The Choice Is NOT Between The Law And Anarchy, But Liberty and Tyranny

There are two primary ways to look at the law: either as a tool by which a free and self-governing people protect and preserve their Natural Rights, or as the source of whatever rights a government affords those over whom it rules.  The first conception is espoused in the words of our Declaration of Independence:

“–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness….”

The second, by Thomas Hobbes in “Leviathan,” his seminal work in which he argues that, once a government is established, the people are forever obligated to support it and be ruled by it and have no right to change or abolish it.  Furthermore, according to Hobbes, what rights the people have under a certain government are only those that the government sees fit to afford them and, consequently, are subject to the arbitrary whims of their rulers.

In essence, this is where we are today: at the crossroads of deciding whether or not we will abandon our founders’ understanding of the law and accept that the law is whatever our government say it is unless and/or until we can persuade it to give them back in the manner we desire them.   If we accept the view of Hobbes, as so many in our society now seem to have done, then we need to accept that this lowers us to a perpetual state of begging for scraps while our self-appointed elite busy themselves by fighting over which of their factions will hold the reins of power.   However, if we chose to stand with the founders and assert that our rights are a gift from our Creator and, thus, inalienable, then we must stand ready to do battle with the a government that has – and for some time now – usurped those rights in the quest to establish power for itself.

Now, it is well known by those who regularly read my posts that I am no friend of Edmund Burke, the father of conservatism, but – at the same time – Burke had his moments.

It is not what a lawyer tells me I may do; but what humanity, reason, and justice tell me I ought to do.

Whenever a separation is made between liberty and justice, neither, in my opinion, is safe.”

“The true danger is when liberty is nibbled away, for expedience, and by parts.“

There never was a bad man that had ability for good service.

Among a people generally corrupt liberty cannot long exist.”

Unfortunately, like the American Progressive, where he went wrong is in the means with which he sought to achieve these goals (remember, Burke is the guy who defended a corporation’s “legal” right to “buy” the right from government to “dispose of” 1/3 of the world’s population and their property as that corporation saw fit — so long as it did so according to “the law”):

“The only liberty that is valuable is a liberty connected with order; that not only exists along with order and virtue, but which cannot exist at all without them. It inheres in good and steady government, as in its substance and vital principle.”

 With these words, Burke echoes the same argument made by the early American Progressives.  In my library are several books written by Progressives about the Progressive movement.  One of them is titled, The Search for Order.  Now, while the sound of this may appeal to many, “order” as opposed to “anarchy,” what those to whom this notion appeals apparently miss is that order must be imposed, and imposition is the negation of liberty.  In fact, liberty is the very essence of disorder.  One cannot have both; one must choose between the two: either liberty, or order.  But notice, the choice is NOT anarchy or order.  Our founders proved this through their example.

When the Articles of Confederation proved to provide too little order, they wrote the Constitution and that document provided for the minimum order necessary to sustain the maximum liberty.  It wasn’t until– pointing to economic disparity and looking to science to justify their cause and solutions – until the Progressives started to undermine the Constitution in the name of order and social justice that liberty in this nation started to die.  And now, what is the solution for every new or perceived problem in our nation?  A call for more rules, regulations and legislation – more “order.”  And if anyone dares to object or suggest that the law has become an enemy to individual rights and liberty, they are attacked as enemies of the law and as would-be anarchists.  Well, I say reject those voices as the true enemies of individual rights and liberty, as well as the law.

The choice is not between the law and anarchy, but liberty and tyranny.  Burke is an excellent example as, even though he claimed to speak for individual rights and liberty, he defended a corporation’s right to own 1/3 of the people in the known world, and to do with them whatever it wished — so long as it met with the Crown’s approval.  In that case, how was the law not an instrument of tyranny which was paid for and used as a means of trampling the rights of 1/3 of the world?  In such a case, defending the law is defending tyranny.  So the assertion that we either support the law or anarchy must be rejected as it is no different than asserting we must either support tyranny or anarchy.  Since our founders rightly argued that anarchy is a tyranny in itself, this is the same as saying we must support tyranny or tyranny, which gets us back to my argument that evil vs. evil is NOT a house divided against itself, but evil, either way.

