-2 votes

Thomas Jefferson was wrong: 1) we are NOT equal. 2)

I love Thomas Jefferson and I want to put a point on two of his found in the declaration of independence and then offer up an additional set of self evident truths.

1) We are NOT equal, but he was referring to the right to rule, where the king proclaimed he was blessed by god with the power to rule the land. So as long as the context is taken into account (which it rarely is) jefferson was correct.

2) Governmental power is NOT derived from the consent of the governed. It comes from the power of the ruling body to make violence on the opposition.

Read the following and see if these are worthy of being added to a list of self evident truths we hold in common.
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When wishing to reform an oppressive legal system, a good faith explanation to the community is due:

After a detailed study of society's history with government, each one of us find the following to be true:
- Initiating nonconsensual harm, regardless of intention, is the primary source of human suffering.
- No individual or group is inherently superior to another;
- No individual or group has the rightful authority to rule another, such authority is derived from brute force, and is hereby rejected;
- Each individual is utterly unique, irreplaceable, and sacred;
- The creator bestows upon each individual the right to behave anyway one wishes that does not directly and proximately harm another, and to guaranty that right with legal impunity is mandatory;
- One is responsible for one's own actions both in success, failure, and harm;
- One's sole (legal) obligation to others is to do no harm;
- The only rightful use of nonconsensual harm is to defend against those who initiate harm;
- Villains do not telegraph their felonious actions and as such, one may be armed as one pleases, when one pleases, where one pleases;

As such we commit to harming no one and letting no one harm us.
(Buy and Read Liberty Street)
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"SOME writers have so confounded society with government, as to leave little or no distinction between them; whereas they are not only different, but have different origins."- Thomas Paine

I want to make the difference between society and government crystal clear so that liberty lovers are confounded less often...

The value of the individual: Irreplaceable and utterly unique.
• Thought, inspiration and innovations come only to the individual.
• The individual is the only nexus by which hidden potential can be made real; by which the unmanifest is made manifest.
• Totally unique in one’s ability to take in, prioritize and process information, each individual is irreplaceable.
• The individual is responsible for his actions because it is the individual's will alone that animates him.
• The individual is able to evaluate the affects his behavior will have on his interests faster and with greater accuracy than any outside entity.

While the individual has this critical importance, he is only one, making him easy prey for institutionalized robbers and slavers that possess superior violence making capabilities to steal his essence.

Society and its law: Do not harm another...and let no one harm you.
- Groups are composed of individuals in communication with one another, each building upon one another’s individual attainments.
• Society is composed of individuals exchanging or combining one’s resources with another in order to fulfill each one’s desires.
- A voluntary society is one where every association and exchange occurs on a voluntary basis according to the will of the individuals involved.
• All behavior that does not directly and proximately harm another is naturally permitted by others in society.
• All behavior that does directly and proximately harm another may naturally be forbidden by others in society.
• The only moral use of non consensual harm is to defend against those who initiate harm against another.
- Once an individual is stolen from, killed, repressed or otherwise silenced, his contribution through exchange and charity is lost, and a precedent is set for other individuals to be likewise harmed.

Therefore, rightful individual liberty is having the freedom to behave any way one wishes that does not directly and proximately harm another.

Government: The Apex Predator
Government is a distinct militant entity that is separate from society. The one attribute which distinguishes government from any individual or organization found in society is that it claims the power to harm others with legal impunity. It is sustained by individual's belief that this power is beneficial.
- Government is composed of the legislature and the people it employs to impose it's will.
- The individual must obey government, while government has no obligation to obey the individual or even the whole of society.
- Government has no obligation to provide anything to the individual and can take EVERYTHING from the individual-including one's life.
• Governmental power is the undelegated power to harm others with legal impunity, and is derived by its ability to make violence.
• Government is not exercising delegated authority when it moves against individuals who are not harming others, because no individual which composes society or government possesses such authority.
• Governmental power is not derived from consent because any power derived from consent is extinguished when consent is withdrawn.
• Government is the prevailing militant entity that occupies society.
• Government confiscates property from unwilling individuals and is not obligated to provide any services in return.
• Government is not law, services, or infrastructure. Government merely pays for these with confiscated wealth in order to garner dependence, obedience, and loyalty.
• Governments compete and cooperate with each other for resources, and they consider societies to be resources.

