I have gained this from philosophy: that I do without being commanded what others do only from fear of the law. – Aristotle
Aristotle spoke these words and inspired an entire philosophy of how mankind should relate to the society they live in. Thinkers, theologians and revolutionaries from diverse backgrounds, all over the world, have drawn strength from this precept. Namely that a man who does right, with a true and decent nature, transcends law by holding to a code of conduct that makes it unnecessary for the governance over his daily existence.
From Paul the Apostle, to The Barons at Runnymede, through Frederick Douglas, and perhaps even the courageous man who stood in front of the Chinese Tank in Tiananmen Square, the truly elite among moral philosophers have understood that laws that constrain the righteous from right are steeped in sin and evil. Laws that deliberately constrain choice and individual initiative without protecting members of a society from mendacious or vile intent are not born of a noble source. Laws that deprive people of their means for the sake of installing others in power over their existence are the very opposite of true emancipation. We may well have seen this happen in the recent Health Care Reform Bill passed by the US House of Representatives.
Paul the Apostle said the following concerning his pending execution under The Neronian Persecution.
“When the commandment came, sin lived again, and I died–was sentenced by the Law to death. For I through the law died unto the law, that I might live unto God”(Roughly taken from Rom 7:9)
In other words, Paul believed in something, the law forbade it and put him to death. His death became a challenge to the assumption that these laws were designed to protect citizens from wrongdoing. In fact, the death of Paul illuminates a very important principal that people in our day and age who are vexed by confiscatory taxation and restrictions of freedom have to understand. Laws ultimately exist to protect those who govern.
When those who govern do so with noble and honorable intent, the laws further the commonweal. This engenders loyalty to the body of laws and thereby strengthens a fundamental compact between the governed and those who lead. More simply, if we as a society appreciate the law, we feel cooperative towards those who govern, gladly work with law enforcement, willingly pay our taxes, volunteer for the armed forces, and proudly proclaim our loyalty and devotion to a nation that best resembles a “shining city on a hill.”
When those who govern use the law to coerce our citizenry into servitude, the results become opposite. People protest the burden of taxation. People say the word “politician” as a vile epithet. “Rap Artists” write songs entitled “Kfuc Tha Police.” People wind up dead if they don’t stop snitching. This happens because the people fear the law and are apprehensive that it will destroy their dreams regardless to what standard they conduct their lives.
Both of these extremes and all points in between occur within the borders of our nation. Eventually, one mode or the other will win out. This depends upon the evolving nature of the laws we live under. If good conduct, noble aspirations and decency (Christian or otherwise) win us Freedom From the Law in a manner similar to how Aristotle described it in days of yore, our nation will enjoy great happiness and unity.
If our citizens go to jail for not buying the Volks-Insurance peddled by Speaker/Ostengropen Fuhrer Nancy Pelosi, its NWA time. This bill represents a law that requires a citizen to hand over $15,000 of paycheck or face prison. Details of this odious bill of unjust confiscation follow below.
“H.R. 3962 provides that an individual (or a husband and wife in the case of a joint return) who does not, at any time during the taxable year, maintain acceptable health insurance coverage for himself or herself and each of his or her qualifying children is subject to an additional tax.”
“If the government determines that the taxpayer’s unpaid tax liability results from willful behavior, the following penalties could apply…”
Prosecution is authorized under the Code for a variety of offenses. Depending on the level of the noncompliance, the following penalties could apply to an individual:
• Section 7203 – misdemeanor willful failure to pay is punishable by a fine of up to $25,000 and/or imprisonment of up to one year.
• Section 7201 – felony willful evasion is punishable by a fine of up to $250,000 and/or imprisonment of up to five years.”
This brings my constant reader to where in this impromptu Freedom From The Law Sermon cum Gonzo Law Lecture we address just what Emancipation truly is. Emancipation, fundamentally defined, involves the right of all citizens to enjoy the fruits of their own labors. It’s part of the pursuit of happiness thing that Jefferson threw into the Declaration of Independence.
This brings us to a topical misunderstanding that leads to evil being codified into our laws. The pursuit of happiness is a grueling marathon with a subjective, indefinite finish line. Like any other marathon race, it hurts and can lead you to overexert yourself. Most people don’t want to pursue happiness, they want government to pull out a butterfly net and catch it for them.
However, once you’ve asked for a right to guaranteed happiness instead of an unfettered pursuit, you’ve just jettisoned at least part of your freedom from the laws. The government has to control the experiment to guarantee you anything. They can no more give you happiness without expanding their dominion than a taxi driver can get you to the airport without treading upon the accelerator.
Thus tyranny flourishes whenever the people demand guaranteed happiness under the laws. The laws then have to reach out and acquire the resources to provide that happiness. They have to be ruthless if the resources are not forked over by a willing donor.
Thus, when Nancy Pelosi wants to allocate the health care costs of self-destructive behavior over a large enough pool of donors to make them affordable for the government, she has to force people to pay for the choices of others. At this point, nobody involved in the transaction enjoys the opportunity to be free of the law. The self-destructive people who eat too much, smoke, or engage in careless sexual practices expect to have these problems lifted off their shoulders. They become beholden to Nancy Pelosi’s continued desire to provide them this service.
The people, smarter than I, who have no bad health habits, are always deprived of their freedoms. They have to become the forced donor pool that coughs up the money to pay for the foolish or iniquitous choices made by others. Thus, through no fault of their own, they are also deprived of their potential freedom from the law – even though they weren’t asking the DC HHQ to help them in the first place.
Thus the law confiscates the fruits of people’s labors to pay for the desires, wants and whims of others who are not earning enough to provide for their own demands. The laws that empower Nancy Pelosi to confiscate your money to pay for someone else’s healthcare work against the principle of emancipation.
The fruits of your labor now belong to Nancy Pelosi and all the various vagrants who asked her to give them health care. Don’t be deluded enough to believe that laws like the health care bill that passed The House, or the Cap and Trade Bill, poised like a sword of Damocles above the economy, allow you to work for anybody else.
Thus Election 2010 becomes an employment decision for the American electorate. Do we choose who we work for, or do we all get stuck running on the treadmill for the gubbermint cheese? Do the laws protect us or control us? Do we define emancipation as the absence of physical incarceration at the present time, or is it control of the fruits of our labor?
When you vote in 2010, you choose between total security under the law or the potential of freedom from the law. You choose between pursuing happiness and between having it defined for you and then jammed down your throat –whether it pleases you or not. What we decide in 2010 is whether we have the right to continue deciding. I don’t believe that will be a very hard choice at all.