Skip to comments.Of our Founding Principles Part III
Posted on 01/22/2018 1:37:06 AM PST by Jacquerie
Subtitle: Catos Letter No. 62. On Liberty, January 20th, 1722.
I closed a recent squib with, They (the writings of Sidney, Locke, Tacitus) bolstered what liberty-loving Americans had experienced and looked forward to: happiness in a natural equality among self-governing, God-fearing men. As for Locke, colonial Americans absorbed his philosophy and much more through Catos Letters: Essays on Liberty, Civil and Religious, a series of entertaining newspaper opinion pieces (1720-1723) by two Englishmen, John Trenchard and Thomas Gordon. The namesake of their work, Cato, sought to save the Roman Republic through his oratory. Similarly, Trenchard and Gordons pen and printing press raised the alarm over threats to English liberty. No deserving politician escaped their exposure and ridicule.
The Cato of Trenchard and Gordon described liberty as that power every man has over his actions. It is the right to enjoy the fruits of his labor provided he doesnt hurt society or restrict the liberty of others. He cannot be relieved of his property but by theft or his own consent. Catos liberty is very close to, if not indistinguishable from, todays Libertarians.
People join political society to secure their natural rights; society creates government to protect the innocent from violence. There is no other pretense. To this end, magistrates are entrusted with the united force of the community to defend everyones property from foreign and domestic injury. Compare Cato to our Declaration and Constitution over fifty years later, in which civil society joined to secure Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness, and soon thereafter to insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, . . . and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity . . .
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Thanks, Jacquerie. History/education/liberty BUMP!
I really appreciate. Thank you.
Yes I’ve bookmarked it. THere’s SO much anti-American, self-loathing, going on even among conservatives who are disillusioned with the government.
Other countries, namely China and Russia - have infiltrated American public discourse.
- Rich Chinese have taken over universities and use their financial leverage of multi-million dollar donations to control the Chinese studies and history to tout narratives friendly to the current communist regime, which directly descends from murderous Mao Zedong.
- Russians have formed think tanks, journals, and infiltrate social media frequently visited by the likes of US military vets, etc...KNOWING that many of our vets are dealing with trauma and insecurity over their own place in history.
Yet Russians and Russia-sympathizers exploit these insecurities by revising the historical narrative: taking full credit for World War II defeat of Hitler, alleviating the Soviet Union of its responsibility in its massive, catastrophic crimes against humanity. etc...and trying to dismiss Western Christianity by touting the superiority of Eastern Orthodoxy.
Granted Marxist American academics were doing the same type of thing long before without any of their help.
Which is why it’s great that Americans are taking a hold of the narrative again: to own our history, and own our place in it as leaders into the future.
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