Thursday, July 4, 2013

Don't confuse freedom with liberty

By Donald Sensing

This is the Statue of Liberty, not the Statue of Freedom.
There's a difference.
A free nation is one that is not under occupation or domination of another nation. In that sense the old Soviet Union was a free nation. What is was not was a nation of liberty.

Liberty is more the state of the people than of national governments. America's Founders sought to bring forth both a country free of British occupation and domination and, as Lincoln later put it, "a nation conceived in Liberty."

The signers of the Declaration of Independence understood the distinction. As Jefferson wrote it and after a little revision, the signers declared that all persons,
are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government ... . 
This nation was founded on the idea that the fundamental purpose of  its government is not actually to govern. Its purpose is to secure the liberty of the people. Therefore, Americans were to be citizens of a nation, not subjects of a sovereign. The people themselves were to be sovereign.

The Founders also understood what George Washington summarized thus"Government is not reason; it is not eloquent; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master." 

And now, 237 years after we declared our freedom and liberty, we the people have become again subjects of a government that has robbed us of our sovereignty. By no means did this robbery begin under Barack Obama, but by no means has he attempted to restrain it. He has devotedly and rapidly accelerated it.

The governing philosophy of the entire US government is as simply put now as I put it in 2003: both parties are big-government activists with the same foundational political philosophy: "America is a problem to be fixed, and Americans are a people to be managed."

Or, as columnist David Harsanyi observed,  "Progressivism [which is both parties] is the belief that we have too much freedom with which to make too many stupid choices."

I celebrate this Fourth of July because we were once not only free but at liberty. I pray that one day we will be at liberty again, but honestly, I do not think we will. 

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