Adams

“I know no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion by education. This is the true corrective of abuses of constitutional power.”

–Thomas Jefferson, letter to William Charles Jarvis, September 28, 1820

“A popular Government, without popular information, or the means of acquiring it, is but a Prologue to a Farce or a Tragedy; or, perhaps both. Knowledge will forever govern ignorance: And a people who mean to be their own Governors, must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives.”

–James Madison, letter to W.T. Barry, August 4, 1822

Everything our founders wanted for us, everything they believed and valued, as well as the very central message of the Gospel can be found in these few, simple words:

“Love your neighbor as yourself and your country more than yourself.”

–Thomas Jefferson, letter to Thomas Jefferson Smith, February 21, 1825

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22 thoughts on “THE FOUNDERS’ PERPETUAL MOTION MACHINE

  1. if the founders made a perpetual motion machine then why does america not fit your vision? If the system is self-sustaining and perfect, why has it broken down? You can blame progressives and others. But that just means the system is incapable of existing in the real world.

    • “if the founders made a perpetual motion machine then why does america not fit your vision? If the system is self-sustaining and perfect, why has it broken down?”

      Because we have too many people like YOU!

      You see, Karl, the world YOU people have tried to build is not real. The founders’ system worked because it was designed to function in the real world, but then YOU idiots came along and insisted that the world is something other than what it is and THAT is whjy the founders’ system has been falling apart: BECAUSE IT DON’T WORK IN THE COMRADE KARL LAND OF MAKE BELIEVE, NUMB NUTS!

      • If the founder’s system is not working, why do are you against their (perpetual awesome perfect divinely inspired)(sarcasm) government headed by Barack Obama?

        If your system is so perfect, how could progressives ruin it?

          • Texas,

            Sadly, neither are the people. In fact, the govt. doesn’t because the people don’t. Remember, IN A FREE SOCIETY, the govt. reflects the people, not the other way around.

            • Joe,
              Respectfully, “the people” were fraudulently made ignorant. TRICKED. Indoctrinated without “the people” Knowing what was happening. Stealth jihad upon the people by evil “elites”; future “masters”. They marched through back doors of the pillars of the community while everyone was watching the front door.

              Now “the People” must awaken and open their eyes. That is an impossibility for many. There will be many who will keep saying, hoping, praying “no, this isn’t real”, just like the Jews who voluntarily walked into Germany’s poison showers and ovens. (hopefully not most)

              The People must find the fortitude to throw off the shackles of indoctrination with lies and educate themselves to truth. The internet and little blogs like this one light a candle in a sea of darkness. Sadly, many will be too afraid to step off the dock, into the rowboat, and journey for truth, justice, liberty, and enlightenment. Their minds and their wills, have been transgressed by those who enslave them. Ignorant, afraid, ENSLAVED in a mental prison.

              The Government is self aware. The Government controls the indoctrinated. The indoctrinated are unable to make enlightened choices with “free will”. The government now controls the vote counting with no ability for independent audit.

              You and I show people the words, the definitions of those words, and they just cannot believe the words. They choose to believe the lies implanted in their minds, hoping, believing, all they think they know, isn’t really a lie.

              We shall see. I have hope. Book sales on liberty keep selling. This little blog has millions of hits. A majority no longer trust the government.

              • Texas,

                The people have a duty to remain awake and vigilant. If they do so, they cannot be fooled for long. So, with respect, I disagree. I think we were all too happy to sell or freedoms for the comforts of wealth and entertainment (bread and circuses). And I readily include myself in that accusation.

                Now, as for waking the people, maybe — you might be right in your optimism. But even those who should know better will dismiss reason and defend the system they KNOW to be corrupt:choosing to believe the system rather than their own judgment based on experience. This is why I am less optimistic than you: because experience tells me that such a people will not wake in time to save themselves.

                Incidentally, this is the historic pattern the Bible has preserved for us. So, even if someone thinks the religious side is fiction, the historic side — the side that has NEVER been proven wrong a single time — that part of the Bible would seem to testify against your optimism….unless we follow the example of the people of Nineveh, that is. ;-)

                • I am, and I am not, optimistic. Just as you; just as Utah. Just as many who read and comment regularly on this little “island”. And even the 3 of us sometimes cannot believe how wrong, bad, evil, things are… and yet we keep at it…

                  For the first time in my life:
                  “The people” are asking questions.
                  “The people” are interested in “our history”, “our philosophy”, “our liberty”…
                  “The people” are attempting to “think”, educate themselves, search…

                  “The people” are beginning to realize what you and I have always “understood” is actually important and does matter.

                  • I have been studying the history of the South Pacific Air War during WW II these past few months, so let me use it to illustrate something for you.

