Sunday, May 10, 2009

Governments, an Experiment of Sociology or of Philosophy?

Grandpa came to school one day on an invitation to speak to the class. It was during a period when the class was in the midst of learning about the Constitution. I had a funny feeling that the teacher would rue the day he gave grandpa that invitation. As grandpa spoke that day I kept an eye on the teacher to see his reaction. This is what grandpa spoke that day as he sat on the edge of the teacher’s desk.

"Young’uns, there are those who believe that the Constitution is a contract between the government and the people. This may be in those nations that began with a central government rule but the United States did not begin that way. When the Revolutionary war was fought and the cause was won there were thirteen independent and sovereign States. Each State should be seen as a being a peer to any and every other State in the world at that moment in history, a very weak peer but still a peer with all the same powers and authority.

In the formation of a central government it can be said that it is one of the first times in history that a sovereign State has voluntarily given up sovereign rights or powers rather than have a greater power imposed upon it and take away their sovereign right of rule. That is the first thing a person should see when reading our Constitution.

A person should keep one more thing in mind as they read the Constitution. It is the fact that while each of these thirteen States gave up certain powers they did not give up their sovereign authority over the people who lived in these States. The only authority given to the central government in regards to the people was the authority of taxation. The central government had no authority to tax the people under the Articles of Confederation.

Therefore, as you read through the Constitution, itself, you will come to the understanding that it describes a relationship between the States and the central government as well as a relationship between the States themselves not a relationship between the people and the central government. Moreover, when we speak of a more perfect union we are speaking of the union of States not the union of peoples as it has been perceived and interpreted by so many today. This can be clearly understood by the fact of the name that the founding fathers gave to this brand new nation, the United States of America not the United Peoples of America.

We must remember that the Constitution is a portrayal of the political philosophy of a separation of powers between the central government and the governments of the States and the people. The principles found in that document should be seen in absolute terms not in relative terms as so many seek to view it. When we see it in terms of absoluteness then any ideological principles will be subordinate to the principles of the Constitution. When we allow it to be interpreted in relative terms then the inevitable happens. The Constitution becomes subordinate to ideology.

We must consider one more thing when we speak along these lines that has failed to penetrate our thoughts. We have allowed sociological principles govern the way we think rather than allowing philosophical principles upon which our nation was founded determine how we are to be ruled over by government. Sociology has replaced Philosophy in our thinking.

We must remember what the difference is. Political philosophy contains ideas of how government should rule and what powers it should possess. Sociology contains ideas about a society and how that society influences the behavior of the individual within that society. The Constitution is a portrayal of political philosophy not of sociological theories. Socialism and Communism are prime examples of attempting to use sociological theory to govern a people."

When grandpa had finished, he just looked at the teacher as if he was hoping that the teacher would challenge what he had said. When the teacher did nothing grandpa just looked at me and gave me a wink and smile and I did the same back.

10 comments:

Left Coast Rebel said...

Griper - I think that you should write a book of short stories in the vein of this piece. Brilliant.
You said ''We must consider one more thing when we speak along these lines that has failed to penetrate our thoughts. We have allowed sociological principles govern the way we think rather than allowing philosophical principles upon which our nation was founded determine how we are to be ruled over by government. Sociology has replaced Philosophy in our thinking.''This is so true sir, keep up the great writing.

The Griper said...

he just grins and says a humbled thank you for the compliment, lcr. i'm pleased you enjoy the style.

KrisEveland said...

Very very well spoken. This is a concept that 9 out of 10 students don't understand.

Timothy said...

It's a concept that 9 out 10 are not taught, much less understand. That is a very good presentation of the Constitution. Well done.

The Griper said...

a concept, gentlemen that can only be called obvious when reading it if one does not allow ideology to cloud your thoughts.

BB-Idaho said...

Dunno, its all confusing to me. Townships make up counties, counties make up states, states make up a nation..each has their
function. States Rights always makes me think of Jefferson Davis/Abe Lincoln and Orville Faubus/Dwight Eisenhower. Perhaps if my state were not under total unilateral control of the GOP, I'd consider it further...:)

The Griper said...

he laughs at BB's remarks.

tell ya what, amigo, i'll trade you home for home straight up then we'll both be happy. :)

BB-Idaho said...

You know Griper, we used to get a lot of Californians migrating up this way. Sell their lil Anaheim
house for a couple million, move up here, build a mansion and live the good non-working life. They were termed 'californicators, from the land of fruit & nuts'. :) Now with house values dropping, the phenomenon has died off. So, to be fair, let's say I send you five dozen good solid Republicans and
you trade me Terminator & the Kennedy lady...heh

Gayle said...

Excellent point you make here, Griper. Right now our socialists are completely drunk with power!

I agree with Left Coast Rebel. These short essays in this format would make a great book. Why don't you consider it?

The Griper said...

what!!!!!!!!!!!!!! and actually do some work, gayle? would you take on the job of being my agent? lol

he just shakes his head at BB's offer. now you know that would be unfair, BB. :) a dozen republicans in the land of Pelosi is but a drop of water for this state. we'd still be a drought. :)

besides, even tho the kennedy girl is a democrat she's kinda cute. you'll have to do better than that.

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