"Poverty has no causes. Only prosperity has causes." – Jane Jacobs
That cause is Freedom, which makes possible economic growth. Socialism, like any oppression, reduces prosperity.
Freedom has causes
Freedom requires self-government – "government of the people, by the people, for the people", a Republic – the Rule of Law – with a Constitution above the government and the people, to limit power and protect Individual Rights.
All else – democracy, socialism, dictatorship by any name, anarchy, riots – require the use of force, and in fact are predicated on the use of force, and can only result in destruction, misery, and consequent decline.
Freedom, to endure, requires a good educational system.
Freedom's advocates have never learned what the Marxists have known all along: whoever controls education controls the future.
"To live under the American Constitution is the greatest political privilege that was ever accorded to the human race." – President Calvin Coolidge
Want freedom, and with it economic growth, prosperity, and happiness?
Described below is the only way to achieve it.
Want stagnation, cultural decline, wars of conquest, increasing violence, destruction of wealth, increasing poverty, increasing starvation, and misery? Try anything else.
The desire to control the lives of others – or even to think you are capable of doing better than they – is the most destructive prejudice.
Checklist for Freedom – The Level of Enlightenment
The higher the number of factors which are checked, the more easily freedoms are sustained; the more unchecked, the more quickly freedoms will be lost.
1. How many types of government are there? What are the types?
Imposed – by group holding power – e.g., all but one – the United States
what can be given can be taken away
Government that is imposed is predicated on and requires the use of force. As such it can only result in destruction, misery, and consequent decline. That decline can be slow, during periods of "benevolent dictatorship" (e.g., the EU) or faster during more irrational, power-mad periods (e.g., Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union), depending on the speed of ever-ongoing progressive impositions.
Authorized – citizens’ involvement – crucial steps in formation of U.S.:
A government that is set up only to be authorized to protect its citizens' lives and freedoms can never initiate force, but is limited to protecting its citizens by responding to force, or the threat of force.
state’s Constitutional Convention delegates
private citizens elected by towns;
state Convention delegates were not politicians (legislators, governors)
some politicians quit to run for election as delegate
delegates from states met at national Constitutional Convention
Constitution designed by group of delegates from states
proposed Constitution sent back to states;
state legislatures (elected by residents) voted to accept or reject
2. How many ways have governments been formed? What are the ways?
Evolutionary – derived from what came before; inertia, lack of thought
With the inevitable result expressed very well by the rock group The Who, in their song, Won't Get Fooled Again.
Tryanny – in all its forms – is as old as the hills.
Self-governance is only as old as the United States, and the American colonies from which it was born.
Revolutionary – designed, based on knowledge and analysis of history
The writings of John Locke were the primary influence on the Founding Fathers (the other two being Isaac Newton and Francis Bacon), with his statement that man has Natural Rights not given to him by any ruler being the most recognizable. America's Declaration of Independence, written by Thomas Jefferson in 1776, is in many parts a slightly modified word-for-word copy from Locke's writing. The Framers of the U.S. Constitution in 1787 were also largely influenced by Locke's ideas as well. His most noteworthy works were "Two Treatises of Government" and the "Letter Concerning Toleration".
John Locke also has a direct connection to South Carolina (and North Carolina; at that time they were simply "Carolina". Carolina was not split into South Carolina and North Carolina until 1729) – he wrote South Carolina's first Constitution – The Fundamental Constitutions of Carolina. No other state has that distinctive heritage.
Requires significant education in political history – now absent
current educational environment supports Socialism
Convention of States –> avenue for Socialist takeover
who picks the delegates? – citizens (good) or state governments (bad)
3. Education – Who were the educators of 1980s – i.e., teachers of Millennials?
Leftists of 1960s-70s protests – e.g., Students for a Democratic Society
Must take back education – locally, not via national law
personal involvement – control what is taught – cannot be done for you
Freedom's advocates have never learned what the Marxists have known all along: whoever controls education controls the future.
4. “Separation of Powers” – Why?
Human nature and human fallibility
People are not perfect – they make mistakes, even with the best intentions.
