Monday, November 01, 2010

Liberalism and Its Promise to the People

Liberalism, per the ideology that is followed, is a philosophy of governing that recognizes the ideology of the Right in regards to the structure of power then takes that ideology one step beyond. It first recognizes the State's power to rule over the people. In other words, it recognizes that domestic affairs are the domain of the States and foreign affairs is the domain of the federal government. It adds one more responsibility to the federal government though.

Liberalism adds the responsibility of being the protector of the rights of individuals from the abuses of States. And the liberal ideology has a means to determine the abuses of those rights. With this in mind the ideology also has a mechanism to determine the remedy of these abuses.

Liberalism begins on the concept that individuals already have all of their rights and that those rights are self-evident truths. It further declares that the people themselves will protest when the exercise of these rights are denied or banned. Those truths once revealed to the federal government, being in compliance to the will of the people, is to recognize that the State has abused its power to rule and act so as to protect this rights.

Liberalism does not recognize the Constitution as the Supreme law of the land. Liberalism recognizes the Constitution as a living document that recognizes the rights of the individual and reveals to the world the abuses of the States of this nation. These rights can be found in the following words of the fathers of this nation.

“We hold these truths to be self-evident,
that all men are created equal,
that they are endowed by their Creator
with certain unalienable Rights,
that among these are
Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

It is the liberal viewpoint that the Creator endowed all rights to the individual and that these three rights declared are but a few of the total number of rights endowed by their Creator. Since it was the Creator who bestowed these rights then the individual has always possessed them. Since they are self-evident then it can only be declared that the States have abused their right of rule by the denial of or the banning of the exercise of these rights.

A good example of this was the issue of slavery. To the liberal point of view the fact that this institution was wrong should have been seen as being self-evident. The inequality of such an institution could be clearly seen thus self evident. No one can deny this. Many of the fathers saw the evil of this inequality.

Thus a compromise had to be reached on this issue in order to pass and have this new Constitution ratified. With this as a given, any State that continued to allow this state of inequality to exist as well as those who compromised their principles were abusing their right to rule. Thus, when Lincoln freed the slaves all States lost their right of self-rule with each State subordinating themselves to the rule of the central government of the United States.

It is from this concept that State laws as well as the Constitutions of the States are now subject to the review of the Supreme Court. It is the Supreme Court acting in the name of the federal government that will determine whether or not if the States have recognized the equality of men as endowed by the Creator thus providing the means of the protection of individual rights.

If the Supreme Court finds in the favor of the individual then the legislature of the federal government has the authority to act on this ruling by enacting laws of protection. These laws then give the President the authority to execute those laws thus assuring that the rights of those individuals are protected. In this is the understanding of the U.S. Government as being the protector of the rights of individuals.

With this we can ascertain that the only righteous path that any President takes this nation, per liberalism, can only be the path of equality. Any other path is an unrighteous path for it is the path of inequality.

And this is the divide that defines Conservatism and liberalism. For, in the mind of liberalism, conservatism seek to conserve inequality and in seeking a smaller government any progress already achieved towards equality will be reversed or at the least, hindered. It is from this that some liberals have considered those who call themselves conservatives a greater threat to this nation than terrorism.

In the mindset of liberalism there is no need to allow the States to determine their own path as the Right would say, each experimenting with different solutions. Experimentation is for determining if a belief can be proven for the purpose of ascertaining the truth. Self-evident truths will be apparent when seen thus needing no proof. This would declare that, from this, it is evident that the Right is wrong and do not deserve to lead this nation.

In the mindset of liberalism once equality has been achieved every man will be able to exercise all of the rights that the Creator has endowed him with. It is towards this goal that liberalism seeks to lead this nation. And since this path is the path of the Creator then it is self evident that liberalism was and is destined to be the only moral path of the governance if the people seek to find favor with their Creator.

It must also be self-evident that equality is an achievable goal for men because if it wasn't then men would not have been endowed with all of the rights by our Creator that declare men as being equal. Thus, it cannot be declared as an unachievable idyllic state of being. And, in the liberal mindset, it can't be the path to enslavement and socialism as some will claim and as I have posted.

 So, the sooner that men, namely the conservatives, stop hindering the progress of equality the sooner we will reach the state of equality and enjoy the life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness that is promised in it.


BB-Idaho said...

