A grim reality

Virgil,  Homer,  and Alexander Hamilton:   what do these three names have in common?

First Alexander Hamilton is one of the Founding Fathers of this nation.   That is,  his guidance and his writings provided some of the principles which were used to create this nation and keep it true to its intentions.

But he has a warning for us and for all nations whose citizens would prefer to be free citizens:
“The instrument by which [the government] must act are either the AUTHORITY of the laws or FORCE. If the first be  destroyed, the last must be substituted; and where this becomes the ordinary instrument of government there is an end to liberty!” —Alexander Hamilton, Tully, No. 3, 1794*

  1.   Governments  act.
  2.   They act under the Authority of Laws or by  Force
  3.   Authority . . . or –
  4.   Force
  5.    If Authority is destroyed . . .   and it can be —
  6.   Then the laws of Force take over
  7.    Force means such things as intimidation,  bribery,   cronyism   ( “secret deals amongst political pals” ),   trickery,  propaganda,    secrecy,  lawsuits,  imprisonment,   partisan ownership of newspapers (today,  the entertainment-news media) , and so many other devious and illegitimate tricks that uphold a tyranny

8.    When this becomes accepted by the people, there is an end to liberty — and the people are no longer citizens,  they are subjects.

An interesting aspect of a government that rules by Force is that it creates a tangled labyrinth of laws, rules, and regulations,  in the tens of thousands, so that there is always a “law”  to use against a political enemy.   Always a weapon at hand.

Now, what is this “Authority”  that Hamilton spoke of?    It’s simply that even the government — and people who work in the government —  are subject to the same laws as all the citizens.       That is the Rule of Law.

Lawlessness is, say,  suppose an identity thief gets to be president.   (Using someone else’s social security number, for instance.)    He’s above the Law of the Land if no one stops him.

Suppose a Congress passes a ruinous health control law and then exempt themselves from that law.     They are above the Law they have designated for the rest of the Land.

Suppose your local judge’s son has his fifth drunk driving charge and gets into his third car accident — and gets probation for it.   That judge’s family is living “above the law”  — and is contributing to the atmosphere of Lawlessness.

Suppose the “citizens” of that country let things continue on like that.    They are supporting a nation of Lawlessness.

And they are ruled by the laws of Force.  (Alexander Hamilton.)

Oh, yes — Homer and Virgil.   Each wrote literary epics which put forth the founding principles of their long-standing empires,  Greece and then Rome.    For many hundreds of years these epics were the textbooks that instructed the youth who would govern the next generation.  Actions of leaders were judged by these principles, and as long as the nation held them to their founding principles,  there was  a kind of check on Lawlessness.

Western Civilization retained the knowledge of these principles and trained their youth likewise — until the 20th century,  when the Revolution successfully revolted from . . .  civilized means of governing.

The Law of the Lawless ones — is government by Force.

8.  —  Resulting in a loss of Liberty  (freedom for citizens and a collapse of Society into barbarism.

Of course, there is  remedy.   But sometimes the “pendulum” doesn’t get a chance to swing back the other way.

*The quotation from Alexander Hamilton was provided by THE FOUNDATION   from the Patriot Post this week,  a thank you to them  for this reminder.

Explore posts in the same categories: 2015 Issues, American History, Founding Fathers, Lessons from History

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