April 15, 2016

The American Mind

Traditional Americans are different from other people. We think differently about the world and, especially, about other people. We believe that all individuals (as opposed to institutions of law and government) are endowed by their Creator with equal intrinsic value and therefore equal natural rights. Prior to the American Revolution ordinary people around the world believed that the small group of other people ruling over them were of superior value, but the equal value of all those made in the image of God was an idea which dawned in the American mind.

“But what do we mean by the American Revolution? Do we mean the American war? The Revolution was effected before the war commenced. The Revolution was in the minds and hearts of the people…” —John Adams

Our forefathers left Europe because they were oppressed by the privileged upper crust of European society, still rooted in feudalistic inequity. Our ancestors were not free in old Europe to exercise their God-given creativity in pursuit of their dreams and happiness, or free to exercise an unofficial faith. In time our American forefathers, free from the immediate yoke of European nobility, began to exercise the freedom to do as they pleased with themselves and the product of their labor, and to freely exercise non-violent, non-subversive religion. They began to appreciate the freedom and prosperity which was not possible under the oppressive and self-serving European governments from which they had escaped. Once our American ancestors had tasted real freedom they became rightly and naturally addicted to it; they began to think it better to live free or die, better to die on their feet than to live on their knees. Freedom was the seed which germinated into the American mind.

Our American ancestors soon realized, like John Locke before them, that freedom was necessary for the preservation of life its self. Life is vulnerable without the freedom to act in self-defense — against the action of evil men. Freedom is the star around which orbits our God-given right to life.

“I have reason to conclude that he who would get me into his power without my consent would use me as he pleased when he had got me there, and destroy me too when he had a fancy to it; for nobody can desire to have me in his absolute power unless it be to compel me by force to that which is against the right of my freedom… To be free from such force is the only security of my preservation, and reason bids me look on him as an enemy to my preservation who would take away that freedom which is the fence to it.” —John Locke

Abraham Lincoln understood that there is no such thing as human freedom without the ability of a person to possess and control the fruit of his own labor in creative pursuit of happiness. Without a natural right to property one eventually becomes a slave, where some men may tyrannically do as they please with you, and the product of your labor. Freedom is the star around which orbits our God-given right to the pursuit of happiness.

“With some the word liberty may mean for each man to do as he pleases with himself, and the product of his labor; while with others, the same word may mean for some men to do as they please with other men, and the product of other men’s labor. Here are two, not only different, but incompatible things, called by the same name — liberty. And it follows that each of the things is, by the respective parties, called by two different and incompatible names — liberty and tyranny.” —Abraham Lincoln

Human freedom is not possible under any governmental system which establishes inequality before the law, where a group or class of people is above the law and thereby above other people, where some people are more equal than others, where the wrongful liberty of the State restricts the rightful liberty of the individual. Rightful human liberty is a function of equal natural human rights (a derivative of equal human value) and therefore a function of equality before the law which secures those equal rights. It follows that tyranny is a function of inequality before the law.

“Rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add ‘within the limits of the law’ because law is often but the tyrant’s will, and always so when it violates the rights of the individual.” —Thomas Jefferson

In time one of our American ancestors distilled into a single paragraph the essence of the American mind. If someone asks you what it means to be an American, or what does America represent, or what do Americans think, you should not hesitate to say, as Thomas Jefferson said, that the Declaration of Independence is an expression of the American mind.

“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. 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 to 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.” —Thomas Jefferson

In our own time Americans are beset by a new and gradually regressive form of tyranny which is stealthily passing under the radar, and if left unchecked will reduce us, or our posterity, into a new form of serfdom or slavery. Modern American tyranny, like Medieval European Feudalism, is evolving into a form of excessive government collectivization and thereby excessive government power over the individual, and cynically goes under the name of Social Justice — which is Orwellian Newspeak for Marxist Socialism — which is an expression of the anti-American mind.

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