American Political Philosopher, Author, and Musician
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Due to the state of my country, and the importance of this essay, I've decided to present it for all to read prior to purchase. I don't intend to give it away, as I understand its value and believe that I've earned more than the purchase price. Read it, and if you believe it's worth the money, then pay for it either by purchasing the Kindle version through the link above, or visit thesaneparty.com store. If you don't agree, then you are under no obligation to buy it.  As a capitalist- that sounds fair to me.

How to Save the World …in under 50 pages; Why both Parties are Wrong

© 2012 Kenneth Shipman

INTRODUCTION

PRECISE DEFINITIONS

FAITH

FAITH VS REASONING

TRIBAL BEHAVIOR

WHAT ARE RIGHTS, AND WHERE DO THEY COME FROM?

RACISM

WHAT HAPPENED TO THE NATIVE AMERICANS?

MORALITY AND GOD

WHAT IS A DEIST AND WHY DOES IT MATTER?

CHRISTIANITY VS CAPITALISM

WHAT DOES THE FIRST AMENDMENT MEAN?

THE SUPREME INJUSTICE

WHAT IS THE LIMIT OF LAW?

HOW DO WE FIX OUR LAW?

WHAT IS REASONABLE?

WHAT’S WRONG WITH SOCIALISM?

UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES

THE TWO-STEREOTYPE SYSTEM

THE DRUG PROHIBITION QUESTION

MARRIAGE VS THE STATE

PUBLIC EDUCATION

PUBLICLY FUNDED HEALTHCARE

WELFARE AND CORRECTIONS

ISRAEL AND THE MIDDLE EAST

IN SUMMARY

BONUS ESSAYS

The Marxist Occupation and how to defeat it (October 2011)

The Separation of Church and State:

Conservatism’s Last Chance

December '08:

Taxes are Too Taxing

(from “The Answers to All the World’s Problems, 1995)

 


 

INTRODUCTION

 

In case you’re huddled in some future cave or underground bunker, struggling to read this by dung-light, it’s likely you are a victim of the impending Marxist disaster we’re currently experiencing in the United States of America. In short: America- and the rest of the world these days- is a pretty screwed up place.

I don’t think anyone really knows how many trillions of dollars our country is in debt at this point, and the bullshit stats on unemployment are above 8%. That means the real unemployment figures are way beyond that and getting worse. Crazy amounts of money go into “education”, yet many of the kids are still as dumb as the bricks in the latest multimillion-dollar high school gym.

All of the states of Europe are struggling to shuffle some imaginary money around in such a way as to make it seem like they are solvent, and the menagerie here in the states is not far behind.

There have been thousands marching in the streets for reasons they can’t articulate beyond the vague phrase “occupy movement”, though isolated, self-serving individuals have tried to attribute to those crowds their own interpretations. In general, the occupiers and others are not happy that stuff sucks.

And stuff does suck.

Living comfortably has begun to cost a fortune, and everyone thinks the deck is stacked against him. The cost of cars and gas and health insurance and housing is going through the roof, and the government is blowing trillions into the wind.

I’ve spent a lot of my life listening to all of the people with opinions about how to cure some aspect or another of America’s ills, and though some are on the right track from time-to-time, seldom is anyone really that close to the root of the issues. I know that they aren’t because I know all of the answers.

All of the answers are my specialty.

I’ve been surprised over time with how offended people can become when someone asserts that he can solve all of this. It’s not as if I’m saying they can’t- I’m just saying I can, and have: mathematically. As a matter of fact, I wrote a book called “The Answers to all the World’s Problems” in 1995, which details it all from my perspective as a young man. It took me 340 pages to do that in my mid-20s.

My goal in this writing is to package that information with more brevity and clarity- in as few pages as necessary to disseminate the knowledge effectively. I have no control over how this will be received, but I know it is based upon my conviction, and more importantly upon logic, so how it is received can be of no relevance. Regardless, I’ll probably be on the golf course.

I hope for the sake of my country and humankind that this will find like-minds, the owners of which will pass on these thoughts such that they can be used to save this great human experiment called the United States of America.

 

 

PRECISE DEFINITIONS

 

I was listening to a local talk-radio show a couple of months ago, and the host, Mark Davis, took a call from a character with a slow, Texas drawl who said something about having all the answers, and that the key was “presass definishins” [precise definitions]. It got even stranger when the caller had nothing to add to that declaration. He didn’t have any words in mind for precisely defining, and bade The Mark Davis show “good day”.

The strangest part of all was that he was exactly right. It was as if he were foreshadowing my arrival.

I better get to it then: There are a few words in our political lexicon that are used all the time, but mean something different to each person who uses them. In some cases, these words mean something different each time they’re used by the same person. This is not contributing to effective communication, and so it must be addressed.

 

The first word we’ll review is “conservatism”.

 

Firstly, people who like to think of themselves as conservative sometimes refer to conservatism as “adhering to first principles”, or “following the Constitution” of the United States. Many of the people who say that haven’t read the Constitution very carefully and most of the rest have read it but don’t understand its fundamentals. We’ll get to that soon. The Mullahs in Iran, from another perspective, are also referred to as “conservative”.

Informally, the word “conservative” means that someone is resistant to change or endeavors to maintain old traditions in the face of progress. The thing being conserved most often is “the way things have always been”.

That’s a bit of a paradox when one considers the essence of conservatism in the United States, because the ideas that are being conserved- if one is conserving the founding principles of the US– are pretty radical and new. Our “conservatism of the radical ideas of freedom”, and the progress those ideas enable, don’t have much in common with the political views of the current Iranian regime, unless, of course, if we consider that the Iranians often embrace the modern manufacturing methods of “satanic” countries for certain items, such as the shovels they use when burying adulterous rape-victims up to their necks for stoning, or the diesel cranes they use when hanging gay people.

So if we’re going to use the term “conservative” to refer to people who support new and radical ideas- like those in the Constitution- then we have to be careful to make sure which issues actually adhere to constitutional principles, and which don’t, because we must hold fast to the first and discard the second in the scope of what we understand to be conservatism. Otherwise, we’re not communicating effectively.

 People indicate that “family values” are conservative, for example. Actually, there’s not one word about family values in the Constitution or the Declaration. Those documents are conspicuously about individual rights.

People indicate that a “pro-life stance” is a conservative position.

 

It isn’t.

 

The “abortion” question doesn’t have anything to do with the conservation of the principles of the United States, other than as a conflict between individuals that must be addressed by the limited mechanism of democracy as outlined in the Constitution, because both sides have strong and conflicting points. One person, for example, could understand and adhere to the principles and mechanisms of the Constitution and strongly support laws against abortion, and another could understand the Constitution just as well but believe strongly in the sovereignty of a woman against government regarding the question of abortion. Abortion is the kind of thing that laws can be made about, following the course of democracy.

 The Constitution, and true conservatism, is much more about those concepts which are not subject to democracy: individual rights.

People will say that conservatism is about “limited government”, but they don’t understand the criteria by which it must be limited. That topic is the subject of this communication.

Political conservatism in the United States should have a precise definition, and here it is:

 

Conservatism is the conservation of the principles of the founding of the United States of America. It’s nothing more or less- as that would be redundant or contradictory.

 

People also make the mistake of suggesting that conservatism is about “faith”.

 

True faith has nothing to do with the principles of the United States.

 

That’s the next word we’ll precisely define.


FAITH

 

The word “faith” is another word that has more than one meaning in the dictionary, and in common usage. Many words that have different meanings are not confused by those who use them. The different meaning is generally derived from the context of the usage. For example, if someone says they’re going to “dock” your pay, you might be upset by that, but you’re probably not thinking that they are taking your paycheck down to where ships are unloaded.

We’ve seen that the word “conservatism” refers both to those who protect new and radical ideas- as in the case of those who conserve constitutional principles- and those who protect old and ugly ideas, as in the Mullah’s of Iran. Faith takes that confusion to an even greater level. People use the word “Faith” in lots of different ways and to mean different things, but few distinguish the essential meaning from the colloquial usage.

Generally, people will use the word to refer to something in which they believe strongly, whether or not their reasoning supports that belief. For example, someone might say something like “I have faith in my brother- he’s never let me down in all my life”.

That’s a lovely statement of support for one’s family, but if the speaker’s brother has truly never let him down, then that belief is perfectly reasonable to hold without resorting to faith. That statement is a little bit like saying “I was mystified by that magic trick; I designed and built the apparatus and it worked flawlessly.” It’s just an example of incorrect word usage that has become common usage for the word “faith”.

The definition of a word, however, is supposed to illustrate what makes that word unique among other words.

 

What is faith at its essence?

 

Someone who replied to a blog entry of mine recently wrote “faith=trust”.

 

No, it doesn’t.

 

Trust=trust. Faith is a subset of trust.

 

I trust my car is going to start, because it normally does, and I know it has a fresh battery in it. “Faith” is when you trust that your car is going to start, even though you know that the battery has been removed.

Faith is a kind of belief, more specifically. It is a subset of all beliefs with a certain characteristic.

Accepting that a belief is something that a person holds to be true, we distinguish two kinds of beliefs: If a belief is reasonable to hold, it does not require faith to hold it. Therefore, faith is a belief that is unreasonable. That’s math, folks. That’s all that true faith is. The other uses of that word are deviations from the essence of the concept, and shouldn’t be confused with the word that represents that essence in the context of political discourse, unless you are ignorant or dishonest.


FAITH VS REASONING

 

We covered the two types of beliefs. Faith is a belief that isn’t based in reasoning.

Other beliefs people hold, as mentioned, are based in reasoning.

Reasoning in this context means a person comes to believe a concept because that belief is consistent with information he has received through his senses. It’s important to note that it’s possible for a belief that comes about through reasoning to turn out to be false, and a belief that is based in faith to be validated.

Many of us believe that Neil Armstrong walked on the moon.

We have lots of stuff to consider behind that belief, such as the history of aeronautics, the development of rocketry, our own experiences in aircraft; and some of us have even seen the space station and the shuttle orbiting above with the naked eye. The concept “Armstrong walked on the moon” makes sense. It is, however, within the realm of possibility that such a landing could have been fabricated. I’ve viewed the evidence from both sides, and I cannot choose the belief that comes about: “We” did land there, and he did walk there.

