As you read these two views, check your own positions on various matters (in no particular order) such as school choice, tax credits, immigration, War on Terror, Inheritance Taxes, Iranian Nuclear capability, Abortion, Freedom of Religion, Capitalism, Socialism. Ask yourself which view you use to address which issue. If you find yourself using both views, you are, by definition, a conflicted morally confused individual. Don’t feel bad, the various legislative bodies in this state and nation are filled to the gills with conflicted and morally confused indivuduals…
“It is thus necessary that the individual should finally come to realize that his own ego is of no importance in comparison with the existence of his nation; that the position of the individual ego is conditioned solely by the interests of the nation as a whole … that above all the unity of a nation’s spirit and will are worth far more than the freedom of the spirit and will of an individual….”
“This state of mind, which subordinates the interests of the ego to the conservation of the community, is really the first premise for every truly human culture…. The basic attitude from which such activity arises, we call-to distinguish it from egoism and selfishness-idealism. By this we understand only the individual’s capacity to make sacrifices for the community, for his fellow men.”
“Throughout history the state had been regarded, implicitly or explicitly, as the ruler of the individual-as a sovereign authority (with or without supernatural mandate), an authority logically antecedent to the citizen and to which he must submit. The Founding Fathers challenged this primordial notion. They started with the premise of the primacy and sovereignty of the individual. The individual, they held, logically precedes the group or the institution of government. Whether or not any social organization exists, each man possesses certain individual rights. And “among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness”-or, in the words of a New Hampshire state document**, “among which are the enjoying and defending life and liberty; acquiring, possessing, and protecting property; and in a word, of seeking and obtaining happiness.”
**the New Hampshire document referred to is the original provisional Constitution of the State of New Hampshire (1766).
“I have sworn upon the altar of God, eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man.” Thomas Jefferson.
Man’s rights, declared Samuel Adams (Father of the American Revolution), “are evident branches of, rather than dedutions from, the duty of self-preservation, commonly called the first law of nature.” Man’s rights are natural, i.e., their warrant is the laws of reality, not any arbitrary human decision; and they are inalienable, i.e., absolutes not subject to renunciation, revocation, or infringement by any person or group – they are not annexed to us by parchments and seals….they are born with us; exist with us; and cannot be taken from us.”
The reality of the matter is that you cannot mix these two ideological views of humanity and end up with a workable society. It merely results in chaos in the long run and incredible inequity. The first view, believe it or not, were statements made by Adolf Hitler while he explained the moral philosophy of Nazism… does this give you any pause?
The second view, as noted, was that of our Founding Fathers. The explanation comes from Leonard Peikoff’s excellent book, The Ominous Parallels.
In my humble view, from our President right down to our local school boards, we need to rediscover, in real terms, what drove the Founders to this vision. A vision that brought to the world (at least in its first 100 years) the freest most productive society in all of history. It is a vision that can be renewed, and re-implemented, but it will not happen without a really big fight; the sine qua non of statism is epidemic in the minds of too many.
The bottom line here is that if the first view becomes the over-riding and pervasive view of this nation, and consequently ingrained and brainwashed into its children, all will be lost – “America,” the idea, will cease to exist. Once the idea is gone, all else follows in a degeneration into the cesspool of interventionism aided and abetted by monetary inflationism which will lead to full blown socialism. History is there for anyone willing and courageous enough to see it for what it really was, it is also there for all to understand where it should lead us.