This year marks the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta - when the "absolute power" of the monarchy was muzzled with a written declaration. An aknowledgement that the rights inherent to an individual by virtue of their humanity, is superior to the needs of the state, and that even the King was not above the individual's rights.
Goverment, being what it is - a melange of power seeking humans - tends to creep towards tyranny as power shifts and the individuals in power find ways to exploit that power for personal gain. In our past, it was simpler to just move on to greener pastures than to fight government. New lands equal more individual liberty by way of less government.
Americans came to be Americans through this process, seeking liberty in a new land. They found liberty lost to "government creep" and harvested wealth from the fertile soil of individual liberty. When King George's notion of "absolute power"became intolerable, our ancestors declared their independence. They withdrew their consent to be governed in a manner intolerable to free men - and took action in the name of the superiority of individual rights to "needs of the state".
Personal freedom is based upon individual rights, and their counterbalancing responsibilities: responsibilities *for* the individual's own welfare and *to* the rights of other free men and a mutual and consensual liberty based society. This concept is enshrined in the Constitution, with the Bill of Rights tacked onto it with the orignal intent of defining a MINIMUM baseline of individual human rights.
Friends, there no longer are any greener pastures to seek out. Individual liberty is backed into the corner - by a government with the moral codes of "Animal Farm", the thinking & language of "1984", and the ethics and social accountability found in "Lord of the Flies". It is time to wake up from the nightmare.
Given that all individual liberty is based on the individual, and that all just government is local - and intimately answerable for their actions - there is one path out of the corner. It is right there beside you - local.
The Constitution clearly enumerated the limitations of the powers delegated to the newly created "representative republic" government, and clearly reserved all non-delegated powers to the states and to the people. It was an attempt at an exquisite balancing act - with the writers of the Constitution very aware of the ever present dangers that are the very nature of humans who ahave been entrusted to govern.
We have lost "local focused" government now, as a result of creeping expediency. The Constitution laid government out to be local - after the first census (the only consitutional reason for the census by the way) representatives were to be apportioned to the people of the states based upon thier population. The result of the first census was: One representative (congressman) per 30,000 citizens.
The proportional apportionment of representatives was codified as "The Apportionment Act of 1792". Straying away from this proportion occured via "The Apportionment Act" of 1911" - which fixed the number of repreentatives at 435.
What does this mean? Imagine a Congress proportioned at the original number, one per 30,000 citizens.
Yes, 10,000 Congressional representatives. Huge, unwieldy, chaotically overcrowded in DC you say? Thats just the thing, this is 2015 - there is no need for that concentration of power, the transmission of corruption, and the lack of intimate accountability induced by the separation of representatives from the people.
Keep them at home...telecommute to meet. Bonus Point: Imagine the problems "lobbying" 10,000 individuals in 50 locations instead of 435 in one central diseased herd.
In the same vein - the original balancing act had 3 players, the people, the state, and the federal government. We have lost one leg of the triad - the 17th Amendment to the constitution (1913) removed the states from the triad by changing Senators to another representative of the people, instead of as representatives of the States.
US Constitution - Section 3 Clause 1: The Senate of the United States shall be composed of twoSenators from each State, chosen by the Legislature thereof, for six Years; and each Senator shall have one Vote.
We are a long damn way from the original intent of the Consitution, by way of creeping expedience fertilized with humanity's imperfections. I too wonder - if there is a path out of the corner and back to balance. I see both despair and hope in 2015 and in the state of this Union. It's damn easy to think screw this - burn it down and rebuild - easier than contemplating restoration and renovations goals: to maintain and build upon a thing of classic beauty.
Speak now, shout it out, or forever hold your peace.
PS: If you are reading this, thank you for dropping in. Life has been "interesting" , many things have been presented to me to address and change...and find gratitude for - health, finances / work, tribe, and if I say so myself - a little personal enlightenment on priorities.