I could be wrong, but I doubt it, and I don’t need faith to believe it.

On the other hand, maybe a person says he believes he’s going to win the lottery- and he does. There’s no way that reasoning could support such a belief, and it’s likely that only the mathematically challenged or insane person could profess it honestly, but such things are in the realm of probability. I know how that one works, too, because I once owned a lottery ticket that won $250,000, though I unfortunately had to share it, and though I certainly didn’t have faith I would win it when I paid for the ticket ;-).

The important thing to retain is that reason and faith are different by mechanism, irrespective of outcome, and irrespective of moral analysis.


TRIBAL BEHAVIOR

 

What is a human being?

 

A human being is an organism that needs shelter, food, and water to continue being an organism.

 

That’s about it.

 

If you or I were the only one of us in this bountiful universe, it just might be that we could pick some berries, fashion a spear, make a hut and live a long and happy life.

But there’s a bunch of us, and so we have to deal with that.

It turns out it’s not such a bad thing that there are lots of us. People have different talents and abilities, and that gives us an opportunity to trade our goods and services freely to get what we need or want to make our huts and lives more pleasant.

But it sucks in other ways. Sometimes there are mean people, and they want to steal stuff and hurt people. To combat this inevitability, weaker individuals may choose to get together to make themselves stronger with collective defense. This defense, of course, costs each member some of their stuff or free time to create what is necessary to pay or be the defenders.

But much larger problems can arise from that structure. Some of the people in those groups may start to try to employ that collectivity to influence other kinds of behaviors apart from curbing the criminal inclinations of mean people. Sometimes they have bad and selfish intentions, and sometimes they start with good intentions and still end up forcing other people to do or pay for things apart from what they would have freely chosen had they been left to their own devices.

Sometimes those extra behaviors become ingrained into the lives of the individuals in that group, and more and more they seem to be a part of what it means to be a human being- especially for those who are born into the group that practices them. This is the essence of tribal behavior.

For example, it may be that for a certain tribe of people, their culture developed such that they traditionally hold a ceremony when a child reaches the age of five red moons. Maybe at that time he will be fed some peyote and be wrapped in banana leaves and left in the desert for a week.  (Please, any new tribes out there, this is just an example)

It’s likely that- without the tribe- the parents of that child probably wouldn’t have chosen that behavior. It’s the influence of those traditions and the pressure of that society that make odd behaviors seem very normal from inside that culture. In short, tribal behavior is when a group engages in the practice of ritual behaviors which are not absolutely necessary to the survival of individuals in that group, especially when those behaviors are forced or coerced.  


WHAT ARE RIGHTS, AND WHERE DO THEY COME FROM?

 

A right refers to that which an individual is justified to defend. Rights are what one has in nature without government, or tribe, or even other individuals. For example, if you find yourself standing alone in a forest of tall trees, and you hear a cracking noise and look up to find a 400-pound branch falling toward you, do you have the right to step aside? Must you allow nature to destroy you, or may you choose action to prolong your existence? The tree doesn’t really care, you might reason, whether you live or die- and so you may choose to live- through action.

But what if you’ve gathered some food to help you live through the winter, and some other guy wants to simplify his effort at survival by just taking the stuff you’ve gathered for yourself. He’s a lot like the tree branch, in that your actions will be required to save yourself, but he’s not like the tree in that he has a mind of his own and his pursuit of survival to consider. Is one justified in defending his property against another human being?

 

It depends.

 

If we’re not equal in our status as human beings, for example, and nature dictates that one group of human beings exists to gather food for another, and then die, then the person designated as such would not have a right to defend himself. If our existences are deemed to be equal in origin, however, then the person who gathered the provisions would be correct in reasoning that the aggressor-guy should gather his own provisions, and would be justified in using action to stop the loss of his own effort.

People sometimes say that our rights are God-given.

Informally, that has a nice ring to it.

That’s not precise enough, however, if one wants to understand the true nature of rights, because our rights don’t come from what we know about God. Our rights come from what we don’t know about God, to be mathematically precise.

Allow me to illustrate: It says in the Declaration of Independence that “we hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal”.

We’re equal in only one way: the human condition.

The human condition means we don’t know why we’re here, and we don’t know who or what “God” is. We only have the evidence of his creation- nature- to study if our goal is to know more about God, or about anything else.

None of us knows God outside the nature in which we live.

It’s one individual’s claim about what another does not have- the sanction of God- that is the source of rights.

To illustrate further: Prior to Osama Bin Laden’s untimely death (at least 40 years too late), he believed that he had a special relationship with God. According to him, he had it on God’s authority that the rest of us were pretty much here to live the way he wanted us to live or he was justified in harassing or killing us, or taking our stuff.

We assert something quite bold in response to anyone who holds similar positions. We assert that their claimed relationships with God are invalid, and that they have, in fact, no more direct a relationship with God than we, and therefore we deny their right to limit our freedom, let alone to kill us without risking physical peril of their own.

Our rights, therefore, come from what we hold to be self evident: None of us has a more direct relationship with God than any other. Our rights are the result of our common lack of knowledge of God, precisely.


RACISM

 

            A racist is a person who recognizes the existence of race.

 

            Most of us do that from time to time, but we’re always wrong when we do it, because the reality is that people are individuals.

 

            In a most egregious example, Adolf Hitler thought there was some value in keeping a race “pure”.

 

            There isn’t.

 

Even if there were, it wouldn’t be possible. People like to screw each other too much. The world is the melting pot, whether we like it or not. As it turns out, most of us do like it. That means that the concept of “different races” is less real with each passing day. There are people who appear to fit the stereotype of one race, who may have parents who appear to fit the stereotype of another race. Most people who care about their own racial heritage will claim to be part this, that, and the other racial group, and maybe they’re right. The rest of us don’t know and don’t care. Some guy asked me recently if I were Swedish, presumably because I have blond hair. The same guy, no doubt, would look at a picture of my grandmother and swear she was a full-blooded Native American.

Race, frankly, is bullshit.

            But then we have some people who seem to want to keep all of us conceptually in our little buckets. They want to make sure we all remember who the black people and the white people and the red people and the yellow people are.

 

Why do they do this?

 

They do it because they are racists, and because they make money from the conflicts that arise. Skin color is big business for some people. I would mention some names, but intelligent people know who they are, and I don’t want to breathe life into their sorry carcasses, lest they take longer to wither and die.

They want to force the government to take money from some people and give it to other people based upon the color of their skin. They want to tell business-people who they can hire through law. They want to change the employer’s motivation from “who would best help me meet my goals” to “who has a skin color that is acceptable to a racist”.

None of that is necessary, because normal people don’t like racists, and any business that hires only people of a certain color will not succeed in their goal, unless that goal is to piss off customers. That’s not a very profitable goal, I suspect. Freedom with common and colorblind defense is the only affirmative action necessary. The rest is a manifestation of the same thought process that enables slavery: the idea that we’re something other than individuals.


WHAT HAPPENED TO THE NATIVE AMERICANS?

 

What happened to the Native Americans? For most of us, if we want to know the answer to that question, we just look in the mirror. That’s right. I would wager that within six weeks of the arrival of the ships that brought the first colonists, the natives were having sex with the colonists. Pocahontas wasn’t alone.

Every time you turn around in America, someone is telling you how they’re part Cherokee or Choctaw or Navaho or one of the other of the countless Native American tribes. And they’re often correct. Therefore, we should distinguish between the development of an individualist way of life in America in the midst of the various tribal ways of life practiced by many Native Americans (and colonists, for that matter), and the flow of DNA within the populations of people in the geographic region. There were white settlers who ended up joining tribes by force or freely, and there were people of native American heritage who chose to live as individuals in the new American culture.

Native tribes were warring amongst themselves, and they were allied with European fighters against other tribes and other Europeans throughout the period prior to the founding of the United States and beyond. This current picture of a clear division between the Europeans against the poor Indians is not a picture of reality.

From the political side, the tribal ways of life were not going to survive technology and progress, regardless of other factors. These were not inferior people, but they certainly belonged to inferior cultures.

It wasn’t Native American people who died out in America, but the collective, tribal lifestyle practiced by those too weak or stubborn to leave their old ideas behind. We, the Native American people, are still here. We’re the descendents of the mixture of European and Native American bloodlines and many others. Most of us don’t think of ourselves as anything but individuals, which is a good thing- because that is a sustainable and reasonable view. That view is the truth.

The rest will be cast upon the ash-heap of burned-out tribal traditions, as soon as the rest of us can own casinos, that is.


MORALITY AND GOD

 

Some people say stuff like: “Without God there is no morality”.

 

They’re wrong.

 

Here’s why:

 

Certainly if there is an all-powerful God that chooses to exercise control in our world, then the atrocities he allows would need to be justified somewhere along the line- otherwise He exudes a rather extra-natural definition of “moral”.

If he’s the kind of God that gave us life and thus control of our own choices in an unscripted universe of choices- but we’re chastised by His teachings to not misbehave or we will suffer in the afterlife- then that morality indicates that we’re fundamentally evil and we need fear to make us behave.

If he’s the kind of God the deist imagines, then we’re also free to choose our actions, but our tolerant or courteous behavior toward others is not a result of fear, but of a genuine lack of contempt for others, and of recognition of their role in the success of our own lives.

If there is no God, then the morality of an individual is rooted in self-preservation. As a species, humanity requires creative individuals to innovate actions/behaviors that increase the probability of survival both for them and for those around them. It’s impossible to determine, further, which individual is going to achieve those innovations, and from what set of circumstances. This places great value on the life of every individual, and on his freedom. If someone commits a murder, he has eliminated the potential value of the actions of that victim from the pool of possible actions available to the task of proliferating the species, and that sucks. It sucks so as to be immoral, even without a great overseer.

Ask someone who may believe that there is no morality without God the following question: “If you were able to choose the faith that there were no God, would you then go out and start raping little girls and boys?”