                    By the middle-late 1943, the Japanese leaders and airmen stationed at the Japanese strong hold of Rabaul had realized they were in a loosing war. As fanatical as they were, by early 1944, they had realized the war was lost, yet they continued to fight and sacrifice themselves in the face of what was overwhelming odds against U.S. air power. That is what the people waking up is to me now: a realization of reality, but too little, too late.

                    You see, there was a point in 1943 where, had the Japanese had the intellectual honesty and courage to admit and face their reality THEN, they had time to pull back to more defensible lines. But pride, arrogance and a refusal to surrender ground trapped them into staying in positions that could not be defended and which led to their eventual annihilation. Again, this is where we are now: stubbornly and arrogantly clinging to the sentimental memory of what America WAS rather than facing and accepting our reality while there is still time to save that remnant which still values liberty.

                    And now? Now the cancer is metastasizing. As the Leftiest dolts realize they have destroyed themselves, they leave the cities and States their POLICIES ruined and move to those areas that still work to find jobs. And, once there, they start voting for the same fool policies that caused them to have to flee in the first place. Another couple years of this and the nation will be riddled with that cancer and it will be too late to save it even with radical surgery.

                    Face it, Texas, there reaches a point where, no matter what, the patient cannot be saved. The question now is, have we crossed that threshold yet?

        • Obama’s system is not working, has never worked and will never work.

          The founders system DOES work — and it did until Lincoln destroyed it.

          Since that time, the founders’ system has been slowly replaced by YOURS until — now — YOUR system has replaced the founders’ system and, hence, the nation is collapsing into the inevitable corruption ans tyranny that YOUR ideas ALWAYS produce.

          Your inability to look back on history and see this is evidence of your mental and moral deficiency: the very deficiency that leads you to think you can succeed if you just get the right person to try your ideas, or they are tried harder, or larger. It’s the same deficiency that leads the Muslims to say the same things about their attempts to destroy Israel. In the end, what it all boils down to is YOU do not recognize God and God’s law, so you convince yourself that you and your rules can defeat His and — EVERY BLOODY TIME — you lose. Now, if you do NOT have a deficiency, how do you and your type continually miss this FACT!

          • Don’t you understand? If a system is destroyed, it means it is not perfect, and certainly not perpetual.

            • No, Karl, that is not what it means. In this case, it means the people gave up on it.

              But thanks for proving my point about your mental deficiency. YOUR system has been destroyed EVERY time it has been tried, yet you keep returning to it. Which — BY YOUR OWN WORDS — means it is not “perfect” as you claim. So, why would a SANE person keep trying to make something work after admitting it was not “perfect???”

              [this is so easy, it's pitiful]

              • I don’t go around making proclamations, such as there is a perfect perpetual system. To do so is too equate your opinion with the knowledge of a deity. Your system IS destroyed, by your own standard. so, what are you praising?

                You can espouse classical liberalism.
                You can praise the founders and say they have made the greatest system ever.
                But, you can’t turn around and say. America is a tyranny the system is broken, the system sucks. They are the same system. If you got a problem, take it with the american people, who the system empowers. If you got a problem with the system you got a problem with the american people.

                You want to impose your law even if the majority does not want it., not only that but you want to stop the majority from making laws.
                Isn’t law derived from the consent of the governed, i.e democracy.
                By wanting to impose undemocratic laws, you are a tyrant.

            • Andrew Jackson started it. Davy Crockett saw there was no stopping evil, even in his day. That is why Crockett left for Texas and the opportunity to create a new Republic for liberty of man. http://therionorteline.com/2012/07/19/david-crockett-fought-for-liberty/

              “The people” were fraudulently mislead… deceived by enslavers who began to tell and teach lies to “the people”. And when half the country realized, awakened, Lincoln destroyed, murdered, buried, the opponents who awakened and chose to openly stand up to the enslavers.

    • Karl,

      The United States of America is the closest you, or for that matter, anyone will ever come to “Paradise” on this planet. Since I do not know where you live I am assuming it is in the US. If you live in some other country then you really have no input into this conversation. Stay in your own little place of Hell and dream up a few more man centered scheme’s to enslave your fellow man. Those devoid of Godly morals are incapable of making a right decision period.

    • Freedom and liberty can be restored;
      IF “the people” require its leaders to follow and abide by the instructions of our Constitution, THEN there is no obstacle to great to overcome while ensuring liberty for “the people”.

  2. “A Bible and a newspaper in every house, a good school in every district – all studied and appreciated as they merit – are the principal support of virtue, morality, and civil liberty.” –Benjamin Franklin, in a letter dated March 1778 to the Ministry of France

    Compassionate conservatives interpret the Bible; the New York Times sets the standard for newspapers; and contraceptives distributed in schools. Benjamin?

    “The whole art of government consists in the art of being honest.” –Thomas Jefferson, A Summary View of the Rights of British America, 1775

    ROFLMAO@Jefferson

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