Friday, November 21, 2008

Founder's Friday

We'll give this one more shot. Last week's attempt failed to generate any discussion. Hopefully we have better luck this time.

I'm going to go w/ the Declaration of Independence again, but I'll give you more than the first paragraph to work with this time. What can we glean about the Founder's views from this document?

1 comment:

  1. This caught my eye: "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."

    It is interesting to me that these men believed it to be the right of the people to establish new government or abolish government that has grown destructive. That sort of independent thinking was radical for that day considering the years of domination and subserviance inflicted by tyranny of kings and other nobility.
    What justified that thought process in the minds of these men who had been reared to submit to every authority? How did they choose between authorities? What constituted destructive government that could be righteously deposed? They did not believe that a government should change solely on transient changes of thought. So why did they fight? It could not be so trivial a motivation as taxes on tea and stamps. Representation is a wonderful thing, but they had to know that many of the world's nations did not have such privilege. Yet did they advocate revolt in all such situations?

    It is also interesting to compare the steps this nation took to secure such radical change with the steps taken in France for similar causes. I have always been fascinated by the nuances of contrast between these two struggles: one being successful and the other not. When a nation is not successful in any military endeavor, it is easy to speculate that it was flawed in it's original motivations. Yet, why was the cause of American freedom so much better than the cause behind the French Revolution? It is obvious in history that the French people were unnecessarily oppressed by careless nobility. What was the difference?