Maintaining Civilization

© Fernando Caracena, 2017

Peace, Tranquillity, and Liberty are Basic Requirements of Civilization

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.—That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,—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.—The Declaration of Independence (U S A)

Purpose of  Government--A New Idea

The United States government was a bold creation based on a new and radical idea of  government--that the purpose of government is to secure the fundamental rights of its citizens, which are divine gifts not granted by another sovereign. Should a government stray from its fundamental duties as stated in the Constitution, then it is the right of the people to abolish that government and replace it with a new one that better serves them in securing their fundamental rights. This idea is a major departure from the ancient idea of government that the people belonged to a king who had a divine right to govern. Indeed, according to this new idea, nobody has a  divine right to govern other people. Each citizen owns himself, and the government, formed and sanction by citizens, rules by their consent. People have a divine right to live for their own purposes, and to secure their rights, people form governments.

Sometimes governments run by central authorities make their "subjects" do things that are contrary to common sense. To the outsider, these actions looks much like the march of Lemmings; however, when each citizen pursues his own vital interests, such collective stupidity does not tend to surface. This type of stupidity depends on central authority.

The founders of the United States had spent a lot of time thinking about what constitutes a good government and what is its purpose. Considering what is going on in the world today and how the various governments are acting, I think that people everywhere should be examining their own governments to see if they meet their needs, or whether they are they are destructive of their rights.

What is Good Government

At best, government is a necessary evil. It attracts the venial and the power hungry, who want everything for themselves at the expense of the rest of the citizens. What constitutes good or tolerable government? We decide the question by determining the end in view of government. Civilization is an important ingredient in this discussion. Cooperation among people has promoted a better, fuller life than hermit's existence. Computers and the Internet have involved a large international effort that is voluntary and ad hoc. The Internet allows a person a simple means to cast his thoughts globally. Since the power of an individual mind is amplified by the sharing of thoughts of many people, the Internet has made us potentially more intelligent as a species and more effective as individual. But, there are elements in power in our society that may fell threatened by these developments. They are opposing these advances tooth and nail.

I have many people to thank for my personal education. No man is an island. No person can claim to be entirely self made. Our life is fuller and happier as a result of our free association and cooperation with other people. We call that happy result, civilization. So, good government should support civilization. Maintain a civilized environment and automtically you will have maximum freedom, availability of resources, abundant opportunities for anybody willing to work for positive goals, happiness, productivity and abundance.

The Founding Fathers of the United States felt that Great Britain had not been supportive of American civilization, and that therefore, they had a just cause for becoming independent of the mother country and forming a separate government:

all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

Given what is going on in the world today, and even in the United States, it is time to ponder over the ideas expressed in the U S Declaration of Independence. These are no idle or frivolous words, but words packed with philosophical principles that could guide humanity to a better future.

I  am encouraged by the words of our new president who sounds as if he is ready to roll up his sleeves and get down to the business in getting American Civilization moving again as a beacon of freedom in a downtrodden world.




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