Sadly, there are some who might, but those aren’t normal people. It’s normal to have compassion for others, and to look upon them fondly and perceive that they have the same issues and challenges as you in general terms. It’s normal to respect and enjoy the unique actions of others when they deserve it. That doesn’t mean everyone has to be outgoing or even helpful, but that does mean that the normal human being, with or without God, has no desire to hurt others. It means that human beings are not inherently evil, as some religions suggest.

The fact that morality is independent of faith is foundational to a society where people of different faiths can expect equal justice under the law. Morality stands the test of reasoning just fine without the crutch of faith.


WHAT IS A DEIST AND WHY DOES IT MATTER?

 

Conservatives sometimes refer briefly to some of the founders being deists, but they generally use it to imply that they were people who believed in a spiritual God.

 

That’s wrong.

 

A deist is a person who does not believe in faith, succinctly.

 

A deist believes that reason is the path to God. Deists don’t believe in revealed religion. That is, they don’t believe that any human being has ever had a closer relationship to God than any other, or that God ever communicated with mankind through any language other than the nature in which we all live. Deists don’t believe in books with God’s words in them. Deists believe we are all created equal in our elemental predicament in nature.

If you read the Declaration if Independence in that context, it’s clearly a reflection of deist thought. First of all, the Declaration is not a prayer. It’s a reasoned argument with a defined audience: the opinions of mankind. It states that it is self-evident that all men are created equal by our creator (though that equality is an ignorance of the direct nature of that creator), and that we have the right to pursue happiness through liberty.

Most of the founders who were deists respected the morality of Jesus as depicted in the Bible and Christians in general, but they generally thought that Jesus’ teachings were taken out of context and utilized for purposes other than what Jesus would have taught or chose. Jefferson’s abridgement of the Bible, commonly called “the Jefferson Bible” is one example of that idea.

It’s important to understand that the principle-molders of the thought that became the Declaration of Independence and later the Constitution were not- to be blunt- acting in the Judeo-Christian tradition. They were acting on reasoning; trying to devise and justify a logical methodology within which people of different faiths could live together peacefully. They were astoundingly successful. It is as if divine providence looked over them, but there’s no evidence of anything other than that they were very brilliant and very unique men, capable of earning the role of the leadership of free people by applying reasoning, rather than faith, to the goal of human society.


CHRISTIANITY VS CAPITALISM

 

            A very large chunk of the population of the United States considers themselves in one form or another to be Christian. In that informal sense, America is a Christian nation.

            Before I illustrate why the United States cannot actually be a Christian nation in any formal sense, it’s important to note some general truths about Christianity in the US.

            Let’s start with the following: The overwhelming majority of people who consider themselves to be Christian are as great a neighbor and fellow countryman or woman as any human being could hope for. They’re often courteous, helpful, charitable, and generally conducive to the beauty of civilization.

            They don’t bother anyone, they pay their bills; they keep their yards nice and coach your kid’s baseball team.

            I’d like to line up 99% of them and give ‘em a big hug.

            Generally, people understand the teachings of Christ in such a way that would instruct them to act toward fellow human beings in much the same way we might understand that capitalism suggests. In other words, individuals should deal fairly and honestly with one another, and with a decent respect.

            Many Christian conservatives imply that Christianity is so closely associated with the political system of the US, that they are intertwined, if not synonymous.

 

            The problem is: They’re not.

 

            In fact, what I hope most Christians will be able to consider fairly is that bible-Christianity is fundamentally incompatible with the political philosophy underlying the United States of America.

            For starters, the Declaration of Independence says that it is self-evident that “All men are created equal”.

            Christianity, of course, depends on the idea that Jesus was not created equal.

            But there’s an even more obvious, simple idea that everyone seems to ignore:

            The United States was founded on the premise that human beings can form governments that will ensure tranquility and establish justice. America is supposed to be a place where humanity succeeds in our endeavor to live together in peace and harmony. Capitalism is the idea that man can overcome his obstacles, tame his wildernesses, build his skyscrapers, fly through the heavens, and reach the stars.

            The bible, unfortunately, has an ugly ending already written for our little experiment. According to bible-Christianity, despite the best efforts of governments instituted among men, we will fail.

            Our society will decay into violence and evil, and there’s not a damned thing we can do about it.

            In other words, if you’re really a bible-Christian, then you have a big conflict of interest. How can you claim to love America and hope for its success, all the while believing it cannot succeed?

            The truth is, there’s only one way to do it: you must be able to separate your church from your state, like everybody else.

            Christian conservatives often imply that this great struggle we’re in is between the good God-loving people, and the socialist “atheist” people.

            That’s a fatal flaw.

            There is no such thing as an atheist Marxist, as Marxism is a faith-based belief system. All Christian-conservatives accomplish when they mock the faithless is to divide the opponents of the religion of liberalism, and that weakens our defense against it.

            The idea of America is the most uplifting, inspiring, and positive occurrence in history for human beings.

            It means we’re not doomed to failure as a species.

            Christians: If you really want to do something charitable for your fellow man, then you should help to foster a respect for a reason-based government, and quit trying to saddle the greatest experiment in the history of civilization with the wet-blanket of societal doom that your religion promises. After all, one of the least ambiguous passages in the bible is attributed to Jesus, and it’s His lesson about rendering what is due Caesar to Caesar, and what is due Jesus to Jesus.

            With that in mind, the Separation of Church and State should be something that the Atheist and the Christian should be able to agree on, if nothing else.

             

           

           

 

 

           

 

 

 

 

 


WHAT DOES THE FIRST AMENDMENT MEAN?

 

People have different ideas about what the following means:

 

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…”

 

That’s actually the most important sentence in the history of mankind, so I’ll try to get this as precise and concise as I can:

 

Thomas Jefferson wrote that it meant a “wall of separation between church and state”.

 

A lot of conservatives say that’s taken out of context.

 

They’re wrong.

 

One quick reading of the context proves that rebuttal is nonsense, so just look it up.

Even so, Madison’s view on the role of Religion in government is even closer to the actual meaning: “In matters of Religion, no man’s right is abridged by the institution of Civil Society and that Religion is wholly exempt from its cognizance.”

 

Religion is wholly exempt from the cognizance of the institution of civil society.

 

That means the same thing mathematically as not “respecting an establishment of religion”

 

I illustrate:

 

Suppose a cute girl is walking down a hall and I say “hello, how’s about getting some lunch with me?”, and she stops and says “I would never have lunch with a dweeb like you!”? That’s not actually disrespect. She cared enough about what I thought that she stopped her trajectory and made her disdain for me a matter of conversation and reflection. I would be encouraged about my future chances.

But if she kept walking past as if I did not exist, that would be a true lack of respect. If she made me wholly exempt from her cognizance, I would know that I would have no chance.

Madison- the father of the Constitution- believed that religion is exempt from the cognizance of government (at ANY level), and the First Amendment says that no law should be made that respects an establishment of religion. That is the proper and necessary interpretation, as we’ll explore shortly.

 

But what is religion?

 

It breaks down like this:

 

If one guy strongly believes something that is unreasonable, he’s called a “nutcase”.

 

If a “handful” to a “bunch” of people strongly believes something unreasonable, they’re called a “cult”.

 

If a giant group of people strongly professes an unreasonable belief (shares the same faith), that’s called a “religion”.

 

The ideas of single nutcase are not likely to influence the edicts of the tribe.

 

If one peaceful Native American likes to run around the campfire with a burning sumac bush stuck up his ass, that doesn’t necessarily mean that the elders or the medicine man are going to start suggesting others behave that way as well.

Likewise, if 30 or 40 people dress in black and hop a comet-ride to the next dimension, that act might raise a lot of eyebrows, but it probably wouldn’t prompt a law for subsidizing a new “Jack and dope” distillery.

But a religion can have more power. A religion is a pretty formidable faction in some cases. It could be in some tribes or societies that the people who have the power to make laws don’t have to answer to anyone about “why” the law exists, and they can pretty much make any law that doesn’t result in their heads on spikes. Sometimes reasoning or individual rights in these scenarios aren’t necessary considerations in the formulation of law. Then the next thing you know you’re burning witches or what’s even more terrifying: passing an unread Obamacare bill.

 

There are lots of different faiths, but there is only one reason, which makes reason essential in a government for all of the people. We must be tolerant of peaceful faiths other than ours, and of those who reject faith altogether.

 

Madison made this clear:

 

“Whist we assert for ourselves a freedom to embrace, to profess, and to observe the Religion which be believe to be of divine origin, we cannot deny an equal freedom to those whose minds have not yet yielded to the evidence which has convinced us”

 

Religion is group faith. That’s all it means.

 

Conservatism is about the principles of the Constitution. This idea held by many who call themselves conservative that the First Amendment doesn’t mean a separation of church and state must change. Conservatives should not be ideologues, and so they must evolve when their positions have been shown to be wrong. A separation of church and state is no threat to individual freedom, or to any decent religion. The separation of church and state is a deathblow to the anti-capitalist, however, which is why the First Amendment is indeed designed to separate faith from law.


THE SUPREME INJUSTICE

 

When people discuss the separation of church and state, many will feel offended, as if the goal is to attack faith. It’s difficult, often, to perceive the practical necessity of the separation.

In her Supreme Court confirmation hearing, however, Elena Kagan revealed something very fundamental about the problem, in response to a very simple question from Senator Tom Coburn:

"If I wanted to sponsor a bill and it said Americans, you have to eat three vegetables and three fruits every day and I got it through Congress and that’s now the law of the land, got to do it, does that violate the commerce clause?" Coburn asked.

"Sounds like a dumb law," Kagan replied. "But I think that the question of whether it’s a dumb law is different from the question of whether it’s constitutional, and I think that courts would be wrong to strike down laws that they think are senseless just because they’re senseless."

It’s that last part that’s so essential: “Courts would be wrong to strike down laws that they think are senseless just because they’re senseless.”

 

Can a law that is “senseless” be constitutional?

 

Let’s consider that question in relation to what we’ve learned so far, and use some reason and math:

 

1.      Faith is a belief that is not of the senses. (If it makes sense, it’s reason.)

2.      Faith is, therefore, senseless.

3.      Large-group faith is religion.

4.      That which is established by a religion is an establishment of religion.

5.      The first right of all Americans is that law shall not be made that respects an establishment of religion.

6.      If a law is senseless, it is, therefore, unconstitutional.

 

            Elana Kagan was exactly wrong.