This immense power is irresistible bait for the those who crave dominance. Once in control, they lay hands directly upon the individual, direct how the individual may use his property, dictate the terms of transactions one engages in, and grant privileges to those they prefer.

Fascism/Corporatism/Socialism vs The Free Individual:
• Governments charter corporations and clothe them with limited liability protection (which is a degree of the government’s ability to harm with impunity.)
• Governments argue the free market is too strict and therefor it must shield companies from loss and liability by subsidizing and legalizing degrees of harm so the economy can operate smoothly and innovations can be brought to society.
- A Free Society has the strictest regulations because all who initiate harm are fully liable to those they harm. And those who aren't able to produce valued work product at a sustainable rate fail.
• Licensing and regulations are designed to increase the market share for those who can/will comply by harming/criminalizing those who are unable or unwilling to comply (both buyer and seller).
• When a capitalist uses government power he ceases to be a capitalist and becomes either a fascist or a communist.

Free individuals do not have rulers with the power to micromanage their daily affairs. They have a judicial system each may use to settle disputes in an orderly and civilized manner and an infrastructure each may use to organize themselves into a defensive force against would be conquerors.

Each individual, has an interest in forever limiting the harm all organizations may cause.

The most practical solution is to end the demand for governmental power by innovating real-world alternatives.



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I wouldn't discount Consent of the Governed as much

First, really good read and a lot of food for thought. Reminds me that Subsidiarity, where the most local level of Government is oneself, is the key to a peaceful and prosperous existence. Imagine the world as a Swiss Confederation (without the Central Banking :) Neutral and where county size regions retain most power and lend very little to the Confederate Gov't.

With regard to Consent, the key here is that Silence or Inaction is Consent. At least it will be interpreted as Consent.

A fellow by the name of Étienne de La Boétie wrote a book called 'Discourse on Voluntary Servitude' that points out that if the masses reject a Tyrant, the Tyrant will fall. That is not to say without blood.

After ridding your community of Tyranny, I believe a system of Subsidiarity is the best form of gov't to recognize the truths you speak of.

you are correct

Passivity and compliance can be construed as consent.
I would just point out that it uses brute force to achieve a high level of compliance.

"Mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed."

What is a system of subsidiarity all about? Would you like to discuss?

"One's sole obligation to others is to do no harm"

I believe you meant "One's sole LEGAL obligation to others is to do no harm". Many people voluntarily take it upon themselves to be obligated to others in a positive way, out of a sense of charity, love, etc.

I disgarded "legal"

because even without a legal system, the obligation persists. But that was me being pedantic and you are correct. Thank you for stress testing the language. I reinserted it just now.

I enjoy what you've done here.

First you added the word "LEGAL", which allows me to at least make some sense of it, then you busted it open to a proactive measure, which further allows me to better reconcile the notion with the term "obligation". Now I can freely and easily make the full transformation into that which makes perfect sense to me in pondering that which I find ultimately self-evident, that my sole obligation to others is to love them [as myself].

Sorry, God Gave One of My Ribs To A Woman

Is that how the name spare ribs originated?

Your greatness is determined by

How you treat those that you percieve to be lesser than you.

sovereign

The term used was "created" -

I believe the term Mr. Jefferson used was "created equal".

While I do agree with the theme contained within Mr. Rushing's novel Liberty Street - which I first came into contact with through an ad for it on DP - it must be pointed out that anyone who makes the claim "no individual or group is inherently superior to another" while simultaneously stating that human beings are not inherently equal to one another in their fundamental natures is guilty of a tacit double-standard. If we are not equal in our states as human beings then indeed some individuals or groups are somehow inherently superior and do have a responsibility in nature to rule over others. To adhere to a mindset that wants to find any other value in Jefferson's words beyond the explicit sameness of the human condition across age, gender, strength, intelligence or belief is to propagate the implied - if not stated - need for rulership over the rest no matter how many flattering words or philanthropic ideals are tossed into the mix.

You are right in saying that the context of the DOI is little understood in this day and age, and this type of philosophical muddying is exactly why.

...

Created equal in the image of God.

