Monday, July 4, 2011

4th of July

Hello, Greetings, and Salutations!

Our country was founded under the guiding principles of the philosophy of liberty, and to those who believe that philosophy has no relevance in this day and age- I say to you that the precepts laid down in the constitution are not only relevant and prescient, but serve as a shining example of the ability of philosophical ideas to make real the dreams and aspirations of humanity.

Many say that the constitution of the United States is not only outmoded and lacking the currency of our new technological world, but is unjust and invalid due to polemical attacks on our founding fathers (i.e. they owned slaves, were of questionable character, etc.). This world-view is, in a sense, the result of a lack of faith in the very foundations which make any of what a man does in his life in the U.S. possible- and show an immoral character which views the greatest achievements of history as nothing more than an unjust series of oppressive acts. Surely this view of our country and the history of western civilization is not only dangerous, but potentially the result of a Marxist ideology which hopes to rob us of our dignity and degrade our cohesion as a unity of ontical entities within a world that is poised to return, in some sense, to it's very traditions on this great day of independence.

The philosophy behind the celebrated Declaration was, in fact, a result of the English utilitarian John Locke, who famously wrote about freedom being a 'right' of all people- not something 'given' by a ruler. This axiomatic Archimedean point formed the central thesis of the Declaration, and shows that even though the Revolution sought to break the shackles of British Imperialism, the Declaration was still grounded in the traditions and aspirations of the greatest minds of utilitarian philosophy. However, though the founders were indebted to the English philosophers of their time, they added their own uniquely American determination to the Declaration by adding these three words:

Life: The founders knew that the only way to make good on the promises they made to the people of America was to protect their right to life. Life, as understood by the founders, was not only the right to be born, not only the right to live, but the right to die honorably. This shows how the founders sought to keep the sanctity of Citizens, by showing that their lives were not merely that of 'subjects' under a ruler, or 'objects' of economic systems, but real beings with authentic emotions and perceptions that are blessed with a sense of individuality.

Liberty: With the inclusion of this now entombed word, one can view how the founders sought to include a very new sense of justice in the Declaration. This was a justice based in the tradition from which the founders originated, but deviated from that tradition in regards to this justice being a creation of the People of America and God- not a Monarchy.

Happiness: This word is probably the most important, and shows a distinct flair for pedestrian language. Most people wish to be happy. They want to live their lives in accordance with their own values and beliefs. They want to have the necessary conditions of satisfaction for this happiness, and the inclusion of this word in the declaration sought to provide these conditions. Socrates famously said that everyone does what they think will make them happy even though they are very often times are off the mark. Our founders sought not necessarily to make a society where every single Citizen was a happy person, but intended to give the people the right to pursue their dreams in whatever way they wished in accordance with the Laws. This pursuit is, in some sense, an economic concern. The right to start a business. The right to fair prices (i.e. the precepts behind the Tea Party). The right to buy what they wished. These components make up what is regarded as a true capitalistic system of trade.

Happy 4th! :)