Jay Markanich, has a great post, well worth reading today. We are reading the best seller biography on Thomas Jefferson right now and he and Locke thought a lot alike.
"The end of the law is not to abolish or restrain, but to preserve and enlarge freedom."
John Locke (1632-1704)
Isn't that an interesting perspective of the purpose of law?!
And isn't that how the Founding Fathers, influenced every one by John Lockes' teachings, saw their future country, founding it as they did on the rule of law?
John Locke is regarded as the Father of Classical Liberalism. Our modern vernacular would describe him as a "conservative." His think is NOTHING like a modern "liberal's" thinking. I use the word "liberal" in quotes intentionally. There is nothing liberal about a big-gubment statist's thinking. The very word has been hijacked. A statist does not seek to preserve or enlarge. A statists' policies seek to repress and confine -- AND CONTROL. It is laughable to call a statist a "progressive."
How does a Classical Liberal like John Locke see the law?
The law is freeing!
The law provides protective guardrails!
The law helps one to act for oneself, and not to be acted upon!
The law is based in morality! What morality? That of the Judeo-Christian ethic. Argue if you will, but from me you will get a nyah-nyah and a statement - "Your thinking is confined and stultified and wrong." Religious commandments themselves are not restrictive. They are themselves liberal in encouraging growth, provide protective guardrails from mistakes and consequences thereby allow one to act and not be acted upon. Like commandments, laws are moral codes.
How can the law preserve and enlarge freedom? The way our Constitution is written it demonstrates how legal controls preserve and enlarge freedom. Power is equally divided and decentralized. Power has cross checks. And freedom is preserved by providing restrictions and boundaries on gubment. It preserves rugged individualism with guarantees and the preservation of God-given, unalienable rights. The purpose of the Constitution is not to control a citizenry. It is to control the citizen's representative gubment. Key word: representative.
The Constitution seeks therefore to limit gubment's size. Gubment can only grow too large when laws are passed outside the confines and restrictions of the Constitution. Look and see. For example, evaluate all the machination, totally outside the rules and much of it in secret, to get it passed and then the final legal square dance it took to foist "health" care upon a citizenry that did not want it and tell me that this program is intended to "preserve and enlarge freedom." Show me how this program is a God-endowed and unalienable right. GUBMENT DOES NOT EXTEND RIGHTS!
All this is the opposite of what Locke saw as the very purpose of law - helping individuals to grow and become, and a country so founded to similarly expand as it allows its ordinary citizens to become exceptional people. Locke's LAW is not about control.
Free enterprise as put forth by free-market economics and capitalism is the only economic system that can fit such a legal system. Socialism cannot work in such a society. Socialism cannot work at all as it does not preserve the natural yearning of humankind. It is not natural to confine humans who, by virtue of their birthright, strive continually for freedom and personal expression. It is not possible to economically and bureaucratically control voluntary exchange and the Invisible Hand of the market place. Socialism lacks the Judeo-Christian ethic as its goals, its objectives, are confining, stultifying and wrong.
Free enterprise does not abolish or restrain, but preserves and enlarges freedom. John Locke and the Founding Fathers knew that.
Can I repeat that?
FREE ENTERPRISE DOES NOT ABOLISH OR RESTRAIN, BUT PRESERVES AND ENLARGES FREEDOM! JOHN LOCKE AND THE FOUNDING FATHERS KNEW THAT.
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Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia