I spent Friday night at a friend's house, and ended up borrowing and reading a book called "Are You Liberal? Conservative? or Confused" by Richard Maybury over the weekend. Maybury begins by defining the political terms in common use today and goes on to reject all of them, calling instead for a departure from the statism of the current political spectrum. He argues that the original intent of the Founding Fathers has been lost in a tidal wave of state-centered ideas and ideologies, and suggests a return to the philosophy of the American Founders, a philosophy he terms juris naturalis, or Natural Law, also called Higher Law.
Higher Law is the belief that right and wrong are not matters of opinion. Like the laws of physics, chemistry and biology, right and wrong are a given, something that we must learn and apply. They cannot be made up by politicians or anyone else. They are part of what humans are, our Creator gave them to us. They have been built into our DNA.
When obedience to Higher Law is widespread, life gets better. When it's not, life gets worse.
Higher Law, according to Maybury, consists of two foundational principles common to all major religions and philosophies. The first is, do all you have agreed to do. The second is do not encroach on other persons or their property.
These principles have gotten lost in the Godless society we have become accustomed to, and as such, the political arena has become a mad dash for power. The one with the most arm-twisting potential at the end of the day wins. Maybury presents an alternative, a system that 1) seeks only to enforce the two basic laws, 2) that regards political power as inherently corrosive and dangerous, and 3) that keeps the continual reduction and eventual abolition of government as its lodestar. Maybury terms this approach as juris naturalism.
In today's political spectrum, there is no room for the juris naturalist approach. There is only a wide variety of statists, who disagree only about the specific ways power should be used. Liberals seek to control one's economic conduct, and conservatives seek control over one's social conduct. Moderates – the group most Americans crowd into – are a compromise. They seek control over both aspects. Maybury claims that juris naturalists return to the philosophy of the Founding Fathers by advocating only the two basic principles given earlier.
Maybury's approach seems to be a sort of theistic libertarianism, and for the most part, I agree with it. He argues quite rightly that America should refrain from supporting one petty tyrant over another, adding that such meddling in the affairs of other nations frequently would be considered a serious crime if done at home. He stresses that such a policy would not be isolationist in nature:
This is not an argument for so-called isolationism. The juris naturalist likes to see Americans traveling, doing business abroad, and making friends there. But he wants no political connections.
Jonah Goldberg recently spent a couple of paragraphs trying to refute this argument, reiterating the basic neocon premise that times have changed, and we must change with them, but I'm not convinced. Maybe if we hadn't stirred up the hornet's nest in the first place, we wouldn't be having to pluck out stingers from our forearms.
Indeed, one has to wonder how differently the situation in Iraq might have been had the nation's former presidents, both left and right, heeded these words from its very first chief executive. I leave you with the closing paragraph from George Washington's Farewell Address.
"The great rule of conduct for us, in regard to foreign nations, is, in extending our commercial relations, to them with as little political connections as possible. So far as we have already formed engagements, let them be fulfilled with perfect good faith. Here let us stop."
Arthur Fonzarelli said:Obviously I am quite conservative. However, I am not a republican nor a democrat. In Ohio I am registered with no party affiliation as independent is not a choice when registering to vote. I have looked into the libertarian party & the constitution party; I like both but don't agree 100% with either one. A merging of the two taking the best of each & dropping the worst might be great; but that's a matter of opinion. I guess I would have to say I'm a Juris Naturalis.
galenrox said:yeah, I caucused democrat, but that's just cause there would be no point in caucusing republican last election, plus I really liked Wesley Clark. Too bad about him.
loverofpeace said:I found all that information on Juris Naturalis to be quite interesting. Of course, I disagree with a few of the things said, but I wanted to thank you for informing me of something that I previously knew nothing about. So thanks for posting!
JOHNYJ said:I am a democrat,but. Not like the crew that has been running the party. I started out by being a 'moderate' democrat.Everytime I look though, I am being pushed further to the " right " .Without changing one opinion I have become a ' conservative ' democrat .If the party was run by the majority of its members.It would be the majority party of the nation.