Skip to comments.Do "We the People" have the right of Revolution?
Posted on 10/07/2011 9:03:21 AM PDT by Oldpuppymax
Do the citizens of the United States have an absolute right to, by force of arms if necessary, overthrow a government which has, with malicious deliberation, become destructive of those ideals of liberty granted by God and guaranteed by instruments such as the Constitution of the Unites States?
Clearly the Founders believed in the existence of such a right. There could be no more axiomatic example than the American Revolution itself!
And though these men warned against pursuing such a course for light and transient causes, rightly observing that mankind are more disposed to suffer than right themselves by abolishing forms to which they are accustomed, the Declaration of Independence states without reservation that if any government should become destructive of its proper role, it is the right of the citizens to alter or abolish it and institute new government
The left is quick to maintain that anyone suggesting the American people have a right to reclaim country or liberty, even from those who have deliberately and with malevolent purpose represented a mortal threat to both, is little more than a wanton terrorist, his words being responsible for every act of violence from Oklahoma City to Tucson.
But if this is the case, we modern day domestic terrorists are in the best of company. For in the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson set down a number of abuses which King George had heaped upon the American colonies, among them:
(Excerpt) Read more at coachisright.com ...
I suspect there are many freepers that would love to respond to this but are hesitant to do so....
As for the Declaration of Independence, it asserts that when any FORM of government becomes detrimental, it can be abolished and replaced with a new FORM. That suggests to me that an American Revolution that keeps the US Constitution is not a revolution but a coup.
Just look at how Washington handled the Whiskey Rebellion as president. He personally led the troops across Pennsylvania on horseback, with Hamilton riding shotgun.
the bill of rights weren’t just for internet porn and hunting.
they were the specific rights needed by the founders in order to meet, organize, design and implement the over throw of the british government. they wanted to insure if the newly established govt got out of control, the people would have means to do something about it.
But I like internet porn and hunting...
There can be no freedom without the right to protect it.
Not only do we have the right, we have the duty.
We’re the direct beneficiaries of the freedoms for which our forefathers bled and sometimes died.
We owe it to successive generations of free Americans to give them the same shot at liberty we had.
I guess he didn't "welcome the competition" as so many business leaders profess today.
(don't know what happened to my previous post)
I guess he didn't "welcome the competition" as so many business leaders profess today.
(don't know what happened to my previous posts, my server, SuddenStink has been acting up today)
They also believed that under natural law, they had a natural duty to to alter or abolish the government under which they had been living.
If thou shalt honor your (fore)fathers and (fore)mothers, it shall go good for thee all the days of thine life.
Honor: respect, heed, seek to understand...
The Occupy Wall Street, Inc. bunch seems to think we do, at least that’s what they say they are doing...
“Do ‘We the People’ have the right of Revolution?”
I hope so, otherwise I better start learning to speak British.
Do “We the People” have the right of Revolution?
Does a frog have a water-proof a**?
It’s only treason if you lose.
“It’s a nonsensical question. When you resort to revolution, you exist in a state of nature. What are you going to do? Go to a court run by the government you seek to overthrow and sue for your right to overthrow them? It’s a complete absurdity. Once the fighting starts, it’s a contest of power and prowess, not rights and law.”
The question is fine, your analysis is what’s nonsensical. Not that you can’t believe in Might Makes Right or be a nihilist. But the question is whether we have natural rights, and if we do it wouldn’t make any difference whether they went unfulfilled because we lost a clash of arms. For that would only mean we lost, not that we were wrong.
Again, you can say Might Makes Right, but that wouldn’t make the question (of whether we have the right to revolution) absurd. You’d just be answering it in the negative.
“As for the Declaration of Independence, it asserts that when any FORM of government becomes detrimental, it can be abolished and replaced with a new FORM”
You insist rather emphatically on the significance of “form.” Why?
Yes, we have a right to revolt.
But it would be unwise, since it would INVITE China, Russia, along with anyone else wanting a good time killing and raping to invade us.
It would be brutal, and quick.
