The Independence Sentinel
Some have not understood our use of the political-economic nomenclature of “Classical Liberal”, believing it refers to modern Liberalism. It does not. Therefore, we will endeavor to clarify the meanings of the four political-economic philosophies prominent in the United States. These meanings are not those commonly understood and used today but are in accord with the common usage by today’s political-economists, reflecting how the Founders would have used when talking about the two philosophies that existed then and still exist today: Classical Liberalism (today’s Conservatism) and Conservatism (today’s Republican Establishment). Both Liberalism and Conservatism are misunderstood and mi applied today. The other two – Libertarianism and The Third Way (today’s Liberalism) – did not exist at the time of the writing of Constitution. In discussing today’s political-economic misfires, we must refer to what history and its documentation tell us. We will be required to draw as clear distinctions among the four as we can to found our arguments and conclusions. Therefore, we offer this discussion and delineations.
THE INDEPENDENCE SENTINEL
BIRDS OF A POLITICAL FEATHER
PART 1 OF 5
Birds of political feather flock together. The questions now are, “What kind of bird are you? How do I find others with my kind of feathers? Who can I roost with?” In this day, seeking political-economic parallelism as one’s ally should be a prime objective for voters and activists.
Better said, don’t be guided by “Ds” or “Rs” or “Ls”. You will be disappointed by using this gauge. Determine what you are, what factions you are working with, whom you should trust, who will I be comfortable with, and, definitely, who you are voting for.
For example, there are three very distinct birds in the Republican Party. Two are highly diverse with the third having some similarity to one. The two very dissimilar are the larger factions while the third might be considered by some as inconsequential. No sense in telling you which is which. Why spoil the fun? The exercise below will make it clear. Who best reflects your political economic creed? This knowledge is essential to choosing the best candidate to support and the best team to work with. Conversely, you will know who to oppose and which group to walk away from.
One’s political-economic philosophy is determined by first, one’s economic goals; second, the degree of competition that is tolerated; third, the amount of governmental involvement that is acceptable.
A person’s or group’s Political-Economic philosophy involves on one hand what economic system does one want: free market, socialist, or somewhere in between. On the other hand, what form of government one sees as required to achieve the economic objective: liberal, totalitarian, or somewhere in between. Different persons and groups will fall within these two determinants according to the intensity in which they hold their beliefs, resulting in a variety of Political-Economic philosophies ranging from “liberal-Laissez-faire” to ”totalitarian-socialism”
There are three main characteristics’ scales to consider in determining one’s political economic philosophy:
1. ECONOMIC BELIEFS which range from “Laissez-faire” to “Command Economy” . That is, how much government involvement is tolerated in managing the three crucial factors of resolving allocation decisions– the “who”, “how”, and “for whom” ─ of production factors usage.
2. COMPETITIVE ALLOWANCE moves from “Perfect Competition” to “Oligopoly” or “Monopoly” , which measures the degree of competition existing in the economy that will be allowed. Entrepreneurship , which thrives in a competitive environment, suffers as one moves across this line from perfect competition to oligopoly or monopoly as the ability for new or smaller businesses to complete diminishes with large companies or monopolies as these two control increasing amounts of the market.
3. GOVERNMENTAL STRUCTURE which is the political structure that is installed and ranges from being from “Liberal” to “Totalitarian” . The political dimension can be further analyzed by another three-dimensional model. The first dimensional line records the basis for the rule of law from “Constitutional Rule” to “Rule by Edict” . The second aspect measures whether the system is a “Democracy” or a “Dictatorship” . The third demarks the geopolitical emphasis of government from “Local” to “Global” and covers a journey through the additional transitional stages of geographical governance ¾ Sectional , National , and Regional .