"I Have Sworn Upon the Altar of God eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man."
http://lachlan.bluehaze.com.au/lit/jeff04.htm

All rights reserved and no rights waived.

okay

I asserted (although not plainly enough) that Jefferson was making a statement to the right to rule. So that no man possesses the right to rule another. Aside from that, you and I are not equal.
You are probably a lot more skilled than I am in a great many things. And possibly vice versa. You have different priorities than I do, and vice versa. NONE OF WHICH GIVE YOU THE RIGHT TO RULE ME or vice versa.

The ideas are well thought out and are not mutually exclusive.

Making it clear that one does not have the right to rule another in spite of our inherent uniqueness, further cements the principle of individual liberty.

Can you pressure test the above to find any holes?
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I enjoyed Liberty Street. James is the only author I have read that came to damn near identical language as myself. While mine was extrapolated from SCOTUS Rulings.
He states Harm no one.
I believe one has a right to harm himself, so I phrased do not harm another.

Structural Damage

This equality, in a sense, is the establishment of a Socratic Law that demands the philosophical direction lent to national law respects an inherent foundation. Someone who collects rare coins knows that some are worth far more than others, but this assessment only comes from the mind of a human being - the coins will corrode or oxidize based on their materials if left undisturbed in the wilderness and have the same value as newer or common ones. As I mention to the "Anonymous" poster below, the quality and value of any human being is totally relative. Capacity also varies, but the essential condition is the same.

What many seem to fail to recognize is that although our pride and passion may drive us into an idealized excellence in our individual fields, and that our physical strength and endurance is an intimate hidden value that can often propel an individual beyond the limits of their neighbors, the collective is also constantly at work around us. We both know that this collective is swayed by promises of superiority - it is precisely when the sameness of condition is befuddled that human beings begin to fabricate a responsibility to rule based on superiority. It is a type of structural damage to the integrity of accepted individual freedom.

alright-I'll address yours and then we can try again

This equality, in a sense, is the establishment of a Socratic Law that demands the philosophical direction lent to national law respects an inherent foundation.":
-Correct, Jefferson's equality statement was squarely aimed at dismantling the England's legal concept of the divine right to rule.

Coin metaphor:
Correct- all value is subjective and changes moment to moment.

"As I mention to the "Anonymous" poster below, the quality and value of any human being is totally relative"
-I would replace "totally relative" with " totally subjective" and my personal opinion being priceless, irreplaceable, and sacred.

"Capacity also varies..."
Correct, Every characteristic varies from individual to individual and differs from moment to moment- Hence, utterly unique.

"What many seem to fail to recognize is that although our pride and passion may drive us into an idealized excellence in our individual fields, and that our physical strength and endurance is an intimate hidden value that can often propel an individual beyond the limits of their neighbors, the collective is also constantly at work around us."
-Many people fail to recognize that one's strengths can propel one beyond the limits of others? Did I get that right?

"We both know that this collective is swayed by promises of superiority"
Yes.

"it is precisely when the sameness of condition is befuddled that human beings begin to fabricate a responsibility to rule based on superiority"
It is precisely when one loses respect for another's will (for any reason)

"It is a type of structural damage to the integrity of accepted individual freedom."
--------------------------------

Why don't we try again. Which one of these three do you find objectionable to individual liberty, doesn't go far enough, or goes too far and how. I'll go line by line so I can get on the same page with you if necessary. This is an important project to me.

As best I can tell, you critiqued the concept that:
1. No individual or group is inherently superior to another
2. No individual or group has the rightful authority to rule another
3. Each individual is utterly unique, irreplaceable, and sacred.

Now you believe Jefferson was correct -

No, my critique was directed at your use of dialectic manipulation in this post, the attempt to synthesize even further away from the context. Essentially, at your attempt to institute your own contextual assertions regarding a statement that carries heavy literal and denotative weight. Capitalist philosophy- turn corporate philosophy has already branded within us an implied necessity for aggression and conquest to achieve our success, further strengthened by the instinctual mechanisms of the ID. That devolution of consciousness is willingly propagated by individuals who believe themselves to be superior and is used to motivate collective thought in directions that support their own agendas and not individual ideas subversively. This is the type of hit to conventional world-view men like Rockefeller and Soros live for.

