HUMINT: Locke is the key


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.

The Wild West 1865-1889 --- While the Eastern United States was beginning to experience the Second Industrial Revolution (which started around 1871), the frontier was beginning to fill up. In the early days of the wild west, a great deal of the land was in the public domain, open both to livestock raising as open range and to homesteading. Throughout much of the Old West during this time, there was little to no local law enforcement and the military had only concentrated presence in the area at specific locations. Buffalo hunters, railroad workers, drifters and soldiers scrapped and fought, leading to the shootings where men died "with their boots on."

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.


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.

UNDECLARED WWIII:The problem is that the civilized world is still having illusions about the rule of law in a totally lawless environment[s]. It is trying to play ice hockey by sending a ballerina ice-skater into the rink or to knock out a heavyweight boxer by a chess player. In the same way that no country has a law against cannibals eating its prime minister, because such an act is unthinkable, international law does not address killers shooting from hospitals, mosques and ambulances, while being protected by their Government or society. International law does not know how to handle someone who sends children to throw stones, stands behind them and shoots with immunity and cannot be arrested because he is sheltered by a Government.

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.


Whereas Almighty God hath created the mind free; that all attempts to influence it by temporal punishments or burthens, or by civil incapacitations, tend only to beget habits of hypocrisy and meanness, and are a departure from the plan of the Holy author of our religion, who being Lord both of body and mind, yet chose not to propagate it by coercions on either, as it was in his Almighty power to do; that the impious presumption of legislators and rulers, civil as well as ecclesiastical, who being themselves but fallible and uninspired men, have assumed dominion over the faith of others, setting up their own opinions and modes of thinking as the only true and infallible, and as such endeavouring to impose them on others, hath established and maintained false religions over the greatest part of the world, and through all time; that to compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of opinions which he disbelieves, is sinful and tyrannical; that even the forcing him to support this or that teacher of his own religious persuasion, is depriving him of the comfortable liberty of giving his contributions to the particular pastor, whose morals he would make his pattern, and whose powers he feels most persuasive to righteousness, and is withdrawing from the ministry those temporary rewards, which proceeding from an approbation of their personal conduct, are an additional incitement to earnest and unremitting labours for the instruction of mankind; that our civil rights have no dependence on our religious opinions, any more than our opinions in physics or geometry; that therefore the proscribing any citizen as unworthy the public confidence by laying upon him an incapacity of being called to offices of trust and emolument, unless he profess or renounce this or that religious opinion, is depriving him injuriously of those privileges and advantages to which in common with his fellow-citizens he has a natural right; that it tends only to corrupt the principles of that religion it is meant to encourage, by bribing with a monopoly of worldly honours and emoluments, those who will externally profess and conform to it; that though indeed these are criminal who do not withstand such temptation, yet neither are those innocent who lay the bait in their way; that to suffer the civil magistrate to intrude his powers into the field of opinion, and to restrain the profession or propagation of principles on supposition of their ill tendency, is a dangerous fallacy, which at once destroys all religious liberty, because he being of course judge of that tendency will make his opinions the rule of judgment, and approve or condemn the sentiments of others only as they shall square with or differ from his own; that it is time enough for the rightful purposes of civil government, for its officers to interfere when principles break out into overt acts against peace and good order; and finally, that truth is great and will prevail if left to herself, that she is the proper and sufficient antagonist to error, and has nothing to fear from the conflict, unless by human interposition disarmed of her natural weapons, free argument and debate, errors ceasing to be dangerous when it is permitted freely to contradict them:

Be it enacted by the General Assembly, That no man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship, place, or ministry whatsoever, nor shall be enforced, restrained, molested, or burthened in his body or goods, nor shall otherwise suffer on account of his religious opinions or belief; but that all men shall be free to profess, and by argument to maintain, their opinion in matters of religion, and that the same shall in no wise diminish enlarge, or affect their civil capacities.


Think about how society's interpretation of God's will keep a free country free - or not.




  • HUMINT: Locke is the key

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