Welfare and the Constitution (New Forum Books)
The Preamble states that an overriding purpose of the U. However, the Bill of Rights has been largely construed to provide procedural mechanisms for fair adjudication of those rights rather than carving out claims on the government to ensure that individuals actually have any social and economic assets to protect. Efforts to convince courts of alternate constitutional interpretations have generally failed. The Supreme Court has ruled, for example, that while the due process clause of the 14th amendment ensures fair processes for welfare recipients, there is no underlying constitutional right to a minimum standard of living.
Similarly, the Supreme Court has not found a general right to education derived from the more explicit constitutional guarantees of political participation and equal protection that might be deemed to presuppose an educational baseline. Many state constitutions, in contrast, articulate positive rights to welfare, health, education, and the right to work. It matters not if the individual considers liberty to be granted by God or inherent to the psychological powers of the human being.
The principle remains true from generation to future generation. The scholars and officials who repress human liberty or its representation can be and should be removed from their public offices. It is a matter of reform rather than revolution, but some inhabitants have not the propriety to think as fellow citizens, let alone civic fellow citizens. It was Burlamaqui who wrote as copied into the Declaration of Independence that governments exist to secure natural rights, with natural right understood in terms of the pursuit of happiness.
That liberty-to pursue happiness is a blessing seems more a claim than an imposition. That is, neither God nor government impose on the human being the liberty-to responsibly pursue individual happiness. Again, the human being already has that prerogative. The aware human being discovers that he or she has the individual power, the individual energy, and the individual authority IPEA to develop either integrity or infidelity to the-objective-truth.
If the former, individual happiness is possible and if the latter, woe may be ineluctable. Thus, the civic citizen, defined as the fellow citizen who trusts-in and commits-to the agreement that is offered in the U. I do not perceive that extant citizens can discover the wonder of the U. Constitution on June 21, , establishing the USA. I find references to it in the Old and New Testaments, and in a long chain of writers in the Judeo-Christian tradition. The morality that would be referred to here is the one that comes from the Ten Commandments, Golden Rule and Sermon on the Mount.
Cicero d. However, the U. Neither Cicero nor Agathon nor Pericles, d. But, the real trick is to define freedom and independence correctly. Otherwise we will all end up in a ditch. Which would mean lack of self-control in individuals and no limits on government power, or Anarchy and Tyranny, which explains what came before, during and after the French Revolution, but is obviously not the right meaning when it comes to the American Revolution.
But, they believed Liberty is more than simple freedom. If you think you are looking at the Golden Rule, you are correct. Now you can look at the Preamble to the Constitution, the Fifth Amendment, and anything else the Founders wrote and understand what they are talking about. The third faculty of the soul was liberty.
For Burlamaqui, as followed by the Declaration of Independence, governments exist to secure natural rights, with natural right understood in terms of reason applied to the pursuit of happiness. For Burlamaqui as well as the Rev. Sir Edward Coke, whose works instructed the lawyers among the Founding generation, wrote that piety was the great source of happiness. Francis Hutcheson [d. The preamble to the U. Constitution, ratified June 21, , proposes five public institutions Unity, Justice, Tranquility, defense, and Welfare to secure responsible human liberty.
This is the civic, civil, and legal agreement that is offered fellow citizens on which to communicate, collaborate, and connect for equity under statutory law. In , fellow citizens may observe that the standard for justice is the ineluctable evidence. For example, the citizen who says u huh to a lie lessens himself or herself while whatever-God-is says nothing. Yes, well, Burlamaqui was read by some of the Founders but he was not a household word.
They did not follow French philosophers as a rule but cut their teeth on the Holy Bible which mentions wisdom and virtue at least once. Right or wrong, Marshall did make such a claim and used this as a basis for denying certain powers claimed by the States. Very interesting observation, Mr.
Gabe, one that I was not aware of; was this before or after he reserved sole interpretive power in Marbury? Or, more accurately to say, created a standard that successors would unabashedly misrepresent and misapprehend to their individual and collective advantages? Same oath taken by the President and members of Congress. The origin of the thirteen States comes from the overarching collective body.
Marshall clearly had this May independence resolution in mind at the very beginning of his argument in Marbury v. Without a doubt, the framers were deeply influenced, and their political sensibilities likely were formed nearly as much by a classic education and philosophy, as they were by their personal and direct experiences with the tyranny of the crown and the tribulations of the Confederacy.
