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Freedom according to America's Founding Fathers

maat

Registered Member
Note from Wade8813: This thread is for continuation of a discussion started here: http://www.generalforum.com/law-political-theory/nationalism-national-pride-80635.html#post940445

I'm proud of our countries Constitution, but very disappointed in our present day policies.

I guess freedom does not have the same meaning today that it did at our founding.
I guess when you ask a random African American, he will disagree.
The consititution was established with a ticking time bomb to abolish slavery due to it was not feasable at the time for ratification. I believe the Founders meant it when they said "all men are created equall".
 
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Sim

Registered Member
The consititution was established with a ticking time bomb to abolish slavery due to it was not feasable at the time for ratification. I believe the Founders meant it when they said "all men are created equall".
Yes, and my personal guess is that the Founding Fathers were not happy with the reality of slavery at that time.

But the point I was trying to make is that what's written in the Constitution and its values on one side, and reality on the other, are always two different things, and that was not different back then, as it is today. Maybe it was even worse back then, than today.
 

maat

Registered Member
Yes, and my personal guess is that the Founding Fathers were not happy with the reality of slavery at that time.

But the point I was trying to make is that what's written in the Constitution and its values on one side, and reality on the other, are always two different things, and that was not different back then, as it is today. Maybe it was even worse back then, than today.
There is no doubt your initial assertion has merit. My original comment was directed at the relationship between government and individual, not individual and master.

IMO, too many people do not want true freedom, they want government as a gentle master as apposed to the personal responsibility of true freedom.

I define freedom as I am responsible for my food, clothing, shelter, healthcare, retirement and higher education. I am apposed to GSE's, Social Security, medicare, medicaid, food stamps and unemployment.
 

Sim

Registered Member
There is no doubt your initial assertion has merit. My original comment was directed at the relationship between government and individual, not individual and master.

IMO, too many people do not want true freedom, they want government as a gentle master as apposed to the personal responsibility of true freedom.

I define freedom as I am responsible for my food, clothing, shelter, healthcare, retirement and higher education. I am apposed to GSE's, Social Security, medicare, medicaid, food stamps and unemployment.
Why do you define freedom so narrowly (freedom = freedom fromthe government)? I'd think any definition of freedom that ignores oppression by individuals, or private actors if you like, is not complete -- slavery makes this obvious. A definition of freedom that implies slavery is not oppression, just because it's oppression by individuals, doesn't have much merit.

I agree with you that too much government in the wrong places means fewer freedom. But I'd add that the moment you've too few government protecting individual freedom, individuals and private actors or entities will take the place of the oppressor and screw the individual and his freedom over.

And I agree that's pretty paradox. Too much government means fewer freedom, but too few government means fewer freedom as well. It's a tightrope walk on the reasonable middle ground.

The fewest government you have in anarchy, and anarchy is hardly a free system, but brute rule of the stronger. Similarly, an entirely free market is a kind of anarchy that's not freedom, but brute rule of the financially stronger on the backs of exploited poor people.
 
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Sim

Registered Member
This term "African American" is not one I am so familiar with but from what I read it was an accepted term by the US government as a means to be "politically correct". The Americans were not the only ones who captured, sold, mistreated and destroyed the original Africans. England was perhaps the most destructive to Africa and its people as history would show, yet there is no "African Englishmen"? Or "African Frenchmen" etc...
You sometimes hear the term "Afro-German" for Germans with African roots, and I know that in France, they have a similar term too (although I'm not sure it specifically means French people with African roots, or French people with roots in former colonies in general).

So I believe such terms actually exist, although it's maybe less common than in America.
 

maat

Registered Member
Why do you define freedom so narrowly (freedom = freedom fromthe government)? I'd think any definition of freedom that ignores oppression by individuals, or private actors if you like, is not complete -- slavery makes this obvious. A definition of freedom that implies slavery is not oppression, just because it's oppression by individuals, doesn't have much merit.
Slavery does not exist today, if it did, I would vehemently appose it.

I agree with you that too much government in the wrong places means fewer freedom. But I'd add that the moment you've too few government protecting individual freedom, individuals and private actors or entities will take the place of the oppressor and screw the individual and his freedom over.
I'm not advocating anarchism, but I do not need a federal government intruding into every aspect of my life. The federal governments duty is to protect individual rights and property, not redistribute and force participation in safety nets. I welcome appropriate social structures on the state level.

And I agree that's pretty paradox. Too much government means fewer freedom, but too few government means fewer freedom as well. It's a tightrope walk on the reasonable middle ground.
IMO, the federal government has crossed the line of its constitutional duties. It has become oppressive.

The fewest government you have in anarchy, and anarchy is hardly a free system, but brute rule of the stronger. Similarly, an entirely free market is a kind of anarchy that's not freedom, but brute rule of the financially stronger on the backs of exploited poor people.
A constitutional government would be a referee, not a quarterback. I am more opressed by government intervention than that of the financial system.

Here is a better understanding of how I believe the government should govern:

Platform | Libertarian Party
 

Sim

Registered Member
Slavery does not exist today, if it did, I would vehemently appose it.
I assumed so much, but it's good you confirm it. :)

But I am not sure I fully understand your point. You suggested the values of the Constitution used to be respected better in the past, than today. I questioned that, by pointing to the practize of slavery, which was reality for more than 80 years after the Constitution came into effect. You then replied:

My original comment was directed at the relationship between government and individual, not individual and master.
So I wondered how these statements can be reconciled: On one side, you seemed to imply the Constitution and thus individual freedom used to be respected better in the past, despite slavery. Slavery is obviously one of the gravest violations of individual freedom we can possibly imagine (and it was definitely in violation of the Constitution, if not of its words, then at least of its spirit).

So how can you claim there was more freedom in the past, and the Constitution is respected less today than in the past?


I'm not advocating anarchism, but I do not need a federal government intruding into every aspect of my life. The federal governments duty is to protect individual rights and property, not redistribute and force participation in safety nets. I welcome appropriate social structures on the state level.

IMO, the federal government has crossed the line of its constitutional duties. It has become oppressive.
Fair enough. I don't know how I would think about this state vs. federal level issue if I was American.

Here is a better understanding of how I believe the government should govern:

Platform | Libertarian Party
Ah, a libertarian! Peace! :welcome:

Probably you know them already, but I assume you will like the people at CATO Institute. If not, you should definitely have a look: The Cato Institute

CATO is a pretty good libertarian think tank, refreshingly non-partisan (they don't just condemn big government when a Democrat is in power, but also when a Republican government goes big government).
 

maat

Registered Member
Probably you know them already, but I assume you will like the people at CATO Institute. If not, you should definitely have a look: The Cato Institute

CATO is a pretty good libertarian think tank, refreshingly non-partisan (they don't just condemn big government when a Democrat is in power, but also when a Republican government goes big government).
I have them in my favorites.

I used to be a republican zombie, but now I see both parties as detrimental to America.

I don't agree fully with the libertairan platform, but IMO, its philosophy is most needed at this time to restore the country.

If I may ask, which country are you from?
 
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