BY JIM N. TAYLOR
History influenced Western cultures to define a social contract first through a statement of First Principles within what we now call a national Constitution. In our USA we have a document produced by the Founders even prior to our Constitution known as our Declaration of Independence.
This document is considered a part of our social contract which was written under the duress of a governing power that did not represent the needs or wishes of those governed.
Duress influenced our founders to declare that all men are created equal, even though the difference between an idiot and a genius has always been obvious and commensurately compensated.
Our only equality (we/they should have said) is in our rights endowed by our very nature (regardless of how we might have been created).
Our Declaration did make it clear that when government runs amok onerously against the will of the people it deserves to be either drastically curtailed or eliminated. Our Founders then soon saw the necessity to write a major social contract which is known as our Constitution (it could have been called ‘The Social Contract of America’).
Our founders also soon saw that our Constitution was not sufficiently specific in establishing the inalienable (natural) rights we have, and they began to further describe these rights in the first ten amendments to our Constitution.
What we see in these amendments and in a few of the later amendments is a clarity that our rights were only individual rights that must be protected by our government and that government has no other legitimate purpose; common defense being an extension of rights’ protection.
We see this principle (of individualism) repeatedly in the papers, publications and letters exchanged between the Founders prior, during and following the establishment of the Constitution. These men could not accept any idea that the collective (government) could legitimately have rights of any kind for and of itself.
Only individuals had rights and were expected to be willing to act together as a militia, if necessary, to protect each other’s rights and properties. The people were the militia as referred to in our 2nd Amendment. Thus ‘the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed’. The militia was at that time not related to federal government-formed or conscripted army.
Every person able to bear arms and willing to use them was a member of the militia. They/we had/ have a right to be as well armed as any foe, foreign or domestic, including the arms of peace officers or military personnel. If we can bear (carry) any arm, it is constitutionally legal; concealed or not; automatic or single shot; plastic or TNT. We neglected to amend our contract regarding WMD’s.
We, sadly, are no longer individualists; but have become collectivists instead. We have accepted the role of thieves as we band together in groups to steal the earnings of the productive by voting for their coercion through government. Almost half our population pays no federal income taxes, and half of the remaining 53% are in some way subsidized by government.
Those who are dependent have the same voting rights and voice as do those who pay their/our way. This ensures that the social contract will continue to be violated in favor of dependency in preference to merit.
We have thus destroyed the culture left by the founders as we continue to vote for those politicians we believe more capable of stealing for our group as opposed to other groups. We have earned the demise that national bankruptcy is bringing us.
Our failures to remain honest individualists can be marked in our history by: a progressive income tax instead of taxing our spending; labor unions instead of the market demand; failure to honestly interpret and apply the lessons of our own history; tolerance of abuses of power by all three branches of government; our willingness to overlook or even encourage personal or sexual deviancy; willingness to tolerate mediocrity in education and boorish behavior; tolerance for sloth and dishonesty throughout the culture; willingness to promote diversity instead of merit; willingness to devalue our currency to preserve dependency/entitlement.
All social contracts written without the knowledge that humans are only motivated by self interest will eventually fail. Altruism is an oxymoron (cannot exist except as an idea). Even mother-love is based on preserving/protecting an emotional investment of self.
We cannot expect a government to remain functional if it is financed at the expense of the productive while the non- productive rule. Such a system must openly change or fail for insufficient financial support from the governed (national bankruptcy).