Discussion time, as we head to the next election:

I’ve been called a great many things politically, most of them inaccurate.

But this subject came up elsewhere, and I thought I’d re-post my comments here, since it’s as close as I’ve bothered to write to the subject of what constitutes the original purpose of government, and in fact what the actions of a legit government are.

I am not a conservative per se’ not in the sense that we think of such today. I am, rather, a social conservative, which is a different animal altogether. I have a different view from any of the ‘established’ groups as to the legit purpose of government. That’s because all of them have drifted away from it. And yes, I recognize this is NOT going to make me very popular. So be it. Any time you tell someone they’re screwing up, you’re not going to be popular with them.

So what is the purpose of government, anyway? No, I don’t mean what it evolved into, I mean rather it’s original purpose… the reason the concept of governments of any kind were even conceived of.

Some submit that government exists to protect privileges of a few, preserving a state of injustice for the majority.

Others hold the somewhat more optimistic view that the purpose of the state is to protect rights and to preserve justice. It appears to me that those questions form the arguments among the proponents of liberalism, libertarianism, socialism, conservatism and fascism, all at once.

I submit that all these four basic positions miss the point, because they generally don’t remember who it was who invented the concept of government…government of any kind, I mean… in first place. I should point out that in general, the ones who get it the closest are conservatives, but they are not spot on, either.)

Libertarians, mostly suggest, along with Jefferson, that “No man has a natural right to commit aggression on the equal rights of another, and this is all from which the laws ought to restrain him.”, and that therefore, government exists for only one purpose, and that is to secure the unalienable rights of its citizens against violation.

Well… This is fine as far as it goes, but it ignores who created the concept of rights, and it thereby misses utterly, the best path to protect such rights. In doing so it ironically denies it’s adherents such protection.

And of course each of these groups has tended to abuse the power of government for their own ends.

To the end of answering overriding question of the purpose of government, (And thereby the question of what government needs to be doing today, and not doing, to remain legit) with any logic, we need to ask a few more questions:

1: Who invented the concept of government?

2: What purpose would that entity have had in such creation?

One way we can answer those two questions at once, would be to look at what existed as the most powerful force before government was invented, and therefore what was the most likely inventor of government: CULTURE.

If we make the logical assumption that governments were originally created by the individual cultures, then it follows that each culture constructed their respective governments in their own image… governments that best reflected and advanced each culture’s interests.

The original purpose of government, therefore, is to protect, nurture and defend, and if possible expand the influence of, the culture that gave it life. As such, to the greatest of degrees possible, each government’s laws, on the whole, were the culture, codified. It follows, then, that any government holding to the original purpose of government will perform this task.

Now, notice I said to the greatest degree possible. I freely admit… Trumpet, even, that there are no perfect governments, no perfect laws. No law, or government can ever capture in amber, a culture. Cultures are far more complex than any law, however written, can encompass. So it is that laws cannot be the end-call and be-all to a culture, or to a country. Laws when taken too literally and made to apply to all events uniformly, can instead of being just, will instead dispense injustice. It is said that in hell, there will be law and policy and little else. Yet, this imperfect tool did at least manage to provide a mechanism toward the intended purpose… The furtherance of the culture that founded said government. This understanding that there is imperfection in government implies that other values should supersede governmental power when the tool of government doesn’t fit the task at hand well. I submit the highest value applied here should be the values of the culture, not that of the law.

(Which, I would argue is why there are judges which read not only the wording of the laws but then intent of them.)

Now, I hear some of you balking at this, suggesting the right of the individual are paramount; a noble sentiment. But consider this immovable fact:

Rights are not universal.

Yep. That’s what I said…Read it again, just to be sure.

Rights are not universal.

Clearly, this will raise many questions on the part of some. This should answer most;

When Jefferson wrote that “WE HOLD THESE TRUTHS TO BE SELF-EVIDENT” he was not speaking a universal truth at all. The operative word in that phrase is “WE”.

Rather than talking about a universal point of view, a universal truth, if you will, he was instead talking about the point of view of WE the new American culture. With this angle, many of the long-held myths about rights tend to disappear.

Consider; if it was in fact a universal truth that all men were created equal, it wouldn’t have been such a radical idea, for the time, much less then to now. Last I checked, it is quite true that a vast majority still do not consider these as any kind of truth, universal or otherwise; they consider them to be anything BUT self-evident. Royalty still exists, as do class structures, and slavery, as well.

Again, I say…Jefferson was speaking of the point of view of OUR culture, not that of others.

The fact of the matter is that RIGHTS ARE A CULTURAL CONCEPT, and are nigh on meaningless outside that construct. Once the culture is allowed to fall to the law, even in an attempt to impose rights where they do not exist, what happens to real rights, which are a cultural concept?

When one says “freedom”, the question should be ‘freedom from what’? The answers that come back will invariably be cultural in nature. They do not make any sense outside that environment.

As I’ve said, the law and government has been abused by some, it has moved away from that intended purpose of supporting the existing culture. They are in fact being used by the left to alter that morality, to alter that culture, and when that happens, the fall of the government cannot be far behind… and the fall of the culture itself beyond that, becomes a larger possibility. Often as not, the downfall of that culture is what they have in mind.

That said, Culture is by far a more powerful force than government, over time. Indeed; Where governments have gotten themselves into problems over the centuries, is invariably where governments have tried to alter the culture artificially, by means of law. Culture eventually triumphs.

Take communism, as an example. Communism attempts to over-ride the culture and basically outlaw many facets of it.

But, (and this is important) everywhere you saw Communism.. Russia, Cuba, Korea, East Germany you saw the same treacherous *political* ideology, not the cultural values of those societies. And in those places where communism has been overthrown, the former USSR for example, the original culture invariably springs back to life.

This affects the concept of what is being called Multi-culturalism, as well. Governments that seek to mandate multi-culturalism do not last. Again, the USSR is a fair enough example.

Now, some would, because of those abuses as I mentioned, like to see all governments fall. They feel that governments have no legit purpose. I suggest this is short-sighted, and seeks, in the case of our republican form of government, to remove the only tool available to the end of supporting rights.

The worst of the abusers of government in our country, our culture, given these original purposes, are on the left end of the spectrum. The most visible American mainstream political group that works against these original purposes of government are the Democrat Party.

Now these are basics, and do not explore such things as taxes for example… and I’ll do this at need. But I’ve given you much to chew on and respond to; which I will ask you to do; Discuss in the comments section, or (given the size limits on my comments section) send me an e-mail, and I’ll post it from here as an update.