 

            Why would she put forth such a view?

 

            To understand that, we have to consider a very simple idea:

 

            If a law can be senseless, then how can a method exist to limit it? Even it if were stipulated in the Bill of Rights that “For all Americans, two plus two shall equal four”, if enough people got together and voted, a law could be created that says “Two plus two shall equal five.”

            In other words, the result of the acceptance of senseless law is pure democracy.

            Anyone who’s read the Commie Manifesto knows that Marxism depends upon democracy, and upon voting senseless ideas into law. Kagan knows it, and she’s prepared to support senselessness wherever it’s necessary to advance her senseless ideas.

 

 

 


WHAT IS THE LIMIT OF LAW?

 

A law is something that tells us that we can’t do something, or must pay something, or face a penalty, generally. There are lots of different groups who impose laws on us, from congress, to states - even county legislatures. What’s to stop these people from making laws that are stupid, or even tyrannical?

It’s supposed to be the Constitution, as we just covered. But few seem to understand its role properly. That requires logic, and that means we have to start with the fundamental and build outward. We’ve seen that the First Amendment is intended to require law to be based in reasoning, and to not respect faith.

But that’s not our only right in the Bill of Rights. These Amendments list for us the things that government can’t make laws about. But can legislatures make any law as long as the Constitution doesn’t say they can’t specifically?

 

No.

 

 Many people, even conservatives, confuse this. It’s imperative they be corrected, and we start with Amendment Nine:

 

“The enumeration, in the Constitution, of certain rights shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people”

 

We can deduce at least two fundamentals from that Amendment: That the enumerated rights are not our only rights, and that those making laws cannot use enumerated constitutional rights as a mechanism to deny the rest of our rights.

 But what are the rest of our rights? Amendment Nine doesn’t point us to a full list of them; it just suggests we have rights additional to those enumerated.

 

In our quest to unravel that question, the first stop will be a source for Amendment Nine: Alexander Hamilton’s brilliant Federalist No. 84. Hamilton argued against having a Bill of Rights in Federalist 84. He wrote the following:

 

“Here in strictness, the people surrender nothing, and as they retain every thing, they have no need of particular reservations”

 

Hamilton was concerned that enumerated rights would be construed to be the limit of our rights, and therefore be used against us. He illustrated in response that freedom means that the individual retains every right, and surrenders nothing. He understood that law should only exist to provide common defense of liberty, not as a mechanism to hinder it. He didn’t get his way, in that we got a Bill of Rights, but we did get Amendment Nine, which addresses Hamilton’s concern in the form of an enumerated right.

So we know that our rights extend beyond those enumerated. What other clues to we have that help determine the proper boundary of law?

We don’t have to guess that, because the purpose of the Constitution is stated directly in the preamble, and it’s consistent with Hamilton’s view:

 

“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America. (I remembered it from the song)”

 

Note all of those things that the Constitution is supposed to accomplish are part of a package that includes securing “the blessings of liberty”. It doesn’t list these items and then say “and/or secure the blessings of liberty”. It says “and secure the blessings of liberty”.

Clearly, common defense is an act that requires taxing the populace, and clearly it can be deduced that common defense is for the purpose of and is consistent with securing the blessings of liberty. This is the original reason for government: If some mean guy wants to hurt another guy’s family or take his stuff, then the mean guy faces a greater risk in doing so than if it were just the one guy defending against that act. Laws against murder and theft, therefore, exist to strengthen the security of the liberty of the individual.

But “promoting the general welfare” seems to get everyone confused.

Many legislatures seem to believe that this one can be totally detached from “securing the blessings of liberty”. Lots of people think that government can do- with the money of the people- whatever people vote for it to do as long as it’s believed to be for the common good.

They don’t seem to understand that government only does stuff by taking stuff from people who would have otherwise used that stuff to cause other eventualities. They don’t consider the price of losing all of the effects that would have happened if that money had been spent by the people who earned it in a way of their choosing. The value of liberty is ignored.

If a person is to be secure in his liberty through government, that means he should have less fear that someone might take his money or stuff. If the government comes along and takes his money and his stuff beyond that which is necessary for securing his liberty, then what value has he gained for his investment in common defense? The answer is “none”.

Properly, “promoting the general welfare” has the same goal and limitations as the provision of common defense: It must be justifiable in the service of securing the liberty of the individual. The criterion today seems to be: “Does this get enough votes?”

That’s unacceptable. That’s called “pure democracy”. The proper criterion is: “Is this absolutely necessary to securing the liberty of individuals?”

Under that principle, even infrastructure is a tough sell, and it should be. Ultimately, however, individuals can’t have their own roads or their own sewage systems in certain geographic areas, and strong arguments can be made for the necessity of certain types of infrastructure in the securing of the life, liberty, and the pursuits of happiness of individuals in society. That is an example of how promoting the general welfare also can be logically and directly connected to securing liberty. If a law directs or prevents behavior in a way that is not necessary to securing liberty, then it cannot be consistent with the stated purposes of The Constitution, or consistent with protecting the full range of rights – as indicated in the 9th Amendment- of the individual.

Does it matter what level of government we’re talking about?

 

No.

 

I spent some time perusing the Texas state legal code, the other day, and the one thing that stood out was that the stated goal of the body of law was to “insure the public safety”.

That’s a problem, because that’s really not the foundational principle of law in the United States. The foundational principle is the protection of an individual’s right to freedom. That protection doesn’t necessarily “insure”, nor even “ensure”, the safety of that individual. One might contemplate, for example, that making motorcycles illegal would impose, and ensure, the public safety. That would certainly not ensure public freedom, however, and would no doubt be met with disdain by many motorcycle enthusiasts.     

So it’s clear there is a personality conflict. The language of state law evokes the connotation of “parent” rather than “protector of freedom”. Many of us know that our parents' idea of protecting us had nothing to do with allowing us to be free, and quite the contrary, often. Our parents' idea of protecting us meant controlling and limiting our freedom, for our own good.

That may be great parenting, depending on the situation, but it’s always horrible- and unconstitutional- government.

This structure of law is a reflection of the common mistake that the states have magical powers that allow them to violate the fundamental rights of the individuals who live in those states. Even people who call themselves conservatives seem willing to accept crazy laws that exist on the state level, as long as the federal government isn’t allowed to do this. Mitt Romney’s excuse for state-controlled health insurance is that it’s apparently constitutional and perhaps even desirable at the state level, but it’s somehow unconstitutional for the federal government.

 

That’s outrageous. (Though I’ll be casting a vote for Mitt against the Marxist)

 

It’s fundamentally evil to force someone to do anything. That’s why we have a government: to stop force against the freedom of an individual whose actions are not violating the freedoms of another. The different levels of government exist to address a hierarchy of proper issues, from local to federal. But they’re all part of the same structure, having the same purpose when properly executed.

The Constitution is the supreme law of the land, according to The Constitution. There is no level of government that is exempt from existing for the purpose of securing the liberty of the individual. Every law, at every level of government, must submit to the purposes and limitations outlined in The Constitution, or be deemed unconstitutional by definition.

It’s clear, of course, that law is not currently properly executed. If it were, there would be an automatic system of checks to verify that a law does not violate the rights of the individual. That would be the most important aspect of every law. This system cannot be a generic statement of purpose in the introductory paragraphs of body of legal code, if effectiveness is to be ensured.


HOW DO WE FIX OUR LAW?

 

In order to enact the logic presented above, the form of law itself must reflect those criteria. There has to be a check in the fundamental structure of law that ensures that the law will be vetted to make sure that it does exist for the right purpose, and that it’s reasonable to believe that it will be effective to a degree that justifies its existence.

To meet that test, it follows that certain things would be indispensable. For example, the law must be documented in a concrete form that can be analyzed by anyone subject to it. It stands to reason further that every law that prohibits or levies a tax or regulates must begin by justifying its existence with a statement of purpose that describes why that law is necessary to securing the liberty of individuals. That must be followed by an explanation of how the law will function to perform that necessary task.

In order to meet the proper First Amendment standard, furthermore, each aspect of that justification must be grounded in reasoning, and may not respect an establishment of religion.

           

            That’s it.

 

It’s pretty simple: It must secure liberty, and it must be reasonable, in order to be constitutional.

 

The next question might be “when are these clauses vetted for accuracy?” The answer is: When the law is proposed and deliberated within each legislative body, and, more importantly, every time that law is brought against an individual in a court of law. In order for an individual in society to have reasonable assurance that the law to which he contributes his taxes exists in the service of his liberty, he must be able to challenge the constitutionality of that law in the case it is brought against him. Some people say things like “If ya don’t like the law, then go out and try to change it!” That’s not good enough for a society established on the principle of freedom.

Every law must be brought on trial, along with the individual accused of breaking it, every time the defendant chooses to dispute it. If law doesn’t justify itself, then it cannot be trusted to exist within constitutional limitations.


WHAT IS REASONABLE?

 

I called into a conservative talk show one day and was told the following about reasoning:

 

The host said “what’s reasonable is subjective”, to which I replied “reason is not subjective by definition”.

 

You know your society is undergoing some fundamental transformation when a conservative talk show host suggests that reason is subjective.

It appears that the word “reasonable” has some confusion associated with its colloquial usage, like just like the words “conservative” and “faith”.

 Reason is math, succinctly. There’s nothing subjective about reason. Reason begins with understood principles, and a comparison of each subsequent event against that set of principles. For example, if we agree that two plus two equals four, then we can scan the text of any subsequent dialogue for any data that would contradict our agreed principle “2+2=4”. If I were to say something like “let’s see, Bob, we agreed on two thousand each for the two guitars, right? OK, thanks. Here’s your three thousand dollars and I’ll be on my way with both, there’s a good lad”, then you’d have to question that.

If you’re on your game, you’ll have to call a halt to the dialogue in there somewhere. You’ll know that something is wrong. You know the principle is that two plus two is four, and that doesn’t jive with the three thousand dollar sum I’ve just handed over. There’s no disputing it, as long as we continue to agree on the fundamental principle on which we originally agreed.

When the events around us contradict the principles we hold true, then we must question it, and arrive at logical conclusions if we are to honestly refer to our actions as “reasoning”.

