Sunday, May 27, 2012

Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness

The Right to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. 

The phrase, penned by Thomas Jefferson in the Declaration of Independence and written 11 years before the U.S. Constitution was adopted, is said to have been influenced by the writings of John Locke, who expressed a similar concept of life, liberty and estate (property) in his work.

What is a Right? It's a principal that defines and sanctions a man's freedom of action within a social framework. There are many rights, but the one true right is the right to life, not in the context of the right to be born, but a man's right to his own life.

What is liberty? Again, I think Jefferson was somewhat influenced by the words of John Locke, who said in The Second Treatise of Civil Government (1690) - "This freedom from absolute, arbitrary power, is so necessary to, and closely joined with a man’s preservation, that he cannot part with it, but by what forfeits his preservation and life together: for a man, not having the power of his own life, cannot, by compact, or his own consent, enslave himself to any one..."

 He also says: "The NATURAL liberty of man is to be free from any superior power on earth, and not to be under the will or legislative authority of man, but to have only the law of nature for his rule."

As to the "Pursuit of Happiness". No where in the words of our founding fathers did it say the "right to happiness". Only that we have the right to pursue our own happiness, to engage in self sustaining activities, to build up a sweat chasing whatever it is that is our dream. We have the freedoms to do what is necessary to support, further, and daily savor our own life; freedom to do so by our own voluntary, uncompelled choice.

As to our neighbors, a right means that our actions should impose no harm or obligation on them, they are our actions for our lives. If your dream is to stay home and watch a brand new TV all day that is fine, but that that doesn't mean that I am obligated to buy it for you.

 We have the right to liberty, to freedom. I do not personally believe that means that we are free from helping to reasonably support or maintain that which we use, our roads, our parks, our libraries, our schools. That does not mean we are free to shrug off responsibility for elderly parents or those children we bring into the world. But we have the right to expect that our efforts won't be wasted. We have the right not be forced by threat or law to give up our possessions or income or hand over our Second Amendment rights which protects the safety of that family or personal community we do provide for. We should not be forced to take the food off of our table, there from our own toil, to give to people who do not have the desire to produce, only to consume. Given with no measure of accountability that they will not come back to rob our table again.

Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. Or as John Locke defined it first, the right to property. Not the right to an object, but to the action and reward of producing and earning a product. Our founding fathers did not intend the issue of property to be a guarantee that all will have all they want, but only that if a man will own it if he earns it. It will be his to use, to keep or if he chooses, to give to another to help them in time of need. 

We are at the end of an administration, one who had stated that we need to change our country to be one where the rich will be made to provide for the poor. "Share the wealth" was not just words in a campaign, but what I perceived as being the culture of the party. What appears to be our future unless we speak out strongly with our vote, is the adumbration of our future, the ant-like, socialized destruction of the America that people bled and died for.

No matter what your political party affiliation we would agree that there are many things that this country can improve on. But improvement is not, as it has been in the past, having elected officials with blind power to spend the taxpayers money without accountability to where it's gone. Accountability to dispel the concerns that it merely promoted many businesses that promoted said politicians.

We need to return to healthy businesses through competition, where those who use sound operating principals, offering quality goods and services that are wanted, thrive and make more jobs and those that don't fail. We don't need handouts to those without plans to do business differently or lifelines to companies by whose greed or ineptitude the whole mess started. 

There are many of ways the country could be improved. But it can NOT be improved by changing the principals on which our country was founded. For no matter what bitter forfeit a change in government may bring, the loss of our fundamental rights, affirmed by our Constitution, should not be part of it. 

The American Revolution was a revolution of greater note than the battles fought and the words penned. One of the most revolutionary outcomes of the formation of the United States was the subordination of government to moral law, moving away from societies in which the citizens life belonged to those that ruled, and the freedoms he had were only that which the rulers decided by whim he might have that day, or that week. The recognition of man's individual rights by the Constitution limited the force of the power and greed of the states, protecting its citizens from an unwanted collective. 

The United States was one of the first moral societies in history, all previous governments viewing their citizens as a sacrificial means to the ends of others, and society as an end to itself. Our founding fathers had taken note. They recognized two threats to a man's possessions, to his rights. One threat is a criminal. The other is a government. The most laudable accomplishment of our government when it was formed was its ability to draw a distinction between those two, thereby not allowing the second to become a sanctioned version of the activities of the first. 

We the People is I. And I support the constitution and ALL its amendments, not just the ones you pick and choose. When the elected President takes the oath of office, I hope that he truly hears those words as he speaks them from Article II, Section I of the U.S. Constitution:

 "I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."

Preserve, protect and defend the Constitution. Support those words that gave us a country that worked, that thrived. Preserve. . . Because our founding fathers were smarter than we have been 

- Brigid


  1. Thank you, B.

    Have a wonderful weekend :)

  2. So let it be written, so let it be done!

  3. "We the People is I. And I support the constitution and ALL its amendments, not just the ones you pick and choose."

    If ONLY our elected officials honored their oaths...

  4. Well said. And then there are the writings of Sir William Blackstone, but that would make the post really, really long.

  5. Do you have any idea how few people these days have no clue the original phrase was "Property"?

    Have a relaxing weekend B!

    Wonder if any of the Washington Politicians even understand that they are swearing to defend the constitution, or if they even care. Im sure the likes of Barbra Box, Pelosi, Waters or Wrangle surely do not.

  6. Very well said Briged: But how far we as a country have fallen, Can we ever survive?? What is going to happen when the don't workers work all the do workers in to the grave.

  7. Beautifully said, as always.

    I'm amazed at how many people don't realize that they have to pursue happiness; they expect it to just come to them.

  8. The people who need to read this, won't.

  9. Very wise words and well written as always.Take care and have a safe weekend with friends.

  10. A great piece for this weekend.
    One that I will share with friends.
    Thank you.

  11. "They recognized two threats to a man's possessions, to his rights. One threat is a criminal. The other is a government."

    Thomas Jefferson in particular recognized three threats. The third being organized religion. For we have the right to exercise and come to terms with our faith as we see fit. That if government and religion where ever to collude that it surely would rob us of are ability to practice as we choose or not. The wall of seperation is not there to protect one from the other, but to protect our right to believe as we see fit.

    He and other Founding Fathers believed that religion and faith have a part in building a moral society, but blind allegiance to any authority was a detriment to life and liberty and would lead to a curtailing of our ability to pursue happness or a moral life; which was belived to be the only was to be truly happy.

    Some thoughts and taje care,

  12. Well said. I believe one of the best things we could do for our future is to re-introduce the constitution at the high school level. So much knowledge of our founding is not being taught . . . I feel like time is running out for us.

    Great post.

  13. Very well written.

    (I had to look up "adumbration")

  14. I think most politicians mouth the oath of office but have no idea what a sacred oath is, and they just do it because it is a "formality" prior to taking office. To sad.

  15. Brigid,

    Unusually well written. Keep up the good work.

    Best regards,


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