We have the best models known to history for how a people can be free and self-governing: the Constitution, which was modeled largely on the government of Moses (not my “opinion,” the words of Franklin).  So chose.  Will you defend your rights as an inalienable part of being human and assert that the law is merely a tool you use to protect those rights?  And that, as a tool which draws its authority from your consent to be governed by it, the law is subservient to you and I and not we to it?  Or will you recognize the law as an entity above you, with greater power and authority than any of us as individuals?  Will you bow to the government beast and grovel at its feet in hopes that it will willingly give up the power it has fought so hard to take simply because you hold up some piece of paper and claim they should accept your understanding of it over that of the government?

The insistence that the only choice is order or anarchy is a lie – a lie told by those who seek to preserve the existing system and not individual rights and liberty.  We know it is a lie because our founders proved it is a lie and Moses before them.  So, decide for yourself which choice you will make, but do so with the full knowledge and understanding of the issues surrounding that choice.

9 thoughts on “The Choice Is NOT Between The Law And Anarchy, But Liberty and Tyranny

  1. The insistence that the only choice is order or anarchy is a lie – a lie told by those who seek to preserve the existing system and not individual rights and liberty. We know it is a lie because our founders proved it is a lie and Moses before them. So, decide for yourself which choice you will make, but do so with the full knowledge and understanding of the issues surrounding that choice.

    So what, exactly, are the 10 Commandments? I don’t think Moses referred to them as the 10 Suggestions In Case You Interpret God Another Way.

    Because they are laws.

    You are getting really, really good with building strawmen:

    “The second, by Thomas Hobbes in “Leviathan,” his seminal work in which he argues that, once a government is established, the people are forever obligated to support it and be ruled by it and have no right to change or abolish it. Furthermore, according to Hobbes, what rights the people have under a certain government are only those that the government sees fit to afford them and, consequently, are subject to the arbitrary whims of their rulers”.

    I never said any of that and have actually written specifically against Hobbesian philosophy.

    You are damned right, we need to have full knowledge and understanding – that’s exactly the reason that I have been doing what I have been doing. The fact remains that the Constitution has never – and I mean never – been interpreted or obeyed the way you are insinuating that it be. The minute the ink was dry, the Federalists when to work on it, the Jeffersonian Republicans – and Jefferson himself – did exactly what the Republicans of today do – they weren’t opposed to a little more government when it suited their purpose. Hell, about 70% of the population – un-propertied men, women and slaves, couldn’t even vote.

    We changed that through amendment. We changed the law because it did not suit the culture or the Natural Rights of those initially excluded. Again with the Jefferson quote:

    “Whatever be the Constitution, great care must be taken to provide a mode of amendment when experience or change of circumstances shall have manifested that any part of it is unadapted to the good of the nation. In some of our States it requires a new authority from the whole people, acting by their representatives, chosen for this express purpose, and assembled in convention. This is found too difficult for remedying the imperfections which experience develops from time to time in an organization of the first impression. A greater facility of ammendment is certainly requisite to maintain it in a course of action accommodated to the times and changes through which we are ever passing.” –Thomas Jefferson to A. Coray, 1823. ME 15:488

    “Time and changes in the condition and constitution of society may require occasional and corresponding modifications.” –Thomas Jefferson to Edward Livingston, 1825. ME 16:113

    “Nothing is more likely than that [the] enumeration of powers is defective. This is the ordinary case of all human works. Let us then go on perfecting it by adding by way of amendment to the Constitution those powers which time and trial show are still wanting.” –Thomas Jefferson to Wilson Nicholas, 1803. ME 10:419

    Your absolutist belief in a pure interpretation is a fairy tale.