And, certainly, they may, must have, consulted these classic sources in their search for a badly needed fix, but respectfully, the connections as fascinating and truly convincing as they are , you draw seem to unduly over-shadow, or rather, under-state, the extent to which the framers were very much living in their present, and reacting in a rational manner more practical than theoretical, to their present crisis of government. But, people being the imperfect albeit enlightened , creatures that they are, could not sustain that perfection, or if you I do prefer, ideal — a less centralized; more subsidiary, solidarity.
So, in a sense, might it be logically argued that, in forming a more perfect union, the framers were actually choosing a less perfect form? Perhaps the Confederation was more an expedient than a rationality. There were eight slave colonies and five others, so forming a nation may not have seemed feasible. Also, Massachusetts farmers liberated Worcester MA on September 6, , putting pressure on colonial statesmen to organize for continental political power. The first continental congress met from September 5 to October 26, Shots at Concord, MA occurred on April 19, The states ratified their free and independent status on January 4, Paul Binatto, thank you for engaging with my thoughts on the natural law foundation of the preamble of the Constitution.
This in itself was the essential justification for the Union effort in the Civil War although the suspicion of British meddling behind the actions of leading southern traitors was definitely a complementary issue. And of course, remembering the anti-Federalists, there were a lot of people who, rightly or wrongly, thought that moving from a confederation to a federation was a bad idea.
Without a doubt, there was a certain level of prescience among the anti-Federalists. If not, then why not stay with the Articles of Confederation. Beaver asserts, calculated expediency.
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Thank you for your thoughtful and well-considered response. I agree with your suspicions; this was my primary point — they were bowing, not to Cicero, but to the pressure of needing to expediently repair what was flawed in their original political arrangement. Still, for me the question remains unanswered — why did an otherwise rational and sane, and highly motivated group of men begin with a confederation unless the majority preferred it, demanded it, as the ideal form?
I suppose, that the answer may lie, as you emphasize, in that most states did not desire or contemplate the union to be perpetual. My understanding is that the Constitution does provide an escape from the perpetual Federation to any state s for bonafide contractual malfeasance by the Federal government, against state s sovereignty; and that this was essentially what the southern states invoked as justification for their secession.
In other words, Vattel might not influence collaboration by a civic people.
Fellow citizens who trust-in and dedicate-to the civic, civil, and legal power of the U. The-objective-truth exists and evolves and humans can only discover using reason to confirm rather than create the evidence. For example, that lies lessen loss and misery is unproven. The-objective-truth or discovery of the evidence judges truth, and scholars so far have tried to deny this actual reality.
'To Promote the General Welfare' | ACS
Respectfully, Mr. Beaver, I reject the notion that Natural Law obfuscates lamely or otherwise the objective truth. This may sound like a public proclamation of my religious beliefs, and admittedly, it is. However, one state was a rebel to the constitutional convention in Philadelphia.
The framers arranged and the signers facilitated the establishment of the USA by only nine states. Also, Aristotle d.
Deliberative forums show that attitudes to welfare turn hostile because of low trust in government
Agathon suggested that freedom-from oppression facilitates the liberty-to pursue individual happiness, a condition that only the human species may responsibly accept. Yes, it is interesting how the ancient Greeks and Romans influenced the Founders. It is not either one or the other, it is both, but the Judeo-Christian traditions were the stronger. The examples you gave are good ones, especially as they shows a consistency of classical philosophy with principles from the Old and New Testaments concerning the duties of citizens and the duties of the magistrates.
Protestants at that time based their views on the authority of the Holy Bible, not the church. Catholics may consider this to be heresy and they are entitled to their views, but their views were not mainstream in the Christian Church then or now. I think they made an important point.
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Do I understand correctly that you think their ideas are off-base because they were Low-Church Anglicans? Are you aware that their ideas helped inspire several generations of Americans to fight for their rights as Englishmen, and their ideas can be seen in our Declaration of Independence and Bill of Rights? Thomas Paine was an admirer of theirs. I hope Rappaport and others consider a fourth possible interpretation: The U.
Let me unpack that statement. About 2, years ago Pericles suggested, in my paraphrase, that humans may collaborate for equity under statutory justice. Collaborate means work responsibly. Equity means earn a lifestyle according to personal contributions.