I was upholding the equality that is irrefutably implied by those statements you alleged my critical analysis of - that, "No individual or group is inherently superior to another; No individual or group has the rightful authority to rule another; Each individual is utterly unique, irreplaceable, and sacred." This is in fact the assertion that we are all equal without calling into question the relative values we individually assess with our minds. My critique was one of a pragmatic shifting in the severity of what Jefferson was trying to establish, Nihil Ultra -

What any discredit to that equality implies is a concession for subversive and conspiratorial machinations by those who view their capacities as a right to perform them. Peace requires trust, but trust cannot exist without the equal regard for life.

It never ceases to amaze me - how the allure of Dr. Paul's message regarding a return to the truth of US founding documents continually brings me to a website that is frequented by those who consistently insists those documents are inadequate - but this issue is certainly not as clear-cut and dry as the question of anarchy versus law, which develops itself through the actual and needs only a standing defense. The more the context is changed in documents like the DoI, the further collective consciousness will move away from the principals that bring me here to begin with.

Fine...Nihil Ultra.

You Said
"essentially, at your attempt to institute your own contextual assertions at a statement that carries heavy...weight"
My Reply
Assuming you are referring to the all men are created equal line of the DOI...
My contextual assertion is the same now as it was in the article: the created equal portion of the DOI was aimed at dismantling England's divine right of kings legal principle.

"We are NOT equal, but he was referring to the right to rule, where the king proclaimed he was blessed by god with the power to rule the land. So as long as the context is taken into account (which it rarely is) jefferson was correct."

You have not convinced me this contextual assertion is errant.
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Did you get to read my entire treatise, because it sounds like we agree on a lot.

I did.

We do agree on a lot, but Michael Moore and Ron Paul also have a lot in common regarding their dialectic approaches. If you think that having something in common should necessitate an acceptance of something I know for certain is a refracted distortion of reality, you are neglecting the issue.

Thomas Jefferson used this reasoning to abolish the right to rule, yes, but it was not simply rhetorical usage against the crown. It had such a lasting merit because of its truth, its ability to establish a rhetorical tone itself against any relative human lordship. Yet, even those who do not believe in God can assert that Nature gave them a right to rule, even if they do not make this assertion openly. Is a group of clever bankers really much different than a king? Too many measures to prevent totalitarian authority over personal life - in anticipation of changing mindsets - were put into place by US founders to the effect of equality. The ontological differences could then be assessed by the individual, but the tone of philosophy - and especially political philosophy - could be free of these perceived differences and establish a healthy collective order without tipping any balance.

We are never going to find a society where every individual is able to view every other under the exact same scrutiny of value. I too have spent many years believing in the essential fallacy of "equal", knowing that some are naturally "better" or "worse" than others, but I now understand that this inequality only comes from an individual assessment. The human condition is across-the-board.

Thanks :)

"Thomas Jefferson used this reasoning to abolish the right to rule, yes, but it was not simply rhetorical usage against the crown."

-After pondering the issue, I agree with you:)
The very next sentence list qualities we have in common...unalienable rights. In the sense that each man is bestowed by his creator with unalienable rights is a way that all men are created equal.

-Question: he uses "men" instead of "each man", and "they" instead of "each one", and this use of language gives ammunition to the collectivist claim that he was speaking about body politics being created equal and having unalienable rights, not each individual...
Can you point to any language in the DOI that can be used to refute this interpretation? (Assuming you wish to refute the assertion)

I believe he was speaking about the individual not groups.

If the above is too clumsily worded to understand, let me know and I will rephrase.

.

No need to patronize. Being a declaration made to the collective, it addresses that collective as an entity - men here being mankind itself. There is within the language a realism that accepts the fact that the collective mindset will persist regardless - Jefferson wrote to Washington in 1786 that, "It is an axiom in my mind that our liberty can never be safe but in the hands of the people themselves, and that too of the people with a certain degree of instruction. This it is the business of the state to effect, and on a general plan." This attitude purports to place the power of fashioning a collective mindset within the hands of the collective itself. It implies the sentiment of Socrates, that not every person has the capacity to understand effective law and that there is within a Republic a necessity for a governing body, but the assertion that there is an inherent equality demands that those who govern not use their governance to allow themselves extra liberties. It is unfortunate that we live in a world where nothing is sacred but a superficial image, an existence that is constantly changed to fit the needs of a few.

