Friday, July 18, 2008
HAPPY 90TH BIRTHDAY NELSON MANDELA!
A few weeks ago I decided to stop worrying that my blog, SHIFT OF POWER, was not attracting tons of readers, and to stop being frustrated that no one who had read it felt compelled to make a comment. I determined to be patient and returned to the original purpose for creating SHIFT OF POWER, which is to introduce, define and explain Humanistic Equalism: Philosophy for Ethical Government of Common Sense, by Common People, for Common Good. A new political philosophy and concept of government I developed over the past thirty-odd years. I have completed work on the original manuscript and, after having several people read it and offer suggestions, am almost finished with my third re-write. It is my intention and hope that I will be able to offer it for sale in the very near future.
In the mean time, I am using this blog to bring it to your attention by explaining the principles, reasoning, and ideas of Humanistic Equalism: Philosophy for Ethical Government; what it is, how it works, and what it will mean to the United States of America. I firmly believe that our nation is at a point where Revolution, that is, removing our current corrupt and ineffectual government and replacing it with one that is better, more effective and humane is not only absolutely necessary, but that it is entirely possible to do. And that is essentially why I decided to return to my point of origin and patiently, methodically lay out the facts and purpose regarding Humanistic Equalism from the beginning.
So far I have explained the definition, philosophy and principles; what it means, the reasoning that it is based on, what the purpose and objective is, and the process that makes Humanistic Equalism: Philosophy for Ethical Government practicable. Let's review.
The philosophical foundation is HUMANISM, however, replacing the suffix "ism" with the suffix "istic" implies adherence to the active promotion and advancement of Human concerns regarding progress, prosperity, and happiness as the only reason and purpose of government. The principles it is based on are Human value and dignity, factual liberty, and absolutely equal status, privileges, and rights for ALL citizens by the ethical conduct of government. The process that makes Humanistic Equalism work is a Three-question Test process that I described (for the second time) in my last post (12 July 2008). I will now demonstrate how this process works as I promised to do.
Most everyone agrees the American system of politics is the so-called ‘Art’ of compromise. I concur. I would argue that the United States is the product of compromise. It is a point of pride among Americans. We are a reasonable people we are always willing to compromise.
I believe the growth and maturity of the United States; its industrialization, inestimable wealth, and nuclear domination of the planet are all the product of compromise. I believe just as strongly that our immediate and increasing plight of dysfunction, deterioration, and decline are the result of government by compromise. Compromise made the United States what it is, and what it is not.
Compromise is anathema to government function and policy. Compromise is legislative heroin distributed by elected representatives. It reinforces an addiction and feeds a dependency on the status quo among citizens. All this goes to the purpose and function of the Three-question Test process necessary to engage and utilize Humanistic Equalism. A process, by the way, that is applicable to any existing system of government that permits citizen involvement, uses representatives, or makes decision by committee.
It is a process that serves to make citizens the primary object and beneficiary of the eternal and unbreakable chain of cause and effect; and to determine a course that will cause the best effect for every living citizen. Vigorous debate and heated argument can and should remain integral to the process of legislating and policy making. When debate and argument are finished and the time to decide is at hand the Three-question Test process should be applied. Compromise is antithetical to the ends of human progress, prosperity, happiness, equality and ethics. Consequently, no compromise regarding such matters is acceptable.
To further illustrate how this process will change the manner in which government functions is an example of how a legislative proposal would be put to the test. I have chosen to use the issue of same-sex marriage. I chose it because it is one of the so-called "hot-button" issues used for years to keep us divided and therefore more easily manipulated. It is also an issue that reveals the ignorance of many in our country, as well as, the poisonous and deleterious influence that religion insinuates upon government.
It is proposed that same-sex marriage should be permitted.
The first question is asked: Will permitting same-sex marriage cause ruinous harm to the dignity, value, happiness, and progress of citizens’ lives?
We are all familiar with the arguments about the sanctity of the institution of marriage between a man and woman. An institution, by the way, that is so sacred it currently boasts a failure rate of more than fifty (50%) percent. It is also adamantly argued that same-sex marriage is unnatural; that it is an abomination; that marriage has always been between a man and woman (a claim that has no truth in fact). Or, if same-sex marriage is permitted it will not be long before people will want to marry members of their family, or in extreme cases, a beloved farm animal. This, and all "slippery slope" arguments, is the last refuge of ignorance. It is essentially an argument designed to create fear and division. I sincerely believe there is no possible way a person with even marginal intelligence and capacity to reason could, without pressure from some religious element, accept any of these arguments. Therefore, the answer to the first question must be, No.
What about the second question?
Will permitting same-sex marriage secure without exception absolutely equal status, privileges, and rights of every citizen? Since that is the reason for allowing same-sex marriage the only possible answer is, Yes.
Finally, the third question.
Will permitting same-sex marriage require and guarantee, without exception, equitable, impartial, and just application and enforcement to every citizen?
