Of Reason, Thought, and Individualism

Reason is the foundation of freedom of thought and by understanding what it is we begin to understand the root of individualism. Many theories have been batted around that are extremely hard to understand only because they fail to even look at the very definition of the word. Once you look at the very meaning of the word then the concept of reason begins to materialize before you.

The word itself suggests that reason is nothing more than the intellectual justification for an idea. Once we established its definition we can then begin to understand why it is essential for the freedom of one’s own thoughts. Every thought we have needs a reason behind it or we would have no reason to think it is true. It is simply the ‘why is this true’ explanation that provides the intellectual foundation for its existence in our conscious minds.

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Why We Need the Electoral College

This seems to be the most misunderstood piece of our government that the creators of the constitution could have ever put in place. The story we hear is that the creators of the constitution did not think the American people were smart enough to decide how government should operate but if this was true why would they establish any kind of democratic process to begin with? It seems at odds with the trend in American history up until that point because every state, town, and government used the democratic process to decide what laws are to be passed. Even the mayflower compact was a democratic agreement between the people so it seems that unusual that the creators of the constitution would defy the ongoing political trend by installing that into the United States constitution.

The Electoral College was not seen as a way to inhibit the people’s constitutional right to participate in the government but to prevent the democratic process from consuming the natural rights and freedom of the people. This was seen as an essential institution that acted as a safeguard for the people that does not exist today.

Examine one the word written by Alexander Hamilton in Federalist #1 “the greatest number have begun their career by paying an obsequious court to the people; commencing demagogues, and ending tyrants”.

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What Does it Mean to be Created Equal?

Many people seem to think our rights come from some kind of community agreement as in we all agree we can speak freely. What this is really saying is that other people have the power inhibit our free-will because the community can decide what restrictions are in place for each of us. When the community is not restricting us then it is seen as a privilege from the community since they are reserving the power to turn on and turn off the rights as it sees fit. The problem with this view is that it implies that others have some kind of inborn power over another person.

This is the crux of the argument against individual liberty in that it can be denied to any person simply because any power a person has over themselves only exist because the community gave it to them. This assumes that a person or group of people has some kind of inherent power over another and as much as we may think we do it turns out that we do not.

The reason for this is that we have a monopoly of control over our own being. The control over our own body is not shared with another so no other person can direct it in a manor that is not compliant with that person’s own wishes. No other person can direct the movement of our arms and legs which means that no other person can decide what direction their vessel for this life will take them.

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Where Living Constitutionalism Will Take Us

The funny thing about the left is that they say they hate religion and believe they are anything but religious. They seem damn proud of the fact that they are not and look down on all Christians but if you study the progressive idea of a living constitution you will see that progressives are very spiritual people. The progressives introduced the idea that the constitution (the supreme authority of the nation) changes with the SPIRIT of the times and they literally believed that there was a collective spirit at work in society. This spirit perfected the collective body (which they also saw as a single organism) very slowly over time and in order to allow this spirit to do its work a static ‘rulebook’ would not do. We had to have a dynamically changing rulebook that adjusted to that spirit at any moment in time which is why the progressives had to have a constitution that had to adjust to the spirit of the times.

The spirit they were referring to was the spirit of the collective body of the nation and the body could not evolve if supreme authority was stuck in a previous age. Once this spirit was allowed to function the people will be perfected at the end of history by that spirit’s will. This is why progressives call themselves progressives because they see themselves as progressing to this endpoint.

This comes out of the Hegelian (where Marx comes out of) political philosophy where they believed the mighty Roman Empire died because people lost their civic spirit which allowed it to whither. I believe that Hegel written this in Philosophy of Right in which he used this historic incident to explain why it and all other societies died off. When the people lost their civic spirit the society was endangered of losing its cohesion and falling apart just like the mighty Roman Empire did.

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It’s Time to Nullify Federal Court Decisions

As a supporter of laws like SB1070 and other state and local efforts to curb illegal immigration I am disturbed by the trend that federal courts are now weeding through state laws and deciding if they are constitutional or not. Whether or not you support state efforts to curb illegal immigration you have to agree that the courts have lost all prudence in this matter. They now want to chop through state laws and decide what is permissible for them to have and not have.

Pardon me but don’t the courts only have one function and that is to weigh the facts and punish those who break the law. The way a court system works is that the government brings the accused before it where they weigh the facts presented by the state in order to decide if the accused broke the law. They then meet out punishment based on what the law says.