But Jefferson was not God Himself. Though he often stated that slaves should be free, he himself was a slaveholder. Indeed, there was no possible way any of the US founders could have anticipated the world we live in today, where nearly every semblance of collective is ruled by the enslavement of the mind to a select few. Stripping away the veneer of appearance exposes the fact that rulership will persist even apart from civil governing laws due to this deterioration of inherent human equality.

yeh

Except we aren't created equal. If we were, we would all be NFL quarterbacks...or sumthin. We are all created different, even twins, triplets, etc., who may be closer to equal than one-offs. That doesn't necessarily mean that anyone is either superior or has an inherent "responsibility in nature to rule over others". We all have different needs and desires, some may run parallel to those of others and some may not. Why must we always have extremes, or assumptions of "universal principles" to rule the entirety of Man?

That is something called relativity -

This is a prime example of the relative value of any observable quality or capacity in human beings, which is the explicit reason I know that each one of us is equal. To quote Albert Einstein, "Everybody is a genius - but if you judge a fish on its ability to climb a tree it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid." Saying that equality necessitates the same capacities - such as an NFL QB - ignores individuality.

No, there does not have to be extremes within an individual mindset. Perhaps you and I are exceptions to the rule - holding a different capacity for thought regarding the actual - but the human condition is going to remain the same. Whereas I may devote my life to the mastery of myself, there will always be those who will devote their lives to the mastery of others. You cannot use the capacity for confident understanding in an individual to gauge the attitudes that will be expressed by the collective. Unless the truth is recognized that there is a standard of human equality that must be respected, you will always have some who will use their capacity to instate an inherent superior placement.

.

.

It's not a medical document.

It's a legal document.

It's Actually an Illegal Document

The colonists did not have any legal right to declare independence.
It was an illegal document, written in flowery socialist language, intended to attract the sympathy and support of European intellectuals. Further, the principles contained in the DoI are NOT the principles upon which, ten years later, the United States was founded. THOSE principles can be found in the Preamble to the Constitution.

Which brings me back to this line of the original post, "Each individual, has an interest in forever limiting the harm all organizations may cause." <==We already have such limitations, but they are routinely ignored by "our" government.

...

It was illegal however still lawful.

All rights reserved and no rights waived.

An illegal document if you accept superiority!

It is no wonder so many people today find our founding documents to be invalid.

The Declaration of Independence was not a founding document.

If that is what you are implying, it was a declaration of independence. The founding of the union came after independence from England was won.

Foundational/ Founding

Semantics. The DoI set the tone for the revolution and its intent, bringing about the United States.

Of course it was illegal...

to the Crown!

It was legal to those who signed it. As such, there was a clash.

"Further, the principles contained in the DoI are NOT the principles upon which, ten years later, the United States was founded."

-That is partly true and partly false. The "United" part is true in that the union was largely formed later, but what came to be known as the States were already set in basic form, largely to be advanced into new legal form by that which was set forth upon declaring independence.

It was our last illegal writ as British citizens, but our first legal writ as non-Btritish citizens.

Prior to the union,

there was no union.
They could have called themselves hammerstoreNFLdancecrews for all I care. THE founding document of the United States is the Constitution.

States-1776 United-1781 Constitution-1789

In your previous comment you used the terminology "A founding document". Now you hone in to imply that there was one singular founding document by using the terminology "THE founding document". Fine, let's hone it down to just one document for what it's worth.

Were there States before the Constitution?

Yes The colonies, in the DoI, declared themselves to be independent States. The King eventually conceded to that notion, in writing.

Were the States united prior to the Constitution?

Yes The formal ratification of the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union was completed in early 1781, eight years before the Constitution was ratified.

Declaration of Independence

or

Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union

Those are your two choices. Take your pick.

UNITED -Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union
STATES -Declaration of Independence

Feel free to choose both. ;)

It doesn't really matter to me, but hey, this is fun, so I'm gonna throw in my own pick, and it's based on something quite simple. I'm going to pick the Declaration of Independence as the "Declaration of Independence" is an abridged title, a nickname. The document's actual title is...

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America