Among the issues most commonly discussed are individuality, the rights of the individual, the limits of legitimate government, morality, history, economics, government policy, science, business, education, health care, energy, and man-made global warming evaluations. My posts are aimed at thinking, intelligent individuals, whose comments are very welcome.

"No matter how vast your knowledge or how modest, it is your own mind that has to acquire it." Ayn Rand

05 November 2008

Obama Usurps the Presidency

A few hours ago, Senator John McCain conceded the 2008 Presidential Election to Senator Barack Obama. Obama will clearly win the Electoral College vote. Our Constitutional system of government says that this is the way the presidential election is won. So, how can I say that Obama has usurped the presidency?

The unique American innovation in government was that the individual holds sovereignty over his own life and that all rights are individual rights which are owned by the individual. These rights are not granted to the individual by government, but they are a consequence of the nature of man. Man, by nature, must utilize his mind to understand reality and to find ways to alter his environment so that he can survive and flourish. The act of using your mind is a very individual effort. Our rights derive from the needs we have as a result of this requirement.

Living in society can offer man many advantages, since trading ideas, goods, and services can be very beneficial to the individuals involved. People working together can provide one another enhanced security from threats and minds work differently, so different people can solve different problems. There is much to the saying that two minds are better than one. But, these interactions and trades are well known to work most efficiently when they are as voluntary as possible. Envy and avarice commonly cause many people to try to steal the wealth created by others who have used their minds more effectively. When a society of individuals begins to give free reign to this envy and avarice to allow some to take what they want without having used their own minds and hard work to create it, then society quickly loses its advantages. Indeed, societies often fall into orgies of the brutal use of force.

History is full of illustrations of this. Medieval Europe faltered under a heavy yoke of Christian mysticism and ubiquitous Robber Barons, while a freer Middle East largely prospered and generated much knowledge. The United States rose from a wilderness and became the manufacturing and agricultural envy of the world by WWI. Czarist Russia, with huge land mass and resources, remained primitive. Nazi Germany rose and fell very quickly. Stalin's USSR and Mao's China moblized masses of people, but remained primitive. Pol Pot's Cambodia was a bloodbath. The lack of property and other individual rights in Latin America kept those countries from coming close to developing their potential. Chavez's Venezuela is falling apart and Cuba fell apart long ago. Africa, with its dictators and socialist states remains primitive still. Europe, the envy of the world after the Enlightenment, fell in esteem as it became highly socialist in the 20th century, when it also suffered the bloodbaths of WWI and WWII, before the anxieties of the Cold War. Now, it commonly suffers 10% unemployment and the people are so depressed that they do not have enough children to even come close to maintaining the populations of most European countries. Europe is clearly in decay.

For a long time, most Americans in the Northeast, on the Pacific Coast, and in a midwestern cluster of states including Illinois, Wisconsin, and Minnesota, have wanted the United States to be more like Europe. Obama is exactly their man. HE, like most Europeans, is a pessimist. HE believes most people are oppressed by a few wealthy individuals made up mostly of white males. HE believes these oppressed masses are individually helpless and can only better their condition by turning to elite leaders who will use government power ruthlessly to force the wealthy to spread around some of the goodies they have taken from the many helpless people. HE does not believe in the creation powers of the individual mind. HE also does not believe in the sovereignty of the individual, which derives from his need to use his mind. HE believes, as do most Europeans, that government gives rights to individuals and that government is the source of sovereignty. Perhaps, it is slightly more accurate to say that he believes that sovereignty lies in the collective of all the people, rather than in each individual. There is little practical difference in these two concepts, however. Both the fascist/nazi socialist Hitler and the communist Stalin and Mao believed the same thing, that sovereignty lay in the collective people.

As I have pointed out many times, the Constitution of the United States was formulated to so limit the powers of government that it could not mess with the sovereignty of the individual. That remarkable, miraculous document makes no sense except in the context that sovereignty lies in the individual and that individuals have rights whether government is good enough to recognize them or not. The Declaration of Independence clearly and explicitly made this declaration, which was much more important than simply declaring independence from and war on King George III. The Constitution's purpose was to secure American's independence from all despots and all forms of tyranny. Among these forms of tyranny was any democracy which did not honor the rights of the individual. The Founding Fathers were very clear on this subject.

The President is the head of the Executive branch of the federal government. His principal job is to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution. This means his principal job is to see that the government recognizes individual sovereignty. He must be committed to governing the government's use of force strictly so that it does not violate the rights of the individual. Anyone taking on the execution of the President's Office is a tyrant and an usurper to the degree that he does not honor the rights of the individual to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. If he fails in this, our own Declaration of Independence makes it clear he is a despot and that the people, or any part of them, or any individual have the right to rebel and overthrow him for the very same reasons they had the right to rebel against King George III.

Of course the President is not the only officer of the federal government charged with preserving, protecting, and defending the Constitution. The entire Congress and the federal courts are also charged with this same task. For each of the three branches of government, this is their primary purpose and function. For a long time, none of these branches have done a decent job, because all of them have failed our Constitution. In doing so, they have failed the American people. But, because we have so democratic a republican government, the people have failed their own great Constitution. Of course, this means the American people have failed themselves. They have failed to guard their own sovereignty.

In his victory speech, Obama once again made it clear that HE does not think Americans are principally individuals. HE says we are something more than that. Well, in a way we used to be more than that. We were a people who understood that we were sovereign individuals and that we were able to manage our own lives. Now, it is clear that we are mostly just like European socialists who beg governments to give them goodies. We used to create wealth and security for our families and friends. Now, we will fight one another to see who can steal the most from others. We used to live in respectful harmony. Now, we will live in constant angst. Perhaps, like Europeans, we will even lose the will and confidence to procreate.

Clearly, we have given up on growth and we have chosen decay. The human being either grows or decays. America long brought on constant change with growth generated by using our individual minds and freely trading the ideas that resulted. These ideas provided a cornucopia of goods and services. Now America will change more slowly by decay and our minds will stultify under the threat of ubiquitous force. It has always been so historically and we have chosen to relive sad and uncertain times. We have chosen to return to more primitive times.

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