Liberty, by Peter Mancus
Peter J. Mancus, Attorney at Law,
Victorian Square, 876 Gravenstein Ave. So., Suite 3, Sebastopol, CA 95472
(707) 829-9050 email@example.com © Peter J. Mancus 2002
1. For 6,000 years of recorded history, early rulers [pharaohs and kings, etc.] were the best fighters or best politicians or both. Their successors tended to be the first born male, via alleged hereditary entitlement, or the best fighters or best politicians or both. These rulers ruled arbitrarily. Mankind struggled against this abuse of power. That struggle is the story of civilization.
2. Civilization is essentially arrangements existing between rulers and ordinary folks. Some arrangements are based on raw power. Some are, allegedly, based on the Rule of Law. For most civilizations, Rule of Law is code for what the ruler wants.
3. Rule of Law, devoid of norms that protect Man's rights, is not worthy of support. Rule of Law is too vague. Every tyrant had his Rule of Law which authorized arbitrary, cruel, tyrannical acts sanctioned by rubber stamp judges and adoring or petrified majorities. What is needed is a Rule of Law that promotes and protects certain norms.
4. Historically, throughout all cultures, all civilizations, all races, and all continents, the Tyrant's Pattern, uniformly, has been this: demonize arms [swords, firearms, etc.] and their owners; agitate for the regulation, banning and confiscation of same; regulate same; register same; ban same; confiscate same; once the population is disarmed, consolidate power, incarcerate or murder potential hostile leaders; and impose genocide.
5. The story of civilization is Mankind's struggle for, and embrace of, Liberty, per a written Constitution that subjects power to finite limits, protects ordinary folks from abusive rulers, and empowers ordinary folks to hold their rulers and civil authority accountable for their abuse of power entrusted to them.
6. The Ancient Greeks advanced civilization. They are credited with being the first in Western Civilization to function as a democracy. Their version of democracy, however, suffered from a serious liability. Their version was pure democracy, which is mob rule via a majority vote. In Ancient Greece, no one had any legally recognized rights beyond the control of civil authority or the mob. It was 100% legal for a majority to vote to execute anyone per any pretext or without pretext being required. The Ancient Greeks were also enthusiastic supporters of pure democracy—but only for those of property and of the right class.
7. The Ancient Greeks were 100% correct about this concept: He who refuses to participate in self-government runs the risk of being governed by a fool greater than himself.
8. The primary purposes of a written Constitution are:
- to hold civil authority within specified limits, per agreed upon rules; and
- to hold civil authority accountable when it violates agreed upon rules.
9. Arguably, the most significant political-legal document written in English, or any other language, in the entire history of Mankind is the July 4th, 1776 Declaration of Independence. The July 4th Declaration is arguably the most significant political-legal document because it declared the following concepts and linked them together for the first time in a new manner:
- Man has a Creator.
- Man has inalienable rights that exist in Nature, before the creation of civil authority.
- The Creator, not civil authority, is the source of Man's inalienable rights.
- Man's inalienable rights include, but are not limited to, the right to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.
- These inalienable rights survive the formation of society and the creation of government.
- The only legitimate purpose of government is to secure these rights—without infringing upon them; and
- When government's prolonged oppression of the people becomes insufferable, the people have a right and a duty to overthrow government and establish a new rule of law that will restore and preserve these inalienable rights.
10. The July 4th Declaration starkly pitted the concept of Man's Inalienable Rights Derived From a Creator against the concept of the Divine Right of Kings to Rule Arbitrarily. That juxtaposition was the equivalent of a 9.0 political-legal earthquake, which continues to rumble and shake up Mankind, Civilizations and Civil Authorities around the globe.
11. The July 4th Declaration was a radical, revolutionary document signed by brave men the English Crown deemed "criminals."
12. The U.S. Constitution, as modified by the U.S. Bill of Rights, is an attempt to implement, in a pragmatic, workable fashion, the core ideas expressed in the July 4th Declaration.
13. The U.S. Constitution was ratified in 1789.
14. The U.S. Constitution was first modified in 1791 by the ratification of the U.S. Bill of Rights.
15. The U.S. Bill of Rights are the first ten amendments to the U.S. Constitution.
16. The U.S. Bill of Rights has its own preamble. Most people, including most lawyers and judges, do not know this. An exact quote of part of this preamble is stated below:
"The Conventions of a number of the States, having at the time of their adopting the Constitution, expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added: And as extending the ground of public confidence in the Government, will best ensure the beneficent ends of its institution."
The U.S. National Archives is the official custodian of records for important United States documents. This official, authoritative source confirms that this preamble, as quoted above, exists. See: http://www.nara.gov/exhall/charters/billrights/preamble.html