With respect to law, a reasonable argument, or justification clause for a law, can contain components which are generally accepted to be true even though there is no proof of them being true, as long as the logic flows properly and no one disputes that truth. In that case we assume the truth of that idea we hold as a premise. When someone comes along and refutes that generally accepted premise, however, then it must come under that microscope and withstand the challenge. If it can’t, then all that follows from the premise, and the entirety of the law, cannot continue to stand in a just society.

 

            For example, a law may exist that has the following form:

 

Justification clause: A law against eating bananas is necessary because eating bananas causes people to commit even more violent crimes, and that is a violation of the freedom of individuals.

 

Function clause: The penalties imposed for eating bananas will deter those who would eat bananas otherwise, thereby reducing violent crime.

 

Both of the statements above take the form of logical arguments. The first argument may be valid, as long as the premise “bananas cause people to commit violent crime” is true. In some universe, it may be that the great majority of the populous believes that premise to be true. If no one challenges it, then it may stand, for better or worse, as a constitutional law.

If someone is charged with that crime, however, and he chooses to dispute the idea that bananas cause people to commit violent crime, then he must be allowed to pursue that effort. If he shows that there are many examples of people eating bananas, but not committing violent crimes, for example, that would seriously call into question a causal link between bananas and car-jackings. 

The same would have applied in the case of the Salem witch trials. The premise there must have been about protecting people from evil witches. If the Constitution were properly applied in that scenario, those wishing to prosecute a witch would first have had to show that such a thing as a witch exists, and then prove that the accused was indeed an example of one. They would then have had to show how being a witch violates the liberty of other individuals. That prosecutor would have had to do all of that, just to burn one witch. That’s a stringent test, I know. It should be. We’re talking about individual freedom, not about electing our parents.

Individual human beings have individual rights. It’s important that we have an awareness of the limitations of our government, and about the true extent of our rights as guaranteed by the government designed by the founders of the United States.

In order to ensure that our law is designed to protect our right to freedom, our law must follow the form that is most conducive to the greatest awareness of its purpose and intended effect. That is certainly, therefore, a direct requirement that each law explicitly justify its purpose, show that it exists to ensure freedom, and explain its methodology for correcting that threat to freedom logically. And, finally, every individual that is subject to that law must have the power to challenge those explanations every time they are evoked.

If we don’t have that, we have nothing.


WHAT’S WRONG WITH SOCIALISM?

 

 

First of all, there’s no significant difference between liberalism, socialism, communism, or Marxism. They differ only in the identity of the guy taking your stuff and maybe how much he steals.

“Liberalism” or even “socialism” is a term that people use to describe their ideas when they want to do things that are Marxist, without seeming to be that harsh.

 

They are.

 

The Communist Manifesto essentially says the following:

 

There are two types of people, the “haves” and “have-nots”, and the haves are keeping the have-nots in have-not status by employing them.

Marx guarantees the have-nots that they will make sure the haves will be forced to have as little as the have-nots, but at the same time somehow the haves will continue to produce what it takes to feed and shelter both the haves and the have-nots. The have-nots are guaranteed by Marx to never have more than nothing, but they will be secure in the knowledge that others will not be allowed to have more than nothing either. Strangely, there is this magic group of people who know how to organize everything to make sure everyone has plenty of the nothing that they guarantee.

 Marxism is parasitic in nature. There’s nothing in the Commie Manifesto about starting a Marxist culture (tribe) from nothing or, for example, from anarchy. Marxism and/or Communism as philosophies are about taking over something that already exists and is functioning smoothly in every case. Those things that already exist do so because some free individual or group caused them to exist. Marxists want to keep everything as is, except they want to change the identity of the guy catching the money when it comes out of the profit end.

That’s really it. They expect nothing is affected by that one small change.

 

When you talk about the morality of socialism, you’re referring to government benevolence.

 

James Madison said of government benevolence:

 

"I cannot undertake to lay my finger on that article of the Constitution which granted a right to Congress of expending, on the objects of benevolence, the money of their constituents."

 

Some people think it is compassionate to have government help people in need by forcing the mean-old people-with-money to fork it over for the common good.

 

It isn’t.

 

Having the government point a gun at someone and take their stuff is the same as doing it yourself. It’s stealing. The fundamental is force. The government exists to defend the right of any individual to not be subject to being forced to submit to the needs of another against his will. The basis of just government is the protection of an individual’s right to not be generous if that is his choice. It is the responsibility of every individual, further, to try to live his life in such a way as to not require the assistance of others if at all possible. Once this fundamental relationship is established, then every individual is free to be generous. Many people will want to be compassionate and generous to those who through no fault of their own need the help of others, so it’s important that they be free enough to acquire property and capital that will allow that compassion to take place.

From time-to-time I’ll hear someone say something like “our government exists so we can all get together and decide how to use our resources for the good of the whole”.

 

No, it doesn’t; not unless you’re in a tribe.

 

If you are compassionate, then you should either help someone or work to convince those around you to help you with your vision of helping people. Start a charity. Expose a bad charity. But if you attempt to repurpose our collective defense to contradict itself, then you are contributing to the greater evil- whether you succeed in helping someone or not.


UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES

 

Let’s get a little deeper about why socialism sucks.

 

Weird and ugly stuff happens when you introduce unnatural factors into a chaotic system of causes and effects. When you publicly fund education, for example, you get a culture of conflicts that wouldn’t make sense in the real world. Should Johnny wear an American-flag shirt? Should teachers teach kids that God created the earth or about dinosaurs? Should parents be allowed vouchers to place their kids in private schools?

None of these conflicts happen if free people vote with their money for the educational experience they choose for their child- which we’ll get into further shortly.

An even uglier example occurred when some do-gooders decided that mean-old banks weren’t loaning enough money to people who were highly unlikely to pay it back.  Here’s how the Community Reinvestment Act “worked”:

 

Someone from the government said to the banks “Come on guys, why don’t you loan some money to people who won’t pay it back?”

 

The bankers said “Because we make money by making loans to people who will pay it back.”

 

Then the government said “But if you don’t, we’ll do bad stuff to you”

 

Then the bankers said “So what, making loans to people who won’t pay it back is even worse than your petty threats, so piss off!”

 

Then the government said “Well… We’ll create a couple of phony mortgage companies to buy all of the bad loans from you, so you don’t take any risk. We’ll shift all of that risk to the tax payer. It’ll be cool.

 

Then the banker said “I’m sorry, I didn’t hear that last part, I was too busy making bad loans”, while laughing maniacally.

 

Then a bunch of ugly stuff happened like the unnatural price-inflation in the housing market and the infiltration of the products of financial institutions with all of those imaginary loans.

In my first book in ‘94, I described what liberals are really like, with a plant analogy. It’s pretty good, so I’ll do another:

Liberals see a nice fruit tree outside with people around enjoying the fruit. Then they decide it would be groovy if they got the tree and brought it inside where they could control the output of fruit, because then everything’ll be better somehow. In that they don’t understand the nature of what the tree needs to thrive, they don’t consider that it needs water or sunlight. It starts to look weak and leaves start to brown.

The Marxists then assure all of the people outside that the tree is fine, but they’ll need to get some cash from everybody so they can enact the “paint the leaves green” initiative. Then their friend sells them some green paint at highly-inflated prices, and they hire some more of their friends to paint all the leaves that haven’t fallen off, at highly-inflated prices. Then they reward themselves with a lavish “conference” at the expense of the people. Then they claim success and ignore the fact that nobody has any fruit anymore, except the stockpile the Marxists have kept for themselves, which soon runs out. That sucks for everybody.

Real causes and effects are important if one wants to succeed in growing a plant or an economy.

With respect to economies, we’re talking about the profit motive. The profit motive is what makes someone want to do something, and do it right. The Marxist can’t control the experience, talent, or skill that goes into that success. He can only take over something that’s growing and kill it.

Compassion and charity are beautiful attributes for an individual to hold and to show others in his or her life. Those who attempt to offload their compassion on the state are neither compassionate nor charitable, as they destroy what’s necessary to fund individual compassion and charity, and ultimately survival. The conflicts associated with the unintended consequences that follow their amateurish meddling in the lives of free people is the constant reflection of those misguided ideas.


THE TWO-STEREOTYPE SYSTEM

 

 The United States is a two-party system. That’s what everybody says anyway.

Some percentage of the populace studies politics to some degree and some of them cast votes they believe are consistent with their research and convictions. A huge chunk of the voting populace, however, may have “better” things to do than delving past the surface communications about political parties. Many of these people vote based upon the popular image associated with a political party. They will vote based upon the stereotype rather than upon philosophy (to the degree one exists).

The stereotype of liberalism is that the proponents want to make those mean-old rich people give some of it to those innocent little poor people so we can all hold hands and dance and sing songs under a shower of candies and party-favors and live happily ever after.

The stereotype of conservatism is that the practitioners are morally condescending pricks who want to kill your sweet buzz.

The problem with today’s liberals is that they don’t seem to grasp that forcing people to do stuff with a threat of violence is a bad thing.

The problem with the conservatives is that many of them are morally condescending pricks who want to kill our sweet buzzes. But that doesn’t make them conservative. It makes them a lot like insane liberals. When they talk about their “faith” as an important part of conservatism, for example, it makes millions want to puke.

Americans- especially the younger adults- don’t want someone lecturing them about God. And true conservatives wouldn’t do it, because our founding documents are about reasoning and individual rights, not about faith.

And many people who call themselves conservatives are all for the government controlling individual’s use of drugs- prescription and otherwise. Americans, however, are sick of the government trying to tell them what to do when they’re not hurting anybody. There’s nothing in the founding documents that indicates that any level of government would have the power to restrict a freedom when no threat to another’s liberty can reasonably be blamed on the former act. Therefore, a true conservative could not be in favor of drug prohibition. We’ll focus on that shortly.

In short- millions of young voting Americans hate conservatism for what it is not, and that sucks. It sucks so much as to give Marxism a gap into which to slither, and that is an unacceptable level of sucking. Conservatism should be about something simple: law that is designed to protect the freedom of individuals; and that justifies its existence through reasoning.