    “Though we may say with confidence, that the worst of the American constitutions is better than the best which ever existed before in any other country, and that they are wonderfully perfect for a first essay, yet every human essay must have defects. It will remain, therefore, to those now coming on the stage of public affairs, to perfect what has been so well begun by those going off it.” –Thomas Jefferson to T. M. Randolph, Jr., 1787. ME 6:165

    No less than Jefferson said of the law:

    No man has a natural right to commit aggression on the equal rights of another; and this is all from which the laws ought to restrain him. Every man is under the natural duty of contributing to the necessities of the society; and this is all the laws should enforce on him. And, no man having a natural right to be the judge between himself and another, it is his natural duty to submit to the umpirage of an impartial third. When the laws have declared and enforced all this, they have fulfilled their functions, and the idea is quite unfounded that on entering into society we give up any natural right.

    I have never advocated anything less. I’ve never said that we give up any natural right – but we do exchange certain aspects of individual liberty to achieve a cohesive society.

    Will you bow to the government beast and grovel at its feet in hopes that it will willingly give up the power it has fought so hard to take simply because you hold up some piece of paper and claim they should accept your understanding of it over that of the government?

    I don’t know, Joe. What are you asking us to do? Here we go with the revolt again. It ain’t happening with 73% of America sitting on the sidelines or openly voting for tyranny and the other 27% voting for Tyranny Lite.

    It has to happen electorally. That is the only way to preserve the Constitution and the Republic at the same time. We have to stop the passage of unconstitutional laws. We can’t force people to be free.

    Everything I have written about this situation is geared toward what is needed to change laws that are not in alignment with the Constitution and Natural Law. Somehow you and Texas have taken to the idea that I’m advocating enslavement to government and nothing I seem to say disabuse you of that perception – so I’m finished.

    Jefferson also said that he had never seen agreement come from argument, that much appears to be true.

  2. “Whenever the words of a law will bear two meanings, one of which will give effect to the law, and the other will defeat it, the former must be supposed to have been intended by the Legislature, because they could not intend that meaning, which would defeat their intention, in passing that law; and in a statute, as in a will, the intention of the party is to be sought after.” –Thomas Jefferson to Albert Gallatin, 1808. ME 12:110

    • EXACTLY!

      Thanks for citing Jefferson making MY argument: that we are to go back to those who passed the law and seek THEIR words as to THEIR intention.

      Why was that so bloody hard!

      • And again, you completely ignore my point that there is nothing to go back to…Jefferson maintained a principled view but acted differently based on the needs of the situation.

        He used the federal government to construct the National Road and funded numerous other public works projects.

        What you claim is the way to end conflict over interpretation is exactly what we have done, just that the winning interpretation is not the one that agrees with your points. Who is more valid – Jefferson, Hamilton or Paine? Three common ideas of America but three very different approaches to get there. Federalist or Anti-federalist? Who is the more relevant?

        • I am not missing your point. I understand: you want to “conserve” what we have now and move forward from here — using the system we have as it is now to do so.

          My point is this: if you are surrendering the ideal Jefferson was aiming at — and you have, which is what all your attacks on me are admitting — then where do you propose we go?

          But a better question — at least, from where I stand, anyway — is how have we lost that which Jefferson and I — and Locke — ALL say is eternal? Did we somehow misplace gravity as well?

  3. Hey everybody, hey everybody, hey everybody ! (hands waving, jumping up and down)

    The written English word and language did not change for 202 years. See this:

    “Notes on The 27th Amendment: Proposed September 25, 1789. Ratified 1992.

    The date of September 25, 1789, is correct. The amendment was initially ratified by 6 states (MD, NC, SC, DE, VT, VA), and the other 8 states excluded, omitted, rejected, or excepted it. The amendment was ratified by various states over time, and in 1992 was fully ratified as an amendment to the Constitution.

    For more information see: United States. The Constitution of the United States of America : with a summary of the actions by the states in ratification thereof ; to which is appended, for its historical interest, the Constitution of the Confederate States of America / prepared and distributed by the Virginia on Constitutional Government. Richmond : Virginia Commission on Constitutional Government, 1961. 94 p.

    http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/constitution_amendment_27.html

    https://therionorteline.com/2013/06/24/constitution-ratification-adoption-year/

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