Monday, October 24, 2011

Time to re-read the Declaration of Independence and recall its noble ideals



Time to revisit the Declaration of Independence:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

These ideals have been forgotten.


8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Actually, I think you've put your finger on something really crucial. What too many progressives haven't realized is that we are not a republic any longer. We are an empire. There's not point in protesting it. It's not a moral or political choice any longer. It is a massive reality. The problem is that we are a very young empire. We are making serious mistakes and we do not have adequate imperial institutions, but only inadequate republican ones. Our political philosophy is mired in mythologies and wishful thinking.

Matt Franko said...

Mike,

Right, to this current crop of morons, it's more important to remember to wear a flag lapel pin than to know what this all is supposed to be about...

Resp,

beowulf said...

Its a pity they no longer make public officials like New York's most famous police commissioner, who, of course, would go on earn both the Medal of Honor and the Nobel Peace Prize and serve two terms as President of the United States (and who wrote a fantastic memoir, linked below).

In the spring of 1895 I was appointed by Mayor Strong Police Commissioner... By this time, as I have said, I was getting our social, industrial, and political needs into pretty fair perspective. I was still ignorant of the extent to which big men of great wealth played a mischievous part in our industrial and social life, but I was well awake to the need of making ours in good faith both an economic and an industrial as well as a political democracy... I have always had a horror of words that are not translated into deeds, of speech that does not result in action—in other words, I believe in realizable ideals and in realizing them, in preaching what can be practiced and then in practicing it.
Theodore Roosevelt: An Autobiography
http://www.bartleby.com/55/6.html

CybrWeez said...

My opinion is its belittled b/c it mentions 'Creator', and that would mar the separation of church and state that is believed to be some law.

On the other hand, many who signed that declaration had slaves and only wanted male (mostly white) property owners to vote.

Mike Norman said...

Beowulf:

Amen!!

Letsgetitdone said...

Nice and simple, Mike.

Only . . .

Not all of us have forgotten!

Jeff65 said...

The Declaration was "forgotten" almost immediately. The Constitution itself was a reaction to the "leveling tendencies" of the populace.

Read this fantastic on-line book:
http://cyberjournal.org/authors/fresia/

It is an antidote to framer fetishists.

Anonymous said...

“Practical equality of opportunity for all citizens, when we achieve it, will have two great results. First, every man will have a fair chance to make of himself all that in him lies; to reach the highest point to which his capacities, unassisted by special privilege of his own and unhampered by the special privilege of others, can carry him, and to get for himself and his family substantially what he has earned. Second, equality of opportunity means that the commonwealth will get from every citizen the highest service of which he is capable. No man who carries the burden of the special privileges of another can give to the commonwealth that service to which it is fairly entitled. — I stand for the square deal. But when I say that I am for the square deal, I mean not merely that I stand for fair play under the present rules of the game, but that I stand for having those rules changed so as to work for a more substantial equality of opportunity and of reward for equally good service… When I say I want a square deal for the poor man, I do not mean that I want a square deal for the man who remains poor because he has not got the energy to work for himself. If a man who has had a chance will not make good, then he has got to quit… Now, this means that our government, National and State, must be freed from the sinister influence or control of special interests. Exactly as the special interests of cotton and slavery threatened our political integrity before the Civil War, so now the great special business interests too often control and corrupt the men and methods of government for their own profit. We must drive the special interests out of politics… For every special interest is entitled to justice, but not one is entitled to a vote in Congress, to a voice on the bench, or to representation in any public office. The Constitution guarantees protection to property, and we must make that promise good. But it does not give the right of suffrage to any corporation. The true friend of property, the true conservative, is he who insists that property shall be the servant and not the master of the commonwealth; who insists that the creature of man’s making shall be the servant and not the master of the man who made it. The citizens of the United States must effectively control the mighty commercial forces which they have themselves called into being.” -Teddy Roosevelt