Government must be designed to limit the damage of mistakes.
Impediments required to make it more difficult and take longer to pass laws
e.g., vs. dictators, Athenian democracy
5. “Separation of Powers” – How many “powers” are there, and what are they?
legislative, executive, judicial – make, execute, judge under the law
check and limit actions of the government at all levels
value of bicameral legislature
short-term vs. long-term judgements
each is an impediment to the other, limiting and dividing power
House of Representatives
Representatives face election every two years.
Representatives' re-election campaigns begin as soon as they take office, forcing them to be aware of voter's immediate interests.
Senators face election every six years. They can afford to ignore emotional public swings of opinion, and ride them out.
Senators can afford to ignore emotional public swings of opinion, and ride them out.
Leadership in internal and external affairs
Management of daily government operations
division of power: Congress makes the rules, but does not carry them out
federal, state, county, city – broken down for issues and powers at each level
States – check and limit the power of the federal government
boards and commissions – addressing specific civil areas of issues
Boards and commissions are a necessary and desirable part of government. They are assigned specific responsibilities and authority (subject to review by the appropriate legislature or council). The use of boards and commissions (1) removes power from the executive or legislative branch, serving the principle of the division of powers, and (2) involves focus on specific details and expertise which a legislator or council member cannot be expected to know and vote upon knowledgeably.
6. South Carolina state politics
Legislature – returning money to taxpayers – too much collected in 2019
Big change: Gov. and Lt. Gov. elected as a single ticket
no more Lt. Gov. = Senate President;
no more Senate President Pro Tem
Senate President now elected by the Senate members
Hugh Leatherman lost control of the S.C. Senate
County Legislative Delegation – https://www.greenvillecounty.org/legdel/
7. “Eternal vigilance is the price of Liberty” – Means what? Requires what?
Who runs the government – ruling class or citizens?
The Elitists? The Democrats currently vie for power as being the "Elite" – those who are somehow "sophisticated" beyond the capacity of the average person to understand.  They are rightfully and destined to be the wielders of power, in total contempt for the "Deplorables", the blue collar workers, those "clinging" to their religion and to their guns – with total, blatant, overt disregard for their Rights as individuals.
The Elites are above corruption – the government is theirs to conform to their will and personal use – the ultimate despot and tyranny. There is no room for a government limited by a Constitution established by the citizens – a Constitution which defines, limits, and authorizes the government, and beyond its power to modify.
Rule by the Elites destroys all remnants of the Constitution as ultimate law.  The Elites see themselves as the ultimate and rightful law, and when fully in power, are the ultimate law.
Rebellion and revolution are the only remedy, and will be met with insane levels of destructive violence.
visibility – citizenry must have access, awareness of all actions of government
Citizens must run the country.
Requirements of citizenry – otherwise just chattel of ruling class
education – knowledgeable – 3 Rs, Science, Literature, History
Science – to know the facts;
Literature – to be able to think about ideas;
History – to know what has been tried in the past,
and to know how it will work out if tried again.
"Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it."
i.e., people are people – no exceptions
free press – free exchange of ideas and information
participation and involvement in government
boards, commissions – if not elected office
(city, county, state, federal)
There are dozens of boards and commissions. You can apply through your city, county, Greenville County legislative delegation, and the state. Many have open seats. Find one that interests you and apply through the proper channel for that board. These boards are important to the functioning of government. Most only meet once a month or every other month.
Also, they are often manned by Democrats who cannot (yet) win elections, to have an impact and to build political experience.
participation spreads power – part of “vigilance”
Concentration of power – example from the past: Rome’s Emperor
power for power’s sake
The more power:
* the less reputable the pursuers of power – e.g., Hillary Clinton
* the more that reputable would-be leaders are eliminated
destructiveness of power to the country
Rome’s great armies destroyed fighting each other, not invaders
Rome was not sacked by invaders for 700 years – “The Eternal City”
but was sacked by victorious Roman legions of victorious Generals
pursuit of the prize – loss of representation of the citizenry’s interests
8. World’s longest-lived country
Republic of Venice – 400s to 1797 – no successful invasions or rebellions
trade not conquest – like the U.S.