Liberalism/Marxism is a faith-based belief system. That means it is a religion. It doesn’t make sense, therefore.

Truly, when a faith-based system attempts to justify force against any individual to transfer provisions to those who haven’t earned them, that is the ultimate moral condescension, and the ultimate buzz-kill.

The math is pretty simple:

If the First Amendment is not a separation of faith from law, then we have some flavor of pure democracy. We have, in that case, what Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan described in her confirmation hearing:

 

“I think it would be wrong for the courts to strike down a law they believed was senseless, simply because it is senseless”

 

In that world, the senseless can be law, if enough people vote for it. That’s the definition of democracy. That’s why it sucks.

In the world imagined by James Madison and me, a law that is senseless is by that fact alone also unconstitutional. To respect an establishment of Religion is to allow one’s self to be influenced by those ideas that come about through faith. Conservatives of every faith and no faith must come together in the common realm of reason to form government to protect individual rights.

Faith is no way to beat a Marxist or a fundamentalist. Their faith is way stronger than that of the capitalist. Capitalists don’t want to hurt or steal from people and blame it on God or the faith-based ideology of Marxism. We have to beat the Marxists where they’re weak- and that’s reasoning.

It’s extremely important that political leaders who align themselves with conservatism be careful to communicate about the Constitution in those terms, and omit cheerleading for their personal faith as a function of their conservatism.  It’s important that conservatives focus on the principles of free markets and justifiable defense to a degree that actually changes the stereotype of conservatism among young voters primarily. Young people want true conservatism, they just don’t know it as such- and that is the fault of some who call themselves conservative.

           


THE DRUG PROHIBITION QUESTION

 

We already covered the basics of what a human being is. He’s an organism that needs shelter, food, and water to survive. But what is the physical nature of the organism?

 

A human being, more biologically speaking, is a pile of drugs that learns.

 

Prominent conservatives are for drug prohibition, along with many liberals of course.

 

They’re wrong, and that’s not a conservative position.

 

Conservatism is about individual rights and responsibilities, not about taking away rights without good reason. And reason is what prohibitioners believe they have on their side, but with any true scrutiny their arguments are proven faulty.

Their best position is that drugs cause people to do bad things.  If that were true then drug prohibition would be plausible law. But that is an obvious “post hoc ergo propter hoc” fallacy. Most people who use any drug do not bother other people, so the behavior of drug users who do violate the rights of others must have a different source than the drugs, logically speaking.

It’s not difficult to find. People who do bad things often prefer to blame those actions on conditions beyond their control. If the basis of law in a nation holds that drugs cause people to do bad things, then that is evidence that the leadership of that nation believes that there is an equal potential of abhorrent actions among the population of individuals as a result of the effects of similar drug usage. In other words, the individuality of the members of that group is no factor in the equation, and none could be expected to exert self-control in the face of the power of that drug. That policy relieves individuals of personal responsibility for their actions, and diverts the blame to the stereotype “drug user”.  

That’s an example in which government does something that changes the pattern of potential consequences surrounding an individual prior to his choice to violate the rights of another. If an individual can offload responsibility to his “addiction”, then there is a greater probability he will make a decision that hurts innocent people. If he is certain that he alone will be held responsible for his actions, then his window of justification for bad acts narrows. Socialism always has unintended consequences, and ugly behavior in society is always in the mix.

Drug prohibition creates a giant smokescreen of decent individuals behind-which the truly evil and dangerous can hide, wasting law-enforcement resources on the harmless, not to mention the economic impact of plundering innocent people.

When it comes to conservatism, everything should come down to principle. Thomas Jefferson put this one best in his first inaugural address:

 

“Sometimes it is said that man cannot be trusted with the government of himself. Can he then be trusted with the government of others? Or have we found angels in the form of kings to govern us?”

 

Conservatives should be convinced with just this much reasoning.

 

If not, then the entire issue is resolved with two words: “Rush Limbaugh”.

 

During a period of time when the Maha Rushdie was “addicted” to synthetic heroin, he literally earned a record-breaking broadcast contract.

 

Checkmate.

 

Some may think I’m trying to take a shot at Rush Limbaugh. I’m not- I’m a fan. He’s probably closest to my philosophy of anyone out there, except that he avoids the big questions like the plague. He doesn’t have the balls to be that honest.

 

I do.

 

The fact of the matter is that an individual may be able to moderately (or immoderately, for that matter) use drugs, and not only retain enough personal control to avoid bothering other people, but retain enough control to accomplish great things. 

Drug prohibition is unconstitutional because it doesn’t make sense.

It doesn’t secure the blessings of liberty, and it exacerbates bad behavior in society.

It creates black markets, and all of the related violence.

It sucks.

 

Drug prohibition is evil.

 

Conservatism is the philosophy that doesn’t support evil things. Conservatives must stop supporting drug prohibition in order to be conservative. Conservatives must first have the courage to hold the position, and then they must communicate about it enough that the stereotype of conservatism is cleansed of that image in the minds of voters.

Once adults are free to trade and use the drugs of their choice, that doesn’t limit the realm of communications about them. The entire scope of communications about them will still exist. People will still be free to voice their opinions about the negatives of drug use. Parents can still teach their children to not use drugs. People will still make money by providing health services to people who desire that help in the free market.

What’s important, however, is that a distinction be made between people who violate the rights of other people and people who choose to exercise freedoms peacefully even though others may disapprove. If the peace is not disturbed, then the person should remain free, and the focus of law enforcement will be on those who actually violate the rights of others.

That’s what liberty is all about.


MARRIAGE VS THE STATE

 

The role of government in marriage appears to be of considerable conflict in American society. There’s a great deal of concern about whether marriage should be defined as between a man and a woman, or whether homosexual marriage should be accepted by federal or state government. Some want to introduce a constitutional amendment to ensure that marriage is viewed only as between one man and one woman. Many other people want similarly to influence government to ensure that other kinds of marriage are just as valid as the traditional kind.

           

Both sides are wrong.

 

Marriage is a concept that is established by religion. That means it is an establishment of religion, and as such it cannot be recognized by the legislative bodies of the institutions of civil society under the Constitution. But what do I mean by “marriage is an establishment of religion”?

It means that there is no such thing, objectively speaking, as a marriage between any group of people, man and woman or otherwise. Marriage is a “pretend” union. No one actually “becomes one” with his partner. Actually, someone says something akin to “hocus pocus” etc. “by the power vested in me” (which is none) “I now pronounce you man and wife”.

In order for a marriage to enter the realm of justifiable recognition from the government (beyond the normal business-agreement), then there would have to be a physical component to the marriage. If two people were to have surgery to join at the pelvis, for example, that might be a marriage that could be cognized by government.

The good news is that removing government from a position to recognize religion isn’t a problem for marriage as an institution. In fact, the involvement of government in marriage has been a force to erode the tradition. Why would gay people, for example, want to emulate those who practice a religion that discounts or vilifies their sexuality, if not to protest the government’s recognition of marriage? If the government were out of the picture, then all that would remain is the value of marriage among the group which follows the faith that practices that marriage tradition. If others want to pretend they are practicing that religion in part by holding a marriage ceremony, there’s nothing that can stop them. The value of that practice lies only in the value given it by those who embrace it or regard it in others. Generally, a considerable percentage of the population finds comfort in cohabitating with a single individual with whom the members find support in their journeys through the human condition.

Marriage is a tradition that relates to that human characteristic, through many cultures, religions, and traditions. But those institutions exist in the realm of faith and emotion, and not in reason. Therefore, the godly-union of marriage is not to be defined or recognized by government. Only the business-agreement portion of the union is to be recognized, and the identity and gender of those participants is irrelevant.


 

PUBLIC EDUCATION

 

In the fictional tribe I described earlier, children are given peyote, wrapped in banana leaves, and left in the desert when they reach that certain age.

 

In our tribe, we send them to public school.

 

We accept this tradition as part of life.

 

It isn’t.

 

When considering what laws may fall under the heading of “promoting the general welfare” without violating “security the blessings of liberty”, infrastructure such as roads may come to mind. Each of us, after all, can’t have his own roads.

 

We can, however, have our own educations.

 

Public education is not absolutely necessary to securing the blessings of liberty. In fact, it takes liberty and craps all over it.

 

Our society has come to believe that “education” is something that happens to a person in a government building. That’s a concept our society seems to accept as part of what it means to be a human being.

This is an example of tribal behavior. No one even questions the notion that kids go to kindergarten, and then elementary school, and then Junior High, and then High School, and then College, and then maybe more education is indicated. If one steps back and considers that scenario objectively, however, the only reasonable conclusion is: “That’s bat-shit crazy”.

 

There’s one lesson that the government should be teaching the old and young alike:

 

“What you know is a product of what you choose to know.”

 

The problem isn’t the kids that are left behind; it’s those who are held back. It’s also the fact that the entire industry of what education could be in our current technological world has been held back by the lie of public education. An unlimited field of educational products and services could be available to parents, to suit any number of needs, without public funding.

There could be limitless options for computer-based interactive learning, for example, that are free or nearly free. That’s a savings of a trillion bucks a year.

There could be schools for young people that mix education sessions with work sessions in light assembly or something similar, so that the child can contribute to the cost of his own education while gaining an education in earning money through working for others. That’s a very important lesson.

I know, that’s probably shocking to a lot of people. The very idea of having a 12-year old working in exchange for money is a barbaric hell on earth. Everyone knows the only two jobs that are acceptable for adolescents are “paper route” and “blockbuster movie star”. The rest are akin to 16-hour days getting their little fingers lopped off in the grey and gloomy looms of the industrial age.

That fantasy is wrong. Of course law should deal harshly with those who would mistreat children in any environment, including workplaces, but neither children nor employers should be robbed of opportunities that might mutually benefit them and their families, and the economy of the nation as a whole.

Public education also flies in the face of individual responsibility. Why should someone who doesn’t have children be forced to pay to educate someone else’s children, according to some other person’s standard of what that means?

Having children has consequences. It’s not a communal activity. It involves exactly two people, and maybe their parents. Those people, and those people alone, have the responsibility of feeding, sheltering, and educating their children without the help of others in any form, and least of all the government. Public education exists to subvert that responsibility, and in so doing removes a need that should be addressed by the free market, and through, frankly, adjustments in the attitude of those who have children they can ill afford to raise.

