In 6,000 years of known human history, the default status of the average human being has been as inferior and subservient to our supposed societal betters. Whether at the hands of royalty, religion or repressive tyrants; self-determination and free choice was an unheard of dream for the mass of humanity. Even with early exercises in social equality, such as Athenian democracy, access to such a system was limited to a select, pre-determined and exclusively male few. With such an untested record regarding self-governance, This country’s founding was less a revolution against Great Britain and more a revolution against the long-standing tenets of civilization.
Essential to the founding of these United States is the overriding notion that no individual or group has a legitimate right to infringe on the basic natural rights of its citizenry. While some are quick to emphasize what was seemingly forgotten in our Constitution (equal rights for women and minorities), it is an indisputable fact that the majority of the men who founded this federal republic acknowledged these deficiencies, and ensured the ability to make changes, via the amendment process, when time and opinion deemed them of paramount importance. The capricious nature of monarchs and despots, as well as the predisposition to control of state religions and an entitled nobility were seen as unnecessary and antithetical to the best interests of a modern society.
In the new world, the dogma of the ancient world was found wanting, and a new paradigm was created on this side of the Atlantic, to upend the past, and teach the world the power of a free and informed population. While many countries have ostensibly tried to emulate this doctrine of freedom and liberty, the United States is still the only country with a founding document that is specifically designed to outline the LIMITS of central governance. Other nations have found it convenient to utilize guaranteed social programs and superfluous entitlements, enshrined in constitutional parlance, to pacify their populations. Trading the masters of the ancient and old world for politically constructed bureaucratic masters of the modern world is no fair trade, and still leaves the people under such governance at the mercy of whims and desires beyond their control.
Only by recognizing the special nature of the underlying principles inherent in our Constitution and the federal republic it underpins, can we hope to preserve the freedom and liberty it guarantees. Limiting the size and scope of government is key to ensuring our independence from tyranny and subjugation. Unfortunately, one hundred years of creeping progressivism has undermined the key tenets outlined in our Constitution. Overreaching social safety nets have been expanded beyond short-term and emergency needs. Burdensome taxation and stifling regulations have crippled the prospects for concrete and strong economic growth, while political and legislative cronyism has subverted the market principles that used to ensure a vibrant and responsive marketplace. We, as a nation, must recognize how the freedom to fail is inextricably linked to the freedom to succeed, and that government intervention in this vital process hurts not only individuals, but families, cities, states and even businesses.
My purpose here is to shine a spotlight on the exceptional nature of our Constitution, and how uniquely singular it is, not only for the modern world, but throughout the 6,000 year continuum that we recognize as the known human experience with society and civilization. A free populace that keeps itself justly and rightfully informed and engaged has better prospects for growth and prosperity than a society that leaves its direction to a self-appointed government of elitists. Whether power is exerted through collectivist action, technocratic bureaucracy, or despotic tyranny, the end result is a society that muffles the enduring human need for growth, and stifles any attempt to advance culture and civilization beyond what is deemed appropriate by a self-anointed class of perceived privilege. When we subject our will to the impulses of those who deign to control us, whether individuals in power or bureaucracy itself, true freedom and liberty is the inevitable casualty.