The Founding Fathers’ big mistake.

Earlier I shared my certainty that the Preamble needs to drop all that “Union, justice, tranquility” stuff and focus on liberty.  Because only free men and women can do those other things.  Instead, government thefts of our liberty have given us this “union” of Redstate/Bluestate.  The justice of Eric Holder.  The tranquility of Occupy Wall Street.

So I’ve concluded that the only legitimate function for an overarching government is to maximize its citizens’ freedoms.  That focus actually changes very little of what the present government can already constitutionally do.  It would still have a military, would still be the final arbiter of states’ disputes, etc.

Of course, it obliterates most of the Fed’s actual activities.  But I’m not saying that government shouldn’t do many of these functions.  I’m saying the national government shouldn’t.  Suppose states could enact the social and economic policies desired by their own citizens.  Would that improve, or worsen, the American union and its justice and tranquility?

Right this minute it would worsen things.  Because if we taxpayingAmericascould shrug the taxsucking Americans off of our backs we’d do it this second.  Some of us even know it would be for the parasites own good.  But they (the Ruling Class and the Taking Class) are not going to become self-supportive without a fight.

And yet we let these spoiled children get away with screaming invectives at their betters whenever they don’t get their way.  Which means we’re not adult enough either.

How did our culture get so infantile?

I don’t think the Founding Fathers had any notion just how successful their system would be.  This constitutional republic grew so smart and creative and productive and rich that it could support tens of millions of Americans who are the opposite of smart and creative and productive.  Our wealth and security was so unprecedented that smug complacency grew to new heights as well.

So now, close to half of our citizens are going through their entire lives without ever becoming adults.

This is why I believe the Founders’ biggest blind spot was cooking up that lie about “unalienable rights”.  I understand why they didn’t know it was a lie.  It never occurred to them that an entire society could forget that there is no right without a corresponding responsibility. 

I don’t think they considered the possibility that enormous luxury and ease would turn everyone into children, even the tyrants.

Look at our culture, and tell me that the Constitution 2.0 doesn’t need to spell out basic individual responsibilities to go with any and all rights.  Yes, I find its necessity insane, as I’m sure all of you do who also had strict and moral upbringings. 

So let’s get rid of “unalienable” rights and get the “self-alienable” idea out there, STAT and from the very beginning.

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About wormme

I've accepted that all of you are socially superior to me. But no pretending that any of you are rational.
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10 Responses to The Founding Fathers’ big mistake.

  1. D.J. says:

    What citizen responsibilities do you think should be spelled out in the constitution? What will their penalties be? I’d put said responsibilities in Article 2 myself.

    But.

    Then the Constitution is coercing activity by private individuals. Do you really, really want that?

    • D.J. says:

      Remember what John Adams said about the Constitution: “We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion . . . Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”

      What we’re seeing now is that the Constitution is wholly inadequate to the government of an immoral and irreligious people.

    • D.J. says:

      Argh. I hate it when a bit more research turns up the more complete quote:

      While our country remains untainted with the principles and manners which are now producing desolation in so many parts of the world; while she continues sincere, and incapable of insidious and impious policy, we shall have the strongest reason to rejoice in the local destination assigned us by Providence. But should the people of America once become capable of that deep simulation towards one another, and towards foreign nations, which assumes the language of justice and moderation, while it is practising iniquity and extravagance, and displays in the most captivating manner the charming pictures of candour, frankness, and sincerity, while it is rioting in rapine and insolence, this country will be the most miserable habitation in the world. Because we have no government, armed with power, capable of contending with human passions, unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge and licentiousness 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. Oaths in this country are as yet universally considered as sacred obligations. That which you have taken, and so solemnly repeated on that venerable ground, is an ample pledge of your sincerity and devotion to your country and its government.

    • wormme says:

      These basic responsibilities are all curbed behavior, not coerced behavior. And the main ones I’m thinking of are actually human responsibilities, not merely American ones. You have a right to life as long as you don’t kill others. You have a right to property as long as you don’t steal it. Etc.

      I also believe in voluntary surrender of liberties in exchange for other things. In fact I think we need more of it. Anyone working for a government, or a ward of it, should have to give up their vote in that government’s elections.

    • Mountainbear says:

      Iodine 131 has a half-life of 8 days. Fukushima happened 8 months ago.

      Someone might want to check Temelin.

    • wormme says:

      Very interesting, thank you. It doesn’t fill you with confidence over eastern European nuke programs. I can’t imagine how any plant here could release I-131 in such quantity without detecting it.

      • Mountainbear says:

        Temelin has always been called the “death reactor” and similar in Austria. And well, at Chernobyl we saw what happens when people toy around with that stuff, plus Temelin is very close to the border and there have been a couple of issues in the past. Those Russian-design reactors aren’t really what I’d like to have on my doorstep. I’d feel better with an American or Japanese reactor there.

      • Mountainbear says:

        Also note how the yahoo article claims that Austria dropped nuclear power. That’s an outright lie. We never picked it up. We built a nuclear power station in Zwentendorf, THEN we had a poll (yes, after everything was built) and people said “No, we don’t really want it”. Eat your heart out tax payer. However, we do have one working reactor in Seibersdorf, which is a research facility.

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