09 July 2006

Establishing Common Ground

From the start of the Republic, in 1787, the United States has come together to establish commonality of purpose from commonality of dialog and mutual understanding of what it means to have a dialog in that sphere of common understanding. We may agree to disagree, but the foundational aspects of that is based on a commonality of viewpoint on things that adhered to by all sides in that sphere of dialog. Thus, coming as I do, from skewed viewpoint, I do admit to taking a different view of what is likely to be considered common ground.

In the latter half of the 20th Century, however, a calcification of meaning and concept crept into this method of dialog and tried to establish a firm and forever more fixed base and basis of that common ground that was invariant from there on forwards. This idea, that a fixed commonality that cannot shift and adapt to changing circumstances makes the commonality of concept brittle to changes in the outside world that add new venues for possible dialog. But, those venues are precluded by the firm and fixed belief sets that are upon one plane intersecting the sphere of commonality. An argument upon that plane of pro/anti or thesis/antithesis (wherefore art thou, oh SYNTHESIS? often pointed to but never found) often does *not* end up with a central position that is anywhere near the actual center of the sphere, but in some small section that is not even a hemisphere. In that conception, then, finding a 'Center' between 'Left' and 'Right' or 'Liberal' and 'Conservative' often leaves those sides believing that the point between them, on that line they have drawn upon that plane, has some relationship to the actual center of the sphere.

As I have stated many a time in many venues: "I have strange thoughts."

But this verbiage, that is bandied about for giving a 'sphere of influence' or 'sphere of thought' does, in actuality, describe a contained continuum of thought upon which one may have a set of thoughts that has little relationship to the plane of the calcified common ground and yet is wholly and completely valid within the conception of the Nation as a 'whole'. Further, as these solidified tracts and positions cannot adjust to changing technology and outlook within that sphere, the sphere itself begins to shift from those areas, so that the areas actually available as understood commonality within the sphere is diminished. Those things that could once have been validly stated for the Nation at one point in time can and do fall outside the changing interior of that sphere of current dialog.

Those that take the pro/anti conception hate this, as they are unwilling to admit that their arguments are, in and of themselves, antiquated. The more that verbiage is spewn that there is only one 'right' way and that is upon their plane of argumentation, the more those outside of that plane witness its diminishment in areal extent. As the sphere moves away from that argument space, the space itself gets smaller. And more often than not it is only a slight change in position that diminishes that argumentative plane, then those upon it, becoming more shrill and polarized find that they are actively pushing that plane further from the center in their doing.

Even if one argues that there is a valid sphere of argumentation that encompasses the National dialog, such as an overarching philosophy or belief system or stance upon universality that truly diminish the Nation State into some infinitesimal cubic area within a vast sphere, *that* is definitively *not* the commonality of the sphere held between We the People. Any arguments made in that larger sphere needs be transposed into that commonality that is the National dialog and within the valid sphere of what is held in common as a Nation. And trying to expand that National sphere to be some other sphere or other shape that *will* encompass that belief state is only valid if it can make sense within that common conceptual space of the Constitution.

So, while many do put forth that the concept of the Nation State falls within a larger sphere of philosophical beliefs, that compact between We the People takes no stance on that validity but, instead, adheres to a concept known as "due process". This is an interesting concept in, and of, itself, in that it calls for a regularity of common approach within that National dialog not only in Law but in the entire general approach of what it means to be a Nation called the United States of America. One feels the hand of the writer of that concept and those that came to that agreement because it embodies a distancing from 'separate' Laws of Church and State and adheres to that Law that is common to We the People. And *that* law is, definitively NOT the Common Law, as that, in itself, has remnants of Church based approaches that are not valid within a Republic of Free Peoples who give openness of thought on that larger sphere and do NOT codify any of them.

By asserting neutrality in religious philosophy for the Law, no matter where its roots may tend from, and they are wide stretching from the Levant to the Arctic and from Greenland to Japan, an admixture of approaches and beliefs has given rise to the necessity of shearing off universal concepts that do not have commonality to those things that can be made demonstrably common and workable without the fall back position of *any* larger philosophical system that is NOT held in common by the People.

Democracy, itself, is a multi-root conception having arisen in large and small scales globally, and only codified by a few cultures. Greece is always pointed to as having the foundational roots for this commonality of philosophy, and those wishing to place later philosophical outlook upon those ancient Greeks must also understand that those folks did *not* have a more modern philosophical base that was developed later under Rome and then via the Church and then amalgamated into *other* belief sets that were held by *other* people that the Church spread to. By proposing a foundational sphere of common dialog without recourse and fall back to a larger belief system, the Greeks propounded on the fact that a separate system that was valid within that sphere was possible and, even capable, of giving common results held by everyone. Thus the conception of the Public voicing their expression to give guidance to themselves was born, not of religious doctrine, but of philosophy that looked for something that would lend itself to diversity of opinion to get amenable results for all involved.