I hope so, otherwise I better start learning to speak British.
At 55, Thomas Jefferson drafted the Kentucky Resolutions and became the active head of Republican Party.
I beg the reader to look up this Resolution, and its companion Resolution from Virginia, for the issues it speaks to then are even more urgent today:
The Kentucky Resolutions of 1798
1. Resolved, That the several States composing, the United States of America, are not united on the principle of unlimited submission to their general government; but that, by a compact under the style and title of a Constitution for the United States, and of amendments thereto, they constituted a general government for special purposes delegated to that government certain definite powers, reserving, each State to itself, the residuary mass of right to their own self-government; and that whensoever
the general government assumes undelegated powers, its acts are unauthoritative, void, and of no force: that to this compact each State acceded as a State, and is an integral part, its co-States forming, as to itself, the other party: that the government created by this compact was not made the exclusive or final judge of the extent of the powers delegated to itself; since that would have made its discretion, and not the Constitution, the measure of its powers; but that, as in all other cases of compact among
powers having no common judge, each party has an equal right to judge for itself, as well of infractions as of the mode and measure of redress.....
2. Resolved, That the Constitution of the United States, having delegated to Congress a power to punish treason, .. and no other crimes, whatsoever; and it being true as a general principle, and one of the amendments to the
Constitution having also declared, that the powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, not prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people, therefore the act of
Congress, passed on the 14th day of July, 1798,... are altogether void, and of no force; and that the power to create, define, and punish such other crimes is reserved, and, of right, appertains solely and exclusively to the
respective States, each within its own territory....
3. Resolved, That it is true as a general principle, and is also expressly declared by one of the amendments to the Constitutions, that the powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, our prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people;...
8th. Resolved, ...that in cases of an abuse of the delegated powers, the members of the general government, being chosen by the people, a change by the people would be the constitutional remedy; but, where powers are assumed
which have not been delegated, a nullification of the act is the rightful remedy: that every State has a natural right in cases not within the compact, (casus non fderis) to nullify of their own authority all assumptions of power by others...
Pretty much. When all is said and done once you venture into ‘revolution’ no laws apply until both sides agree its over. IOW its a free for all, raise the black flag, no holds barred affair. I think those who relish the idea have no idea how bad it could become. This is esp so given the over armed/trained bevy of govt agencies looking for any excuse to play w/ their toys. It’ll be a long and bloody business w/ dubious benefits at the end depending on who takes the hill. I think few have thought much beyond the killing part.
We were in a state of nature before we formed governments: we made no `compact’ with `government’ or a form of government. Government is a fictional entity, like a corporation. We made it up.
The `social compact’ was made between people living in a state of nature.
“A great part of that order which reigns among mankind is not the effect of government. It had its origin in the principles of society, and the natural constitution of man. It existed prior to government, and would exist if the formality of government was abolished. The mutual dependence and reciprocal interest which man has in man and all the parts of a civilized community upon each other create that great chain of connection which holds it together.” T. Paine
This argument has been continuing since Hobbes “Life is nasty, brutish and short”) and John Locke (much of our Declaration of Independence is taken directly from his writings) then Burke and Paine, and Hamilton and Jefferson; today, Republicrats and conservatives.
No, actually, I'm not answering in the negative.
You insist rather emphatically on the significance of form. Why?
Because that's what it says:
That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.
Exactly! Pithy, too.
But those living under the newly formed government did not have that right recognized. The “natural right and duty” suddenly became treason and rebellion against duly constituted authority. Hence the Civil War.
“No, actually, I’m not answering in the negative.”
I beg to differ. You say it’s a nonsensical question because once the right to revolt is invoked you’re in a state of nature, can’t run to the government, and must wage on the uncertainty of battle. Which implies rights don’t exist without governments to secure them, in which case rights are government-granted, or victory at arms, in which case might makes right.
