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Tag Archives: Liberty

“To the Size of States There is a Limit”

What is a Republic and does it contain an element of representation?  In the US Constitutional context, James Madison defined republic as “…a government in which the scheme of representation takes place…” and “…the delegation of the government, in the latter [republic], to a small number of citizens elected by the rest…” –Federalist #10.  John Adams defined republic as “…a government, in which all men, rich and poor, magistrates and subjects, officers and people, masters and servants, the first citizen and the last, are equally subject to the laws.”  Also, the word republic was used specifically to describe a non-monarchical constitution during the writing and ratifying of the US Constitution. 

According to Donald Livingston, in his lecture Size, Scale, and American Republicanism, in the Greek traditions of republican governments, a republic requires three things:

1)      The citizens make the laws in which they live under;

2)      Legislation must be in accord with inherited tradition or common law, which they do not make – The Rule of Law;

3)      Human Scale – that is they must be small.

In a classical sense of the term representation does not appear to be a requisite for a republican form of government.  It might be inferred that because the citizens make the laws that representation is required, however it is not required that citizens be represented in order for them to participate in the lawmaking.  In the United States under the Constitution, a republican form of government was defined to include representation as a mode of citizen participation in the lawmaking process. 

So what does Donald Livingston mean when he refers to laws being made in accord with inherited tradition?  Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on December 22, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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A World with Only One Color

In a world where everything is red, it sure is hard to explain blue.  And so it is with liberty.  In our world today where government has assumed so many roles and responsibilities, it is sometimes very difficult to explain a world where true liberty, void of government intervention, could exist. 

Today’s political toy of the minute is the payroll tax cut.  The Democrats say that we must pass this tax cut and “pay” for it with a small increase in taxes on the wealthy.  The Republicans say that is fine as long as we get this oil pipeline passed so that we can “create jobs”.  The premise of both arguments is all red.  Red, red, red.  No concept of blue.  Perhaps they should not be arguing over these trivial matters of how much money they are going to take from people but should instead be arguing whether they should be taking our money at all.  Red and blue.  Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on December 15, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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What’s Law Got to do with It?

This essay is about a great book called “The Law”.  I only scratched the surface of the ideas contained in the book and I hope I have not detracted from the brilliance of Bastiat’s writing.  Enjoy.

In present times, it seems almost impossible to keep up with what laws the Federal government is passing, what laws the State governments are passing, and what laws our local governments are passing, so it seems a natural enough question to ask, “What is law?” and “What do I expect the law to do for me?”

Frederic Bastiat, a nineteenth century French economist, philosopher, and author, wrote a book first published in June 1850 titled “The Law”, addressed these very same questions. He did his writing before, during, and after the French Revolution of 1848 which makes this all the more relevant since there are major concerns about the path the governments of the world seem to be on and how it relates to socialistic ideas.  Bastiat wrote:

What, then, is law? It is the collective organization of the individual right to lawful defense. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on December 1, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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