The American Revolution was a catalyst that showed that a sustainable modern, representational, Constitutional Republic of significant “we the People” democratic character was feasible. It served as a beacon of hope for the world, nowhere better captured than in key words from the American Declaration of Independence, 244 years ago today:
When . . . it becomes necessary for one people . . . to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident [cf Rom 1:18 – 21, 2:14 – 15], 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. –That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security . . . .
Let us add, also, a summary excerpt showing the grand statement structure of the US Constitution, which sought to deliver on the Declaration’s intent:
We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America . . . . [Main Body, Arts I – VII] . . . . Done in Convention by the Unanimous Consent of the States present the Seventeenth Day of September in the Year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and Eighty seven and of the Independence of the United States of America the Twelfth. In Witness whereof We have hereunto subscribed our Names. . . . . [AMENDMENTS].
Such words are always a challenge to live up to, but that is why they are needed; to be that challenge. The American Republic is the first long term in the main successful experiment to live under the umbrella of that challenge. Where, freedom with reasonably just order in a stable community is always a challenge.
Accordingly, let us ponder the implications of fostering such a strident critique that it loses sight of why an ideal is beyond our grasp but is a challenge we must keep before our finite, fallible, morally struggling and too often ill-willed souls.
Accordingly, let us ponder the challenge of good government, using a 3-dimension model that pivots on state power, lawfulness and leadership:
This allows us to now put on the table an alternative political spectrum (running along the main diagonal just above) that is more attuned to the dynamics of tyranny vs anarchy, thus more suggestive in analysis and guiding prudent action:
(Yes, I know, I know. Many will hotly contend that Fascists, Nazis [ often equated to “white nationalists”] and “Theocratic ‘Fundy’ Christofascists” are “the extreme right” — which nowadays means, roughly, anybody not sufficiently cowed by rampant culture-form marxism, its agit prop, Red Guards and their backers, street theatre, lawfare and ever advancing agendas of perversity mixed with anti-civilisational misanthropy. Such are simply wrong, never mind what profs, pundits, pols and ill-informed or willfully manipulative media talking heads like to say. But then, that should be no surprise to anyone familiar with how widespread say unsound economic notions or outright fallacies are in much the same contexts, and for similar reasons. [Cf. here.] As for associated worldviews and cultural agenda blunders, let’s just put a 101 on the table.)
U/D Jul 5: Blood libel and contempt for the US in front of the White House, in a “protest” July 4th 2020:
Oh, yes, a reminder from Hitler on Labour Day, may 1st, 1927:
It’s not hard to see that if it is not yet dead or mortally wounded, the American Revolution (a great hope for all humanity) is in serious peril.
Can we at least read the signs of the times and be willing to turn back from the crumbling edge of the cliff?
I believe, the next twelve to eighteen months will tell. That is, we are at civilisation-level kairos. END
PS: If you don’t understand my reference to Red Guards and to Mao’s Cultural Revolution coup, 1966 – 76, that they were cannon fodder for, let us use that ever so humble source Wiki confessing against interest:
Red Guards . . . was a mass student-led paramilitary social movement mobilized and guided by Chairman Mao Zedong in 1966 through 1967, during the first phase of the Chinese Cultural Revolution, which he had instituted. According to a Red Guard leader, the movement’s aims were as follows:
>>Chairman Mao has defined our future as an armed revolutionary youth organization…. So if Chairman Mao is our Red-Commander-in-Chief and we are his Red Guards, who can stop us? First we will make China Maoist from inside out and then we will help the working people of other countries make the world red…and then the whole universe.>>
Despite being met with resistance early on, the Red Guards received personal support from Mao, and the movement rapidly grew. Mao made use of the group as propaganda and to accomplish goals such as destroying symbols of China’s pre-communist past, including ancient artifacts and gravesites of notable Chinese figures. Moreover, the government was very permissive of the Red Guards, and even allowed the Red Guards to inflict bodily harm on people viewed as dissidents. The movement quickly grew out of control, frequently coming into conflict with authority and threatening public security until the government made efforts to rein the youths in. The Red Guard groups also suffered from in-fighting as factions developed among them. By the end of 1968, the group as a formal movement had dissolved.
Resemblance to events now in progress, most assuredly, is not coincidental.