11 February, 2013
I remember my high school civics teaching about the importance of the Magna Carta; for the first time, citizens, albeit the aristocracy, sought to limit the power of a monarch.
I have since learned that our concepts of trial by jury and habeas corpus were first mentioned in that charter; indicating that as early as 1215, men knew there were natural laws even kings shouldn’t violate.
The British Parliament counts its beginning from that day, but the struggle for power between the governed and their governors lasted centuries. Even during the 150 years that the colonists had been in America, Parliament was dissolved and later reinstated, war occurred between monarchs and the church, and a king was tried and executed.
4 February, 2013
Like every coin worth having, individual sovereignty has a second side.
John Locke taught that:
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.”
Reason and logic show, if natural liberty means being free from a ruler or government, then liberty requires a fundamental responsibility of the individual to secure and provide for himself. I would go this far, the less responsibility one takes for his life and its direction and the more one relies on government for personal safety, success, and happiness, the less liberty that man actually has. Continue reading
28 January, 2013
Writing Gene’s Nickle for the past four years has been a learning experience. The most depressing lesson that recurs is that many of the fundamental concepts of our nation are no longer practiced. Either our schools have failed to teach them, or they have become inconvenient and uncomfortable, and therefore ignored or discarded.
I contend that as a nation, we need to relearn and return to those principles.
Our founders studied and practiced Aristotle’s teachings: to be engaged in politics (influencing the decisions of government) is human nature. George Washington and Thomas Jefferson et.al. expected every citizen to exercise their civic responsibility to influence and limit government.