If public education were to achieve its purported goals, then the only thing wrong with it would be that it is evil. But it doesn’t, and in fact it does incalculable harm. That’s a special level of evil.

 

Public funding of education is a Marxist holocaust.

 

It sucks.

 

Conservatives should have the guts to oppose it entirely on principle.


PUBLICLY FUNDED HEALTHCARE

 

 

Can healthcare be a right?

 

No.

 

There’s no such thing as a right that compels action from another. That idea is the basis of slavery.

 

The question, first, is whether laws related to healthcare are designed to secure the blessings of liberty to individuals. If it can be shown that they’re not, or if it can be shown that they are but that the intended outcome could not reasonably be believed to occur through those laws, then such laws are unconstitutional.

Public funding of healthcare is a condition that means force. It means individuals will be forced to pay, and doctors and related personnel will be forced to operate in a fixed environment. There’s nothing about freedom in those laws. And all of the ugly unintended consequences follow.

Liberals make it seem as though people with a lot of money can afford immortality. They can’t. You could have a hundred billion dollars in cash and if you’re dying, you can’t buy a pass. You’re still going to be hooked up to the ‘machine that goes “ping”’ and if you’re lucky you have a few loved ones around and enough medication to ease the pain.

The question really should be about what conditions create the greatest probability of the greatest quality of healthcare for the greatest number of people, and that’s still free-market capitalism, as it turns out. The main component that drives up healthcare costs is the lack of freedom, as always.

In this case, again, drug prohibition is a huge factor. There is no reason in nature that one adult human being would not be justified in defending himself against those who would try to prevent his purchase of what we call “prescription” drugs. An adult should be able to buy those products directly from the supplier, on mutually agreeable terms, without a doctor or government’s permission.

The government still has its normal role, which is the enforcement of contract law. As long as there’s a penalty for fraud as with any business, and the purchaser has been fairly warned about the tested side-effects of the product, then the government has done its job and the rest of us can make our free choices.

And doctors have their role. They have studied a lot about human health and in some cases about drugs and drug interactions, and their advice will be worth what it brings in the free marketplace. Many individuals are becoming more aware of their own nature, due to advances in communications, and they are exploring the information that’s available about drugs and their interactions and indications. Many of them will want to discuss that with physicians, and some may wish to trust their own instincts and evidence.

Those who produce drugs market them to doctors, just like they market them to everyone else. A doctor may have knowledge, but he is still taking chances with human judgment with every prescription he writes. An individual must have the ultimate say over his own health choices, including the chemicals he chooses to purchase for his own health needs. This makes the individual a competitor in the equation, and that drives prices down.

Then drug manufacturers do what they do, people do what they do, doctors and nurses do what they do, insurance companies do what they do, and the government does what it does and everyone is responsible for the consequences of his actions. That corrects the unnatural effects of Marxist ideology, and allows the market to reduce prices with healthy competition.


WELFARE AND CORRECTIONS

 

All crimes are subsets of the same ultimate crime: to hinder the rightful pursuits of the free. If you murder an individual, you clearly enough end the progress of that life toward an end that humanity will never be allowed to know. But if you steal five dollars from that individual instead, you have committed a subset of that murder. By a capital amount of five bucks, that individual has lost the fuel that feeds his progress.

What else is his life but the sum of his actions toward his goals?

If you’ve helped him in his progress by agreeing to work toward his goal in trade for five dollars, then you have contributed to both his and your own pursuits, and society can potentially benefit from both of those paths.

The current welfare paradigm includes the practice of delivering free money, food, and housing to people who have met some bureaucratic litmus test for receiving those benefits. In order for those resources to exist, there has to be a law that allows the government to forcibly take that money from other individuals: the ones who have it.

 

Can this law be constitutional?

 

It depends on how you interpret the First Amendment. If you interpret it the way the stereotypical conservative interprets it, then it means only that the federal government cannot establish a national religion. Interpreted that way, we have total democracy instead of constitutional democracy. In that case, any law can be regardless of how unreasonable it is, and the only recourse is to gain democratic advantage and change it.

If you interpret The First Amendment as a separation of church and state- as did Jefferson and Madison- then a law that says that government can take money from people who have it and give it to people who don’t is subject to the scrutiny of reason.

 

The first question one must ask is “why is this law required?”

 

I’m sure there’s a variety of possible answers to that question, but I believe that variety is best addressed within constitutional boundaries, and that means not forcing human beings to help other human beings.

A response might be “There are children going hungry, would you put these families on the street?”

Would it be fair to ask at that point why the parents have put their children in that position? Is it fair to ask why a person would have children without first arranging for the means of support? Is it important that some of the people who have enough money to pay taxes and support their families didn’t have families when they were young and hot, but waited until they could afford to, or maybe they didn’t get to have families at all? Is it fair that a person who has pulled his weight in society and may want to have a family must not only trade his labor for what’s required to responsibly propagate his own DNA, but he must portion off a share of that labor to support the propagation of that of someone who doesn’t concern him or herself with any responsibility to fellow citizens?

Is it fair to ask if it’s possible for a person to work and raise children without the state’s intervention? Let’s take the example of a young mother who has a child, and the father is choosing to not participate. First, if the father is alive and identifiable, then his wages should be garnished or he should be in jail. Even if that father didn’t exist, and there were no other means of help, could the mother survive? What if, for example, that mother found another such mother and they agreed to work alternate shifts and care for one another’s children and to be roommates? Let’s say they earn what current law would say is minimum wage. If they each worked- even at low wage jobs- they could keep their bills paid, feed and shelter their children, and even find time to work toward better-paying opportunities.

This is frugal living, no doubt, but most of us who make six figure salaries in our 40s lived for decades in no better conditions than what I described for the roommate-mothers. I had three roommates in a two bedroom at one point; one guy slept in the living room and another in the dining room. We worked our jobs toward whatever the aim; for me through college and on into the early parts of my wider career. I was in my 30s before I lived independently of a roommate, and now I’m the perfect example of someone who society believes should be paying taxes to send free money to other people who don’t apparently want to live the way that I lived at their age and beyond.

For the reasonably healthy, therefore, is poverty really something that exists in America? Are these people in such poverty that they can’t really bring themselves to work a shift at the local Tastee-Freeze, if nothing else? Are they disadvantaged such that they can’t find a temp agency, which typically could have them working that day (in my experience)?

 Those are all fair questions, in my view, and reason could not allow the redistribution of earnings from those who have sacrificed to those who won’t, because it’s neither fair, nor necessary.

 

For this type of case, reason supports the following in my opinion:

 

1.                  The person who has a child that they cannot support is a person that requires the charity of others. If the charity of others is not enough to continue the support of that child, then this parent has committed a crime.

2.                  This person has created a situation in which society must serve the role of parent, and this person has become a dependent, as have the children of that person.

3.                  The crime is the same as any other- which is unrightfully impeding the progress of other individuals toward their pursuits of happiness (citizens who are paying their way).

 

 

No, it cannot be the policy to put children on the street. But it also cannot be the policy to take from some and give to others, as if the recipients are on equal footing as citizens with those from whom the money was taken. The two aren’t on equal footing. The recipients of money stolen by the government on their behalf have committed crimes. The “society as parent”, “parent-in-need as dependent” model makes sense. If you are a child growing up in your parent’s house, you cannot make decisions about the following:

 

1.                  Where you are going to live.

2.                  What and when you will eat.

3.                  When you can come and go from the shelter you have been provided.

 

That is: If you are living under society’s roof in this model, you must play by the rules of society, and you must be viewed as a citizen who has committed a crime. You should be incarcerated “grounded”, and should only be allowed to leave “the house” in order to earn money toward your independence from government. Just society would not permit an individual to forgo his responsibilities to his children or his society, and simply send the bill to others. Let those who would burden society with their unearned-proliferation be burdened with the full measure of their expenditure, and watch the decision-making among the young and horny instantly become more cogent.

 

That is what is fair when it comes to the bulk of the general welfare system.

 

How does the rest of the correctional system fit into this puzzle?

 

Prisons in today’s America are known to have many issues, among them overcrowding, prisoner-on-prisoner violence, riots, rape, drugs, etc. The structure of the prison system allows for internal societies. There is enough interaction between prisoners to allow the formation of gangs, and often violent inmates are in the same populations as those whose crimes were not violent in nature.

 

This is an untenable recipe for disaster.

 

A person who has committed a crime against society has a defined burden of responsibility. It’s a cruel and unusual punishment to subject that person to an unreasonable risk of bodily harm above the loss of freedom earned by his crime. It does not benefit society that relationships are formed between people who have broken laws, further, or when a first-time offender is hardened by the injustice of his experience within the prison system such that his successful reintegration into society becomes less likely.

Thus the following conclusion: All incarcerations for all crimes should be similar, and all inmates should have a solitary cell from which they do not leave, except at times convenient for the state. If a person is sentenced to a year in prison, that person should spend that year alone in a cell. There should be basic rights associated with life in this cell.

 

In my view, these are reasonable:

 

1.                  The inmate should have access to fresh air.

2.                  The inmate should have access to sufficient water and plumbing for hygiene. (and the responsibility to use it)

3.                  The inmate should have a reasonably comfortable place to sleep and enough room to stand.

4.                  The inmate should have a reasonable diet.

 

There would be essentially two levels of incarceration in these cells, and a variety of additional amenities depending on the status of the inmate. The first level of incarceration is in relation to those who have a defined sentence for a crime. Those prisoners go into the cell and are not released until the conclusion of their sentences. The behavior of the prisoner would dictate the access to additional amenities within his cell.

The second scenario relates to people who are transitioning from the first level of incarceration into society, and for those who are unable to care for their children without society’s help, and have not found sufficient help from charity. These cells would also house the homeless who choose to enter the system as a means of transitioning back to self-sufficiency. Each cell would have a network-connection for job searches or other transition services, communications with charities or individuals who may wish to help, and for general administrative communications, for example. There should be an organized check-in and check-out process, so these individuals can seek or engage in employment either outside or within the welfare/corrections system. Meals would be distributed to the cells, and medical care would be provided through the corrections system, augmented by volunteers, interns, charity, and workers transitioning out of the corrections system.

