Saturday, July 6, 2013

Will the World's Statist Past, or the Founders' Values, be America's Destiny?

The enduring truths codified in the Declaration of Independence, the philosophical blueprint for the constitution and this nation, are under assault by statists. 

Leonard B. Rosenberg, a William Paterson University political science professor, argues in America's Past is Not Its Destiny that "to return to the values exemplified by our Founding Fathers," we must "reinstitute slavery," "rescind women’s suffrage and equal rights," and accept a return to state-sanctioned religion and religious persecution. 

Rosenberg does not completely dismiss the Founding Fathers, just their essential accomplishment. He reserves praise for the Founders by implying there willingness to compromise on anything and everything by intentionally creating a "living constitution." He writes:

The Founding Fathers were indeed remarkable men. They crafted a remarkable document that — with a few amendments, numerous judicial interpretations, some significant executive orders and changing attitudes on right and wrong — still functions in an entirely different environment. But these remarkable men were just that — men. They were no more able to see the future than we are. And as all of us are, they were trapped by their age, self-interest and circumstance.

I left these comments:

It should be remembered that America inherited slavery, the plight of women, and religious strife and persecution. These ancient historical forces could not be wiped away in one fell swoop at America's founding.

Yes, the Founders had to make unfortunate political compromises to ensure the birth of the new nation. And yet, the founders managed to erect the philosophical and constitutional framework that would eventually wipe away slavery, bring legal equality for women, and ensure peaceful coexistence among religious sects. This is their monumental achievement.

Against a backdrop of statism as the historical norm, the principles of inalienable individual rights and government as servant and rights-protector created a nation that, for the first time in history, intentionally subordinated the state to the sovereignty of the individual.

It is these "values exemplified by our Founding Fathers," rather than slavery, women's inequality, or politically-empowered religion, that we need to restore--this time with full consistency.

The Founders were not at all "trapped by their age ... and circumstance," nor needed omniscience, to adopt these universal truths as the foundation upon which their nation would be built. Jefferson's wisdom should not be misconstrued. The Founders would never have approved of a "living constitution" as a means of abandoning those fundamental principles and gradually returning to state supremacy and the newest incarnation of that ancient evil--the slavery of all to all under collectivism. We ignore the Founders' values at our peril, lest the world's past becomes America's destiny.

Rosenberg evades the distinction between the immediate concrete circumstances of a given time and the evolutionary nature of abstract ideas. It takes time--sometimes decades or even centuries--for ideas to take hold. By blurring that distinction, and dropping the historical context in which the constitution was forged, Rosenberg seeks to discredit the ideals that forged this country, without even mentioning those ideals. He is condemning the Founders' values without a hearing, by equating them with a snapshot of history, and then smearing those who would "return to the values" of the Founders as essentially wanting a return to plantation slavery. 

It is not a condemnation of the evils America inherited, but the obliteration of the ideals of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness that Rosenberg is really attempting to accomplish. We who fight to stem and reverse the statist tide in America must not let Americanism's enemies get away with such trickery.

Related Reading:

July 4, 1776: Words that Will Never Be Erased

1 comment:

Mike Kevitt said...

The world's statist past is its statist present & future, even here, in the U.S., not the Founders' values, unless we ACT, not just talk, to change that.

I think Brook is seeing the futility of blabbering to House & Senate staffs, and that only the very young MIGHT be amenable to reason, generations from now, like, in 72 yrs., like, from 1789 to 1861, which cost over 600,000 lives out of 30M. What might be the toll 72 yrs. from now, or today?

THAT's what we're up against, except more. They're after our right of self-defense and our right to shoot off our mouths, truckulently (sp.?, I don't care), from the world down to your neighborhood & city block. When they come to our front door in person raising their 'badges', then guns (they'll skip their fists), that's the time for deathly, bloody revolution, oceans, not rivers, of THEIR blood, not ours(take this statement from me to the FBI or IRS if you see fit. Sick'em on me, I don't care).

They're not law, gvt. authority, legitimacy or any associated crap. WE are, on our own, just winging it, informally. Later, we can written it down, formally, screw 'democracy' and sling it on anybody from outside our borders, meaning, from outside our city lot lines. Those are nat'l. boundaries, the nation of individual rights.

Separated patchworks? So what? Look at Kaliningrad, 'part' of Russia. What's the difference, except for individual rights, which makes all the difference. Hell with'em. Why shrink from the word, idea or fact of partition? We'll get'em back, sooner or later, probably sooner. They'll want back in, Calif. & whoever. Sea to shining sea. Because the political & military leadership is a bunch of wimps, a bunch of squizzly little '60's hippies, with POWER in their lily little hands. Because I, or you, or any other adult can look'em in the eye & say nothing, and they'll run scared.

YOU KNOW ALL THIS. It's late nite, or early, however you want to look at it. I choose to konk out a day or so, because I want to & I can afford to, but I mean what I just wrote.