[Swiftwater Gazette] The Right to Happiness is the Antidote to Tyranny
kroposki at att.net
Mon Jul 4 13:00:09 EDT 2016
TheRight to Happiness is the Antidote to TyrannybyDaniel Greenfieldhttp://sultanknish.blogspot.com/2016/07/the-right-to-happiness-is-antidote-to.html
Revolutionsare not unique. Some countries have revolutions all the
time untilrevolution becomes their national sport.
Inbanana republics the overthrow of one dictator to make way foranother gives
everyone a day off from work.
Theserevolutions, no matter how they are cloaked in the familiar rhetoricof liberty,
are nothing more than tyranny by other means.
Whatmade the American Revolution unique was that its cause was not
themere transfer of power from one ruler to another or one system to
another, but a fundamental transformation of the nature of rule.
Everyrevolution claims to be carried out in the name of the people, butit's never the people who end up running things.
TheDeclaration of Independence did more than talk about the rights of
the people. It placed the people at the center of the nation and itsgovernment,
not as an undifferentiated mass to be harnessed forwhatever propaganda purposes they might be good for, but asindividuals with hopes and dreams.
"Wehold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal,that they are
endowed by their Creator with certain unalienableRights, that among these are Life,
Liberty and the pursuit ofHappiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are
institutedamong Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of thegoverned."
Thatis not merely some bland reference to a mass of people. There is no
collective here, only the individual.
Thegreater good of independence is not some system that will meet withthe approval of
the mass, but that will make it possible for theindividual, each individual, to live a free life,
not a life livedpurely for the good of the mass, but for his own sake.
Ina time when government mandates what you can eat and how much of it,only one of the ways it seeks to regulate every aspect of daily lifefor the greater good-- the declaration that
started it all declaresthat the purpose of government is not social justice, a minimallyobese
population, universal tolerance or even equality. Equality isacknowledged as a fact, not as a goal.
Insteadthe goal of government is to allow people to be happy.
Thatseems like a silly goal. What kind of great nation gets started byasserting that government
exists to allow people to be happy? Butlook at the common condition of any tyranny. Take in that
sense of1984ness and its most obvious characteristic is unhappiness.
Peopleare persistently unhappy under a tyranny, whether they are rich orpoor,
because they are robbed of the necessary freedom to pursueindividual happiness.
Theyare not allowed to be individuals.
Welive in an age of collective tyrannies under systems that seek tomaximize the
ideal welfare of the group. They care nothing for thehappiness of the individual.
And they care even less for the notionthat the individual has a right to achieve that
happiness by pursuingit on its own terms, ratherthan through their socially-approved
and market-tested form ofhappiness.
TheDeclaration of Independence lays out the conundrum that governmentsexist to
allow individuals to pursue their own forms of happiness.
Agovernment that makes it possible for individuals to do that cannotbe a tyranny. And
conversely a government that makes it impossible isa tyranny.
Modernrevolutions are solution-based. So are modern governments.Redistribute the wealth.
Power to the workers. Put X in charge.Strengthen Laws Y through Z. Impose your will on everyone
else. Andthere is the Declaration of Independence, old and worn, offering upan idea as fragile
as a butterfly, that government does not exist toimpose solutions, but to protect the individual's
Whatis it that threatens the individual pursuit of happiness? Government.The proper government
that the Declaration of Independence givesweight to is one that protects the people from government;
othergovernments as well as their own. It protects from them from beingregarded as a mass, a great
porridge of people to be poured into theproper molds. It protects them from being an undifferentiated
massreduced to a mathematical average of allotted happiness based on thelatest trends in sociological
Itprotects their individuality.
Anotherman finds happiness in inventing airplanes and is free to attemptflight despite all the
environmentalists who want him to write up anenvironmental impact statement.
Happinessis individual and individuals are eccentric. Their pursuits ofhappiness will lead to both
good and bad. Individuality is theultimate diversity and there is no substitute for it if you want a
society that breaks through barriers, rather than wrestling in thestreets over the fortieth revolution
that will finally convinceeveryone that the right way to live is under Osceopeology.(It won't.)
TheDeclaration of Independence was not only a national statement, but anindividual statement as well.
It envisioned a government fit forindividuals, rather than massive masses. A government that would free
individuals to pursue their own goods, rather than enslaving them tothe greater good that is intellectually
fashionable at any givenmoment.
Andthat is what makes it more relevant than ever. The Redcoats are notabout to march into Boston, but
the Regulators are. The rising powerof government has transformed its laws and systems into a means for
the elites to impose their will on the whole country, to stamp outtheir private pursuits of happiness for
Thenanny state, like every good nanny, is suspicious of private andunsupervised pursuits
of happiness. It acceptsequality not as a fact, but as a goal, whose achievement requires theabsolute
and total regulation of all private matters and activities.The only way to achieve true equality is to eliminate
individualityand to maintain a most unequal elite charged with enforcing it. Ithas no truck with liberty because
it understands, rightly, thatliberty imposes limitations on its powers of control.
TheFourth is not only a celebration of nationhood, but of a nation ofindividuals. It is as much a celebration
of private freedoms as ofpublic ones. It is a celebration of a nation of individuals capableof voluntarily
pursuing their happiness by securing a nation, ratherthan a nation of slaves waiting to be given their
marching orders byanother government agency.
Aninalienable right can be restricted or taken away, but it neverdisappears. It never
goes away because its origin source in a DivinePower transcends governments and ideologies.
It isnot bound by the fashions of the day. It is a permanent and absolutestatement that the dignity of the
individual is not distributed witha soup ladle in the shelter of the state, but comes from theindividual.
Itis not the people that need governments. It is governments that needpeople.
Thatis the most important thing we must remember. We do not needgovernments. Governments need us.
Without governments, people arecapable of being moral and just, of caring about each other andhelping each other. Without people, governments cease to exist. Thebest government allows people to express their
individual strivingsby being one forum among many for handling the communal business oftheir societies.
Aswe celebrate the Fourth in an America where the pursuit of individualhappiness has been commercialized,
centralized and repressed, markthe occasion by exercising your right to the pursuit of yourhappiness.
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