The other main root for this comes from the Nordic and influenced folks who spread a conception of localized self-government adhering to Monarchical laws, but by common assent locally. Here the harsh feedback system they put in place for that commonality has transported itself into the concept of democracy put forward by the Greeks and morphed it into something known as Representational Democracy. Add to this the Roman basis of Law, being that of equal application, although equality of results depended upon one's purse, and this admixture of a Republic and Representational Democracy with harsh adherence to Law started to require that Law *itself* be of common understanding so it can be adhered to AND administered equally with equality of results. This conception still exists in the concept that the best government is local government and that all government is strictly accountable for its actions.

This potent brew started mixing around 966 AD, and Poland was one of the first Peoples to see themselves as adhering to being a Free People, although having a commonality of religion. The actual instantiation of that democratic outlook required absolute consensus by the representational grouping, thus any one representative could block an entire Nation. Needless to say, those neighbors with fewer scruples used this to divide that Nation and cause its downfall. But what was *not* torn down between that time and the modern day, is the belief of Poles that they are One Free People. This is, perhaps, the oldest, continuous belief in that conceptualization and pre-dates all other forms of it instantiated by later Nations.

Nations, themselves, were not given a full and explicit compact until the Peace of Westphalia in 1648 which ended the 30 Years War and the uprising against the concept that a single conception of Christianity was to be the ONLY interpretation allowed. To do this required that Nation States be separated by their People and allowed to have worship rights amongst themselves free of external dictation by the Roman Catholic Church. This ended the theological debate started by Martin Luther, amongst others, which kicked off in 1517. The intervening 131 years of bloodshed and war across Europe forever changed the concept of Religion, Nation and Personal Freedom. The Peace of Westphalia ended, once and for all amongst all consenting Nations, the concept that only One interpretation of Religion was valid and that People, within their Nation, should be free to choose what they would hold upon themselves and *not* interfere with that personal belief of other Nations.

This conception became codified via diplomacy so as to set up a structure between Nations that would be held in common by all Nations as the valid way to interact amongst Nations. Bloodshed was given to this, also, and hammering out ways and means to have validity of interactions and disputes amongst Nations arose and the supremacy of that interaction as something a Nation would adhere to became part of the commonality for those Nations. The Nation State system, then, is a container based system, in which individual containers, called Nations, interact within an understood system. There is equality of capability for interaction between these containers, but equality of result is only assured by the capability of each container to assert its internal strength to remain coherent and stable.

The basic axes of agreement for Nations are that each Nation has internal Sovereignty, respects other Nations, interferes through known methodology and has recourse to call other Nations to account via diplomacy and, finally, Jus ad bellum. This right to warfare itself became later codified as Nation States, as a concept, matured over time and even became a stepwise approach so that many things short of war would allow for other means of reciprocal agreements to form up. One basic understanding that developed by implicit agreement and recognition of fact, was that Nations outlived governments, by and large. Thus a cause for war could NOT have a statute of limitations upon it. To those folks who came from the Scots-Irish with Norse admixture, this is an obvious statement as clan-based feuds and rivalries often go back over generations over minor incidents which then wax and wane in violence. If you understand the Hatfields and McCoys, then you understand this conception, in which later generations can finally use the commonality of their misunderstandings to rejoin in discourse and even make it an object of humorous solidarity between them.

Diplomacy is only enforceable as a Nation can make it, however. Regularity of action and commonality of understanding do *not* lead to equality of result between Nations. In history smaller Nations can be overrun by larger Nations, unless they are a pill too difficult to swallow, either because of topography, like the Swiss, or due to such wildly varying conceptions of who one's People are, that incorporation will lead to a larger and conquering Nation having internal strife and then breaking into smaller and more amenable units, like in the Balkans.

The American Revolutionary period properly starting with revolts against unfair and non-representative imposing of taxation and ending with the Constitution of 1787, lived with these changing concepts and used them as a new definition for a Nation. And this first time crystallization of all of these pre-existing concepts was radical.

