What is our strength?
Lately, we’ve been hearing said: “Diversity is our strength”. This slogan’s goal is to justify various racial and ethnic aims. But it is totally false as to what our strength as a people is or stems from. If America were made more diverse in any number of racial or ethnic ways, it would not follow as the night the day that we’d become stronger. That is why this statement is false.
Diversity is most certainly NOT our strength. If not, then what is? What’s the single most important value that characterizes the American system and the dominant American belief?
Not unity. Not power. Not dominance over others. Not patriotism. Not a quest for wealth. Not expansion. Not Manifest Destiny. Not diversity. Not equality as the term is today perverted into unrecognizable meaning.
Condoleezza Rice says our principle is “That you can come from humble circumstances and do great things. That it doesn’t matter where you came from but where you are going.”
No, that’s not it. Her words are easily taken to mean an understanding that perverts the true principle.
Edward Crane is closer to it when he says that “autonomy — control over one’s own life — is the essence of the American experiment in respect for the dignity of humanity.”
But this formulation is still open to perversion and misunderstanding.
Even some of what the Declaration says is open to being twisted into its opposite: “…that all men are created equal…”
In two words, properly understood and defined, our strength is INDIVIDUAL FREEDOM. This is our basic principle. It’s INDIVIDUAL FREEDOM, not more and not less.
But if the wrong definition of freedom is used, this principle is subverted. Freedom must be understood as the absence of the initiation of violence by other people against you. Freedom does not mean power, ability, security, or the possession of goods. Freedom in the social-political sense means that the person with freedom is not the object of aggression initiated by others, including especially government itself.
From the principle of INDIVIDUAL FREEDOM flows the further principle of a government whose only purpose is to secure that freedom or, equivalently, to secure the rights, properly understood, of every American. This means a government dedicated to equality in one narrow sense only, which is that everyone’s individual freedom is to be defended by a government.
Individual Freedom necessarily implies individual Rights, to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. It implies a government whose just powers are no more and no less than to secure these Rights. These are the proper ends of government. It implies a government instituted by the individual freedom to consent or not to that government.
From the principle of Individual Freedom flows the further principle that “whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government…”
Our strength has always been our adherence to a single principle: INDIVIDUAL FREEDOM. Of us. Of us only. Of our People only, not of everyone in the world. Not of other Peoples elsewhere. They have their own governments. Our government is instituted by us to protect our rights, not theirs. That’s the principle that underlies the Declaration. It is stated in the Constitution too. That is what We the People means. Us, not them.
Our government is limited in principle to securing our individual freedom, not that of other peoples and lands. It’s supposed to be limited in domestic and foreign matters.
Our strength, individual freedom, is undermined with every step taken by government that does not clearly, directly and obviously defend our individual freedom, meaning only maintaining the absence of force initiated against us. Our individual freedom is likewise undermined by every step taken by government that goes abroad with other aims than defending, clearly, directly and obviously, OUR individual freedom.