There have been five countries founded on trade – the Phoenicians (city-states) (golden age 1200-800 BC), Classical Greece (city-states) (golden age 400s BC), the Republic of Venice (400s AD to 1797), Britain (of the 1600s-1700s), and the United States (from the first colony in 1607 to the present day). All other countries have been founded on conquest.
Conquest is the seizure of wealth. Spain's conquests in the New World – taking the gold of the Aztecs and Incas – are one example.
Trade is the creation of wealth – producing more than you need to exchange with others for things they produce. The colony of Jamestown is one example.
Tyranny cannot produce wealth, because your wealth is easily seized by the government. So you only produce what you need, and a minimal amount to trade in the market. Your goal is to keep your head down, and hope not to be noticed.
Contrarily, the more a country is free, the more you want to be noticed. In free countries, you see advertising.
The level of advertising reflects the level of freedom.
9. Democracy vs. Republic
Democracy – 50%+1 dictatorship
e.g., Athenian democracy; current “liberal democracy” = control
value of Electoral College
The United States is not a democracy, and was never intended to be a democracy. The Founding Fathers were well aware of the consequences of democracy in Classical Athens.
The Constitution – and the Electoral College in particular – were designed to prevent the dangers of democracy from destroying the freedoms of the United States. The Electoral College specifically protects the minority from the will of the majoriy, without enabling the minority to dominate, either.
There is another perhaps-unexpected benefit from the Electoral College: Corruption of the voting process is more likely to occur in bigger cities. But the Electoral College reduces the impact of large-city voting results, countering that corruption. As many as 1.59 million "inactive" names were removed from voting rolls in Los Angelas County in early 2020 after litigation forced the issue.
Rule of Law; not a democracy – Democracy is the worst tyranny
There is no provision in the Constitution for emergency powers. The Founders well knew that an "emergency" can be fabricated anytime. We the people elect our leaders, but we do not give them the power to step outside the Constitution (while mistakes have been made, that does not justify further mistakes). The US is a republic – the rule of law, not a democracy (and as history proves, democracy soon results in tyranny). Our elected leaders and our government are specifically limited by the Constitution; the Constitution is the law, and it is above government and the people; it limits the government, beyond its reach to change. Anything else opens a path to tyranny, and is a (de facto or actual) dictatorship.
What else is needed?
Rights-based rule of law
rights of the individual; e.g., the U.S. Bill of Rights
Freedom cannot be imposed or granted by a sovereign. Freedom requires first of all that the individual is sovereign.
Note that these rights limit the government, not the individual
Judicial and Executive
Legislative and Executive
All – Legislative, Executive, Judicial
not rights as in European Constitutions
What are rights?
conditions you need for life, action, goals
Conditions which can be taken from you, but which nobody can give you.
Since your rights can be unjustly taken from you, you must be able to defend against those who would do so. Hence the need for the Second Amendment.
European constitutions generally define as "rights" things which other people are not allowed to do to you (but which the government can). This definition totally ignores and obfuscates the meaning of rights, and the distinction vs. "crimes".
Rights are "natural", or "God-given", or based on the nature of existing as a human being, capable of reason, and the needs thereby for your existence and necessary field of action. Rights are therefore universal to every human being, against both government and other people (i.e., defining "criminal actions" per se regardless of the perpetrator).
i.e., protections government. designed to provide – vs. anarchy
not services by others – e.g., medical care
rights you need to exist; live – by nature as a human being
– even on a deserted island.
Freedom, first of all, is protection from the government.
Socialism (or anything else), first of all, is oppression from the government.
freedom to trade – make and obtain goods – Capitalism
Capitalism means economic freedom.
Economics is the aggregate of everyone' success at the Pursuit of Happiness – the ability to take action, produce what you need, and to offer it for sale in order to get the things others produce that you need. Capitalism is the word used to mean your ability to do that. Like any right, no government – Socialist or otherwise – has the right to take that from you, and is acting wrongly whenever it does so.