Notice I said they don’t decide punishment because that has already been decided by the law. In fact, everything the court does is decided by law. The courts have this power because of the constitution and the same constitution gives them the power to judge the law as well as the facts. This is stated in Article III section 2 of the constitution.

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A Doorway to Hell

In an earlier article for this website I’ve written about the non-coercion principle and how it is connected to individual liberty and morality itself. I laid out the reasons why moral rules that we hold dear are really products of individual liberty by using the imagery from Lord of the Rings. It was a little fun but I was not attempting to belittle the reader’s intelligence but to illustrate that the cause of all evil is the violation of the non-coercion principle which really is an assumption of power over other people.

Think of the worst act a human being can do to another which is rape. This is a crime in every culture but the difference between rape and sex is the non-coercion principle. Sex is a voluntary act between two willing people but rape is an involuntary act. The physical act does not change itself since it is intercourse as defined by medicine but the difference is free-will. Two people who engage in sex have free-will and each other’s consent to do it but rape is an absence of consent of one person. What made it a moral crime against another person was not the act itself since the act is essentially the same in both situations but more an absence of free-will. The absence of free-will made it an act of evil since there was none.

Not only does this rule apply to that situation but it also applies in all other situations where human beings interact with each other. The act of theft is no different than the act of trade since it involves the movement of one person’s property to another. The only difference is the absence of free-will. A person who exchanges their property with another does so freely of their own free-will. They may do this for charitable reasons or to get something that someone else has but whatever the reason is it is always done in accordance with their free-will.

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Why Not!

These are the first words that a two year old tells their parents and is the beginning of that person asserting their authority over themselves. The parent then stunts that first ideas of free-will that child might have by saying something akin to ‘don’t talk back to me’. This naturally stops the child from asking any questions over the parent’s decisions and authority over the child. The child then continues to obey until they reach a much older age of the teenage years and the question of ‘why not’ begins to be heard more loudly than before and eventually the child gains equal authority with their parents when they reach adulthood.

What if that child never asked ‘why not’? That child would then grow up to be obedient to there parent’s will and to the will of anyone else since they never ask ‘why not’ to anyone. The right to question others is not only beneficial to obtaining truth but also in establishing equality between two people because the decision someone makes for someone else must pass mustard which can only happen people ask why.

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The Non-Coercion Principle

The world is run by rules that determine how we interact with other people. A baseball team has rules on how it interacts with its players, a husband and wife have rules on how they interact with each other, and freedom has its own rule.

The non-coercion principle is the one rule of freedom because it is, as its name implies, when a person does not force or coerce in any way how another person acts. This allows each person to exist in a state of freedom since they are free to engage in any behavior they want without any other person having any say otherwise. This principle does not limit a person’s own choice over themselves but completely inhibits their choice over what other people do. The only right that is denied by this principle is the right to dictate what other people should do.

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The Paternal Power

I’m sure most people remember how free they felt the day the left home and lived on their own. At first it might have seemed a bit scary because you had to pay bills and survive independently of your parents but after a while you felt a new sense of freedom in your own life. You may not have realized this but what you did is that you have freed yourself from the paternal power of your parents.

The paternal power that your parents had was well established since you were born because they had to take care of you. While they were taking care of you you were dependent on them and this gave your parents a sense of power over your being. This is why your parents believe they have a right to control what you do with your life while they are taking care of you and the expression ‘under my house…blah…blah…blah’ exist.

The one thing that many political philosophers such as John Locke were dealing with at the time was the paternal power of the state. Monarchs were not magistrates who executed the law but seen as parents who assumed they had control over you in the same way a parent does over a child. The king was responsible for your welfare and survival which turned each citizen into a personal ward of the king. This established the same relationship you had with your parents when you lived with them between the king and society.

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The Power of the Electoral College

It is written in the constitution that states may decide how electors
are selected for the president of the United States. This is the main
provision in the constitution that decides how electors are to be
chosen. Most states have chosen to use direct popular vote within
their own states and the result is that we think that states can’t
alter how it chooses electors. This is false because the democratic
choice of electors was granted to the people of each state by the
state legislators so it is reasonable to conclude that the same
legislatures can place additional burdens on the electors.

The state of Arizona has a bill that will not allow its electors
released until the president can verify that he matches the
requirements to be president of the United States. Once this bill is
enacted into law then the current president or any president for that
matter will have to prove to the state of Arizona that the president
meets the constitutional requirements to be president.

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