First off the United States of America needed to be a Nation that adhered to the diplomacy between States. Luckily, Benjamin Franklin had that well within his capability and was an able representative for this new Nation from before the Revolution to just after the signing of the Constitution. Without that able founder, the entire Nation would fail and his insight that the new Nation would need to play the game of Nations well and strongly became a mainstay of the new Nation, even in its relative isolation. It is because of that isolation that the United States worked so hard for diplomatic solutions as a young Nation: it could not afford a mighty Empire looking at its territory with an acquisitive gleam in its eye. The Swiss started the 'poison pill defense' and the United States incorporated that into itself. Who would *want* such a disparate and unruly set of People and how could one even begin to rule, not to say govern, them? The United States asserts strength through Diversity and by adhering to commonality with Diversity, has the ultimate poison pill against any conqueror: We are too much trouble to take over. Other Nations were given that if they tried to acquire the United States as a vassal or supplicant State, they would have a huge problem on their hands. Benjamin Franklin stood as the smiling surrogate for that unruly People and quietly let others know that We were nice to those that *respected* Us. This was and still IS radical.

Secondly the United States within the container of a Nation State had Sovereignty over itself and gave itself a representational form of democracy under the conception of a Republic. In an era of Monarchies, this was not all together unknown but quite rare and Republics had the notorious reputation of self-destruction. So a step in this direction was both bold and fraught with danger. And by adding democratic means to give rise to government, the deadly poison of democracy was added to that of the explosive Republic. Finally, the truly radical step of declaring that power is NOT vested in Government but in the People being governed was something that looked to be the final straw for the United States and most expected this Nation to blow itself to bits so that it would need be rescued by a 'proper' Nation.

Thirdly, although the 'Creator' is mentioned in the Declaration of Independence, that is put there by Deists who do *not* adhere to a single conception of that Deity save that it be overarching in extent, but not personal in context. Thus Christianity, while espoused by many, was not given any leeway to hold sway in the common arena because the founders did not want a repeat of the European experience. What was given to the States was that they could each have their own outlook on religion and thus have separation so long as equality of the Law via Due Process was adhered to. Religion is separated from the overall commonality of We the People who agree not to enforce a single religion or religious viewpoint unless it can be made valid to All of the People so as to not cause unrest. This is a primary and important distinction of a Nation already seen as *doomed* as it places the full authority AND responsibility for the guidance and governance of the Nation not upon a Deity or Religion, but upon THEMSELVES. By creating this, the United States de-links all Religious viewpoints from the National Law save on that basis for which it can be brought into respect and wide-held understanding that does NOT diminish any other belief or understanding within that system. If you come from Missouri, you know what that basis is: "Show-Me". This is the scientific hand of Benjamin Franklin at work requiring that actual proof-positive be made a touchstone and that if it could not be found by commonality of belief an idea needs actual, real and physical proof. A book, treatise, tract, scripture or any other thing is not a replacement or stand-in for real proof. Define what it is you believe in real terms and *prove it*. To ALL of the People. It then becomes 'self-evident' in that doing.

Fourth, by disentangling religion from the common forum and putting in due process and equality of governance, the United States looks towards equality of result for given actions, both Positive and Negative. Thus those that gain out of proportion to what their perceived contribution is are looked upon with disfavor, and those that contribute much and get little are given broader sympathy if their contribution is seen as worthy by the People. But those perceptions, however, are only to be used in drafting law, unless the imbalance of the law is so great that a Jury will rule the law itself to be unjust. This is a direct and lineal descent from the Nordic law in which a given people can deny a King's Law and tell that Monarch exactly *why*. Laws seen as unjust will first not be ruled upon by juries, and that can and often does lead to unrest and the necessity of reforming the Law to better conform to the perception of it. The Supreme Court remains the highest adjudication authority within the land for all of the People, but the People, themselves, may decide to not uphold any law they perceive as unjust. Thus individuals are held to their actual actions and activities and are responsible for those, and any verbal incitation that causes death and disruption without just cause. Juries may say 'nay' and the responsibility to get *better* law is upon the People acting in a just and lawful manner to do so.