Capitalism is the only economic system which anyone honestly can point to and say, "it has made substantive progress toward its seemingly utopian aims."
– Ralph Benko and Bill Collier, The Capitalist Manifesto
The simplest hallmark and measure of the quality of a government is the levl of its impediment of the economy – i.e., that which provides assurance of the greatest levels of freedom for the country's population over decades and centuries. Economic freedom requires the other freedoms; i.e., "Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness".
Constitution authorizes government and remains above the government and the people
government cannot change Constitution; only the people – and it is exrtemely difficult to do so.
10. Who are the People?
The larger the middle-class the better       \ Britain vs. Spain
Diminishing middle-class – regression     / historically and in the present
The sign of a dynamic, growing, prosperous culture is a numerically-greater middle class of increasing proportion. That quantity occurs only from the degree of personal and economic freedom.
Spain destroyed its nascent middle-class in the 1400s and 1500s, when it persecuted and evicted the Jews from Spain, and the country (never realizing its mistake) never recovered. Spain's lack of wealth-creation doomed the country – and indeed, Spain later went bankrupt. To this day, the country fails to understand the difference between wealth-creation and wealth seizure. Unlike the countries which were once British colonies, the countries of Latin America and the Phillipines (in southeast Asia) remain plagued with rebellion, corruption, and dictators.
In contrast, the countries which were once British colonies – Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and most especially the United States – are today, along with Britain, the most productive, the epitome of cultural development, and unquestionably the outposts of civilization, along with Israel, post-WWII Japan (thanks to Ameica's General MacArthur) and arguably, most of Europe.
These outposts (while obviously not without fault themselves) exist in a world which is otherwise – except for its desire to purchase (or steal or plunder, when it can) "Western" military and other goods – still primitive and barbaric (see this news item about China and Ethiopia as an example of primitive, non-ethics-based actions).
The countries which stand as outposts of civilization do not routinely employ deception in their relations with their citizens, and do not initiate oppresion, enslavement, violence, destruction, and warfare; they only react defensively. It is the dictatorships – today's heirs to barbarian ancestors and interested only in plunder – who take such destructive actions.
People living in freedom prefer to work in "pursuit of happiness" – to be productive. That freedom, extended into economics, is called Capitalism, and Capitalism is the only economic and social system which has been even remotely successful in its implementation (particularly in contrast to its contemporary adversary, Socialism).
11. The UN
evolved from civilizing force run by U.S., Britain, France (and USSR, China Rep.)
into a tool of third-world dictators’ yearning to seize wealth of richer nations
The UN follows the classic historical path of a political body not created by people for their own governance, but rather established by those in power.
Its decline at the hands of third-world despots follows the classic pattern of those seeking power wresting control from those who had initially formed the UN in hopes of encouraging a more civilized world environment.
While the actual value of the characteristics that were meant to be implied by "civilized" is open to debate, there can be no doubt that those attributes are being progressively ignored and discarded as third-world dictators take control of the UN for the purpose of their own enrichment, power, and unbridled abuse.
The limited powers which the various countries permit the UN to exercise still leaves a great deal of latitude within which the third-world dictators can take advantage of the UN for their own purposes.
“World progress” – no change, progress in most of the world; still dictators
ignorance of Western ethics, what freedom is; opposed to freedom
buying or taking modern goods by primitives is not progress
The world outside
the U.S., Canada, Britain, Australia, New Zealand, Europe, Japan, Israel
these are outposts of civilization amidst barbaric primitive tyrannies
still primitive mindsets evolved from animalistic pre-civilization
domination by the strong – taking, not trade among equals
Thinking and acting on principle – still only the U.S. (perhaps Israel?); not EU
"An armed populace is necessary against an armed government." A military and a police force are necessary to the health and existence of a country. But given that necessity, an armed populace is just as necessary as a balance of power.
