02 April 2015

What Were They Thinking?

We all suspect that the Founding Fathers were better-educated and/or wiser than ourselves, when it came to the history of governments, and the theories about how better to govern these Colonies. In examining the things they knew, leading up to the Declaration - and later, the Constitution - I came across this:

For if it [the unlawful act of government] reach no farther than some private men's cases, though they have a right to defend themselves ... yet the right to do so will not easily engage them in a contest ... it being as impossible for one or a few oppressed men to disturb the government where the body of the people do not think themselves concerned in it...

But if either these illegal acts have extended to the majority of the people, or if the mischief and oppression has light [struck] only on some few, but in such cases as the precedent and consequences seem to threaten all, and they are persuaded in their consciences that their laws, and with them, their estates, liberties, and lives are in danger, and perhaps their religion, too, how will they be hindered from resisting illegal force used against them, I cannot tell.
(John Locke, Second Essay Concerning Civil Government)

What he's saying is that a majority of the people are likely to revolt, just as our forebears did, when they perceive - as a majority - that they are threatened by government's action(s). The Founders certainly believed that the colonists, as a whole, were in jeopardy from British actions.

Now go read the headlines again; look at the Manhattan Declaration; see the list of complaints forwarded by Tea Partiers, and think again. Are we approaching such a time? Have we reached it? At what point is a consensus of "the majority" achieved? And who decides?



OldAFSarge said...

My concern grows deeper each day.

Rev. Paul said...

I share that concern, Sarge.

Well Seasoned Fool said...

I have no answer, just a question. Are we just a frog in a pot, or are we smarter than a frog?

Rev. Paul said...

WSF - yes, and apparently not.

Anonymous said...

I'm beginning to lose hope that all these schisms can be dealt within the system.
I fear for The Republic, and for the Dark Days ahead!


Rev. Paul said...

Guffaw - I also see dark times ahead for what's left of the Republic (now in name only), but I don't despair. God's not finished with us yet!