by Anniel 5/13/15
Latest: Page 2: Coming to Terms With Where We Stand • By the People: Rebuilding Liberty Without Permission by Charles Murray, author of The Bell Curve and The Curmudgeon’s Guide to Getting Ahead Published by Crown Forum, New York, Available on Kindle.
I find Charles Murray to be a very refreshing person, a clear writer, honest and unafraid of telling the truth as he sees it. He is listed as being a paleoconservative or paleolibertarian leaning social scientist, whatever one can make of those designations. He has also been declared an official dangerous radical byThe Southern Poverty Law Center, which means he must be doing something right.
I do not agree with much that Dr. Murray proposes on race theory. Presuming that I rightly understand his ideas, or that he, himself, still believes them. There are too many great black men to accept that they are in any way inferior to whites. In my opinion, Thomas Sowell and Justice Clarence Thomas are two of the most intelligent gentlemen of any race anywhere in the world, and outdo even most Finns in their Sisu Quotient.
I am also aware of Murray’s libertarian leanings, but much has changed since he has accepted Christianity and he now seems to agree that religion and adherence to law are necessary to an ordered society. So when Charles Murray writes about restoring Liberty I want to know his plan, not some demonization of it.
In his Introduction Murray defines his terms clearly. He says what he calls the American Project is “the effort to demonstrate that human beings can be left free as individuals, families and communities to live their lives as they see fit as long as they accord the same privilege to everyone else, with government safeguarding a peaceful setting for these endeavors but otherwise standing aside.” Sounds like a reasonable definition of the idea of America to me, but Murray thinks we are past that time and need to preserve the best qualities we can but in a new “incarnation.” He says “We still have remnants of that America, but not for the EVERYONE as intended in our founding documents.”
In Part I of this book Murray tells how we have lost our battle for freedom
and why the normal political process cannot save us.
Part II is to show how to restore certain aspects of American freedom based on Truth. It contains practical strategies for using government weaknesses to advance freedom.
Part III sets out more indefinite but potentially transforming possibilities for what can be done.
Murray spends a few thoughts on what to call our government, Jeffersonian or Madisonian in nature. He decided to refer to libertarians, classical liberals, and many conservatives as Madisonian because they are devoted to the Constitutional principals Madison fought so hard for. Murray thinks his readers will be those who agree with him so “By The People focuses on how to rebuild liberty, not on why.”
There follows a Prologue discussing the resurgence of Madisonian thought in the United States which began in the 1930’s, even as the New Deal was also being implemented. It is interesting to follow the history of who did what, from Lionel Trilling, Ludwig Von Mises, Bill Buckley, Barry Goldwater, Milton Friedman,and Ronald Reagan, among others, to revive the political doctrines of James Madison and the Federalists as they intended in the Constitution.
Even the founding of the Tea Party in 2009 Murray sees as new breath for Madisonian thought. It certainly has changed the political landscape.
And yet the government has expanded dramatically, even while small government advocates attempt to hold the bureaucracy in check. According to Murray, “We have won battles, but are losing the war.”
Part I – COMING TO TERMS WITH WHERE WE STAND
The 5 chapters in this Part are to convince us of the TRUTH of where we stand, and are summarized as follows:
• “The Founders’ Constitution has been discarded and cannot be restored, for reasons that are inextricably embedded in Constitutional jurisprudence.
• Aspects of America’s legal system have become lawless, for reasons that are inextricably embedded in use of the law for social agendas.
• Congress and the administrative state have become systemically corrupt, for reasons that are inextricably embedded in the market for Government favors.
• The Federal government is in a state of advanced sclerosis for reasons that are inextricably embedded in the nature of advanced Democracies.
“Inextricably embedded means that solutions are beyond the reach of the electoral process and legislative process. The citizenry must create new counterweights.”
I think Part I, Chapter 1, which deals with the history of progressives, the Supreme Court and the cases which have changed the Constitution, are very crucial, interesting and well worth your time to read, but can best be summarized by the following explanations:
From Charles Murray: “Three intellectual themes of progressivism would be implemented, not through the ballot box but through the judicial system. They ultimately transformed the nation. . . The one that applies here is the progressives’ belief that modernity had made the Constitution obsolete.” One theorist said that the Constitution “was doing more harm than good.”
Apparently progressives had been preaching that the United States was no longer a small agrarian society and needed to be modernized. Woodrow Wilson wrote and spoke of the need to update the Constitution. Mr. Murray says of Wilson that he was the “first president critical of the Constitution.” Wilson wrote a paper called “On Progress” in which he said that the founders were Newtonians who made a mechanical government with three separate branches and separation of powers. But now science had progressed. “Blessed with the superior knowledge of Wilson’s era, it was now understood that:
government is not a machine but a living thing. It falls, not under the theory of the universe, but under the theory of organic life. It is accountable to Darwin, not to Newton. It is modified by its environment, necessitated by its tasks, shaped to its functions by the sheer pressure of life. No living thing can have its organs offset against each other, as checks, and live. On the contrary, its life is dependent on their quick cooperation, their ready response to the commands of instinct or intelligence, their amicable community of purpose. . . . All that progressives ask or desire is permission- in an era of “development”, “evolution” is the scientific word – to interpret the Constitution according to the Darwinian principle.
Now you know where the term “living Constitution”‘comes from. As I recall it wasn’t long before Freud and Marx showed up to join Darwin, and the unholy trinity began their work of rotting our sacred founding documents from within.
Note: I had thought to go swiftly over the Parts of this book that lead to the “How To” Section. It was not meant to be that easy. What I have read so far is both extremely clarifying, and also very (so far) disenheartening about the nation. I hope his solutions are more hopeful.
COMING UP NEXT: Part I, Chapter 2. In which Murray argues that the legal system operates in ways indistinguishable from lawlessness for reasons authorized by Judges and Congress.
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