Do you know what ‘what you mean’ means? Have you thought about it? Recent conversations happening at my periphery have ranged from ‘let govt give Presidential Candidates $500,000, 2 months time and no more to campaign, I think that’ll force them to behave‘, to ‘since we are not a tyranny, the state can continue on doing what it’s been doing, and it should, because it works!‘. But what’s interesting in what these well meaning people mean, is that any initial questioning & concerns voiced over what they mean, elicits the response ‘Oh, that’s not what I mean!‘.
Well, maybe so, but do you even know what ‘what you mean‘, means?
Did you start your propositions from the point of view of what you understand? Or ‘pragmatically’ from the effects you dislike and would prefer to see fixed by doing ‘what will work now’?
Here’s a hint: If you don’t start your thought process from principles, you are extremely likely to violate them. If you don’t begin a political discussion with fundamental law and Rights fixed firmly in mind, then what you are going to propose, is very likely going to violate them both. Egregiously so.
Isn’t that a problem? Shouldn’t that be a concern? Or do you not consider the fundamentals of our system of law (you know, that pesky ‘Constitution’ thingy) to be important, because all you want to do is regulate things? Or do you not give due consideration to Rights, because you don’t care about, or believe in, Rights? I’ll bet you do when ‘your rights’ are violated, but then that’s probably not what you mean either, right? Or is it that you think that ‘Rights’ are only those privileges that most people, a democratic majority, want… and you just figure to be in the ‘most people’ all the time?
Have you ever given any thought or had any concern for what it is you think you don’t need to bother with thinking about? Oh, they didn’t bring that up during your 12 years of K-12 & 4 years of College ‘education’? Huh. Go figure.
Be that as it may, seeing as though our form of govt, and the laws written under it, were conceived of, defend and abide by, the principles of Individual Rights – before proposing new laws, or voting for candidates to run our govt – don’t you think you should have some idea of what it is you are talking about changing? Such as the fundamentals of our system of law and the Rights they were designed to protect?
Or do you, as our modern system of schooling and political thought encourage, simply want to ‘fix things’, to use govt to regulate matters and so make matters fairer for all?
Surely you’ve heard the phrase ‘Those who don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it’, yes? Shouldn’t you at the very least, have some concern for how other nations who just ‘made things work‘ worked out? All through the later 19th & early 20th centuries, the ideal of the first govt to try to ‘make things work’, Bismark’s Germany, was the ideal that ‘progressive’ thinkers raved about because his Prussian Welfare State imposed administrative law & regulations in order to please the people, keep the radicals at bay, and ensure that the state remained powerful and in control for the ‘greater good’ of all:
“In 1915, an American admirer of the German welfare state, Frederic Howe, explained the nature of the system in a book called Socialized Germany:
The state has its finger on the pulse of the worker from the cradle to the grave. His education, his health, and his working efficiency are matters of constant concern. He is carefully protected from accident by laws and regulation governing factories. He is trained in his hand and in his brain to be a good workman and is insured against accident, sickness, and old age. While idle through no fault of his own, work is frequently found for him. When homeless, a lodging is offered so that he will not easily pass into the vagrant class.
Howe admitted that under the German system, with its extensive controls and regulations, “The individual exists for the state, not the state for the individual.” But he insisted that this did not mean a loss of freedom. “This paternalism does not necessarily mean less freedom to the individual than that which prevails in America or England,” he argued. “[T]he German enjoys a freedom far greater than that which prevails in America or England. This freedom is of an economic sort. . . . It protects the defenseless classes from exploitation and abuse. It safeguards the weak.” “
Doesn’t the fact that the financial chaos, militarism, first world war, Nazism and still another world war, which resulted from how those efforts to ‘make things work‘, actually worked out, warrant at least some concern and interest for what Bismark’s Germany, had no concern for either? You know, constitutional law based upon principles of individual rights and supported by property rights?
Behind Bismark’s Germany, were the ideas of Hegel, and Kant and the father of fascism & communism, Jean Jacques Rousseau, who wanted to abolish property rights, marriage & the family and empower the Legislator with the power needed for the state to manage the peoples lives and ‘force them to be free’. For all our modern concerns with Karl
Marx, he was only a two bit marketer of their repackaged ideas & there isn’t an obscenity he came up with that Rousseau hadn’t thought of first & in many cases practiced (see ‘The Terror’ of the French Revolution for examples of how others first put his ideas into practice. Do you like how they worked out? Any examples of their working out differently since? Still thinking that ‘this time’ it’ll work?).
Their ideas swept the universities of Europe, and were the IN places of status seeking American educators in the early 1800′s. Educators such as Charles Eliot, who brought their ideas back to universities such as Harvard and put them into practice here, where they spread from, leading directly to the pragmatic ideas of ‘making things work‘, which have gradually supplanted the traditional American sense of ‘First do what is right, and things will work best because of that‘.
Bismark’s Germany did not just ‘happen’, it came from somewhere, it came not only from ideas that were thought, but from ideas that were never considered; as did the wrack and ruin which followed after its collapse.
Rousseau’s ideas of education, such as are found in his ‘Emile’, in their fundamentals, formed the basis for the ‘new! Modern!’ system of education that took root in America. Beginning around 1800, his modern ideas ‘progressivley’ displaced the system of education, and the materials it drew from, which produced our Founders era. Interesting, no? Is it not curious, that his rejection of ‘Free Will’, of the Individual Rights and Property Rights derived from Natural Law, has been reflected more and more in the students ‘educated’ in his virtual image? And the fundamentals of our system of government, and all it relies upon its people knowing, less and less?
More often than not, it’s the ideas and principles that you don’t consider or think about, that are more important than the ideas that you do ‘think’ about. ‘What you mean’ means far more than you might mean – you might want to consider that.