We need consider that 'Liberalism', like many classifications, involves numerous 'flavors'. In terms of classical liberalism, some think
Jefferson, based on Locke,
outlined in the Declaration the concept of
'rights apart from the government, as part of their nature'. The above linked article considers the Source of Rights:
Nature as a Source of Rights;
Utility as a Source of Rights;
Common Law as a Source of Rights; and
Social Contract as a Source of Righs;
IMO, the 'fly in the ointment' regards the
Social Contract concept.
The Philosopher John Rawls sums this,
"In real life, each of us has assets and liabilities, including intelligence, strength,
health income, wealth, family relations, etc. With this knowledge each of us would be inclined to
choose social institutions advantageous to us."
So, as you have noted elsewhere, the argument
includes those societal
'rights' which can impinge on individual 'rights'.
(and one can imagine the reverse being true as well)
I think Jefferson would be
fairly pleased, considering
the novel concept he and his contemporaries put into action, for the system has survived, thrived and been copied.
(I believe you would find
that particular article of
great interest, Griper, for
it also considers the problems of 'uber-liberalism', regimentation of society and the like)

The Griper said...

he chuckles. well, thought you'd like to see what your bad influence on my thoughts have took me, my friend. :)

liberalism, like any label is subject to change depending upon the individual as well as time. that is why i described it as i did in my first sentence.

and it is also why i don't like to label myself, especially in political terminology.

any description would never describe everyone. the most that can be done is a general description as one perceives it to be.

as to the article, yes it was a very interesting one, especially the area of the description of types of rights.

myself i don't worry too much in regards to type of right but more in terms of a definition of it.

to me a right reflects that an individual has the authority to make a decision and then choose whether or not to act upon that decision in accordance to the power he possesses to act on it.

type, to me, only reflects how that right can be denied.

BB-Idaho said...

Surprised there were not more comments here, as it
was a bit 'outside the box'
(and I'm assuming a bit
'tongue in cheek'). But it
does make one think, and I
seldom think in legalistic
terms, but rather historical, humanistic and societal..which brings us right back to 'legalistic'.
Many believe the US constitution to be the brainchild of men who were
adherents to the '
Hume, Locke etc and the idea of 'rights'. If we dig a bit further back, we note the words of Spinoza,
a few generations prior to
Hume & Locke,
"The last end of the state is not to dominate men, nor to restrain them by fear; rather it is to set free each man from fear, that he may live and act with full security and without injury to hmself or his is to lead men to live by and to exercise, a true reason.
The end of the state is really liberty." We tend to assign the term conservative/liberal to
historical government going back to the Greek
City States, on through
Rome, medieval times etc.
Perhaps these are labeled unfairly, for in those times past, only a tiny
few enjoyed 'liberty' while most struggled to
feed themselves. There were a few unsuccessful
'rebellions' which were
discouraged with fierce
action by the monarchies.
Such was the state of
actual affairs for many
centuries. The natal
US was unique in moving beyond eons of emperors and kings...into what we
now term politics! :)

BB-Idaho said...

In terms of politics, there was disagreement from the start (as you have noted, slavery, for example). Hamilton wanted a national bank, Jefferson abhored the idea. But even Jefferson recognised that
as time progresses, so does
society, technology and communications. It was natural that human progress would 'muddy the water' regarding conservative/liberal..with root word 'progress' appearing twice above.
In his book 'Lincoln's Way-
How Six Great Presidents
Created American Power'
Richard Striner argues that
'progressivism' can be either conservative or liberal. For example
T. Roosevelt and D. Eisenhower were conservative in many ways, but achieved progressive
goals (Nat'l Parks...Interstate Highway System). It appears that some TV talking heads have determined in hindsight that these two were 'commies' therefore...
a bit irrational, IMO.
So we note throughout US
history, there have been
swings in the electorate
between conservative and liberal (seems like the swing is going faster and further lately :)) which is instructive of at least a couple of observations:
the electorate protects itself from extremes in either direction; gradually, as society
progresses, it drags gov't along; technology accelerates the pace...
and in typical American
fashion half the population is happy and half is unhappy. Mr. Jefferson, Mr. Washington,
Mr. Franklin, Mr. Adams..
thank you, your experiment
is working, and fascinating
to observe....

The Griper said...

"Surprised there were not more comments here, as it
was a bit 'outside the box'

i am too, BB. this post got the biggest number of hits in the lifetime of this blog too, over 50 hits. the average has always been around 20 to 25.

sure would have liked to have heard what others had to say.

The Griper said...

yes, it is facinating to watch as long as a person doesn't get caught up too zealously in the politics of it


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