Fifth are the concepts of "checks and balances", which so many cite but truly never work out for the Nation in their own conception of it. Many assume that the Constitution sets a means of Separation of Powers only *within* the Federal Structure. By dileneating how each part of the triumvirate government works and their system of checks upon each other from over-step, the Citizens perceive that this is whole and complete within itself. The Constitution, however, goes further than that, as it gives the States the authority to actually send and validate Representatives to the Governmental Legislative branch. This is an inherent check on that body by the States, that may withdraw their assent for their Representatives either by individual or as a whole if the entire Federal Government is seen as over-stepping *its* bounds for governance. Each State may do this by simple act of their government within their constitution, usually consisting of an Act by the Legislature that is passed and then signed by the Governor, although each State has its own methodology. This is the States check on Federal Legislative overstep or abdication of duty. Another inherent check, is that already seen for the Judicial, in which unjust laws are ruled upon by juries that then refuse to adhere to the Law which they see as unjust. The final State's check is that of holding the Executive accountable for those activities that are to protect All of the States. This is *not* a withdrawal right, but a 'show cause' right, in which a Governor may go to the Executive and ask why Federal Protection of that State's internal Sovereignty is NOT being upheld or respected. By doing so, the entire Federal Government is put on warning that it is treading on very weak ground and need either give the "Show-Me" demonstration of actually doing things to protect the State's right of self-governance within the Union or demonstrate that all Laws are being upheld equally and that treatment of that State is no greater nor less than any other State or tell the State that the Federal Government has no oversight for the complaint. The actual demonstration or enforcement of the Laws of the Land should put an end to such problems. If those are not done and the problem falls squarely within National and Federal purview, then the Government is to be held accountable by Constitutional Convention. Finally, the ultimate responsibility for the Nation rests upon its People, who respect the divisions of power and do not overstep them in common agreement. However, the People have the bulk of rights and the entire responsibility of good government upon them and when All Government is seen as failing in its duties the People may either pressure the Federal Government via interaction with Congress and/or the Executive, or via Law through the Judiciary. The People may also pressure their State Government to hold the Federal accountable. And lastly the People may, of themselves, hold a Constitutional Convention that must be open to All of the People or their Representatives and disrespect none in that doing so as to start the ballot and petition process to form up Amendments to the existing Constitution or a new Commonality and Compact between all of the People that must be voted upon and agreed to by the States.

From all of this We the People have commonality of understanding and agreement amongst Ourselves on how We are to interact with each other, the Nation as a whole and between Nation States.

Others have attempted to put forward larger conceptual frameworks, such as Transnationalism, but those lack the ability of a Nation State to guarantee the rights of the Individual. Indeed, those conceptions make no attempt to do so and, instead, use Groups of people as their basis of foundation. Groups get different rights based upon their categorization which is set by some larger, ruling group. When looked at, however, the only holders of the Rights is that of the Ruling group and individuals only get such rights as accrue to them via their group memberships. This is dictatorship by Group with the goal of destruction of the Nation State system as a whole. While radical in conception, its basis is ancient as it is called Tyranny.

Without hard and fast checks and balances, the mass of the population has no guarantee of rights nor means to hold the ruling elite accountable. Lacking that, it lacks the commonality of shared dialog and segregates dialog into what is and is not allowable amongst people as no one has equal rights to all speech. This is called Thought Control.

No matter how bad the system of Nation States actually is at getting *results* it has accountability and responsibility built into it. Attempts to form Global Empires find natural checks amongst Nations fearing take-over and internal resistance by those being brought into Empire start a path towards its demise. Poland has proven a bitter and ultimately indigestible pill, which can be kept down for a century or more, but ultimately resurfaces from the corpse of those that have attempted to swallow it in whole or in part. There will always be a Poland so long as there are Free People who think of themselves as Poles. Transnationalism seeks to dissolve much of that identity and reduce what any People are to a set of smaller groups so as to play them off each other and thus keep People's disunited in distrust so as to establish tyrannical rule.

So, when I see pro/anti or thesis/antithesis enclaves drifting from the sphere of the commonality, they are drifting out of that sphere that defines the United States:

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
For in their actions they do not form a more perfect Union, establish only a Justice that their Group wants, put poison and vitriol into the domestic Tranquility, attack the Nation so as to corrode it, disregard the Welfare of the Nation and its People and wear away at the Liberty that they have been given so as to assert something lesser that is not held in the common. In the end, that makes what We hand to Our Posterity something diminished from what We were given.

If one just complains about a problem and offers *nothing* better nor no means to *find* something better, then one is widening and deepening the problem and creating something worse in that doing.

And I truly do not care if you are on the side of *good and right* in that complaint.

Your duty, as a Citizen, is to offer something *better*.

Or do the honorable thing and admit you have nothing better and ask for help from your fellow Citizens. And KEEP LOOKING and STOP COMPLAINING save to help your SEARCH for a SOLUTION. And be prepared to define *exactly* what it is you are complaining about so that you and those you contact will agree upon the extent of the problem.

Otherwise YOU are the problem.

Such is the way I see this concept of Republic as has been established within the United States.

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