A Social Contract

A Social Contract

Gary Hunt
Outpost of Freedom
May 18, 1994

The Founding Fathers relied upon, and developed much of the concept of the Constitution (a social contract) from the works of authors, thinkers and philosophers of the time. One of those was Rousseau, who wrote “The Social Contract”, who recognized the true relationship between government and people when the presumption was made that all just power derives from the people. Rousseau wrote:

“The moment the people is lawfully assembled as a sovereign body, all jurisdiction of the ‑government ceases the executive power is suspended, and the person of the hum blest citizen is as sacred and inviolable as that of the highest magistrate, because there can be no representatives in the presence of those they represent. . . The consuls were then only the people’s chairmen, the tribunes were only speakers, and the Senate was nothing at all.

“The government always dreads these intervals of suspension, when it recognizes, or should recognize, a present superior and such assemblies of the people, which am the shield of the body politic and the brake on the government, have always been the terror of the magistrates, who therefore spare no pains in raising objections, making difficulties, and giving promises to discourage the citizens from assembling. When the citizens am avaricious, lethargic, cowardly, or fonder of tranquility than of freedom, they do not hold out long against the redoubled a its of the government. It is thus that, as the opposing force constantly  increases, the sovereign authority finally  vanishes and most republics fail and perish before their time.

So, what stands between the sovereign authority (the people) and arbitrary government (that which Rousseau identifies as the “opposing force”)? The social contract which, in our case, is the supreme law of the land, the Constitution for the United States of America. It is easy to conclude the purpose for the Constitution, yet is it so easy to understand the peril that threatens it today?

We are told, from early school education through college, on television, radio, newspapers and nearly every from of social communication, that the changes in technology warrant a greater necessity for “law enforcement” and regulation. We are told that the reason for the second amendment was the need to hunt meat or to defend against outlaws and Indians. We are told that the need no longer exists, and that the passage of laws restricting firearms ownership are because of the rampant crime existent in America today. Do they tell us that the crime that we see today is not crime as envisioned by our forefathers? These “crime control acts” that they are constantly passing, if you think about it just a moment, are really “crime creation acts”, for they create crimes as a result of rule violations rather than damage or injury to victims. These “manifestations” of crime then lead to real crime as a result of putting people into a circumstance of being on the other side of the “law.” Then comes the “outrage” expressed by the politicians which results in reactive passage of even more restrictive laws, which results in further increase in “crime”, which results in passage of more laws ‑‑ And we see the results of Rousseau’s theory come to fruition.

Is there, however, and alternative to this slow but sure demise of our Constitutional Republic? Perhaps the Founding Fathers gave us a means to achieve these goals. In most republics of past history, and there were many, the cycle of their histories lasted about two hundred years. The Founding Fathers, understanding this reality, provided us a document written in simple terms so as to not be to difficult to be understood, yet provided us, also, with many supportive documents whereby we could learn of their inspiration and, perhaps, resurrect the Great Experiment. The tools were given us by the AntiFederalists when they insisted on the Bill of Rights. This “heart of the Constitution” assures us both the intent and the means of the salvation of this great nation. It is not an easy task, nor is it to be accomplished without effort by those who understand and desire to achieve this goal. More significantly it must be recognized that now is just short of to late to begin this process.

One Comment

  1. […] hosted this OPF Radio 2/18/13 broadcast about the social contract. It is now available as a free downloadable podcast (Backup […]

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