I am a Whig, perhaps the last member, after Jack Benny’s death, of the American Whig party that existed until the late 1850’s. A party of also-rans, a party that never got its real leaders elected president. As much as I can relate to the Whigs’ political failures, I am a Whig mostly because I [...]
What then saves us from this extreme individualism – the individualism, I might point out, that so many Tea Partyers advocate? Priestley answers:
“The great instrument in the hand of divine providence, of this progress of the species towards perfection, is society, and consequently government.”
How are legitimate governments created? Priestley tracks Locke again by stating that individuals entrust some of their rights (some police powers, for instance) to society and to government, and government in return protects society and individuals and helps them achieve their notions of happiness.
These are some of the Framers’ first principles of government, perhaps the most essential ones. This is Lockean liberalism, the kind of liberalism we all share. This is where the Declaration of Independence gets its notion of inalienable rights – rights that we entrust to the government but never fully transfer. The Framers’ political philosophy is based on the idea that we need society and government to help us improve ourselves.
“I believe my dear sir, that a class is the greatest drawback in the world. You must do everything which the class does and nothing else.” – John Randolph of Roanoke, while at Columbia University, to his stepfather St. George Tucker in 1788 (from David Johnson’s John Randolph of Roanoke, pages 21 – 22) “[Woodrow] [...]
I end my video series to Christians on American government. This video covers Constitutional hermeneutics, and it includes a rather lengthy series conclusion. A book containing a transcript of the video series as well as over two hundred footnotes that document and deepen the videos’ content is sold here.
“Your reflections on the Church are painful, as usual. The merit of the Church doesn’t lie in what she does but what she is. The day is going to come when the Church is so hemmed in & nailed down that she won’t be dong anything but being, which will be enough.” – Flannery O’Connor [...]