A republic and a democracy are not synonymous. The United States was founded as a constitutional republic, not as any form of democracy, although we do elect people to represent us in our governance,
These two forms of government, Democracy and Republic, are not only dissimilar but antithetical, reflecting the sharp contrast between (a) The Majority Unlimited, in a Democracy, lacking any legal safeguard of the rights of The Individual and The Minority, and (b) The Majority Limited, in a Republic under a written Constitution safeguarding the rights of The Individual and The Minority…
The chief characteristic and distinguishing feature of a Democracy is: Rule by Omnipotent Majority. In a Democracy, The Individual, and any group of Individuals composing any Minority, have no protection against the unlimited power of The Majority. It is a case of Majority-over-Man. …
This is true whether it be a Direct Democracy, or a Representative Democracy. In the direct type, applicable only to a small number of people as in the little city-states of ancient Greece…
In both the Direct type and the Representative type of Democracy, The Majority’s power is absolute and unlimited; its decisions are unappealable under the legal system established to give effect to this form of government. This opens the door to unlimited Tyranny-by-Majority. This was what The Framers of the United States Constitution meant in 1787, in debates in the Federal (framing) Convention, when they condemned the ”excesses of democracy” and abuses under any Democracy of the unalienable rights of The Individual by The Majority. …
The Framing Convention’s records prove that by decrying the ”excesses of democracy” The Framers were, of course, not opposing a popular type of government for the United States; their whole aim and effort was to create a sound system of this type. … The truth is that The Framers, by their protests against the ”excesses of democracy,” were merely making clear their sound reasons for preferring a Republic as the proper form of government. They well knew, in light of history, that nothing but a Republic can provide the best safeguards–in truth in the long run the only effective safeguards (if enforced in practice)–for the people’s liberties which are inescapably victimized by Democracy’s form and system of unlimited Government-over-Man featuring The Majority Omnipotent. They also knew that the American people would not consent to any form of government but that of a Republic. …
It is correct to say that in any Democracy–either a Direct or a Representative type–as a form of government, there can be no legal system which protects The Individual or The Minority (any or all minorities) against unlimited tyranny by The Majority. The undependable sense of self-restraint of the persons making up The Majority at any particular time offers, of course, no protection whatever. Such a form of government is characterized by The Majority Omnipotent and Unlimited. …
A Republic, on the other hand, has a very different purpose and an entirely different form, or system, of government. Its purpose is to control The Majority strictly, as well as all others among the people, primarily to protect The Individual’s God-given, unalienable rights and therefore for the protection of the rights of The Minority, of all minorities, and the liberties of people in general. The definition of a Republic is: a constitutionally limited government of the representative type, created by a written Constitution–adopted by the people and changeable (from its original meaning) by them only by its amendment–with its powers divided between three separate Branches: Executive, Legislative and Judicial. Here the term ”the people” means, of course, the electorate. …
The people adopt the Constitution as their fundamental law by utilizing a Constitutional Convention–especially chosen by them for this express and sole purpose–to frame it for consideration and approval by them either directly or by their representatives in a Ratifying Convention, similarly chosen. …
This system of Constitution-making, for the purpose of establishing constitutionally limited government, is designed to put into practice the principle of the Declaration of Independence: that the people form their governments and grant to them only ”just powers,” limited powers, in order primarily to secure (to make and keep secure) their God-given, unalienable rights. The American philosophy and system of government thus bar equally the ”snob-rule” of a governing Elite and the ”mob-rule” of an Omnipotent Majority. This is designed, above all else, to preclude the existence in America of any governmental power capable of being misused so as to violate The Individual’s rights–to endanger the people’s liberties. (An Important Distinction: Democracy versus Republic. LexRex.com)
There are many combinations of economics and politics on this earth. They are not necessarily attributable to any given party as politics makes for strange nest parties, as can be seen in multi-partied nations, such as France, where often a potential ruling party lacks a ruling majority and must rely on other smaller parties to join them in a ruling coalition. Later, if the minor party withdraws from a coalition, the government falls and must be reformed.
The American parties are in themselves coalitions, where at times one party member may switch party allegiance, which may change control of one of the chambers. A few Progressives may be found the Republican Party. Some Classical Liberals may be found in the Democrat Party. Truly, America’s political parties are often somewhat of political-economic hodge-podges, literally all over the spectrum. Therefore, our analysis will concentrate on the four more prominent Political-Economic philosophies in the United States: Classical Liberalism; Classical Conservatism; Progressive or The Third Way; and; Libertarianism and not the parties.
We have endeavored to list each philosophy’s core beliefs which hopefully will sculpt their prominent features for your examination. Be aware that not all features are held in unison by any philosophy. There has been some cross breeding over the years and therefore, while generally the same, some birds may have variant feathers; there is enough similar plumage to allow one bird to comfortably allow another bird into the nest.
The discussions in the sections that follow are of the four major political-economic philosophies in the United States: Classical Liberalism; Classical Conservatism; Progressivism; and, Libertarianism. The discussions give a brief history, many of the basic belief systems, and names of the more noted adherents. These are the nomenclatures that The Independence Sentinel will use in its writings as it considers these as being more distinguishing between the groups.
TO BE CONTINUED: Next, Classical Liberalism