THOUGHTS ON THE ORIGINS OF FREEDOM IN THESE UNITED STATES
What was the driving force that created American freedom? It would be wrong to suppose the incremental steps occurred without the kind of Jeffersonian vision that George W. Bush subscribes to today. GWB didn't invent the philosophical architecture of American freedom and in many ways neither did Thomas Jefferson. John Locke among others articulated it first and arguably, best. What is significant however is that Americans have applied the philosophy of liberty with revolutionary zeal. For their effort, they demonstratively changed the world for the better. Progressive moves towards greater liberty throughout the world still happen every day, in America.
Seriously, how does it work? The mechanics of freedom are as spiritual as they are material. For our freedom, we trust in the most powerful concept any mortal can conceive- almighty God. We do not put our faith in each other to guarantee our freedom. With all due respect to the outstanding American men and women of law enforcement, society cannot depend on the law alone to ensure liberty. In God we trust! While free societies may not resemble each other, a resilient hypothesis is that any sustainable free society must have members at it highest ranks who interpret God's will on earth in a way that is similar to how Jon Locke and Thomas Jefferson interpret God's will.
To manifest freedom where it has never existed before - God must have a central role. At first glance, this analysis may sound like it is advocating Sharia law. This work most certainly does not advocate sharia law and neither does God. God is the wellspring of liberty. If a society is on track to freedom, God's role must be understood to be Lockean. Misinterpretations of God's will will send society spiraling away from liberty towards oppression and senseless violence. History has repeated this lesson over and over again; when religion is usurped in society for the purposes of political power for an individual or the state, the pain of oppression sets in and blood starts to flow like the turbulent waters of a mad river. The fact that chaos is still relatively common around the world is reprehensible. What is less reprehensible is that regular people in chaotic situations such as war, dictatorship or the lawlessness of a situation like "the Wild West" turn to spiritualism for answers.
Where chaos is king, God is the law! The most observable of God's natural laws is individual liberty. Locke understood well because he observed it. Through observation Locke successfully interpreted God's will. The march toward freedom has remained on track because of American's unyielding subscription to Locke's philosophical interpretation of God's will. If American society begins vacillating in their faith in that philosophical interpretation - a retreat toward a medieval, anarchic America is eminent.
To mitigate vacillation, contemporary philosophers should emulate Lockian and Jeffersonian logic. The following sentences represent such an exercise. --- Conceive in your mind the most powerful being. Articulate all of the things your mind becomes aware of when thinking about this most powerful being. It is not unusual for individuals to conceive of such things on their own. It is important that they do. This is the first step a mortal mind takes toward God. It should come as no surprise that societies around the world put their faith in God. God represents righteous power, ultimate supremacy and eternal salvation. Earthy alternatives are lackluster in comparison. God endowed humankind with the requisite freedom of mind to conceive these ideas. Liberty is necessary on earth for mortals to approach God. Liberty is the key ingredient in faith's recipe. Without the liberty to choose "righteous power" over "despotism" - "ultimate supremacy" over "slavery" - "eternal salvation" over "eternal damnation" how can God judge a mortal soul.
For these reasons liberty is non-negotiable. Anyone who would name the cause and effect of political freedom in America an occurrence of chance cannot comprehend that the United States was - born of revolution to achieve liberty - extended liberty to all American men through civil war - extended liberty to Europe and much of Asia through world war - enfranchised women and deconstructed institutionalized segregation through non-violent political activism.
ARE YOU JEFFERSONIAN?
Successful Americans are often Jeffersonian. The behavior of Jeffersonians incite conflict. True Americans embrace these sorts of conflict. In a world where Americans still hold fast to their national identity and foreign leadership still clings to the belief that human beings are not free - there will be wars. When conflict degrades into war, why should Americans embrace it? Because there remains an imbalance of liberty in the world. In those corners of the globe where liberty is disregarded, law is of no consequence. Unfortunately that same imbalance distorts the perception of Westerners who, without geopolitical context, cannot conceptualize an existence without liberty. In their minds liberty exists everywhere. Haim Harari writes about the misperceptions of many Westerners and does so by delivering context in the form of analogy, describing familiar juxtapositions.
For the reasons declared by Haim, Lockean and Jeffersonian philosophy continue to carry weight inside and outside The United States today. Most of the world's inhabitants today subscribe to interpretations of God and God's will that stand in contrast to Lockean philosophy. The disagreement on God's will is highly problematic, with respect to attaining liberty for all, where all humankind is ready, willing and able to be free. or all, where all humankind is ready, willing and able to be free.
Think about how society's interpretation of God's will keep a free country free - or not.