Founding Principles

Do you know what the most fundamental principle of our country is????

Learn – what our founders gave us…

Note:  The following is lifted from my Freedom101.us website. The purpose of that site is to serve as an instructional tool for our founding principles. The purpose of this site is to be a forum for bloggers to apply common sense principles to situations and events as they occur. The Freedom101 site will have relatively few updates where, hopefully this site will have many. A couple of posts that I have planned for the near future is one addressing our nation’s debt situation, and another about what it will take to avoid fiscal collapse.

From the Freedom101.us website:

Our founder’s greatest fear was that future generations would lose sight of our governing principles, stop following the constitution, allow government and the majority to gain control, and end up like all preceding governments: in collapse. As Thomas Jefferson said, “…Preach…a crusade against ignorance; establish and improve the law for educating the common people. Let our countrymen know that the people alone can protect us against these evils [of misgovernment].”

We have forgotten the principles of our government, but we have not yet completely destroyed our Republic – there is still time to save it. But for this to happen, we first must educate ourselves. We need to learn the differences between our Republic and a Democracy. We must understand Natural Law is the first principle of our government, learn what it is and why it solves the problem of Democracies. And we need to learn how Natural Law is implemented in the Constitution.

Creating awareness of our founding principles and providing means to learn them with minimal effort is a goal of this site.  Another goal is to post news and examples of how these principles impact current events.

But before we start this venture, it’s important to understand terminology, because some terms are used differently from the way our founders used them. We use our founder’s definitions of terms so we can correctly interpret original source materials.

Definitions

Equality

This term creates a lot of confusion, because our Declaration of Independence states “all men are created equal…” Clearly, we are born with different abilities and attributes, and are not “equal” in many ways. Equality to our founders meant that man can only be TREATED as equals in the eyes of God, by law originated by man, and in the protection of citizen’s rights. It did not mean equal things or wealth to our founders.

Thomas Sowell wrote a book about the use and misuse of the terms equality and justice, entitled “The Quest for Cosmic Justice.” In it he points out that man is incapable of providing what he calls “Cosmic Justice,” and says “Only God can make man equal [in a cosmic sense] and he chose not to.”

Our founders realized that trying to implement equality in the cosmic sense could only be accomplished by treating people differently, either by taking away from some and giving to others, or inhibiting some to prevent surpassing others. And it would require on-going, continual adjustment. As Alexander Hamilton said: “Inequality [in the cosmic sense] would exist as long as liberty existed …. It would unavoidably result from that very liberty itself.”

Freedom, Liberty

Freedom to the founders meant that man would be totally free to do whatever he wants, as long as it does not harm others. John Locke said it this way: “To understand Political Power right, and derive it from its Original, we must consider what State all Men are naturally in, and that is, a State of perfect Freedom to order their Actions, and dispose of their Possessions, and Persons as they think fit, within the bounds of the Law of Nature, without asking leave, or depending upon the Will of any other Man.”

In other words, a man has total freedom to the extent that one man’s freedom does not impinge upon another’s. It also means that one has a right to own property, and to do with it whatever he pleases, as long as it does not impinge upon someone else’s freedom.

Note that this form of freedom is quite different from the concept of “freedom from want” but very compatible with the concept of “freedom of opportunity.”

Property

Property, to our founders, meant “the fruits of one’s labor,” and includes all material things including money, as well as intangibles like religion, friends, ideas, thoughts, family, etc.

Democracy

Democracy, to our founders, meant democracy as defined by the founder Noah Webster, in his dictionary: a. government by the people; especially rule of the majority, and b. a government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised by them directly or indirectly through a system of representation usually involving periodically held free elections.

To our founders, democracy meant majority rule, and democratic societies always decayed and ended up in tyranny.

James Madison said, “Democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention; have ever been found incompatible with personal security or the rights of property; and have in general been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths…”

Today, we routinely use the term “Democracy” to describe our country. Most textbooks we use in our schools call our country a Democracy. Our founders are undoubtedly looking down upon us with great concern. The term “Democracy” has progressively meant different things to citizens over time since our founding. Today, it seems to be a euphemism for representative government.

