Friday

Regression into tyranny: The loss of our form of government.


It has been a while since I have posted an addition to my series on "The 5000 Year Leap". I found myself distracted by the politics of the day and realized that I had unintentionally abandoned a worthy project. Having said that let's continue:

I have decided to take some time to cover the 28 principles outlined in W. Cleon Skousen’s book “The 5000 Year Leap”. The founders believed these principles to be necessary to establish and maintain the form of government that has made this country the greatest bastion of freedom in the world. In each post we will dissect one of the principles and apply it to problems faced by our country. I hope you will take the time to read “The 5000 Year Leap” and accompany me on this journey of exploration.

The Sixteenth  principle: The Government Should be Separated into Three Branches - Legislative, Executive, and Judicial.


There is no greater system in the world for protecting the rights of the governened. This system was designed to set up checks and balances on power; to keep any one branch from becoming too powerful and thereby usurping the rights of the people.

In the beginning...

Polybuis may have been the first to weigh the benefits of a triune form of government. A greek who lived 204 to 122 B.C. he was recognized as the greatest of all Greek historians. Having been deported to Rome when Greece was conquered he studied their form of government. He saw advantages to the Roman Republic which was set up to govern millions. He found positive elements in each of the three types of government being discussed by contemporary philosophers; the monarchy, the aristocracy and democracy. Polybius noted however:

Even more keenly than Aristotle, he was aware that each form carried within itself the seeds of its own degeneration, if it were allowed to operate without checks and balances provided by opposing principles. Monarchy could easily become tyranny, aristocracy sink into oligarchy, and democracy turn into mob rule of force and violence. (William Ebenstein, Great Political Thinkers, p. 110)

The experiment in Rome died with the installing of an emperor and the idea of a three branch government disappeared until rediscovered by Baron Charles de Montesquieu. Montesquieu recognized the dangers associated with consolidated power as did Polybius:

When the legislative and executive powers are united in the same person, or in the same body of magistrates, there can be no liberty; because apprehensions may arise, lest the same monarch or Senate should enact tyrannical laws, to execute them in a tyrannical manner. (The Spirit of Laws, Great Books of the Western World, vol 38)
Montesquieu went on to note:

Again, there is no liberty, if the judiciary power be not separated from the legislative and executive. Were it joined with the legislative, the life and liberty of the subject would be exposed to arbitrary control, for the judge would then be the legislator. Were it joined to the executive power, the judge might behave with violence and oppression. (Ibid.)
 The founders of this country were well read and found Montesquieu's work enlightening. The founders worked diligently to set up a balanced system where abuses were held in check by opposing branches of government. The system has held up well but is now showing signs of wear.

I cannot pinpoint an exact date or time when the system began to degrade but there is little doubt that it has been preverted from the founder's original intent. The founders likely never envisioned a situation where a single party held control in all three branches of government. In such a situation the natural checks and balances within the system fail. They also never envisioned a federal government of the size and scope of the government we now have.

What we see is today is a system that is on the verge of collapsing under the weight of abuses and neglect. With no way to impede legislation proposed by the Democrat majority the Amercian people are subject to the whims and desires of a far left administration (it could just as easily be a far right administration).

The real danger lies in the Democrats ability to pass legislation that fundamentally changes the system. For example: until the election of Scott Brown in Massachusetts the Democrats had the ability to pass legislation without need to act in a bipartisan manner. They held enough votes to overcome procedural delays such as a republican filibusterer.

When Brown was elected talk in the Senate turned to doing away with the filibuster. Such an act would remove any substantive balance provided by a two party sytem and likely endanger the rights of the governed to be heard. They still have the numbers to enact such legislation fundamentally changing the system.

Democrats have further preverted the system by considering the use of procedural tactics such as reconciliation. Reconciliation, when used to fundamentally transform the nation, is a perfect example of an end run around the checks and balances implemented by the founders. Democrats win but we lose as a nation.  

We need to protect our form of government at all costs. The freedoms we have enjoyed come from a government that is divided as ours is. The danger that faces us is self impossed. We have, as a nation, failed to educate ourselves; failed to understand how our governemt works. This allows for the election of individuals whose only goal is to change the system in a manner that most benefits the ruling class.

We must be diligent; we must educate ourselves and our children. We must not allow any party to change laws so that they may usurp our rights and transfer additional powers to the federal government. If we are to maintain the liberties we have come to enjoy we must guard our form of government as if our lives depended on it. They do!





1 comment:

  1. There has been many such claims of changed world but none of them actually worked as such, anyhow very nice and informational post one may call it.

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