Again, since permitting same-sex marriage would include all those who choose that life-style and are currently excluded from equitable, impartial, and just application and enforcement with regard to marriage the only answer is, Yes.
Using this process to apply the principles of Humanistic Equalism: Philosophy for Ethical Government to the issue of same-sex marriage will mean that citizens who are now ostracized and excluded from living as our Constitution expressly intended will finally be permitted to experience living freely in the pursuit of happiness. Subsequently all those people will feel a greater affinity, take a greater interest, and be more likely to actively support and participate in the growth, maintenance, and prosperity of the nation. When citizens are happy and satisfied with our nation’s laws the United States of America reaps all the benefits of that happiness. One can clearly see from this example how the process of applying the philosophy, principles and process of Humanistic Equalism will work.
Give Peace a chance.
James B. Tinsley, B.A.
Saturday, July 12, 2008
Recently I received an email from Carly Scott asking if I would be amenable to write about, take action on behalf of, and place a link to www.theelders.org here at Shift of Power. Ms. Scott explained that in 2007 Nelson Mandela convened a group of senior power players affectionately referred to as The Elders. Together they concluded to organize and carry out a campaign to recall and celebrate the 60th anniversary since the Universal Declaration of Human Rights called EVERY HUMAN HAS RIGHTS.
I am happy to do what little I can. The fact is this blog, created to introduce, define and explain Humanistic Equalism: Philosophy for Ethical Government is fundamentally about how to achieve and establish Human Rights. By experience, observation, and reason I have come to believe without any doubt that the United States, indeed the entire civilized world, has only one hope.
It is the hope that citizens of all nations will realize that they, not governments, are the sole source of all value and all power. Until now there has not been a well-reasoned workable philosophy, system or process to construct a Human Rights oriented government upon. However, with Humanistic Equalism: Philosophy for Ethical Government as the foundation, human value and dignity, as well as, improving the condition, prosperity, and happiness of all citizens through absolutely equal status, privileges, and rights with ethical government Universal Human Rights will be fully realized.
Humanistic Equalism will transform the purpose and function of government in a variety of ways. All of which will be addressed over time. For the moment, I want to begin with the way it will affect the manner of decision making, enacting legislation, and taking action. Within my own mind, at least, it is extremely clear that the so-called Art of Compromise, in so far as it concerns the function of government, is the first step leading to corruption and eventually Human Rights abuse.
Since I have devoted two postings (see 25 and 30 April 2008) exposing the fallacy and destructive nature of compromise within the context of government, I will only remark on it briefly. Compromise can be a useful strategy and tool when buying a vehicle, working out a divorce settlement, or closing a business deal. But, when the issue is whether children have adequate food and health care, starting or continuing to fund war, building fighter jets or nuclear submarines; when the issue is bailing out investment banks and hedge funds, giving tax breaks to the super rich while cutting funding for food stamps, or refusing to extend unemployment benefits for those that are unable to find work; when the issue is one of human need vs. property, profit, power, or position, compromise is an unacceptable solution.
Our government was conceived, formed, and has developed from compromise. The United States of America is the epitome of compromise, its best student and most avid supporter. For this reason it will be practically impossible for most Americans to even begin to imagine that government can function without it. How in the world could the United States Federal Government accomplish anything at all without relying on compromise? I readily admit it will be unnatural, frustrating, and excruciatingly difficult, at first. It is, however, within the realm of possibility to accomplish.
In Part II of my previous discussion regarding compromise (30 April 2008), I introduce and briefly describe a method that will, for the most part, eliminate it. The method is a Three-question Test process. This process is the most important element in putting Humanistic Equalism: Philosophy for Ethical Government into practice, for applying theory to real-world circumstances. It is the key process not found in any philosophy or system of government that exists today, or has ever existed in human civilization. The Three-question Test process makes Universal Human Rights the natural primary purpose of government.
1. Will this action or function cause ruinous harm to the dignity, value, happiness and progress of citizens' lives?
2. Will this action or function secure, without exception, absolutely equal status, privileges, and rights of every citizen?
3. Will this action or function require and guarantee, without exception, equitable, impartial application and enforcement to every citizen?
The answer to the first question must be NO; questions two and three must be YES. Each answer must be unequivocal, unqualified, and unambiguous. If the answer to any of the three questions requires special circumstances, treatment, or has exceptions, then the action or function is to be rejected as presented. When any legislation, action, or function under consideration by our government is constructed, written, or undertaken so as to strictly comply with the requirements mandated by the Three-question Test process, only then can it be passed, acted on, or enforced.
So how exactly will this Three-question Test work; how will it succeed in altering the course and current decline of the United States? Why is it the ultimate guarantor of Universal Human Rights? Read my next post and find out. Give Peace a chance.
James B. Tinsley, B. A.