Republic

A republic, as our founders used the term, is the form of government they designed with the intention of overcoming the deficiencies of a democracy. The concept was based on the premise that the federal government could not violate Natural Law just as citizens cannot. They implemented it by adopting features such as: representative government, horizontal separation of power (three branches, Legislative, Administrative and Judicial), vertical separation of power (Federal Government with explicitly defined roles and power and State Government with a concept call Federalism), a series of checks and balances between the various bodies of government, explicitly defined rights, and a system of justice.

This form of government has been implemented only by the United States. Remarkably, no other country has tried to duplicate the genius of the U.S. Constitution, even though it’s greatness and impact on the world is widely recognized.

Suggested Study Plan

Below are some study suggestions, listed by importance and suggested order.

Watch the Video “What Makes the U.S. Different”

This video explains the different forms of government with diagrams, where the various types of governments are plotted against a freedom scale. In 5 minutes it explains what makes our country unique and superior to any other form of government in the history of mankind.

 Watch the Video “How Natural Law is Implemented in the Constitution”

This video, in 5 minutes, explains how the Constitution implements Natural Law, and where these elements are found in the Constitution.

 Watch the Video “What Happens When We Deviate From the Constitution”

This video, in 4 minutes, explains what happens when we quit following the Constitution, using the block diagrams. It also explains the impact it is now having on our country.

 Watch the Video “What Went Wrong”

This video, in 7 minutes, explains what caused us to deviate from the constitution. This is something that you definitely did not learn in school, and will come as a surprise!

 

There are a number of additional videos of this sort planned – this is a work in progress.

Read the book “5000 year leap”

The book, “5000 Year Leap” by W. Cleon Skousen, is the probably the best written primer on the principles of our government. It’s short, easy to read and uses the founder’s own words to explain the concepts so that you know that you are getting the truth, in sharp contrast with most of our present day high school and college textbooks. This book would be a great choice as a high school civics text-book and read for book clubs.

Read the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution

The Declaration of Independence states the purpose of our government (to protect citizen’s God given natural rights to Life, Liberty and Property (changed to pursuit of Happiness). The Constitution is the document that provides the rules to accomplish this task.

For example, one principle implemented by the Constitution is a concept the founders called Federalism, by Article 1, Section 8 and Amendment 10. These rules explicitly define the role of the federal government with respect to the states and the citizens. This prevents the federal government from violating citizens natural rights, and it has many other advantages, e.g., only the federal government can print money, making it easier for it to overspend, and to deflate our money by printing too much of it. States are forced to balance their budgets. If the federal government had never involved itself with Food Stamps, Welfare, Social Security, Health Care, etc., we would not be in the financial death spiral are now in.  This fact is proven by comparing the debt to income ratio for the federal government (approximately 6.0) to that of the states (approximately 0.6).  Since 2010 this ratio has hovered in the range of 8.5 to 10.  The federal government is 10 times more irresponsible with our money as the states – it can print money; the states have to borrow it.

Read “Free to Choose”

“Free to Choose” by Milton and Rose Freidman, is a book that explains our free enterprise system. It’s easy to understand and it makes the connection between political freedom and economic freedom. It points out that political freedom is impossible without economic freedom, and it is the only moral economic system because no man is forced to make an exchange.

Take the ISI (Intercollegiate Studies Institute) Civics Test

If you’re like most, you feel you have a reasonable grasp of how our system works. Take this test to evaluate your knowledge level – you most certainly will be surprised. After taking the test, you are presented with statistics ISI has compiled over the years. Everyone should be aware of the extremely low knowledge level we have of our system.

Take the Hillsdale College Constitution 101 Course

This video course is a free, online, 10 session lecture series, each about 40 minutes long. Each lesson has a Question/Answer session, reading materials, outside study materials, etc. You can do this at your own pace, and you undoubtedly will be hooked after the first lecture. It explains the founding and features of the constitution in much more detail than the “What Makes America Different” video.

In addition, Hillsdale College provides Constitution 201 course that explains how we have wandered off course since the founding, and a History 101 which teaches the history from which our founders based their ideas and principles. These classes are accessible from this link. There is a “Register” tab to get started.

Read “Never Before in History”

This is a wonderfully illustrated and organized book, written by Gary Amos and Richard Gardiner that recounts the history of our founding, with particular emphasis of the role religion had in it.

Read the books “A Conflict of Visions” and “The Quest for Cosmic Justice”

These books, written by Thomas Sowell, explains the conflicting visions at work in our county today – the vision of our founders vs. the vision of evolving man.

Now, that you understand our constitution, it is time to be a responsible citizen..

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