 

There are numerous advantages to this model:

 

1.                  The current welfare/corrections model encourages continued dependence. This new model encourages an individual to choose the lesser of two evils: one limited freedom (getting up and going to work almost everyday, like most people) instead of another (life in a cell).

2.                  The uniformity of the process would yield better efficiency than the current model. I saw a documentary about a maximum security prison during which two guards engaged in a convoluted process of transitioning a prisoner from a cell to an outdoor yard for an hour. It seemed to me that this murderer was commanding a great deal of taxpayer time and money through these constant rituals. This criminal should just do his time, as inexpensively as humanely possible.

3.                  With respect to lesser criminals who just require financial help to survive, handling them through a corrections system that doesn’t encourage their dependence would be much less expensive than sending paychecks to people who haven’t earned them. This becomes even more efficient as the number of individuals who place themselves in this system decrease naturally, due to the effect of consequences on behavior.

4.                  There is none of the ambiguity as exists in the current paradigm surrounding just who it is that needs the help of charity. Giant charitable organizations today rake in a ton of cash. They help people in many cases. In many others, that money is funneled into organizations that push political agendas under the guise of charity, or gets soaked-up in a sea of “overhead”. All this can be accomplished because no one really has a handle on who needs all of that money, nor who is getting it. To the average person, the “needy” or “poverty-stricken” are just those unfortunate people everywhere that we don’t usually see because they aren’t where we are: at work. In the no-checks-sent model, there’s nothing ambiguous about who needs help. Everyone has a direct line to those who need a helping hand. Employers could give someone a shot, benefactors could choose to help families, and charities could prove their focus is on helping those truly in need or risk losing the dollars of those who want to be assured that their contributions are going to help people, not to fund political action groups or some other special interest organizations.

 

 

I would imagine that some might think this is a callous way to approach people in need. People tend to believe that the government is there to solve the social issues of society. They might say “what about the sick or infirmed, etc.”

I would say that the same levels of charity would exist in this model as do currently, except they would be better funded. No one wants to see their loved-ones in trouble. Most of us would give up part of our own freedom to care for a sick relative. When that relationship isn’t possible, the generosity of a fairly-taxed population would put to shame any bureaucratic attempt at addressing the problem.

The government option- the corrections system- should be the last-resort option. And as last-resort options go, it isn’t a bad one. A person who is simply “down on his luck” can take steps to improve his circumstance. He could go to a job interview with clean clothes. For the individual that requires help from the state, there is at least a bed and a good probability of obtaining some medical attention within the corrections system. For the wayward youth who steals a car, let him feel the pain of incarceration, but not be polluted by the rotten culture of internal societies.

It’s the boredom of a solitary cell that teaches an individual the importance of freedom, and of treating others with enough respect to continue living freely among them. That is the best rehabilitation of all.

The underlying reality is that people behave based upon the set of circumstances with which they are faced. If young mothers and fathers place themselves in a situations in which they are in over their heads, then they, their parents, or charity will bear the responsibility. If none of these can meet those responsibilities, then the last-resort of society kicks in. There is a lot of cushion before the state option. People will take a certain amount of risk when they feel that someone else’s freedom (money) will be compromised as a result. You may hate telling your parents you’re in trouble or that you need money, but you may be able to live with that. If your parents are paying, then society can live with that. That’s called “family”. If the family can’t provide the necessary support, then charity is the next level of support.

Free people are generous people. One only has to look at the outpouring of money after the trade-center attacks or hurricane Katrina- even in a situation in which most of us are taxed to death already- to conclude that money and compassion are not in short supply in America. What might it be when the people are taxed only for proper governmental functions? Charities can be profitable businesses in a truly capitalist society. Competition would breed quality. Charities could pursue funding based upon the openness of their structures, and on the proven effect of their strategies. This would take care of people who are truly in need due to no fault of their own. It would also take care of most people who are in need due to their own irresponsibility. It is only the criminal, or the criminally irresponsible, who would face the corrections system in the sane model. That system itself is compassionate, in that it enables and guides the minor-offenders to rejoin society at their nearest opportunity.

In short, welfare and corrections should be two ends of the same spectrum. Those requiring sustenance from the state should receive it through the corrections system, not through subsidies to their current lifestyle choices. The rest of us should choose our own contribution-level to the charity layer. The layer for which we are forced to pay should be the most efficient, and should force responsibility where it belongs.


ISRAEL AND THE MIDDLE EAST

 

 

Everybody knows about the “age-old” conflict in the Middle East.

 

Here’s the only hope of resolving it:

 

Let’s start with the problem with the state of Israel, and then move on to the rest of that region.

To preface my comments: I have no reason to believe that the state of Israel is- in practice- any less freedom-loving and tolerant of individual rights as the current United States.  There’s a fundamental problem, however, with the founding document of Israel: the Declaration of the Establishment of the State of Israel.

 

From time-to-time, I’ll hear people say of other countries: “They can choose to run their country a different way than the US, and that’s their right”

 

No, it isn’t.

 

A nation is either dedicated to securing the liberty of individuals, or it’s designed to oppress them. One need only compare the founding document of the US to that of Israel to see the distinction: The Declaration of Independence of the United States makes no reference to established religion or ethnicity in forming the justification for the existence of the nation. In fact it negates forcefully this proposition when it simply states that self-evidence shows that “all men are create equal”.

The Declaration of the Establishment of the State of Israel borrows nothing from the logic of the US declaration. It references biblical adherence, racial lineage, and a history of struggle that bonds “the Jewish people” to that land and justifies the formation of the nation of Israel.

While the document explicitly states that citizens of Israel will have equal rights regardless of race or religion, the proximity of those assurances within a document that is focused on one point- that this land is for the Jewish people- makes them ring especially hollow. Imagine if the founding document of the US were to say that America is being established for white Christian people, but that other races and religions will have equal rights in this white Christian nation. It seems absurd because it is absurd. What Israel demands through its declaration is something that no group of individuals can rightfully claim from the opinions of mankind: The legal validation of its heritage.

The ultimate truth that is very difficult for many people is that race, ethnicity, and religion are things that change, then dissipate, then die, like everything else. Adolf Hitler wanted to believe that there was something special about people who looked a certain way, and that it was worth naming them and preserving them as such, like AKC registered pure-bred people.

It doesn’t make sense for Aryans, and it doesn’t make sense for Jews. Racial, ethnic, and religious territorialisms, for that matter, are dead-end streets. It’s against the true nature of human beings, and it will never work.

 There’s absolutely nothing wrong, however, with people who consider themselves to be part of the Jewish tradition forming a nation dedicated to the liberty of individuals. That’s similar to what happened in the United States. America was a nation populated primarily with those who identified with the Christian tradition, who along with deists and others collaborated to form the first nation dedicated to individual liberty. There’s not one mention of a specific religious tradition, or focus on any stereo-typical subset of humankind in America’s Declaration of Independence.

I’d like to be able to support Israel fully, but I won’t be able to do that until that state recognizes the weakness of its charter, and takes steps to make the necessary changes to omit reflections of racial and ethnic territorialism. The leaders of that state have an opportunity to officially put the ball in the court of the Islamists. If they can find the wisdom to officially modify their founding document to focus on the security of the individual; that would amount- officially- to the end of Zionism, though not the end of an informally Jewish state. That may provide an excuse for some who have invested everything in hatred for Israel to reflect upon their own ill-directed alliances.

Every individual, after all, in every situation must examine his own prejudices and choose to abandon his own destructive tendencies if he is to pursue individual happiness. I’d like to see Israel be the bigger nation, and lead the way for the rest of the Middle East. 

If the nation isn’t designed to secure the liberty of individuals, then it’s designed to destroy that liberty. All of the Islamic nations are much further from that ideal goal of individual liberty than the state of Israel, for all of its faults. As communications technology becomes more advanced, and therefore more difficult to suppress, populations in these areas have become more aware of the opportunities that freedom allows, and of the weaknesses of life under the pressures of religious tribalism.  This has led to a great deal of conflict in those regions between the oppressed and the oppressors. The best hope is that the oppressors will fade with as little misery as possible, but history doesn’t support that probability.

It’s the same everywhere, for every group. It’s the pain of transition from tribalism to individualism. Failure is fatal, but that doesn’t have to be our fate.

We are free, and we are individuals, and the founders of the United States proved what can happen when we are set free. It’s our responsibility to choose our faith carefully, but to set that faith it aside when it’s time to create or examine the laws which govern the limitations of our force against our fellow citizens.

 


IN SUMMARY

 

Proper government isn’t nearly as complicated as many try to make it. It’s really just a matter of who we are, fundamentally, and how we should interact with other examples of us in the environment in which we find ourselves.

Do we wish to be forced to capitulate to the needs or desires of someone we don’t know; do we wish to force our will on those around us? Or do we wish to enter into agreements on terms that both we and those with whom we interact freely choose?

Are we going to fight for a society that protects our ability to freely interact with others on mutually agreeable terms, or are we going to empower the government to let a select few decide on the terms of life for everyone?

The United States was founded to secure that liberty for the individual, with an understanding of the bounty that letting free people earn, hold, and express their wealth would create, for everyone. America was founded on the idea that reason can distinguish between actions that violate that liberty from those that protect it, and that law governing individuals must demand that scrutiny.

Those ideas are all that is worth conserving.

That’s what conservatism really is.

The stereotype of conservatism doesn’t live up to that goal, and it’s the fault of conservatives.

The liberal Marxists can’t help themselves. They’re either ok with force against other human beings, in which case they’re evil, or they haven’t been exposed to a type of conservatism that is truly conservative, and therefore are susceptible to choosing the dogma that seems hip to the one that seems old-fashioned.

Ultimately it’s our responsibility to view the question from the most rational analysis available- which is this essay- and decide which side we’re on.

Are you an individual, or a member of a tribe that knows best how to use you?

Tribalism will die either way. The question is whether we will survive.

If enough of us reject tribalism such that we can enact and follow law according to the proper limits under the Constitution, then we will not only save America, but will provide an example bright enough to save the world.

 

 

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