Saturday, July 5, 2008
Two hundred thirty-two years ago a small minority faction of elite Caucasian Protestant men, most of them wealthy and in positions of power, declared that the inhabitants of this continent had the right and ought to be free and independent from their sovereign. This elite minority faction effectively declared war on the most expansive, well armed and powerful empire on earth. They did this in the name of, and on behalf of all the people; all the natives, the indentured, the enslaved, the poor, the farmers, craftsmen, laborers, seamen, traders and women. They did it knowing full well that it would be them, the common people, that would have to do the actual fighting and dying. In fact if the American Revolution had depended upon the wealthy and powerful it never would have happened.
Yet, in spite of its truthful expression of human rights and rhetorical beauty; regardless of its rightful claims, its artful and well-founded argument, the Declaration of Independence is a useless and empty document. And even though it is truly inspirational, a logical and high-minded statement of human hopes, desires and ideals the Declaration of Independence is, quite frankly, a political tool employed by a wealthy and powerful minority faction to manipulate the common people; it is the nation's first use of the chimera known today as "National Security."
The first thing one must always remember and keep in mind when reading the Declaration of Independence-and I believe without any doubt that every citizen of the United States should read it at least once a year-it has no authority or power. The Declaration of Independence is just that-a declaration, a statement of grievances. It is not a legal document or binding agreement; nor is it an enforceable contract. The United States Declaration of Independence is simply a well-written rhetorically inspirational statement, an argumentative and idealistic essay.
After returning from an early morning bicycle ride and listening to "Morning Edition" on National Public Radio (N.P.R.) I was surprised to hear the N.P.R. on-air staff read the full text of the Declaration of Independence during one of the segments of the show. It is a rare occurrence to hear it spoken aloud in its entirety. Most Americans have never even read the whole thing from beginning to end. As I listened I experienced, with a notable increase in emotional intensity, all the feelings that I usually have whenever I read through it. The pride and righteousness of cause; the thrill and excitement of standing up for what is right, good, and common to all people, the invincibility of youth, and the satisfaction of telling truth to power. Then there is the inevitable feeling of sadness. The disappointment of deceit and empty unfulfilled promises as reality returns.
Our Declaration of Independence was, and still is, touted as one of the greatest political documents ever recorded. Consider the following excerpts which are some of my favorites.
When in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another,... requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation...--that all men are created equal,...with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness...Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed--That whenever any form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or abolish it, and to institute a new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. ... all experience hath shown, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing the same Object reduces them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. ... Such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government.
These claims are followed by a brilliantly constructed list of injuries and actions committed by the King of England and Parliament. Towards the end, in the final statement and actual declaration of their separation from Great Britain we find the following logical conclusion to the Colonists argument and reasoning.
In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms. Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people...We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.--...In the Name, and by Authority of the good people of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, that these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Abolished from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved...
Please take fifteen or twenty minutes sometime soon to read the Declaration of Independence from beginning to end. Read it to your family. Compare what the Colonists were going through with what we, in 2008, are being subjected to by our current Federal Government. In two hundred thirty-two years the United States Federal Government has become the same Despot, the same Tyrant, the same inflicter of injury and usurper of rights as the King and Parliament we threw off in 1776.
What I find to be so sad, so disappointing, so truly heartbreaking, is that the ideals, hopes, desires, and dreams evoked by this great piece of political posturing were abandoned almost immediately upon the cessation of hostilities. Not one of the ideals or principles outlined in our Declaration of Independence were enacted into law or incorporated in the legal framework of our original United States Constitution. And all those that have been added as Amendments have either been distorted and perverted by the Supreme Court, or ignored by those in power.
The Declaration of Independence is a Humanistic writing that recognizes the Human Condition and extols Equality. Our Constitution, on the other hand, is a legal, binding and enforceable Social Contract designed to protect property, profit, power, and position. The Declaration of Independence is about Human progress and happiness; whereas the Constitution is about power, authority and force; it establishes the foundation of the Status Quo to be controlled and manipulated by the ruling class elite minority faction in lieu of protecting and improving the lives of American citizens.
I submit that in 2008, as Citizens of the United States, we have the same right, the same obligation as our forebears to declare the despotism, the tyranny and the failure of our Federal Government as unacceptable. It is without doubt our responsibility to undertake to overthrow the current power structure and replace our Bad Government with one that is better and more effective for ALL Citizens. I believe with my entire being that we, the people, the governed, from which our government derives all its just powers must institute the philosophy and process of Humanistic Equalism: Philosophy for Ethical Government of Common Sense, by Common People, for Common Good.
How will Humanistic Equalism change America? How will it effect the purpose and function of our government? In my next posting I will begin to address these questions. If you have a comment please make it, use the link below to email this to a friend or an enemy, add "Shift of Power" to your "favorites" or "Bookmarks" and if you have a moment rate this blog using the button located at the bottom of the right panel. Give peace a chance.
James B. Tinsley, B.A.