Two hundred forty years ago next month, Thomas Jefferson penned these words: “When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and 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.
With that introduction, the founders turned the political order of their day on its head. They did so knowing the penalty for failure. The founders were only thirty years removed from the “clearances,” the forced de-population of Scotland. Following the 2nd Jacobite rebellion that ended disastrously for Scottish independence on Drumossie Moor at Culloden, the Duke of Cumberland ordered the Highlands cleared of “those filthy Irish.”
Rebels were hunted down and killed. Farmers had their crops and barns fired and were hanged, their wives and daughters raped en-masse, their sons buggered and then cashiered from their homeland to ships bound for the Charleston, South Carolina slave markets.
This was the fate of any that dared cross the ‘wee German lairdie,’ King George I, of the House of Hanover. (The Royals today have taken the name “Windsor”).
Thirty years later, King George III faced the same issue his grandfather dealt with among the Scots. The very idea the colonialists would bite the hand of the gracious monarch that fed (and taxed) them would not be permitted to stand. The hubris of colonials thinking they had a God-given right to rule themselves without benefits of the aristocracy was an idea that had to be snuffed in infancy. Why, if America actually became the United States, with government by commoners, that might signal the end of Rex Lex—the King is Law. Damn John Locke and his infernal idea that Law should be King.
But, far and wide, in the colonies, the cries rang out as well as the shot heard ‘round the world: No king, but King Jesus!”
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.
So, began the preamble to the Declaration. You see, ye Lairds and Ladies of the Court, born to privilege as ye were, the Lord God of the Universe is no respecter of persons. Elitists think the people of this country exist to provide them with position, wealth and power. But, their position exists to provide people with freedom. And God will make certain We the People keep it.
That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed(.)
Government exists to ensure the rights of the citizens. Government derives its powers from the people who endow it to make collective decisions too cumbersome for us individually to make for ourselves. As long as government’s agents remember they serve the people, and not the people to serve them, our republican weal prospers. We the People choose leaders to carry out the necessary duties of governance, not to usurp the rights and responsibilities of the citizenry. At the local level, that includes laying roads, building bridges, treating sewage, collecting rubbish, all the things citizens cannot do for themselves. Government must convenience commerce generally, not particularly. There will be no choosing winners and losers in the economy based upon who gives what politician the most money.
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.
When the descendants of the ancien regime seek to reinstate the old order of the masses ruled over by a tiny, wealthy elite of aristocrats by force or by deception, it is the right of the people to rise up again and overthrow the would-be dukes and princes that would return us to the idea that the king (them) is law and forever crush the idea that Lex Rex, the law is king.
This idea of the common-weal, rule of the people over government, not the other way around, is a concept that will not be forced back into the bottle. Just this week, the majority of voters in Britain chose to sever their relationship with the E.U. The would-be nobles of European Union do not believe commoners should have the right to decide who rules over them. No, the people should be grateful to bow and scrape before their betters. They should be happy to kiss the hand that slaps them.
In the United States, fear has led government agencies to arm themselves to the teeth. They tremble and conspire to disarm the people by outlawing the 2nd Amendment. But they should remember two hundred and forty years ago, the English government thought they faced a gaggle of silly rubes armed with pitch forks. Only too late did these aristocrats learn that the people had a weapon far more formidable. That weapon remains in our hands today, the Idea of Freedom.Tags: Declaration freedom Independence John Locke Lex Rex rebellion