When pursuing the ideal configuration for social order, three realities must be considered: (1) Natural Law, (2) Free Will, and (3) Jerks.
In last week’s article, I explored Natural Law – the basis for our rights to Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. I asserted that American Conservatism seeks natural order towards the assurance of liberty and that modern American Liberalism imposes order at the expense of liberty. And I promised this follow-up article on understanding America’s evolution away from Natural Law.
Thomas Aquinas defined natural law as, “an ordinance of reason directed towards the common good...” And for the most part, the post 19th Century of the Western World has demonstrated a decent sense of community. But within the community are a few billion independent agents, all born with a healthy dose of free will. That liberty is usually expressed as respectful self-interest. And if it weren’t for the occasional self-interested actor behaving as a self-serving jerk, we would have little reason to saddle ourselves with government regulations.
Many worthy theories have been proposed about the optimal arrangement for social interaction among people. And the most credible and comprehensive architecture of sociology that I have discovered is Dr. Del Tackett’s exploration in a video series that he calls The Truth Project.
What I appreciate most about Dr. Tackett’s depiction of the natural world view are his six spheres of social order; church, family, God & man, the state, labor, and community. This arrangement is consistent with Thomas Jefferson’s sensitivities regarding the separate but interconnected components of human life. And I find it particularly astute to call out “community” as distinct from “the state.”
America’s Founding Fathers, with Jefferson as the national wordsmith, gave us the succinct purpose for the people to establish a state: “Governments are instituted among men to ensure these rights.” And those rights to be ensured by the state are the ones granted to every person by Nature’s God. Life. Liberty. The pursuit of happiness.
(An important interview) Saving the Net from the surveillance state (And Crony Media): Glenn Greenwald speaks up (Q&A) | Nick Sorrentino