The power of III

Summum ius summa iniuria--More law, less justice

17 December 2010


This post is a bit long, but stick with it:

First, two definitions:
radical Look up radical at
late 14c. (adj.), in a medieval philosophical sense, from L.L. radicalis "of or having roots," from L. radix (gen. radicis) "root" (see radish). Meaning "going to the origin, essential" is from 1650s. Political sense of "reformist" (via notion of "change from the roots") is first recorded 1802 (n.), 1820 (adj.), of the extreme section of the British Liberal party [see below] (radical reform had been a current phrase since 1786); meaning "unconventional" is from 1921. U.S. youth slang use is from 1983, from 1970s surfer slang meaning "at the limits of control." Radical chic is attested from 1970; popularized, if not coined, by Tom Wolfe.
British Liberal Party:  During the 19th century the Liberal Party was broadly in favour of what would today be called classical liberalism: supporting laissez-faire economic policies such as free trade and minimal government interference in the economy (this doctrine was usually termed 'Gladstonian Liberalism' after the Victorian Liberal Prime Minister William Ewart Gladstone). The Liberal Party favoured social reform, personal liberty, reducing the powers of the Crown and the Church of England (many of them were Nonconformists) and an extension of the franchise (right to vote).  
Butler Shaffer of had a blogpost on 12/14 that inspired this post: 
Lew:  The answer raised by your blog is quite simple: When you live a philosophically principled and centered life, it is easy to speak and act with consistency. Your “roots” — the meaning of “radical,” as you point out — provide you with the integrity (as in “integrated” life) that unfocused men and women don’t have. It would be most difficult — probably impossible — for Ron (or the rest of us genuine libertarians) to behave contrary to who he is. This is why it is so easy for the philosophic and moral slugs to jump around from issue to issue, taking whatever position —  no matter the inherent conflict and contradiction to one another — that results in the existential mess of our world. What is interesting to watch is the utter confusion of the politicians and media members who end up projecting their disordered thinking onto Ron, and then imagining there is something incoherent about him.
(Empasis added)
The focus of this blog is radical as defined above (1650's definition):  to get to the root of what is wrong in this country.  This country had a written Constitution because the ("living" and not written and enumerated) Constitution of Great Britain was too dependent on the whims of Parliament and the King.  The American people organized and rebelled when these whims affected their livelihoods.  They invented the idea of secession in response to this threat.   The Constitution was written with clear language with specific words used.  The meaning of certain phrases, Articles, and Amendments of the US Constitution,  were well understood by the State Ratifying Conventions, and there is abundant documentary evidence of this.  Read Tom Woods' Nullification.  These meanings have been since corrupted by the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial Branches of this Federal Government to mean whatever suits the current leadership, and that has led to the monstrosity that is the current American Empire.  That is why the Statists love the term "living Constitution", and call the 1787 Constitution an anachronism.   The federal governmental leaders betrayed the founding generation in quantum leaps like the War Between the States, and in dribs and drabs of 230 years of legislation.  
I still believe at least a plurality of people in this country believe in the principles of individual freedom, States Rights, limited federal power, republican ideals of the founding generation, and real free market capitalism.  The main ideas that might still unite most individual Americans into a common cause is to be left alone by the central government (original idea of Liberty), and that they get to keep what they earn (private property).  This is my hope for the future.  
In T.H. Breen's recent book, American Insurgents, one of his theses is that the people of the colonies in their villages, towns, and cities are the ones who had become radicalized and their example and the pressure that they, the congress, would become irrelevant if they didn't respond to the obvious will and strength of the people prompted the Continental Congress into radical declarations.    
The people led the Founders.    In 1774, after the Port Act was enacted to punish the people of Boston, there was a spontaneous American response of common people to send charity to the impoverished in Boston.  This led to a notion of common purpose against Great Britain.  Then, after a rumor of the British bombarding Boston (the Powder Alarm) swept the countryside,  at least 15,000 men spontaneously mustered and marched on Boston, led by Israel Putnam of Connecticut.  They turned back when they heard the rumor was false.  The story of the episode reached the Congress in Philadelphia and the delegates responded by approving the "Association", a written document that instructed the local Committees of revolutionaries to boycott British products, and to ostracize citizens who would not observe the boycott or who openly supported Great Britain.
The people of America were radical then, and are becoming more radical now.  The Tea Party is an amorphous tip of the iceberg.  The country is now culturally diverse and greatly populated now.  It will be exceedingly difficult to organize the country as a whole.  (If the country were to break up, the Southern and Western States could potentially be reestablished as a new federation based on Classical Liberal and State Rights lines).   The message is readily accessible through the internet.   The inertia of sloth among the people will not reach a critical tipping point until they are threatened with economic ruin.  This may be close at hand, by many indications.       
I want to do what I can do to propogate this message:  we can increase the sense that we live in a free country with unlimited opportunity when we return to our true roots. 

1 comment:

  1. Excellent post and love the picture, which I will steal, but give credit:)