Saturday, August 2, 2008

On society and equality: Or what do we ask for?

What is law? Some claim that Law and the Constitution are the guarantors of our rights. Some also claim that those rights are abandoned by a criminal act.. but what is truth?

The truth is, simply, that law is that restraint put upon society by the government, that enforces similarity, attempts to punish the people, in order to maintain order. Law, by nature, can only remove rights, and only be punitive. Anything else is a simple statement, and where enforcement ensues, removes other rights.

The ultimate goal of liberty is equality... but equality is not quite, I think, what we think it is. Equality is not having the same home, nor having the same life as everyone else, nor even the same opportunities as everyone else. Equality is the right, nay, the power and privilege of a sovereign human being, to simply strive for the best one can wrest from this cold and uncaring universe, without infringing the same rights for others.

Some look at equality as a zero-sum procedure... but let us explore this? If one gains freedoms, does another lose them? If one loses freedoms, does another gain?

It cannot be zero-sum if increases on one part are not met with losses on another. Nor can it be zero sum if decreases on any part do not cause increases. Such would be a fallacy... Neither economies, nor societies, nor people gain by the decrease of rights and freedoms. No society gains by losses of these, and losses of rights to even one, causes the rights to be lost to all.

If, in the interest of security, we give up rights, the right to due process, the right to live, the right to strive to redeem one's self, the right to create a world worth living in, and simply, in some cases, the right to be left alone... is this increasing our security? When our government becomes more and more intrusive, when any communication is looked upon with suspicion and censure, when the government starts tearing down the rights that are the foundation upon which its powers were built... what have we left?

You who seek to be more secure... will you really be? Let us take the final example of such 'security'. Maximum security prisons.. are you truly as secure in a society that you have no rights, no property, only the guards watching... and turning their back, as they will?

Are you more protected when none have rights, or when all do? Does the government protect us? Well, to address that, we have to look into the past... and to the Militia in its original incarnation.

Those persons, who, not part of a standing military, were subject to the call of service to our country, in 1792, were required to have, and maintain the best weapon that they could. Via the decentralization of the armories, it made seizure of the weapons by any despotic government more difficult, more troublesome for the intruding foreign or domestic powers.

When we can no longer speak about the problems of the nation, do they go away, or do they become more troublesome, until we dare not turn and look at them, or they would devour us?

Will they not devour us anyway if we do not address them? Will they not become more potent if we wait before their address, and allow them to grow and fruit and spread their seed?

Rights come not from the government, nor from law, nor from a document, nor from any agreement that a man might enter into. Rights come from the state of humanity itself. Rights cannot be taken, only given up.

We throw around the word 'right' so freely anymore. So long as men are unwilling to fight, bleed, and die for their rights, it is not a right. So long as they are willing to deny that right to others... it is no longer a right.

Every despotic government in the world created a class that they hated, that they loathed, then made such a class become more and more monstrous, more and more consuming. Their fervor led them down the roads to fanatacism, to religiosity, to hatred and incivility, and to the destruction of the ends and means of those who would remove them from their power.

When one looks into the past, remember the lessons from Stalin, from Lenin, and from Hitler. Remember the works of Orwell, the statments of Neitzche, and the works of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. Are we becoming the monster we saw in the darkness, in order to fight it? Have we gotten so caught up in day to day living that we forget the past, forget the future... and eventually love big brother?

And when all are equal, can not some become more equal than others?

Who are we? What do we want? Do we really want security at this price? If we must be bound in chains, is it better chains of our own making, or chains which we fought at any cost to prevent from being bound upon all?

We, as a nation, bear a sacred, and troubling duty, to confront even the law when the law fails its own tests, to fight even against those who should maintain the law, when the law fails its predicate. We have sworn to uphold and sustain the constitution, but do we?

The constitution cannot argue. it cannot cajole, it is a dead, and silent document... but oh the commentary that it created! The debates, the reason, the proclamation of freedom for all, as a basis for government!

But what does it all mean?

Some laws, as I said before, are necessary to the good of society. Some roles are needful, that of police, of magistrates and judges, of juries, that the rule of law might restrain the more impetuous impulses of man. When does the law become a problem, however? When is it more than law allows, and more than man should bear?

When the law becomes blind, the scales of Justice fixed, and Justice herself becomes bound and gagged to not speak, regardless of the inequity placed upon the scales, then we have opened ourselves to tyranny. Should we then not fight, not try, not work, for remonstrance and re-establishment of the purpose of the government, by peaceable means? Should, if those peaceable means fail, we not engage in that arduous struggle that life has allotted us, and cast our ballot with whatever means we have left?

The past is replete with myriad injustices. The past, also, is replete with those who fought and died to end those injustices.

Simply because I bear no weapon does not make me any less a warrior. My weapons are words, written and honed to sting at the heart, the conscience... to twist and tease at your thoughts, and make you simply consider.

And as long as you choose to think... we both win.

This is society.

If you choose rather to kick aside those who have fallen along the way, to step on them and restrain them further, to beat them while they have no power left...

This is the absence of thought, of justice, of prudence... and it is the end to all means and measures of government save that which is tyrannical.

Tried By Conscience

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