Common Sense Too
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Thank You TP
Common Sense Too
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Bill of Rights
Common Sense Too
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Common Sense Too
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Common Sense Too: Part 2
Of the Original Design of Government:|
The distinction between society and government has been blurred for the advantage of those who wish to control both. To understand our current dilemma, we must understand “that society and government are not only different, but have different origins. Society is produced by our wants, and government by our wickedness; the former promotes our happiness POSITIVELY by uniting our affections, the latter NEGATIVELY by restraining our vices. The one encourages bonding, the other creates distinctions. The first is a patron, the last a punisher.”
“Society in every state is a blessing, but Government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil; in its worst state an intolerable one:” intolerable because the tyranny and oppression that we are exposed to By Our Government, which we might expect in a country of Kings and Dictators, is furnished through our own consent. Government, like clothing is a restrictive cover imposed to protect us from our own shortcomings; the riches of Governors are built on the backs of our mistrust of each other. For were we all of clear conscience, respectful of the rights and pursuits of our fellow man, uniform and obedient to our common interests, then no other government would be required. But that not being the case, we find it necessary to surrender up part of our rights to provide the means to protect the rest of our rights, choosing the lesser evil of government intervention over the failings of man’s character. Whereas, security against some men’s failings is the true design and end of government, it follows that the form of government most likely to ensure our security, with the least expense and greatest benefit, is preferable to all others.
For society to remain the inspiration of our lives, it must be kept separate from government, for what is inspirational about that which is not voluntary but forced upon us; what is charitable about charity that is not given freely but of a decree from the government; what art can be beautiful of sight and mind when the definition of beautiful is not an individual choice. How could a government have its roots in “The Declaration of Independence” and “Common Sense”, only to then progress to a point of tyranny; legislating itself to combine society and government into “The Great Society”; a contradiction of the founding documents?
In order to gain insight into a just design of government, let’s suppose a small number of people settled on some uninhabited land with abounded resources, unconnected with the rest of mankind. They will then represent the beginnings of a new nation. In this state of natural liberty, society will be their first concern. A thousand motives will move them toward creating a society, because each man working separately would not be able to provide for his own needs. The strength of one man is unequal to his wants and his mind is unfit for a life of perpetual solitude.
Some would soon be obliged to seek assistance and relief from the others, who in turn require the same. Four or Five people united would be able to raise a tolerable dwelling in this new country, but one man might spend his whole life trying to build a shelter with limited success, living out his life without accomplishing anything. When he had felled his timber he could not move it; if he found a way to move it, he would not have the strength to erect it. Meanwhile, hunger would urge him to quit his construction and every different want would call him in different directions. Without the help of others, any misfortune or disease could spell death, “though neither might be fatal, yet either would disable him from living, and reduce him to a state in which he might rather be said to perish than to die.”
Through necessity, like a gravitating power, the new emigrants will form into a society beneficial to all; the obligations of law and government are unnecessary as each is thankful of the benefits availed of the union, each treating the other justly to foster the ongoing prosperity. “But as nothing but Heaven is impregnable to vice, it will unavoidably happen that in proportion as they surmount the first difficulties of emigration, which bound them together in a common cause, they will begin to relax in their duty and attachment to each other: and this remissness will point out the necessity of establishing some form of government to control the defect of moral virtue.”
“Some convenient tree will afford them a State House, under the branches of which the whole Colony may assemble to deliberate on public matters. It is more than probable that their first laws will have the title only of Regulations and be enforced by no other penalty than public disesteem. In this first congress every man by natural right will have a seat.”
“But as the Colony increases, the public concerns will increase likewise, and the distance at which the members may be separated, will render it too inconvenient for all of them to meet on every occasion as at first, when their number was small, their habitations near, and the public concerns few and trifling. This will point out the convenience of their consenting to leave the legislative part to be managed by a select number chosen from the whole body, who are supposed to have the same concerns at stake with those have who appointed them, and who will act in the same manner as the whole body would act were they present.
If the colony continues increasing, it will become necessary to augment the number of representatives, so that the interest of every part of the colony may be attended to, it will be found best to divide the whole into convenient parts, each part sending its proper number: and that the ELECTED might never form to themselves an interest separate from the ELECTORS, prudence will point out the propriety of having elections often: because as the ELECTED might by that means return and mix again with the general body of the ELECTORS in a few months, their fidelity to the public will be secured by the prudent reflection of not alienating their electors. And as this frequent interchange will establish a common interest with every part of the community, they will mutually and naturally support each other, and on this, depends the STRENGTH OF GOVERNMENT, AND THE HAPPINESS OF THE GOVERNED.”
Here then is the origin and rise of government; namely, a mode rendered necessary by the inability of moral virtue to govern the world; here too is the design and objective of government, i.e. Freedom and security. And however our eyes may be dazzled with show, or our ears deceived by sound; however prejudice may warp our wills, or interest darken our understanding, the simple voice of nature and reason will say, 'this is right.
But as success of the governed leads to prosperity under the liberties and freedom granted from God, the risk of misdeeds by the ELECTED are multiplied as he too is subject to vice and defects of moral virtue. While some men can resist the temptations of the calling to be King, others will seek power, and in so doing increase his standing as superior over other men. A man of such ill manor might derive his power by turning his ELECTORS against each other. This divided colony is to his advantage as a simple majority of men would rally behind their superior leader to protect their own rights; and also their defects.
Thus, under the guise of a democracy, tyranny can still exist; instead of tyranny by a King or a Dictator, those oppressed would lose their rights; as equal to all other men; to the tyranny by the majority; but no less tyranny. Future leaders will learn of power to be had by such deception and division, and this lust for power will attract men who have these desires; while leadership of this manor will become the norm.
As the design of government is to be limited to protecting us from our own vices and the moral shortcomings of our fellow man, it should follow that the simpler any thing is, the less likely it is to be abused, and the easier repaired when abuse has occurred. Those who seek power through government tyranny need to make the rules by which we govern ourselves to be complicated, for their advantage is not their right but their knowledge of the complexities of the laws that they themselves have imposed on us, with our blessing.
Absolute governments, though a disgrace to liberty, have the advantage of being simple. If the people suffer, they know from where their suffering arises and are not bewildered by a variety of causes and cures. But we live under rules that have become so complex that we are divided in how to address the tyranny that is our current state. The choices of solutions leaves us divided, unable to decipher the path to the restoration of our natural rights, and unable to even identify our tormentors, who live amongst us.
A clear, concise Constitution, limiting governmental powers, and the governing powers of both good men and tyrants, while respecting our natural rights and securing our liberties; is the only way to secure equal standing among men. The intent and meaning of this document must be easily understood by all men, as any ambiguity will be used, by those who proclaim a superior knowledge, as a tool to gain their advantage. Society, and the blessings that come with it, must be kept separate from government; as control of our blessings is the nectar that feeds the hearts and souls of those who can not resist the temptations of its sweet taste. Those who would serve in a government limited to securing our liberties and protecting the dictates of a just constitution are rewarded; not by increasing his own standing and influence, but by the benefits gained from a society that is unleashed through freedom.