Friday, July 04, 2008

4th of July

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness."

Beautiful words, thank you USA. For all the flaws, and the criticisms, you still are the repositary of the idea that government is the extension of the rights of the governed, not governing subjects.

Now to think simply this, can all the powers of government ever be legitimately more than the rights that the citizens have themselves? (self defence) and if so, why? How can government by the people, for the people have rights that the people themselves cannot delegate?

Without the Declaration of Independence, this question may not have been answered for some time - and that is why it is worthwhile to celebrate the 4th of July.


justinraine said...

That is an interesting question, and one I have pondered for some time. As a trial lawyer, I frequently subpoena people to give evidence. The Courts are a branch of government and I use the powers of the Courts to compel otherwise disinterested people to participate in litagation.

If pressed, it is hard to see where the subpoena power comes from.

Anonymous said...

Isn't it a shame that the United States have so often failed to live up to the example of the Founding Fathers, well since virtually day one?