In short, you say the question is nonsensical because by their fruits you shall know them, and all depends on practical outcome. But we’re talking about abstract rights, which either exist or not regardless of utility. You cannot say the question of whether abstract, universal human rights exist is nonsensical because whether or not a revolution based on such rights prevails is dependent on how the war goes. That demonstrates nothing of the sort. It is, in fact, perfectly equivalent to saying no, we do not have the right to revolution.
“Because that’s what it says”
Yes, at least in that particular invocation. But why underline it so emphatically now? What does it add to your argument.
“once you venture into revolution no laws apply until both sides agree its over.”
Not according to our tradition, according to which nature and the God of nature’s law persist. No man made laws apply, I guess, so long as men don’t obey them. But there’s never a time when they hold no sway whatsoever, or if so at least very temporarily. Wars are relatively lawless, but not entirely. King George, for instance, stuck somewhat, if not perfectly, to the English legal tradition, international law, and the informal customs of warfare.
Go on debating angels on a pin. Have fun without me.
“Itll be a long and bloody business w/ dubious benefits at the end depending on who takes the hill. I think few have thought much beyond the killing part.”
I agree with you, but consider: the Founders spent riches and lives in a dubious, to say the least, endeavor to escape dominance by a central government, which, though more distant and less democratic, was radically weaker than our own. We also had the highest standard of living in the world at the time, I believe, and the protection of the world’s greatest power. All that, plus our tie to it had persisted not for 200+ years, but since time imemorial.
What a bunch of nutty extremists they were! And it wasn’t just the one rebellion, they advised as many additional as necessary. Some of them even started further ones, shortly thereafter and fourscore and whatever years later.
“Have fun without me.”
“Go on debating angels on a pin.”
Ah, I see I’m right and you give the game away, because you were never playing in the first place. Your options were not to post or to say the question is impertinent because natural rights don’t exist, silly, only blood and iron does. But no, you had to go and pretend their was a flaw with the question when all you were really up to was answering it a certain way.
How many angels fit on the head of a pin is not a nonsensical issue, just a waste of time. You’re not interested in arguing about it not because no sense can be made out of it, but because either you don’t think angels exist, or there’s no means of establishing their relation to pin heads. Likewise, you weren’t interested in arguing upfront about whether or not we have the right to a revolution not because the issue was nonsensical, as you claimed, but because you don’t think natural rights exist. That is arguing in bad faith. For shame.
I’m not sure you understood what I wrote.
“When you resort to revolution, you exist in a state of nature. What are you going to do? Go to a court run by the government you seek to overthrow and sue for your right to overthrow them? It’s a complete absurdity. Once the fighting starts, it’s a contest of power and prowess, not rights and law.”
Oh, I forgot the possibility that you honestly don’t know what the word “right” means, and aren’t aware that one can lose and still be right, or that the law can be broken and there still be law.
“Im not sure you understood what I wrote.”
I’m sure I did. You were counseling reasons why revolution is worse than it seems, citing that war is hell, the outcome is dubious, and that people don’t think it through. I was only pointing out that the Founders jumped into the cause and guided it successfully with, in many ways, less motivation than we might have. I’ve always been ambiguous about the revolution in that I love the outcome, but can’t possibly imagine supporting it beforehand. You and I, near as I can tell, would have made great Tories.
Yes, there is a right to revolution against tyranny. The would-be revolutionary must have good reason, and must be willing to pledge "life, fortune, and sacred honor," but the right does exist.
The would-be revolutionary should also keep in mind what happened to the majority of the signers of the Declaration of Independence. They didn't fare well, but we enjoy the benefits of their sacrifices.
For those of us who swore to support and defend the Constitution of the United States, there's no expiration date on that oath.
:) To sum it I would simply say there’s more to this event than ‘jumping’. Before you do that the homework better have been done and all Is dotted, Ts crossed. As for the Tory (Loyalist??) label I’d have to give that some careful thought. I’m not so sure today’s defn is what its been historically.
“Im not so sure todays defn is what its been historically.”
I was using the term as it would have been understood then, but only regarding the single issue of revolution. As for what their position would be on protective tariffs, affirmative action, abortion, or whathaveyou, that’s outside my purview.
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