Cincinnatus – 458 BC – George Washington’s personal role model
Marius – 88 BC
Troops loyal to Marius – not Roman Republic
civil war – beginning of the end of Roman Republic
Second Amendment vs. “AK-47s vs. F-15s”, “government has nukes” by Dems!
See California Dem Rep. Eric Swalwell says US would win 'short war' against gun-rights advocates: 'The government has nukes'.
Democrat Joe Biden: "Those who say 'the tree of liberty is watered with the blood of patriots' -- a great line, well, guess what: The fact is, if you’re going to take on the government you need an F-15 with Hellfire Missiles. There is no way an AK-47 is going to take care of you."
Recognize these for what they are: threats by elitists against the freedoms of Americans.
The airplane that drops that bomb or fires those missiles has to land somewhere.
And the pilot will have to answer to other pilots were he to be so stupid.
Every soldier and sailor has sworn to uphold, protect, and preserve the U.S. Constitution. There is no fealty due to a monarch, like in Britain, or to a dictator.
Would-be tyrants like Eric Swalwell and Joe Biden, though, would be the ones who most would need to look out for themselves; few dictators have died of old age. As noted earlier, the Roman Empire (and many other empires) demonstrated that the greater the power held by one person, the greater the destructive, vicious, ferocity of those who will seek to rule.
Such statements reflect the thinking of would-be tyrants.
no General will attack Americans; no F-15 will attack Americans
those attacked could be his family and friends
loyalty of troops to U.S. – the populace, not the President
Since 2012 100 million more guns sold. No defense for any attacker against a group of that size.
oath to preserve and protect the U.S. Constitution
strong ties to citizenry – up to all to help maintain strong ties, not alienate
mercenary troops – called in from “U.N.” – i.e., third-world countries, where
sacking, plunder, rapine, unrestrained killing, spoils of war is the norm
non-standard troops – FBI
13. Permanent bureaucracy
e.g., China Empire’s bureaucracy vs. the Emperor; current-day EU, UN
The UN and the EU are both classic bureaucratic structures, and are both following the classic patterns of decline.
The UN's plight was presented above.
The EU's condition is more subtle. Bureaucracy, for the most part well-meaning, imposes ever more restrictions upon the EU's citizens. Like any bureacracy, however, it answers to no one. Individual or groups of bureaucrats become wielders of far more power than individuals can resist, with little recourse.
“If you elect Hillary Clinton, then I'll implement all of her policies very faithfully, and if I see massive evidence of corruption on Hillary Clinton's part, then I'll keep it all a secret. If you elect a candidate I disagree with, then I'll lie, I'll leak, I'll cheat, I'll smear, I'll attack, I'll persecute, and I will refuse to implement, and I will obstruct at every single step of the way."
Bureaucracy, like anyone, must be held accountable and responsible for its actions and their consequences, and easily brought to justice and restrained or removed.
14. When is rebellion acceptable?
When Constitution is irrevocably, flagrantly ignored by government, with no recourse
via courts and SCOTUS (due to corruption, anti-freedom judiciary).
When exists cross-states organization, plans, prep, strategies, tactics.
When price – deaths, injuries, maiming, loss of property, goods, services
is preferable to impact of tyranny,
future progression and actions of tyranny.
15. Freedom and designing the government to make it work are complicated.
The U.S. Constitution disarms would-be dictators, and so remains the best means ever developed – and thus the best example – to assure the greatest possible limitation and restraint of political power.
That said, more than 230 years of enduring the efforts of the power-hungry, in search of cracks in that edifce which they could then exploit, have demonstrated where the Constitution needs repair. But a "Convention of States" or any other proposed means of making those improvements remain beyond the current abilities of those interested in preserving and improving the Constitution. Such efforts at this time would only open the door to removal of any constraints against taking greater power.
Read my book “From Savagery to Greatness – Stair-steps to Humanity” for an easy-to-read, interesting, informative overview of the history of human progress.
Closing thoughts – by Pericles –
"We do not say that a man who takes no interest in politics minds his own business; we say that he has no business here at all."
"Just because you do not take an interest in politics does not mean that politics will not take an interest in you."
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